Normally an existing European champion should easily qualify for the next World Championship – right? Wrong! This is because teams quickly lose their best title form and become vulnerable to teams they consider vulnerable – and yet Italy this year. After a Strong World Cup qualifying start and even better EM With title A few months later, the team was threatened with a spectator role in the World Cup.
In Group C, the “Squadra Azura” shared points with Northern Ireland on the final day of play, having to concede defeat to Switzerland in a long battle. In the playoffs at the end of March, Italy need two wins in the knockout duel to be allowed to go to Qatar. Of SportsBUZZER looks back to the past and became the current European champions, shedding light on all the teams that have subsequently lost the World Cup.
Czechoslovakia – 1976/1978
The so-called “Knight of Belgrade”: Czechoslovakia wins first major tournament at the 1976 European Championships. Czechoslovakia defeated an almost formidable team from the Federal Republic of Germany to reach the final of the 1974 World Cup “Kaiser” after defeating the original Star Squad around France Beckenbauer and Uli Hones. After a penalty shootout.
After Hones misses 4: 3 for Underdog, the final penalty against Sepp Meyer in the German box becomes a real legend: Antonin Panenka hits the German keeper with a cheeky chip ball in the middle and creates it. Still known today Doll-elfmeter. Czechoslovakia’s dream of another successful tournament came to an abrupt end. At the 1978 World Cup, as they had four years earlier, they lost in second place in the qualifying group stage against Scotland.
Denmark – 1992/1994
A Danish victory at the 1992 European Championships in Sweden was almost certain. Because, there was a team around goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel EM does not actually qualify. This only happened when the Yugoslav national team was eliminated as a result of the Balkan conflict Denmark still played and played a remarkable tournament, in which they not only reached the knockout round as an underdog, but also defeated the likes of the Netherlands in the semi-finals and Germany (2-0) in the final.
The “Big Mac Troop” (a nickname derived from the fact that Danish players allegedly ate burgers and cola during the tournament) went to the toilet during the 1994 World Cup qualifiers in the USA. Twelve took just two goals, but they were eliminated when they finished third in the group behind Spain and Ireland.
Greece – 2004/2006
Of Sensational European Champion Greece is the best. Under German coach Otto Rehagel, the 2004 final against Portugal (1-0) was the first and only victory in a major tournament. But with the success of it, it disappeared again. When they qualified for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, Greece lost to Ukraine and Turkey. After all, this election qualified them for the major tournaments between 2008 and 2014 – but they did not have multiple certificates of participation in the World Cup or the European Championships. As of 2014, Greece could not survive the qualification. In the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in Qatar, Dutch coach John Van Ship’s team lost third place in the group behind Spain and Sweden.
Italy – 2021/2022?
Italy’s sporting decline is hard to explain. After winning the European Championship this year, Roberto Mancini’s eleven, almost unchanged after the European Championship final, stumbled in the first game after victory. At the end of the fourth day of the World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria, it was 1: 1. This was not the case with many who thought it was just slippery. After the Italians got off to a great start in the World Cup qualifiers with a maximum of nine points from three games before EM. Only one win in five games after Em.
Italy could not qualify directly for the World Cup in Qatar as they had to beat Switzerland. In the playoffs at the end of March 2022, the Italian team must prove itself in two games to win, a semi-final and a possible final. The fate of Czechoslovakia, Denmark and Greece is yet to escape.
Travel fan. Freelance analyst. Proud problem solver. Infuriatingly humble zombie junkie.