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World Cup: How have the defending champions performed over the years?

4:16 AM GMT 25/03/2022
Germany, 2018 World Cup
France will travel to Qatar as the reigning world champions...

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is set to be hosted in Qatar between November 21 to December 18, 2022. Among the 32 contestants, 29 countries from five confederations including hosts Qatar have already booked their places in the final round of the tournament.

France are the reigning champions of the world, winning it 2018 for the second time in their history. To date, eight teams have won the World Cup, Brazil (five times), Germany and Italy (four times), Argentina, France, and Uruguay (twice), England and Spain (once).

Only Brazil and Italy have won the title in back-to-back editions. While Italy won it in 1934 and then repeated the feat in 1938, Brazil bagged the trophy in 1958 and 1962.

The World Cup has been conducted on five occasions so far since the turn of the century. Out of those five editions, on four occasions the defending champions crashed out of the group stage.

In 2002, France bowed out of the group stage after losing to Senegal and Uruguay. Italy failed to cross the group stage in 2010 and then Spain and Germany repeated it by failing to qualify for the knockout stages after crashing out from their respective groups in 2014 and 2018 respectively.

Brazil are the only reigning champions to have reached the quarterfinal in 2006.

How have the defending champions performed in World Cup?

Year

Nation

Performance

1934

Uruguay

Did not play

1938

Italy

Winners

1950

Italy

Group Stage

1954

Uruguay

Fourth place

1958

West Germany

Fourth place

1962

Brazil

Winners

1966

Brazil

Group stage

1970

England

Quarter-Final

1974

Brazil

Fourth

1978

West Germany

Second round

1982

Argentina

Second round

1986

Italy

Round of 16

1990

Argentina

Runners-up

1994

Germany

Quarterfinal

1998

Brazil

Final

2002

France

Group stage

2006

Brazil

Quarterfinal

2010

Germany

Semifinal

2014

Spain

Group stage

2018

Germany

Group stage