Since its inception, the FIFA World Cup has been dominated by a choose few groups from Europe and South America. In truth, solely eight groups have gained the FIFA World Cup within the final 21 editions, which exhibits how exhausting it’s for a brand new crew to make it deep into the event. Nevertheless, the World Cup is such a tricky event that even the very best groups can falter.
And particularly within the final 20 years, we’ve got seen high groups getting eradicated. Each crew has been on the receiving finish of the early exit curse on the FIFA World Cup, from Germany to France to Spain and Portugal. A few of these groups have been stacked with generational expertise, which made their exit much more stunning.
So, right here’s a take a look at essentially the most surprising exits in FIFA World Cup historical past.
Spain, 1998 FIFA World Cup
Spain have been one of many darkish horses within the 1998 FIFA World Cup. The Las Rojas boasted a facet that boasted the skills of Raul, Fernando Hierro, Fernando Morientes, Luis Enrique, Andoni Zubizarreta and Ivan Campo. La Furia Roja have been in high kind coming into the event. Spain had topped their UEFA qualifying, profitable eight and two attracts to high their group unbeaten.
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Essentially the most surprising purple playing cards in FIFA World Cup historical past
Spain have been drawn into Group D with Nigeria, Paraguay, and Bulgaria. On paper, Spain have been by far the strongest crew within the group and have been anticipated by many to qualify and high the group. Nevertheless, Spain’s first match was towards Nigeria, and although the Europeans have been the favourites, they succumbed to a shock loss as Nigeria scored two targets within the final 17 minutes to win the match 3-2.
Paraguay held Spain to a goalless draw within the subsequent match. This meant that Spain have been on the verge of elimination and wanted their finest for his or her final sport towards Bulgaria. And so they did convey their finest, thrashing their rivals 6-1. Nevertheless, Paraguay’s 3-2 win over Nigeria meant they completed third within the group and have been eradicated.
Spain, 2014 FIFA World Cup
Spain’s subsequent heartbreak on the FIFA World Cup would come simply 16 years later. Nevertheless, this time the Spanish crew was far superior to their friends in 1998. The crew had gained the earlier World Cup, the primary for the nation. Furthermore, the 2011 champions have been stacked with world-class expertise who have been legends of the sport.
And a number of other of those gamers returned to defend Spain’s crown in Brazil. Their first match would satirically come up towards the Netherlands, their 2010 World Cup ultimate rivals. After taking the lead, the Netherlands returned strongly, scoring previous a hapless Iker Casillas.
Nevertheless, Spain have been nonetheless alive within the event, however the subsequent match would change that each one up. Up towards Chile, Spain seemed all at sea, dropping the sport 2-0 and crashing out of the event. This was a surprising end result as Spain had gained the three earlier worldwide tournaments; the 2008 Euro, 2010 FIFA World Cup, and 2012 Euro.
Lastly, France breaks the champion’s curse. 𝙇𝙚𝙨 𝘽𝙡𝙪𝙚𝙨 makes the knockouts for the primary time since 2002 after the final 3 defending champions failed to take action.
— Sportstar (@sportstarweb) November 26, 2022
Germany, 2018 FIFA World Cup ‘
4 years after Spain’s exit from the 2014 World Cup, one other defending champion would comply with the identical route as Germany have been knocked out within the 2018 FIFA World Cup group stage. However, like Spain, Germany additionally boasted a number of gamers who had gained the World Cup title. And on paper, Germany have been one of many favourites to defend their crown.
Within the UEFA qualifying section, Die Mannschaft have been the one crew with a 100 per cent profitable report. The Germans have been drawn into Group F with Mexico, Sweden, and South Korea. And their marketing campaign began on a destructive be aware after they misplaced to Mexico. Of their subsequent match, Germany have been nearly on the verge of sharing the spoils with Sweden earlier than Toni Kross scored with maybe the final kick of the sport.
This made the equation easy for the crew’ to win the match and qualify. Nevertheless, in one of many largest shocks of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, South Korea defeated Germany 2-0 to knock them out. This was additionally the third straight World Cup, the place the defending champions have been eradicated within the group stage.
Germany within the 2018 FIFA World Cup
3 Video games Performed
Group Stage Exit ❌
Germany within the 2022 FIFA World Cup
3 Video games Performed
Group Stage Exit ❌ pic.twitter.com/D8ohQv0NhQ
— Soccer Stage (@Football__Stage) December 1, 2022
France, 2002 FIFA World Cup
The elimination of France on the 2002 FIFA World Cup is surprising for 2 causes. First, the crew had a number of gamers that had gained the earlier World Cup on residence soil. Nevertheless, what makes this story much more surprising is that a number of gamers of the 2002 crew helped France to get to the World Cup ultimate 4 years later in Germany.
The crew that arrived for the 2002 FIFA World Cup had good gamers comparable to David Trezeguet, Emmanuel Petit, Thierry Henry, Zinedine Zidane, Marcel Desailly, and Claude Makelele. With a squad like that, Les Bleus have been anticipated to be among the many favourites to defend their title.
France in 2002 FIFA World Cup pic.twitter.com/5cVlJvPq8l
— Phoebe Ryan (@PhoebeeRyan) November 27, 2022
France have been drawn into Group A with Senegal, Uruguay and Denmark. Nevertheless, of their first match, the defending champions succumbed to a shock 1-0 loss to Senegal. Of their subsequent sport, they have been held to a goalless draw by Uruguay, which meant that even when they gained their final match, they might not be assured qualification. Nevertheless, it didn’t matter as Denmark accomplished their humiliation by defeating them 2-0. On high of that, France didn’t rating a purpose, an undesirable report they shared with China and Saudi Arabia.
Brazil, 1966 FIFA World Cup
Brazil, led by the enigmatic Pele, gained the FIFA World Cup thrice between 1958-1970. This included their title wins in 1958, 1962 and 1970. And it’s this purpose that makes their elimination within the 1966 World Cup group stage one of the surprising exits in FIFA World Cup historical past.
After experiencing heartbreak in 1950, Brazil got here again strongly to win the 1958 and 1962 FIFA World Cups. Once more, Brazil got here with a robust squad that have been heavy favourites to convey Brazil their third straight title.
The Selecao have been drawn into a gaggle with Bulgaria, Hungary and Portugal. Brazil, as anticipated, began their marketing campaign strongly, defeating Bulgaria 2-0. Nevertheless, their marketing campaign would come crashing down within the subsequent two matches as they misplaced to Hungary and Portugal to get eliminated.
‘Final practice to London, simply heading out
Final practice to London, simply leaving city’
— Practice Songs Central (@trainsongsbook) December 4, 2022
Nevertheless, that humiliation solely made Brazil stronger as they got here again 4 years later with a crew thought-about by many to be the very best crew in FIFA World Cup historical past.