In football, this situation is already overdue. The curse of champions, especially European ones. Four reigning champions from the old continent this century, four colossal flops straight from the group stage. France started it in 2002, and the same country wants to end the strange curse this year.
The Germans already heard about the curse of champions four years ago. They came to Russia with a crown on their heads and wanted to show that some bad tradition had not touched them. Packed in the shortest possible time, for the first time since 1938.
“We have lost everything we have built over the past four years. We apologize,” coach Joachim Löw said later. And all his predecessors said the same.
What is behind this?
Purely technically lousy entrance to the tourment. Each of the defenders lost, only Italy took at least a draw. That’s how it was.
2002: France – Senegal 0:1.
2010: Italy – Paraguay 1:1.
2014: Spain-Netherlands 1:5.
2018: Germany-Mexico 0:1.
And then it dragged on and it didn’t work. Experts are puzzled by a deeper answer and there is no clear reason. It is believed that four years in football is just a long time, and the champions are not able to maintain their form and team spirit at the same level.
Of the players who start in a successful fil, on average, half start in the starting lineup of the first match of the next championship. And, for example, the Italians fielded only three against Paraguay.
Karim Benzema, a recent Ballon d’Or winner, pulled out of the squad due to injury at the last minute. Nevertheless, the French are taking ten world champions to Qatar.
Whether this will be enough, no one knows. However, with group rivals Denmark, Australia and Tunisia, a continuation of the Champions Curse would be a top-notch sensation. With what to compare it? Of course, as if four years ago Germany had remained in the group with Sweden, Mexico and South Korea…
|year||current champion||defender location|
|1934||Uruguay||she refused to participate|
|* These were the groups of the second stage, not the classic quarter-fils or 1/8 fils.|
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