Brazil and a ‘curse’ that they want to avoid in the World Cup: Will they succeed?

There are people who believe in mere statistics, there are people who don’t really pay much attention to these data that, well or badly, reconstruct the history of a soccer team or, in this case, a national team. Undoubtedly, in sports they do weigh a lot, but the statistical schemes are also to be broken and before a new World Cup event there is something that different teams want to overcome and beat bad roads and bad records in editions of the World Cups .

The World Cup to break records, because France wants to beat a ‘curse’ that can break Didier Deschamps’ illusions of repeating the title and that in 2002 after being crowned champion in 1998, failed to overcome the group stage. In fact, Brazil was the last one that did not fall into that negative streak in the first phase after lifting the World Cup. They lifted their fifth title in 2002 and surpassed the first instance in Germany 2006.

Italy, Spain and Germany did fall into that bad statistic in 2010, 2014 and 2018 respectively. Now it will be the turn of France to try to overcome that record and overcome the ‘curse’. However, it is not the only one that can break. In World Cups, it has never lost a host country on its debut, and Ecuador will be able to hold off the first World Cup in Qatar on Sunday, November 20.

But these are not the only teams that have to overcome statistics. Brazil, the super-powerful nation that most see as one of the favorites because of its squad and the payroll it has, must be careful not to fall into another ‘curse’, and it turns out that since they created FIFA rankings in 1992, there has never been a world champion topping the ranks.

The first FIFA ranking that preceded a World Cup was on June 14, 1994. Germany was the first team in the world and was looking forward to respecting its position in the ranking. In the United States, the Teutons traveled with 60 points in said statistics. They passed the group stage as leaders against Spain, South Korea and Bolivia. They beat Belgium in the round of 16, but unfortunately they fell 1-2 in the quarterfinals against Bulgaria. Thus ended the first experience of the best national team after the implementation of the ranking. Brazil, the third in the world, lifted the title.

Brazil led the FIFA ranking in the month of May 1998. The last update before June to start the World Cup in France. The Brazilians wanted to defend the title and rode in a group stage that they beat Norway, Morocco and Scotland. Then in the round of 16, they beat Chile, Denmark and the Netherlands, equalizing one goal and winning on penalties 4-2. That way they reached the final, but they could not against the host team losing 3-0. Curiously, the Gauls were in the eighteenth box with 56 units.

Holding the title, France claimed the top position in the FIFA ranking as the best team in the world. The last update before the World Cup in South Korea and Japan in 2002 put the French in the first box, but in that contest, the ‘curse’ of the champion began again. They lost against Senegal and Denmark, and drew 0-0 against Uruguay, remaining in the last position of Group A. Brazil won its last title again, being the second overall.

As world champion, Brazil arrived in Germany for the 2006 World Cup as the leader in the FIFA ranking with 827 points, taking a big difference from the Czech Republic as second. They didn’t have any problems in the group stage, beating Australia, Croatia and Japan. In the round of 16 they beat Ghana, but in the quarterfinals they couldn’t against France who reached the final against Italy. The Italians won on penalties 5-3 after equalizing a goal and thus, the champion was Italy, the thirteenth in the world.

After four years, Brazil also did not drop in the ranking thanks to the great difference it had with respect to the other nations. With 1,611 points they faced the World Cup in South Africa. Nor did they pass many escapes, beating North Korea, the Ivory Coast and equalizing against Portugal. In the round of 16 they beat Chile and in the quarterfinals they lost to the Netherlands 2-1. The champion was Spain that occupied the second escort box of the ‘Canarinha’ in the FIFA ranking.

Another four years passed and Spain continued to lead the FIFA ranking with 1,485 points. The ‘curse’ of the world champion continued with a painful participation in the debut against the Netherlands, falling comfortably. They lost to Chile and beat Australia, but it was too late to qualify for the round of 16. The champion was Germany, which was the guard of the Spanish with 1,300 points in the FIFA ranking.

Finally, Germany held the first box in the FIFA ranking, and could not get past the group stage in Russia either following the fateful ‘curse’ of the champion. They came last losing to Mexico and South Korea, and only beat Sweden. The national team that won the title in 2018 was France, which ranked seventh as the best in the world.

Now, after great campaigns in the qualifiers and in the friendlies, Brazil occupies the first place as the best team in the world and that is how it will arrive for the World Cup in Qatar. France, which has to fight with the other ‘curse’ of the champion, is fourth. Both the ‘Canarinha’ and the ‘Bleus’ will have to beat the bad statistics. One to be champion leading the FIFA ranking, the other, to at least pass the group stage.

Brazil and a ‘curse’ that they want to avoid in the World Cup: Will they succeed?