Spain is third straight European holder to exit early

[MAKING A LIST: World Cup Defenses] Spain's exit in the group stage of the 2014 World Cup follows the early exits of defending European champions Italy in 2010 and France in 2002 without wins. Just two teams have defended their World Cup title -- Italy in 1938 and Brazil in 1962 -- and two other title holders have reached the final four years later -- Argentina in 1990 and Brazil in 1998.

World Cup Title Defenses:
YEAR CHAMPION FOUR YEARS LATER
1930 Uruguay: did not enter in 1934.
1934 Italy: won in 1938.
1938 Italy: second in group in 1950.
1950 Uruguay: fourth in 1954.
1954 West Germany: fourth in 1958.
1958 Brazil: champion in 1962.
1962 Brazil: third in group in 1966.
1966 England: lost in quarterfinals in 1970.
1970 Brazil: fourth in 1974.
1974 West Germany: third in second-round group 1978.
1978 Argentina: last in second-round group in 1982.
1982 Italy: lost in round of 16 in 1986.
1986 Argentina: runner-up in 1990.
1990 West Germany: lost in quarterfinals in 1994.
1994 Brazil: runner-up in 1998.
1998 France: last in group in 2002.
2002 Brazil: lost in quarterfinals in 2006.
2006 Italy: last in group in 2002.
2010 Spain: eliminated -- lost first two games.

World Cup Finishes:
2 Champion
2 Runner-up
3 Fourth-Place
3 Quarterfinalist
2 Second group stage
1 Round of 16
---------------------------------
5 Eliminated in group stage
--------------------------------
1 Did not defend
Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications