Four-time World Cup champions, Germany, lost to the Korea Republic and crashed out of FIFA World Cup 2018, resulting in their failure to qualify for the round of 16. The Germans were humbled by the Korean team wherein they lost the match by 2-0. The match was evenly poised until the match went into injury time and that’s where the Korean team scored a couple of goals in the ending moments of the match. This has been the fourth instance in football history wherein the defending champion has been knocked out in the group stage itself.
Kim Young-Gwon scored in the 93rd minute of the match, taking a lead in the crucial Group F match at 2018 FIFA World Cup. The goal was initially given an offside, after which the referee called for a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) and overturned his decision, sending the Korean fans into a frenzy.
Two minutes later, Son Heung-min scored another goal, which put end to all hopes of securing a draw and advancing in the next round. However, Sweden and Mexico qualified in the Group D; Germany and Korea were left out.
At World Cup 2014 in Brazil, defending champions Spain were ousted in the first round too. The Spanish team were placed on the third spot after winning a sole game and losing two out of the total three group matches. Spain was defeated by Netherlands (1-5) and beaten by Chile (0-2). They managed to win against Australia (0-3) only. From Group B, Netherlands and Chile went on to qualify in the next round.
At World Cup 2010 in South Africa, defending champions Italy were knocked out in the first round. The Italian team, which entered the tournaments as one of the favourites, were left high and dry after Group F exit. Italy secured a draw in two matches and lost one in the total of three group games that they played. They drew their matches against Paraguay, and New Zealand, whereas they lost against low-profile Slovakia.
At World Cup 2002 co-hosted by Korea-Japan, the then defending champions were humbled as they were knocked out in the group stage too. France lost their matches against Senegal and Denmark and secured a draw against Uruguay. Denmark and Senegal advanced to the knockout stage from Group A.
The trend continues and how. The defending champions being humbled in the first round of the mega multi-nation tournament is no small feat. However, Uruguay, Portugal, France, Argentina, Mexico, Spain, Russia, Croatia, Denmark, and Sweden have qualified in the round of 16 at FIFA World Cup 2018 so far!