The Champions’ Curse

Juan Fernandez, Reporter

The World Cup is one of the most anticipated events every four years. It has been a tradition since 1930, with its long history of matches there have been many stories, one being the Champions’ Curse. The Champions’ Curse started in the 2002 World Cup. Since its beginning, each previous champion team has been eliminated in the group stage of the next World Cup. The only exception was Brazil as they won the 2002 World Cup and managed to break out of the group stage in the 2006 World Cup.

The Champions’ Curse was actually started by France. After they won the 1998 World Cup, France qualified for the 2002 World Cup. Unfortunately, France lost all their group-stage matches and was eliminated from the World Cup. Italy was the next Champion to fall to the Champions’ Curse in the 2010 World Cup. They were followed up by Spain in the 2014 World Cup and Germany in the 2018 World Cup. As mentioned, Brazil was the winner of the 2002 World Cup and still managed to get out of the group stage in 2006, making it all the way to the quarter-finals. When France won the 2018 World Cup, many thought France would be eliminated in the 2022 group stage just like the previous champion team had in the 2018 World Cup. Nevertheless this year France was capable of acquiring two wins which qualified them to get out of the group stage. While they lost to Tunisia 0-1 in the group stage, this did not put their spot in the World Cup in jeopardy and they still were the top rank in Group D and are currently ranked 4th overall in the World Cup. 

 This year’s field is packed with heavy hitters like Argentina, Brazil, Portugal, and many more. Regardless, France is a formidable candidate to win the World Cup with its roster packed with talented players such as Kylian Mboppe and Olivier Giroud. The current momentum and their skillful players like Mbappe have given France a shot at breaking the curse completely and defending their title as champion. This would be a fitting end to the curse as the team which first started it may be the one to put it all to rest.