The World Cup for Dummies

June 9, 2010

No, we're not calling you stupid. We don't know as much about the World Cup as we'd like, either. But in a measley 170 words we've managed to give you everything you need to know about the tournament so you'll be informed when it all kicks off on Friday. Why waste your time reading long-winded articles or listening to actual experts?
Here we go:

World Cup Basics

32 teams are playing in the tournament held throughout South Africa.
They are broken down into eight groups (four countries in each).
Each team plays one game against the three other nations in their group.
The top two squads from each group then move onto the elimination round based on win-loss record for a total of 16 teams. The tie breaker (if you really want to dig deep) is head-to-head and then goal differential. 

The 16 teams then enter a bracket-style, single-elimination playoff (like March Madness).
If the score is tied at the end of regulation (90 minutes plus the time spent spraying players' injuries with Pledge) it goes to a shootout.

The Favorites (in descending order)

Brazil
Spain
England
Argentina
Italy
Germany
Netherlands
France
Ivory Coast
Portugal
USA

Five Players You Need to Know

Wayne Rooney, England
Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal
Lionel Messi, Argentina
Kaka, Brazil
Xavi, Spain

The United States Schedule


Saturday June 12, 2:30 p.m. EST vs. England
Friday June 18, 10:00 a.m. EST vs. Slovenia
Wednesday June 23, 10:00 a.m. EST vs. Algeria

Godspeed soccer fans! Both of you…

Photo: Shaun Botterril/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

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