World Cup Power Rankings - Final
This will be my last rankings, for the obvious reason that after this round of games there's no need to rank teams playing just one game for all the marbles.
The quarterfinals this weekend saw the firm squashing of the dominant narrative of weak Europe and strong South America. As I said, it's not so much that the South American teams were that great, but rather that they were consistent. They were winning the games they should have been winning, and drawing the difficult ones. This time around, Uruguay continued that trend, but all the others faced major European powers and came up short.
Netherlands v. Uruguay - The Dutch still haven't looked really good so far this tournament, but they've taken advantage of their opponents' weaknesses. Uruguay have come out with a plan each match, and stuck to it brilliantly. It's the immovable object versus the other immovable object. I expect a disjointed game filled with fouls, and a Dutch 1-0 win, with Nigel de Jong keeping Diego Forlan quiet.
Spain v. Germany - Spain's slow passing build-up play is kryptonite to Germany's quick counters, and defensive midfielders Xabi Alonso and Sergio Busquets can clog the area between defenders and midfielder where German stars like Oezil have run rampant. I think Spain can do it, 2-0.