World Cup 2022: France Makes Nonsense of ‘Champion’s Curse’ to Become the First Team to Reach Round of 16

World Cup 2022: France Makes Nonsense of ‘Champion’s Curse’ to Become the First Team to Reach Round of 16

  • France became the first defending world champions to qualify for the round of 16 since Brazil in 2006, ending the champion's curse in the process
  • Les Bleus chalked the feat following a 2-1 victory over Denmark, becoming the first nation at the ongoing 2022 tournament to reach the knockout stages
  • The two-time world champions suffered the wrath of the curse 20 years ago when they were eliminated in the group stage, after winning the World Cup in 1998

France became the first team to reach the round of 16 of the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Qatar by recording their second successive win in the tournament.

Les Bleus banished the so-called champion's curse after edging Denmark 2-1 in their second group game to stress their intentions of defending the title they won in Russia.

A litany of injuries to Karim Benzema, midfielders Paul Pogba and N'Golo Kante prior to the start of the World Cup threatened to sabotage their chances of travelling far into the competition, Sporting News reports.

France, FIFA World Cup, round of 16, last 16, knockout stages, Qatar 2022, champion's curse, Germany, Italy
World Cup holders France edged Denmark 2-1 on Saturday to become the first team to reach the last 16. Photo credit: @ESPNFC
Source: Twitter

However, Didier Deschamp's charges have rallied to end the recurring phenomena of defending champions failing to qualify from the group stages, which has been described as the Champion's Curse.

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What is the champion's curse?

The dreaded champion's curse is the inability of defending world champions to make it beyond the group stages at the subsequent tournament.

Since 1998, countries winning the FIFA World Cup have failed to make it through beyond the group stages, starting with France, 14 years ago, Sportstar indicates.

Italy, the 2006 FIFA World Cup winners were knocked out in the 2010 edition, while Spain, winning its maiden World Cup in 2010, was eliminated four years later as well.

Germany, champions in 2014, also suffered a similar fate in Russia 2018.

World Cup: France reach last 16

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that Kylian Mbappe scored twice, including a late winner, as holders France edged Denmark 2-1 on Saturday to become the first team to reach the last 16 of the World Cup.

A potent French side knew a second victory in as many Group D outings would take them through to the knockout phase and they were well worth the lead that Mbappe gave them when he opened the scoring at Stadium 974 just after the hour mark.

However, Andreas Christensen soon equalised for the Danes and Les Bleus needed Mbappe to deliver again in the 86th minute as he turned in Antoine Griezmann's cross to puncture the Danish resistance once and for all.

Source: SportsBrief.com