World Cup Knockout round breakdown

Who has the goods to win the world’s best tournament?

Dan Williams
People are coming together all over the country to watch their favorite countries (or second favorite after USA) compete in the World Cup for what is perhaps the world’s grandest sports achievement.
Dan Williams
The pro-Mexico crowd at Zocalo's restaurant in downtown Denver was devastated moments after Mexico dramatically fell to the Nederland 2-1 on Sunday.
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If you are caught up in the World Cup you’re not alone.

While soccer in the United States usually ranks somewhere between Nascar and Frisbee golf, America has joined the rest of the world and has become soccer crazy.

But Team USA is hardly a favorite in this tournament. Actually, of the 16 teams who advanced to the Knockout Round America has the longest shot odds-wise to go on and win the World Cup (the US is 100-1 to win the World Cup).

So while the US is the ultimate Cinderella story with little shot to actually win the World Cup, we wanted to give you a breakdown of who from the remaining 16 teams can actually go on and make history.

is the obvious favorite to win this tournament and they have been so from day one. Not only are they the host country and the winningest World Cup team of all-time, but they also have Neymar playing at a very high level and he has been the tournament’s best player to date.

is a powerhouse — big, physical and strong — and has as good of a shot to win this tournament as anyone left in the field. Although they didn’t overwhelm Team USA and Ghana in group play they still very easily won the group and look like they are gaining steam. But the Germans have not won the World Cup since 1990.

may not have the same expectations as Brazil and Germany in this World Cup but they do have the world’s best player on their roster. And when Lionel Messi gets going he is literally unstoppable. Messi has his legacy on the line in this World Cup and I wouldn’t bet against him.

has a reputation as being a second-tier elite team but their play over the last couple World Cups would say that they are in fact an elite group. They were perhaps the best overall team in group play and they were runner up to Spain in the 2010 World Cup. This team in underrated.

is maybe the best remaining team that no one is talking about. They have the reputation as a world power but they don’t have as many special players as they have had in years past. However, these no-name Frenchman could quickly become famous with another deep World Cup run (France won it all in 1998 and then lost in a shootout in 2006).

has never finished better than fourth in the World Cup but this could be their best national team ever. And while Americans were happy to draw Belgium instead of Brazil, Germany or Argentina, beating Belgium might be just as tough. With 20-1 odds Belgium might be a team worth throwing a few bucks behind.

) has had some good teams in the past but has never advanced past the quarterfinals. And while it may be a stretch to consider Columbia a team who can win the tournament, it’s certainly not a stretch to think this team is good enough to upset a couple higher ranked teams. Moreover, Columbia has the best goal dances of any team in the world (look them up).

has some magic in their cleats this World Cup. While they had only one Knockout Round win in their country’s history, they have put together the tournament’s best resume to date. They beat Uruguay and Italy, before drawing with England. They then beat Greece to advance to the elite eight. Watch out for these guys.

is not getting much love internationally but crazier things have happened in World Cup play. They have actually made it to the quarterfinals three times in their history, the only problem is that the last time they did it was 1954. Switzerland is a true long shot but has shown that they can compete with some of the top teams in the world.