The "curse" of the World Cup Champions
Updated: Nov 21, 2022
The World Champions may be considered as one of the favorites to win the upcoming World Cup which "welcomes" them as the holders of the trophy, however, with the new millennium and more specifically since 2002, a bad tradition for the trophy holders, which tends to turn into a 'football curse' that wants them out of the group stage!
World Cup 2002: Tricolor disappointment
The 1998 World champions are in the first group with rivals Senegal, Denmark and Uruguay. The first match against Senegal brings France to lose 1-0 with the scorer the football player who wore the jersey of AEK Athens, Papa Pumba Diop and everyone is shocked by the great surprise. However, this defeat was just the beginning as the World Champions were held to a goalless draw by Uruguay in the second game and were beaten 2-0 by Denmark in the third game to finish last and without conceding a single goal!
World Cup 2010: Italian collapse
The South African stadiums welcomed the World champions Italy, but the Italians proved to be inferior to the circumstances. In a group with Paraguay, Slovakia and New Zealand, they drew with Paraguay and New Zealand and were beaten 3-2 by Slovakia in the final matchday to finish bottom of the group and experience early elimination.
World Cup 2014: Spanish disappointment
In the next World Cup, Spain competed as the World Champions, however, and they in turn disappointed with their performances. In the first game there was a shocking 1-5 defeat by the Netherlands, in the second match they were again defeated by Chile 2-0 and all Spain could achieve was a 3-0 victory over Australia . Thus, the 2010 World Champion finished third in the group with three points.
World Cup 2018: Shock for the Panthers as well
After the consecutive eliminations of World Champions from the group stage, Germany had to go under suspicion, however, the "Panthers" also experienced a shock elimination, as they had never been eliminated from the group stage in their history! In particular, Germany was defeated 2-1 by Mexico in the opener, beat Sweden by the same score in the second match, however, came the defeat by South Korea 2-0 with both goals coming in the fourth and sixth minutes of stoppage time, resulting in the World champions finishing bottom of the group with three points level with South Korea.