The End of A Curse

Brody Henderson, Staff Writer

A curse has plagued European World Cup winners for years. That curse being, if a European team wins the World Cup, it appears they would fail to make it to the knockout stages in the following cup. The curse all started with France, who won the World Cup in 1998, before bowing out in the group stage four years later. Italy, the World Cup champion in 2006, continued this curse when they were eliminated in the group stages of the 2010 World Cup. Following was Spain, winners in 2010, who faced the same fate in the 2014 World Cup. Similarly, 2014 champions Germany failed to qualify past the group stage in 2018 – were France was crowned as World Cup Champions.

Many believed that this curse would apply to the France this year, being that they are the returning champions. However, France had other ideas. They broke the champion’s curse at FIFA World Cups by being the first team since the turn of the century to have won a World Cup then qualify for the knockout stages 4 years later in the next world cup. France, led by Kylian Mbappe, ripped through their group, successfully clinching first place after just 2 games. This was a fitting conclusion to the champion’s curse because it was the French National Team who began the curse in 1998 and then removed it 24 years later in Qatar.