The World Cup winners’ curse has been around for the last 56 years – with no country being able to retain their title over the last half century. Only two countries – Italy (1934 and 1938) and Brazil (1962 and 1966) have been able to retain their title in the history of the competition.
But since then, things have not gone well for the winners of the previous edition in any World Cup since that time. In fact, four of the last five defending champions have exited in the group stages itself. The only exception was Brazil, who made it to the quarter-finals in 2006.
World Cup winners’ curse – France set up to suffer in Qatar?
The France national team will play the World Cup without N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba, Presnel Kimpembe, Christopher Nkunku and Karim Benzema. The two attackers suffered their respective injuries in the training ground with the national team, although Benzema was still recovering.
And despite their unbelievable squad depth, Didier Deschamps is in a difficult situation because of the injuries. France were victims of the curse in 2002, and Germany were the latest to suffer the curse after being eliminated in the group stage in the 2018.
And it now remains to be seen how the team deals with the intense pressure despite the notable absentees.