Dubbed the “Group of Death” … Argentina enter as the favorite in the group, as well as one of the favorites to lift the Cup on June 30 … England had high hopes for this tournament six months ago, but have been snakebitten by injuries and could struggle to get out of group play … Sweden’s attack is paced by two players who play in Britain – Celtic’s Henrik Larsson and Arsenal’s Freddie Ljunberg … Nigeria may be the most talented of all the African teams and have played in three straight World Cups, but only qualified after a late slip-up by Liberia.
FIFA Ranking: 3rd
2002 World Cup qualifying: Finished first in CONMEBOL Final Group (13-1-4; 42 GF, 15 GA)
World Cup final appearances: 13 – 1930 (2nd), 1934 (9th), 1958 (13th), 1962 (10th), 1966 (5th), 1974 (8th), 1978 (1st), 1982 (11th), 1986 (1st), 1990 (2nd), 1994 (10th), 1998 (6th), 2002
Overall Record in WC: 29-18-10
Manager: Marcelo Bielsa (ARG)
Championship Honors: 1978 & 1986 World Cup champions; 1921, 1925, 1927, 1929, 1937, 1941, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1957, 1959, 1991, & 1993 Copa America Champions (13 times); 1992 Confederations Cup champions
Fast Facts: Were led in qualifying by Hernan Crespo’s nine goals. … Easily won CONMEBOL’s 10-team group phase, clinching a spot with four games remaining on their schedule. … Argentina have won three of the last four World Youth Championships.
1-German BURGOS, 2-Roberto AYALA, 3-Juan SORIN, 4-Mauricio POCHETTINO, 5-Matias ALMEYDA, 6-Walter SAMUEL, 7-Claudio LOPEZ, 8-Javier ZANETTI, 9-Gabriel BATISTUTA, 11-Juan VERON, 12-Pablo CAVALLERO, 13-Diego PLACENTE, 14-Diego SIMEONE, 15-Claudio HUSAIN, 16-Pablo AIMAR, 17-Gustavo LOPEZ, 18-Kily GONZALEZ, 19-Hernan CRESPO, 20-Marcelo GALLARDO, 21-Claudio CANIGGIA, 22-Jose CHAMOT, 23-Ariel ORTEGA, 10-Roberto BONANO
Current FIFA World Ranking: 11th
2002 World Cup qualifying: Won UEFA “Group 9” (5-1-2; 16 GF, 6 GA)
World Cup final appearances: 11 – 1950 (8th), 1954 (6th), 1958 (11th), 1962 (8th), 1966 (1st), 1970 (8th), 1982 (6th), 1986 (8th), 1990 (4th), 1998 (9th), 2002
Overall Record in WC: 20-12-13
Manager: Sven Goran Eriksson (SWE)
Championship Honors: 1966 World Cup Champions
Fast Facts: After a slow start (which featured a loss at home to Germany and a tie in Finland), England won their group with five straight victories (including a historic 5-1 win in Germany) and a last-gasp draw against Greece (courtesy of an injury-time free kick from star David Beckham). … Won the 1966 World Cup on home soil, but have failed to deliver in major international competitions since.
1-David SEAMAN, 2-Danny MILLS, 3-Ashley COLE, 4-Danny MURPHY, 5-Rio FERDINAND, 6-Sol CAMPBELL, 7-David BECKHAM, 8-Paul SCHOLES, 9-Robbie FOWLER, 10-Michael OWEN, 11-Emile HESKEY, 12-Wes BROWN, 13-Nigel MARTYN, 14-Wayne BRIDGE, 15-Martin KEOWN, 16-Gareth SOUTHGATE, 17-Teddy SOUTHGATE, 18-Owen HARGREAVES, 19-Joe COLE, 20-Darius VASSELL, 21-Nicky BUTT, 22-David JAMES, 23-Kieron DYER
FIFA Ranking: 29th
2002 World Cup qualifying: Won Africa “Group 2” (5-2-1; 15 GF, 3 GA)
World Cup final appearances: 3 – 1994 (9th), 1998 (12th), 2002
Overall Record in WC: 4-4-0
Manager: Amodu Shaibu (NGA)
Championship Honors: 1996 Olympic champions; 1980 & 1994 African Nations Cup champions
Fast Facts: Were led in qualifying by forward Victor Agali’s four goals … Among the most respected African soccer nations, they are making their third consecutive appearance in the World Cup.Roster
1-Ike SHORUNMU, 2-Joseph YOBO, 3-Celestine BABAYARO, 4-Nwankwo KANU, 5-Isaac OKORONKWO, 6-Taribo WEST, 7-Pius IKEDIA, 8-Mutiu ADEPOJU, 9-Bartholomew OGBECHE, 10-Jay Jay OKOCHA, 11-Garba LAWAL, 12-Austin EJIDE, 13-Rabiu AFOLABI, 14-Ifeanyi UDEZE, 15-Justice CHRISTOPHER, 16-Efetobore SODJE, 17-Julius GHAHOWA, 18-Benedict AKWUEGBU, 19-Eric EJIOFOR, 20-James OBIORAH, 21-John UTAKA, 22-Vincent ENYEAMA, 23-Femi OPABUNMI
FIFA Ranking: 17th
2002 World Cup qualifying: Won UEFA “Group 4” (8-0-2; 20 GF, 3 GA)
World Cup final appearances: 10 – 1934 (8th), 1938 (4th), 1950 (3rd), 1958 (2nd), 1970 (9th) 1974 (5th), 1978 (13th), 1990 (21st), 1994 (3rd), 2002
Overall Record in WC: 14-15-9
Manager: Tommy Soderberg, Lars Lagerback (SWE)
Fast Facts: Missed out on the 1998 World Cup after a sparkling third-place finish at USA ’94 … In addition to their USA ’94 performance, Sweden boasts a second-place finish in the 1958 finals (losing 5-2 at home to Brazil in the finals).
1-Magnus HEDMAN, 2-Olof MELLBERG, 3-Patrik ANDERSSON, 4-Johan MJALLBY, 5-Michael SVENSSON, 6-Tobias LINDEROTH, 7-Niclas ALEXANDERSSON, 8-Anders SVENSSON, 9-Freddie LJUNGBERG, 10-Marcus ALLBACK, 11-Henrik LARSSON, 12-Magnus KIHLSTEDT, 13-Tomas ANTONELIUS, 14-Erik EDMAN, 15-Andreas JAKOBSSON, 16-Teddy LUCIC, 17-Magnus SVENSSON, 18-Mattias JONSON, 19-Pontus FARNERUD, 20-Daniel ANDERSSON, 21-Zlatan IBRAHIMOVIC, 22-Andreas ANDERSSON, 23-Andreas ISAKSSON