South Korea struck a blow to Germany on June 27 with a clinical 2-0 win over the defending champions. The Germans had a number of chances but could not convert them to goals. While their attack had teeth but no bite, South Korea capitalised on a poor German defence and a desperate Manuel Neuer, towards the dying moments of the game. As Germany lost, a strange déjà vu crept into the minds of fans.
The jinx of the World Cup Champions continues. Looking back, there are a few evidences where a World Cup winner failed to make it past the group stages in the next tournament. Let’s take you back a couple of years.
The 1998 World Cup in France had the host country winning the tournament. The next World Cup, in 2002, held in Korea-Japan, resulted in France being kicked out in the group stages itself. In 2006, Germany hosted the big tournament but the winners were Italy. Believe it not, 2010 saw Italy crashing out at the group stages, and Spain clinching the title. Four years later, in Brazil, Spain was knocked out of the tournament at the group stages by a tough Netherlands side. Germany went on to win the cup, but now, in 2018, well you know what happened.
The only exception to the jinx is Brazil, who won the 2002 cup but managed to go past the group stages in 2006.
The World Cup is still underway and it is anyone’s game from now. But with Germany out of the way, the jinx held its own. We’ll know who overcomes it four years later.