File:UEFA logo.svgThe Union of European Football Associations is where the real power lives in World Football. If you don't believe it, just ask them!

Yes, while European snobbery and self-importance went out of fashion in world affairs shortly after colonialism, it is still alive and well in global athletics, no where more so than in the grand old game of futbol.

The biggest leagues: European. The most famous players: European. The greatest historical legacy: European. The richest endorsement deals: European. The fattest tv contracts: European. The most crippling debt and nastiest scandals: European!

Yes, Europe has it all, which means that Europe gets it all too! (That seems fair, right?) While the other continents battle over 4 or 5 spots in the Mundial, Europe gets 13. Sure the other confederations are just as numerous with often larger populations, but hey...Europe pays the bills so Europe gets what it wants.

This time around Europe will be getting what it wants by pitting 53 nations against one another in 9 groups--win the group win a spot in Brazil. Finish in second and you get a shot at Round 2

Round 1 Groups Are

Group A                          Group B                             Group C
Croatia                              Italy                                     Germany
Serbia                               Denmark                              Sweden
Belgium                            Czech Republic                   Ireland
Scotland                           Bulgaria                               Austria
Macedonia                       Armenia                               Faroe Islands
Wales                               Malta                                    Kazakhstan

Group D                         Group E                             Group F
Netherlands                      Norway                              Portugal
Turkey                             Slovenia                              Russia
Hungary                           Switzerland                        Israel
Romania                          Albania                               Northern Ireland
Estonia                             Cyprus                               Azerbaijan
Andorra                           Iceland                                Luxembourg

Group G                         Group H                             Group I
Greece                             England                               Spain
Slovakia                          Montenegro                         France
Bosnia-Herzegovinia      Ukraine                                Belarus
Lithuania                         Poland                                 Georgia
Latvia                              Moldova                              Finland
Lichtenstein                     San Marino

After the dust settles on those nine groups, the second place finishers will be judged on their records, the eight best get tossed into home-and-away series that make up Round 2. Survive the playoff and you're Brazil bound, fall short and you sit at home cursing the French (as per usual).