World Cup distances special – which team travelled furthest to be there?


That's a number that will be running through the head of every England player as it looks like their time at World Cup 2014 is coming to an end.

Conversely, Australia's team will be thinking about 8,331. Spain will mull over 5,055. Cameroon, on the other hand, will need to consider 4,122.

What do these numbers have in common? Unfortunately for these teams, these digits represent the amount of miles it will take to fly home from Rio de Janeiro to each country's respective capital city. At the close of the third group match, it is likely England will join the already eliminated Spain, Australia and Cameroon in heading back to their country before the knockout stages. Hopes and dreams crushed; for the next four years, at least.

While some teams have travelled thousands of miles to take part in the tournament, Brazil's neighbours Uruguay will only have a single border to cross in order to return to the native land. Still, this represents a 1,468 mile journey from Rio de Janeiro to Montevideo; still longer than trekking from John o' Groats to Land's End. Likewise fellow South American qualifiers Colombia, Chile, Argentina and Ecuador won't have to leave the continent to return home.

The same can't be said for the Japan national team. A five-figure trek home (11,530 miles from Rio to Tokyo, to be exact) awaits them at the end of their World Cup journey - the furthest of the whole tournament - while Iran's players are sure to greet a 7,368 mile trip with malaise.

European teams occupy a middle-tier; their journey home is still long but pales in comparison to a handful of other squads. For instance, 4,792 miles separate Rio de Janeiro and Lisbon while France will have to make a 5,694 mile trip to reach Paris.

Elsewhere, Ghana will need to prepare for a 3,503 mile trip back to Accra while Nigeria's squad have a 4,074 mile trip waiting for them when their World Cup dream is over.

Such extravagant mileage puts the international logistics industry into perspective. Sending a parcel from Britain to Brazil isn't as simple as hopping aboard a luxury private jet. Parcels, boxes and letters make tough journeys in the air but also across land and sea. Furthermore, reaching a country's capital city doesn't mark the end of an item's journey; packages need to travel direct to a recipient's door before its adventure is over.

While England aren't officially out of the competition at the time of writing, the team's chances of progression are slim. But here's another important number for you all to remember: 1966. I still believe!

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Sending parcels to Brazil

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