World Cup always brings about the same excitement and enthusiasm. On three cases the defending finalists have not qualified for the next World Cup finals.
The FIFA World Cup is the biggest football event in the world. Held every four years, the World Cup always brings about the same excitement and enthusiasm. Players from all over the world look to prepare themselves and give their best for their respective nations in the FIFA World Cup. The 2022 edition will be held in Qatar and is getting the curiosity up and up with each passing day.
A fixed number of teams compete in the finals of the World Cup. As years have passed by, the number of places in the finals have kept on increasing. Presently, 32 teams compete in the World Cup proper. However, reaching there requires to pass a rigorous qualification process. All the continents have their separate qualifying tournaments. As of now, no defending champions have failed to book their place in the next edition. However, on three occasions the defending finalists have not qualified for the next World Cup finals. Let’s have a look
After a famous run in the 1958 World Cup where they were beaten 5-2 in the finals by the legendary Brazil side, Sweden surprisingly couldn’t make it past the qualifying stages for 1962. After a very tough group in the qualifiers involving some of the best teams in Europe, Sweden ultimately couldn’t be one of the eight teams to go the World Cup finals.
Czechoslovakia followed Sweden to become the second consecutive runners-up to qualify. There were nine spots for European teams to compete for, with one spot going to England. Czechoslovakia’s qualifying group included Portugal, Romania and Turkey. The now dismantled nation finished second behind Portugal and ultimately missed out.
Perhaps, the most surprising out of the three was the Dutch’s exclusion from the 1982 edition held in Spain. Although, the format was expanded to accumulate more teams (16 to 24), Netherlands still failed to make through. Netherlands were two time consecutive runners up heading into the 1982 World Cup. They were eliminated by Belgium and France in the qualifiers.