The greatest prize for the Greatest Footballing Nation

Nelson Mandela and the FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA Football World Cup under way in South Africa holds by far the greatest bounty of GSN Global Cup points.
Thanks to the enormous popularity  of the game (214 countries took part in the 3-year-long qualifying process), plus the added weighting bonus for a team sport (see How it works), the Football World Cup offers 4.500 GSN weighted points up for grabs.
Considering that the 2009 Global Cup winners, the USA, earned  7.313 points, and that the World Cup-winning nation will pocket 1.000 points, it’s easy to see how success in South Africa could make a huge difference to any country’s Global Cup placing.
We looked up the top ten countries in 2009: if we add 1.000 points for a World Cup victory to the 2009 total of those among them that could have a legitimate chance of lifting the trophy, here’s the effect it would have:
-  Germany: they would still finish 3rd, but only 473 points behind Russia
-  England (Great Britain): they would jump from 6th to 4th place, edging past China
-  Italy: they would grab 4th place ahead of China too, moving up 4 places
-  Spain: they would move from 10th to 7th
-  The Aussies….ok, they would move up to 7th from 9th , but.
And the USA, of course, would stretch their lead even more, burying 2nd place Russia under an avalanche of points (2.353 to be precise).
What about other serious World Cup contenders? Winning in South Africa would propel Argentina from 33rd to 15th place in the Global Cup ranking, while Brazil would jump from 18th to 9th place.
Here’s how World Cup victory would affect the 2010 Global Cup ranking (as of May 31st):
- Germany, Switzerland, South Korea (…), Australia (…again), Great Britain, would all jump in 1st place
- Italy would leap from 14th to 2nd
- The Netherlands from 16th to 3rd
And the USA, of course, the same as above!
So we at GSN will be keeping a close watch on all those countries digging for football, and Global Cup, gold in South Africa.