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World Cup 2014: Spain and the World Cup holders who crashed out at the group stage

The 2010 World Cup winners joined the exclusive club of teams who have won the World Cup and gone out at the next in the group stage after their 2-0 defeat to Chile
  • @joekrishnan

World champions Spain are out of the 2014 World Cup following their 2-0 defeat to Chile, with goals from Eduardo Vargas and Charles Aranguiz sending home Vicente Del Bosque's side. But they are certainly not the first reigning champions to leave the competition early.

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After their historic 1-0 win over the Netherlands four years ago in South Africa, La Roja experienced humiliation of the highest level after shock defeats to the Netherlands and Chile.

Many have commented that it is the end of 'tiki-taka' as we know it, but Spain are certainly not the first and won't be the last to relinquish their crown at the first attempt of defending it.

In fact, Spain join two other nations in the 21st Century who have crashed out at the group stage the tournament after winning the World Cup - France in 2002 and Italy in 2010.

But Spain are the only champions to have lost their first two games the tournament after winning it.

It has been a tournament to forget for Spain, and for the likes of Xavi, Xabi Alonso and Iker Casillas, it marks a disappointing end to their incredible international career.

Here are the other nations who went from the highest of highs to humiliation within two tournaments.

Italy (1950)

The Italians won the 1938 World Cup but, due to World War II, were unable to defend their crown until 12 years later. And even then, they were severely weakened by the fact that some members of their squad were killed in the Superga air disaster the year before the tournament started. They were put in a group with Paraguay, Sweden and India (who later withdrew), and lost their opening game 3-2 to Sweden, who went through.

Brazil (1966)

Even with the likes of Pele and Tostao in the side, Brazil could not live up to the expectations of them and subsequently failed to make it past the group stages in the 1966 World Cup. Their group, containing Hungary, Portugal and Bulgaria, was one filled with goals, and Brazil's 3-1 defeat to Portugal condemned them to failure in England, who went on to win their first and only World Cup.


France (2002)

A shock 1-0 defeat to Senegal in the opening game of the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan showed a sign of things to come for France. After their incredible 3-0 win over Brazil in 1998, the weight of expectation proved to be too much for the reigning champions. They ended the tournament winless after being defeated by Denmark and a goalless draw with Uruguay which saw Thierry Henry infamously sent off.

Italy (2010)

A group that Italy were more than capable of getting out of turned into their worst nightmare as Marcelo Lippi's side were eliminated from the World Cup. Their opponents - Paraguay, Slovakia and debutants New Zealand - surprised the Azzurri, with the latter side picking up a 1-1 draw. A 3-2 defeat to Slovakia compounded Italy's exit, although France's equal level of underachievement meant that Italy's poor showing went somewhat under the radar.