|FIFA WORLD CUP RANKINGS BY MATCHES LOST|
|France||8||20/1||2||Mexico, S. Africa|
|S. Korea||23||125/1||2||Argentina, Uruguay|
|Greece||24||150/1||2||Argent, S. Korea|
|31||Cameroon||13||66/1||3||Denm, Japan, Holl|
|N. Korea||31||1000/1||3||Braz, Iv Cst, Port|
The odds above are those offered by British bookmaker William Hill on 26 May, a few days before the start of the World Cup.
(My rankings are those of the bookie, not FIFA.)
Note that William Hill cruelly rated New Zealand twice as unlikely to lift the trophy as North Korea (at 2000/1 compared with 1000/1).
This despite the All Whites’ FIFA ranking being 26 places higher than Kim Jong-Il’s hermits (78th to their 104th).
How very ironic, then, that our so-called easy-beats should end up as the unbeatables — indeed the only 2010 finalists to remain undefeated in World Cup Finals since 1982.
But even New Zealand’s surprise showing must take second place to the stellar achievements of Paul the Psychic Octopus.
In picking Germany to beat Uruguay for third, and Spain to beat Holland in this morning’s final, the oracle mollusc finished the tournament with a perfect 8 correct picks out of 8.
William Hill could do worse than offer him a job.