The World Cup always throws up a surprise or two, whether that happens to be a minnow nation doing well (such as South Korea upsetting the odds to reach the semi-finals in 2002), or a larger nation imploding. A failure is perhaps more humorous than success, so we’ve taken a look at some of the most laughable failures in World Cup history!
France – 2010
The 2010 World Cup was a complete and utter disaster for France. The team contained Hugo Lloris, Franck Ribery, Nicolas Anelka and Patrice Evra to name just a few. Despite a squad of superstars, the French team failed to win a game, drawing against Uruguay while losing to Mexico and South Africa. To make matters worse, the squad staged a mutiny against the coach Raymond Domenech after he sent Anelka home. The 2010 World Cup was disastrous and its consequences were severe; Domenech was fired while many of the mutineers were dropped from the national side. France are yet to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. They need to beat Ukraine to qualify and France currently have odds of 11/8 with Paddy Power to do just that.
Saudi Arabia – 2002
Saudi’s performance in the 2002 World Cup was well and truly woeful. Their first game of the tournament was against Germany, who resolutely smashed them 8-0. They then went on to lose against Cameroon and the Republic of Ireland. Their World Cup adventure consisted of three games, three defeats, no goals scored and twelve conceded. Overall this was a pretty calamitous adventure for them.
South Korea – 1954
Well, smaller nations usually have one ignominious defeat at a World Cup, but this South Korean side had two, losing 9-0 to Hungary and 7-2 to Turkey, making their World Cup campaign one of the worst on record.
El Salvador – 1982
El Salvador hold the World Cup record for biggest defeat following their 10-1 thumping by Hungary. Unlike Korea’s defeats in 1954 this result was embarrassing; the Hungary side itself wasn’t very good and despite their bumper win they still failed to qualify for the second round. The minnows salvaged some pride, losing only 1-0 to Belgium and 2-0 to Argentina.