World Cup Team Pots Visualized by FIFA and ELO Rankings

The World Cup Draw is now two weeks away, and many soccer fans have discovered the joys of playing out the hundreds of possible group outcomes using the surprisingly addictive World Cup Draw Simulator. For those familiar with the top international soccer teams, the significance of the various draw outcomes may be self explanatory. But what about the rest of us who may not know the relative strength of each and every World Cup qualified team?

Beware the World Cup Draw Simulator. It will give you hours of fun... or horror.

Beware the World Cup Draw Simulator. It will give you hours of fun… or horror.


How are us newcomers supposed to know whether it’s better to draw a group with Cameroon or Ghana? We may all know that Spain, Germany, and Argentina are powerhouses, but once you go farther down the rankings, how are we supposed to tell the difference between an average team and a mediocre team?


Inspired by Ken Hirt’s blog post on Nightmare vs. Dream Draws for the USA, I decided to create a chart visualizing the relative strength of each World Cup team, based on FIFA Rankings, and as some argue, the more accurate ELO Ratings.

Check out the World Cup teams visualized by pot below. Which team do you want to avoid in each pot? Which team do you hope your country draws as opponents?