Germany follow Italy and Spain to become THIRD-straight World Cup holder to exit at the group stage
- Germany crash out of World Cup 2018 as holders to continue the worrying trend
- Italy failed to get through the groups in 2010 before Spain did the same in 2014
- France, who won in 1998, failed to get through groups in the 2002 tournament
By ALEX MARTIN FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 16:58 BST, 27 June 2018 | UPDATED: 17:03 BST, 27 June 2018 Winning the World Cup is quickly becoming a poisoned chalice with Germany now the third-straight holder to exit the competition at the group stage. Germany were supreme as they lifted their fourth title in Brazil four years ago, but a defeats to Mexico and South Korea, coming either side of a narrow win over Sweden, saw them heading home from Russia. Joachim Low's men have suffered the embarrassment of finishing bottom of Group F with Sweden the surprise winners and Mexico also heading through to the round of 16.
Having won the title in 2006, Italy finished rock-bottom of their group in 2010 before Spain, who won in South Africa, failed to make it through the first stage in Brazil.
With 1998 winners France also failing to make it through the groups in 2002, it means that the holders have fallen at the first hurdle in four of the last five World Cups. Only Brazil, who won in 2002 and made it to the quarter-finals in 2006, are the exception.
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