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Germany's 2006 event featured two strong Group of Death candidates, with Group E producing eventual Cup-winner Italy, surprise second-place finisher Ghana, pre-tournament heavyweight Czech Republic and the feisty United States. Group C, however, was considered more lethal, as it featured two powerhouse nations, Argentina and the Netherlands, as well as promising Cup debutantes Ivory Coast and Serbia & Montenegro. Though initially predicted to be a competitive table, the traditional favorites ultimately had their way with the group, and both Argentina and the Netherlands advanced easily, with the South Americans reaching the quarterfinals.

Text: James Carlton/SI.com
Photo: Simon Bruty/SI, Bob Martin/SI (2)

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