Bad news for Spain, European Champions rarely win World Cups
For all of the World Cup success stories, it is also a breeding ground for national disappointment.
England didn’t live up to expectations in 1970 when they were supposed to be better than the 1966 winners, Brazil endured a trophy-less period in the 1980s despite having a strong team, and France were famously appalling in 2002, even though they’d just won Euro 2000 just two years before.
Spain should definitely heed that particular warning, as the record books paint a rather cruel picture of teams who enjoy a decent run at the Euros, with proof that only once since 1960 have the reigning European Champions won the World Cup – and that was West Germany in 1974.
Of the seven European Champions since then, three have failed to qualify at all (Czechoslovakia, 1978; Denmark, 1994; Greece, 2006), and one didn’t even make it past the first round (France, 2002).
Of the remaining few, only West Germany (1982) and France (1986) made it into the last four of the competition.
Should they really mess up and emulate the less-than-vintage France team of 2002, you can get them at odds of 11/1 to crash out in the group stages.
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