The World Cup Champions’ Curse: Will France Be the Next victim?

The World Cup is one of the most-watched sporting events in the world, and this year’s tournament has been no exception. The excitement reached a fever pitch last weekend as France became the first European country to win the cup in 16 years, defeating Croatia 4-2. But with the title comes added pressure, and many are already wondering if France will be the next team to succumb to the “champions’ curse.”

Les Bleus are coming into the FIFA World Cup 2022 as one of the favorites, but there are many factors that could prevent them from winning it all. We will take a look at some of these factors and see if France is destined to follow in the footsteps of previous champions.

You can try your luck on one of the betting sites not on Gamstop on the result of a team’s first-round match, but it is impossible to predict which teams will be able to make it out of the group stage. The last two World Cup champions, Italy and Germany, both failed to get past the group stage in their respective tournaments. This suggests that even with France’s impressive record and current form, they are not guaranteed a spot in the knockout stages.

Nerves Or Overconfidence?

A lot of pressure is put on the shoulders of the reigning champions, and this can lead to nerves or overconfidence. In 2014, Spain had won three major international tournaments in a row prior to the World Cup (Euro 2008, 2010 World Cup, Euro 2012). But at the tournament itself, they were eliminated in the group stage. This was due to their overconfidence and lack of focus, something France must avoid if they want to retain their title.

The same could be said for Germany in 2018. They were coming off winning the previous World Cup and had been dominating European football for years. After an impressive start to their campaign, they stumbled with a loss against South Korea, which saw them knocked out in the group stage.

Being at the top means there’s no room for error, and this could prove difficult for Les Bleus if they struggle early on in the tournament. On the other hand, if they are able to keep their composure while dealing with the extra pressure, they could become the first team since Brazil in 1962 to successfully defend their title.

No matter how much pressure is placed on the defending champions, they must remain focused and take each game seriously if they want to have a chance of retaining their title. 

Slow To Pick Up Pace

When it comes to the World Cup, teams need to be at their best from day one. The 2018 World Cup saw some of the biggest powers in world football struggle early on and not pick up pace until later in the competition.

France was no exception; they started off slow but steadily improved as the tournament went on. Although they won most of their group-stage matches, they scored just three goals and were fortunate to get away with a narrow 4-3 win over Argentina in the Round of 16.

This could be a cause for concern going into 2022, as France may not be able to rely on luck alone this time around. If they want to retain their title, they must hit the ground running and keep pushing for goals from the first game.

The Good News for France

Although there are risks associated with being the reigning World Cup champions, there are also advantages that France has over other teams. Perhaps most importantly, they have a talented squad of players who know what it takes to win at this level. They have plenty of experience in international tournaments and will be more prepared than ever before when it comes time for the 2022 World Cup. 

In addition, France’s roster features some of the best young players in world football, such as Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema – both of whom are expected to make a huge impact at the tournament. With these two stars leading the way, the French team will surely be one of the favorites in 2022.

Final Thoughts

France’s odds of becoming back-to-back World Cup champions are certainly not insurmountable, and they have all the tools necessary to make it happen. Of course, they will need to prove themselves come tournament time, but if they can keep their composure and focus on each game, there is no reason why Les Bleus cannot become the first European side since Brazil in 1962 to successfully defend their title. 

Only time will tell if France will join Italy and Germany as victims of the “champions’ curse” or defy history and retain their crown. Regardless of the outcome, France’s journey to becoming only the second European back-to-back champions will be captivating for football fans worldwide.

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