World Cup champion’s curse strikes Germany

Mesut Ozil

GETTY Mesut Ozil was dropped for Sweden game

Although only Italy in 1938 and Brazil in 1962 have successfully defended their World Cup titles, most champions in the 20th century managed to get themselves beyond the first stage.

Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has hit out at his squad and branded his side's performances in the World Cup as "pathetic" after Die Mannschaft were eliminated from the tournament in the group stages.

FIFA has fined two German football federation officials for provoking Sweden's bench while celebrating victory in a World Cup game.

Holding Mexican and South Korean flags, supporters turned up outside the South Korean embassy in Mexico City where they were joined by the South Korean consul general at the embassy, Han Bjoung-yin, who even appeared to have a shot of tequila with them in one video.

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British newspapers revelled in Germany's World Cup despair on Thursday as Italy's Corriere della Sera commiserated with their plight - mindful of the fact the Italians did not even make it to Russian Federation.

And Arsenal legend Parlour has stuck up for the World Cup winning playmaker, insisting that the criticism aimed his way is often unfair. They never got past the firest round. In the opening match, Senegal upset the defending champions 1-0.

It happened with France in 2002 after they won it in 1998; with Italy in 2010 after they were crowned world champions in 2006; and in 2014 it happened to Spain after their World Cup success in South Africa in 2010.

The winner's curse has struck again - this time for Germany. Vicente del Bosque's team arrived in South America having won three consecutive major tournaments between 2008 and 2012, but this proved a step too far for a side lacking the hunger of old.

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They knew they were going home after just two matches of a disastrous trophy defence, as a 5-1 humbling at the hands of the Netherlands was followed by a 2-0 defeat against Chile at the Maracana.

Back then, there wasn't actually a group stage and instead, a straight knockout tournament was held, where the Germans lost to Switzerland in a replay after they had drawn their initial encounter.

It was the end of an era for the likes of Iker Casillas, Xavi Hernandez and Xabi Alonso.

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