Monday, June 05, 2006

World Cup Hosts

So, the Fifa World Cup is upon us once more. The 2006 World Cup, to be held in Germany, should provide us with a good tournament & a good run from the home team. For, despite the pessimism surrounding the current German team, a brief examination of the performances of previous World Cup hosts illustrates that playing at home usually pays dividends:

Host Nation Performances

2002 Korea - Semi-finalists
1998 France - Winners
1994 USA - 2nd round
1990 Italy - 3rd place - play-off
1986 Mexico - Qtr finalists
1982 Spain - 2nd round
1978 Argentina - Winners
1974 West Germany - Winners
1970 Mexico - Qtr-finalists
1966 England - Winners
1962 Chile - 3rd place - play off
1958 Sweden - Runners up
1954 Switzerland - 2nd round
1950 Brazil - Runners up
1938 France - Qtr - finals
1934 Italy - Winners
1930 Uraguay - Winners

As you can see, the host nation has won the World Cup on six occasions. While of the non-winners, six of them have been best ever performances by that particular nation at a World Cup. Even the 1938 & 94 efforts by France and the USA were their best at the time. Never has the host nation failed to go beyond the first stage of the World Cup.

The only slight exceptions here are Brazil in 1950, Spain in 1982 and Italy in 1990. Brazil have won the World Cup 5 times so finishing second at home was disappointing for them. Italy, also having won the World Cup 3 times were one of the favorites to win Italia 90. While Spain have reached the Qtr-finals on a few occasions so to finish in the second round in Spain wasn't their best performance.

Despite these three exceptions, all the evidence suggests that it most definitely does pay to play at home. Even if this German team isn't the best they have ever had, a run to the semi-finals surely has to be some sort of expectation.

(above) West Germany win 1974 World Cup


Neil Harding said...

I think you will find there are SIX host winners. Uruguay won as hosts in 1930.

Matthew said...

Argh, it seems you are correct. Still, further prove that it pays to be host. I will correct the entry when I find time.

Anonymous said...

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Matthew said...

Why thank you :-)

Matthew said...

And look, the Germans are already in the second round. Thus ensuring the 100% all hosts in second round record.

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