Travel distances and soaring temperatures could hamper sides before they even set foot on the pitch in Brazil - Goal takes a look at the contrasting fortunes of those involvedSince Brazil was confirmed as the host of World Cup 2014, and its 12 host cities defined, nations have begun to consider the potential pitfalls of travel distances and temperatures next summer.
With the group stage draw complete and every one of the 32 nations now aware of their opponents in the opening round, Goal takes a look at the winners and losers in terms of journey length and climate ahead of the tournament.
In terms of distance, the United States will have every reason to be unhappy. The Americans are set for a 3,485 mile round trip during the entire group stage, playing at Natal (vs Ghana), Manaus (vs Portugal) and Recife (vs Germany).
Croatia, which will open the competition against Brazil, will also face a long journey: 3,438 miles (facing Brazil, at Sao Paulo; Cameroon, at Manaus and Mexico, at Pernambuco).
Belgium and Mexico, on the other hand, have been handed a more favorable schedule, as the Diables Rouges will travel only 433 miles between Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.
As for the Mexicans, there is a 662 mile journey ahead, firstly at Natal (vs Cameroon), Fortaleza (vs Brazil) and Recife (vs Croatia). Finally, host Brazil will let fans from every corner of the country take a look at the Selecao, by traveling a total of 2,525 miles between venues.
SWEATING IT OUT
It’s no revelation that Brazil has one of the hottest climates in the world. Some teams will, however, suffer with this factor more than others.
|BRAZIL'S HOTTEST CITIES
Average temperatures in June
Germany is likely to face the worst weather conditions. The three-time world champion will play at Salvador, Fortaleza and Recife, some of the warmest cities to host the tournament, at unusual times (1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively). This will be bad news for players used to facing temperatures as high as 75ºF during the European summer.
Italy had the chance to acclimatize to Brazil’s weather conditions during the 2013 Confederations Cup, but will likely suffer with the sizzling winter in the country's north region. The Azzurri will play at Manaus (9 p.m.) before having to withstand the 1 p.m. sun at both Pernambuco and Natal.
Much to Roy Hodgson’s dismay, England will have to play at Manaus (where it faces Italy in a night match in Group D), a place close to the Equatorial line.
Also, Portugal, which faces games at Fortaleza, Brasília and Manaus, will face sweltering conditions, while mountainous Switzerland will have the burden of playing deep in the Amazonian rainforest.
On the other hand, Russia must be celebrating the fact that it will open its tournament away from the hottest temperatures. It’s not anything like Moscow, but to play at Cuiaba (6 p.m.), Rio (7 p.m.) and, most of all, Curitiba (5 p.m.) is a welcome relief to Fabio Capello and his players.
Honduras will, too, face lower temperatures, having been drawn to play at Porto Alegre and Curitiba before heading to Manaus.
Algeria, however, will have the luxury of playing both at Curitiba and Porto Alegre - two cities with the lowest average temperatures of those hosting World Cup games in June.
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