The Germans lost to Mexico 1-0 in Sunday’s match. This puts Germany last in their group, and they’ll need at least a win and a draw in their next two matches.
Many expect the Germans to still make it out of Group F — despite it being considered the 2018 Cup’s “Group of Death.” But if they don’t advance far in the World Cup, then they won’t be the first defending champion to do so.
Let’s look at how poorly some recent champions have fared in trying to repeat as champs. Also keep in mind that you can bet on World Cup matches and futures here at GTBets.
No World Cup Champ has Defended Their Title in 56 Years
Defending champs haven’t just failed to repeat since then —they’ve actually done badly. This is especially the case in recent years, with the 2010 and 2014 champions going out in the group stage.
Germany coach Joachim Low believes that his team is different, saying, “That shouldn’t happen to us.” But recent history doesn’t inspire much confidence in this statement.
Their loss to Mexico puts Germany’s backs to the wall. They play a tough Sweden squad, which is leading Group F after a victory over South Korea. And the South Koreans don’t have a bad team either, ranking 57th in the world.
A Look Back at Previous Defending Champs
Here’s the history on how defending World Cup winners have done in their repeat attempts since Brazil defended in 1962:
1966, Brazil – Pele and the Brazilians tried for no. 3 in a row. But their star was hurt in an opening win over Bulgaria. They lost their next two matches against Hungary and Portugal to go out in the group stage.
1970, England – After defeating West Germany to win the 1966 World Cup, England once again faced their nemesis in the 1970 Cup final. They jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but lost 3-2 in overtime.
1974, Brazil – The Brazilians barely made it out of the group round. Their World Cup ended in the second round (four-team round robin) with a defining 2-0 defeat to the Netherlands.
1978, West Germany – The West Germans made it out of the first group stage. But they lost all of their second-round group matches against Austria, Italy, and the Netherlands.
1982, Argentina – Diego Maradona’s debut at the World Cup didn’t necessarily mark success. Argentina advanced out of the group stage. However, they lost in the second round group stage with defeats to Brazil and Italy.
1986, Italy – This year marked the World Cup’s switch to a single-elimination format after first-round group play. Italy finished second in their group and were defeated by France in the Round of 16.
1990, Argentina – Maradona led his team to the 1986 Cup title. He nearly did it again in 1990, but was denied with a 1-0 loss to Germany in the final.
1994, Germany – This German team lost 2-1 in the quarterfinals to Bulgaria. Later, coach Berti Vogts would say his squad “wasn’t a true team.”
1998, Brazil – The Brazilians made it to the final against host country France. But Ronaldo got sick before the match and played poorly en route to a 3-0 loss.
2002, France – After the upset victory over Brazil on their home soil, the French were a huge letdown four years later. They failed to score a single goal in group play and were bounced with losses to Denmark and Senegal.
2006, Brazil – This year marked a replay of the 1998 Cup Final. France’s Thierry Henry netted the winner that stopped Brazil short on yet another repeat attempt.
2010, Italy – A loss to Slovakia, and draws to Paraguay and South Africa ensured that Italy didn’t make it out of group play.
2014, Spain – La Roja had a horrible start after losing 5-1 to the Netherlands. A 2-0 loss to Chile in the next match sealed their fate. The Spaniards at least went out with a 3-0 victory over Australia.