From Italy in 2010 to the Spanish cycle that ended badly in Brazil: the reigning champions have not made it past the groups for three editions. And the Blues already have a precedent
France against injuries (from Pogba to Kante, ending with the unfortunate Nkunku) and the cabal. The World Champions will make their debut in Qatar on Tuesday 22 November against Australia (8.00 pm Italian time), trying to start the group stage in the best possible way. In such a short competition, making a mistake in just one match can be sportingly dramatic: ask Italy, Spain and Germany for information. Why exactly them? They were the holders of the World Cup in 2006, 2010 and 2014 and in the following World Cup they always went out in the groups.
Bankruptcy of Lippi-bis
In the expedition to South Africa, the Azzurri are very different from the triumph in Berlin but no one would have ever expected not to be able to overcome the modest group with Paraguay, New Zealand and Slovakia. After draws with the first two, Italy needed not to lose against Hamsik and his teammates to move on to the next round. Instead, Italy lost 3-2 with Di Natale and Quagliarella attempting a desperate comeback in the final. A big disappointment for the Azzurri, who missed out on reaching the round of 16 for the first time since 1974 with just two points in the group stage.
The end of the Red Furies cycle
Two European Championships and a World Cup won in a row from 2008 to 2012: in 4 years Spain has achieved a sensational, unrepeatable cycle, but like all things it was destined to end. Roja’s adventure in Brazil in 2014 opened with a heavy 5-1 defeat against the Netherlands, who in this way took a small revenge after the defeat in the final of the previous World Cup against them. Then on the second day they lost to Chile: Spain thus became the first national team to be eliminated from the World Cup in the group stage with one round to spare as reigning champions.
From 7-1 to Brazil in Son
The 2014 World Cup in Brazil was an incredible demonstration of strength by Germany who, game after game, raised the level up to the triumph in the final against Argentina. The most sensational exploit, however, is in the semifinals: against Neymar’s hosts, Low’s team gave history one of the most incredible historical pages of the World Cup with the 7-1 victory. In the 2018 Russian expedition, the Germans fell into a debacle that no one would ever have expected: eliminated in a group with Mexico, Sweden and South Korea. The insult came on the last day against the Koreans who scored two goals with Kim (not that of Napoli…) and Son in injury time, to the general amazement of Muller and his companions. Germany have not qualified for the round of 16 of a World Cup after 80 years.
The other cases
Brazil, double World Champion between 1958 and 1962, presented itself at the World Cup in England with all the favors of the forecast. Instead, the run of Pelé and his companions in 1966 stopped in the group stage: after the first victory against Bulgaria, the green-and-gold national team lost the next two matches with Hungary and Portugal, not qualifying for the next round. Same epilogue for France in 2002: four years earlier they had been dragged by Zidane to win the World Cup at home, but in South Korea the expedition was a disaster. Two defeats against Senegal and Denmark and a draw against Uruguay in between, no goals scored and last place in the group with only one point. Blues warned…
November 19, 2022 (change November 19, 2022 | 3:30 pm)
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