‘Group of death’: the origin of the expression in world sport



Pelé at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.

Pele at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.

Although it seems like an invention of this century, the name has been used since 1970.

This Sunday the draw for the home runs of the BetPlay 2022-I League took place and Colombian soccer fans have not stopped saying that Group A, the Millionaires, National, Junior and Bucaramanga Groups, is the ‘group of death’.

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Although in a definitive instance nothing is guaranteed, it is very common to hear that same expression in every draw that defines groups in any discipline. In the World Cup, perhaps one of the scenarios in which it resonates the most. But where does it come from?

(Be sure to read: Byron Castillo and Ecuador: Fifa’s decision for ‘irregularity’ in the document).

The origin of the ‘Group of death’

Top scorers in each of the World Cups

At the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, the player who scored the most goals was Gerhard Müller. He scored a total of 10 goals in matches against Morocco, Bulgaria, Peru, England and Italy.


Archive / WEATHER

According to sports press records, The first time the expression ‘Group of Death’ was used was in the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.

At that time, it was a rapporteur from the Latin American country who decided to define group three of the contest, made up of Brazil, England, Romania and Czechoslovakia.

The strength of said selections motivated the label. Not surprisingly, as history recalls, Brazil was the champion of that tournament, with a masterful presentation by Pelé in the tournament.

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Since then, there is always talk of the ‘Group of death’.

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