World Cup: France going through the curse of champions

Retaining a world champion title is an (nearly) unimaginable mission. Solely Italy (1934, 1938) and Brazil (1958, 1962) have executed so. One other period. Since 2002, a sort of curse even appears to strike the final sacred: France, Italy, Spain and Germany haven’t even handed the group stage of the version following their crown. In query ? An excessive amount of confidence in gamers of the previous and a method of play unsuited to present soccer.

2002: France falls from an amazing peak

World champion in 1998 and Europe in 2000, France arrives on the World Cup organized by Japan and Korea within the footwear of the favourite. It additionally has three prime scorers (Henry, Trezeguet, Cissé). However nothing goes as deliberate on this “World of Fatigue” which sees Argentina, Portugal and subsequently France… exit from the group stage.

Roger Lemerre, the coach, can’t handle an overconfident staff. Of their luxurious resort, the Blues have a great time, with their households or within the nightclub within the basement. Zinedine Zidane is injured. He leaves an enormous void on the pitch, changed by Youri Djorkaeff then Johan Micoud.

In 2002, France was overwhelmed by Senegal (0-1). (FEL/The Staff)

The bottom, exactly, doesn’t give presents to the French. Towards Senegal (0-1), Thierry Henry touches the bar whereas David Trezeguet fails twice on the posts. Within the opposing objective, the Monegasque Tony Sylva does wonders.

The second match towards Uruguay is of the identical ilk (0-0). Now disadvantaged of Zidane and Djorkaeff, France misplaced Frank Leboeuf to damage then Henry (expelled) in simply 25 minutes. Emmanuel Petit touches the submit then receives a warning which suspends him for the final match towards Denmark. Once more, every little thing goes fallacious (0-2). On one leg, Zidane does the utmost however Marcel Desailly then Trezeguet contact the uprights. With out juice, with out concepts, France is pitifully eradicated.

2006: Brazil fell to Zidane

Brazil, who completed first within the {qualifications} of the Amsud zone, arrive in Germany with out Edmilson, injured in the course of the preparation camp. This doesn’t stop him from dominating his group stage with three successes (Croatia, Australia, Japan). If the staff is strong (one objective conceded), it struggles offensively regardless of its stars (Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Kaka, Adriano).

Brazil suffered against Zidane's France in 2006. (A.Martin/L'Equipe)

Brazil suffered towards Zidane’s France in 2006. (A.Martin/L’Equipe)

Critics rain down on the lads of Carlos Alberto Parreira, who decides to arrange a staff of counterattacks, relying specifically on the velocity of Robinho. Ghana didn’t resist offensive transitions (3-0) however this pragmatic Seleçao shattered France within the subsequent spherical (0-1). And extra significantly on Zinédine Zidane, writer of a implausible match.

“It was nonsense. So-and-so was trying to break information, so-and-so was in search of vanity. Brazil did nothing.” then tackles former worldwide Gérson whereas Jairzinho talks concerning the staff “apathetic and jaded. » At house, followers set hearth to a statue of Ronaldinho in Chapeco.

2010: Italy completely out of date

4 years after its victory within the ultimate towards France of an expelled Zidane, it’s an Italy on the finish of the race which tries in useless to defend its title. The Nazionale aligns one of many groups with the very best common age of the event (Cannavaro, Zambrotta, Di Natale, Gattuso, Buffon, Camoranesi …) Again on the bench instead of Roberto Donadoni, Marcello Lippi particularly advocates a restrictive sport that not corresponds to the soccer of the second. The failure of the 2009 Confederations Cup (elimination within the group stage), the sluggish {qualifications} and the unhappy preparation matches didn’t alert anybody.

Held in test by Paraguay (1-1), towards whom Gigi Buffon is injured, Italy reveals nothing towards New Zealand (1-1): Fabio Cannavaro commits a blunder and it takes a beneficiant penalty to grab the draw (1-1).

In 2010, Chiellini and Italy ran out of madness.  (P. Lahalle/The Team)

In 2010, Chiellini and Italy ran out of insanity. (P. Lahalle/The Staff)

The Nazionale sink towards Slovakia within the third sport. Led 0-2, she rebels, comes again to the rating, however bows (2-3) after seeing Simone Pepe miss the equalizer which might have certified her. It’s the first time that she has taken half in a World Cup with out successful a single match. “We weren’t psychologically or bodily prepared,” assumes Lippi after elimination. With no participant of the fashion of Roberto Baggio, Francesco Totti, Pepito Rossi or Antonio Cassano (the latter two have been dismissed by the coach), his staff lacked insanity and above all creativity. Andrea Pirlo’s calf damage, simply earlier than the competitors, counted rather a lot.

2014: the tip of the Spanish tiki-taka

Two matches after which gone: world champion for the primary time in 2010, Spain skilled a fiasco 4 years later. First undefeated in a qualifying group together with France, strong in preparation matches, Vicente Del Bosque’s Roja nonetheless arrives in Brazil with out an excessive amount of ambition. With out Thiago Alcantara (injured to a knee earlier than the event) nor Xabi Alonso, she fell from above from the primary assembly towards the Netherlands, revenge for the earlier ultimate.

Main 1-0 till the forty fourth, she scuttled after the break (1-5). The central protection (Pique, Ramos) is opened by Arjen Robben. Now not beginning at Actual for 18 months, Iker Casillas made many errors, one in every of which allowed the fourth Dutch objective…

David Silva's Spain had taken a correction against the Netherlands in 2014. (S.Mantey / L'Equipe)

David Silva’s Spain had taken a correction towards the Netherlands in 2014. (S.Mantey / L’Equipe)

The second assembly, towards Jorge Sampaoli’s Chile, is a litany of untransformed actions towards Claudio Bravo. The South American offensive transitions, behind her again, sink her (0-2). Spain is eradicated, weighed down by gamers who’re exhausted, growing older (Xavi) or coming back from damage (Piqué, Costa, Busquets, Alba). His too sluggish tiki-taka, his incapability to press when the ball is misplaced and the absence of a participant doing the purchasing in entrance additionally clarify the resounding failure of the “golden technology”.

2018: Germany on the finish of the race

Falling within the semi-finals of Euro 2016 towards France in Marseille (0-2), Germany is experiencing a lot higher disillusionment in Russia. Reigning world champion, writer of an ideal qualifying marketing campaign (10 wins) and winner of the 2017 Confederations Cup, she is likely one of the favorites for the 2018 World Cup. Too assured, she misses her first match towards Mexico ( 0-1). Critics of Mats Hummel (injured throughout this assembly) replace a bunch notably fractured by the political scandal involving Mesut Özil and Ilkay Gündogan.

Thomas Muller and the Germans arrived overconfident in 2018. (R.Martin/L'Equipe)

Thomas Muller and the Germans arrived overconfident in 2018. (R.Martin/L’Equipe)

Offensively, the staff is disappointing. She solely scored two targets, together with an unlikely free kick from Kroos in added time towards Sweden (2-1). Thomas Müller and Timo Werner will not be medical (28 goalless photographs towards Korea, which gained 2-0). It lacks creativity and verticality, particularly within the absence of Leroy Sané (dismissed by Joachim Löw). Behind, Jérôme Boateng cracks towards the Swedes. Abusing the lengthy sport, completely unbalanced, Germany leaves areas in every single place and leaves the competitors from the group stage.

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