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Germany join list of World Cup holders who imploded at next tournament

Raf Honigstein and the FC crew examine what went wrong for Germany at the World Cup and discuss what lies ahead for the reigning world champions.
The FC crew answer your tweets on whether Brazil's 7-1 defeat was worse than Germany's group stage failure and predict the next World Cup surprise.

Germany have become the fourth defending champions in the last five World Cups to exit in the first round, when prior to this stretch such a fall from grace had not occurred since 1966. So what happened to the others, and is there a common theme?

France, 2002

Having ridden the wave of multicultural goodwill to a home victory in 1998, this was arguably the most dramatic fall, France crashing out without scoring a goal in Japan and South Korea. It began with that infamous defeat to Senegal, followed...

By ESPN Staff

From Baba Yaga to Rasputin: A to Z of Calcutta's Soviet Union connection

Moscow Olympics memorabilia from the author's collection.
Moscow Olympics memorabilia from the author's collection.

For anyone growing up in Calcutta in the 1970s and 80s, the Soviet Union was omnipresent. Communist red was the colour of the day, Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin adorned the walls and Gorky, Tolstoy and Pushkin the bookshelves. As he prepares for his trip to Russia, Jayaditya Gupta unlocks a suitcase of memories and associations.

Aeroflot

My first encounter with Cyrillic, thanks to the large sign on Kolkata's Lower Circular Road. Pan Am, TWA, British Airways, KLM had the glam quotient but "Aepopvot"...

Top 10 World Cup memories: No. 3 - Italy beat France 5-4 on penalties after 1-1 in regulation time

Zinedine Zidane's career ended in shame with a sending off in the 2006 World Cup final.
Zinedine Zidane's career ended in shame with a sending off in the 2006 World Cup final.

In this special 10-part series, ESPN's Jayaditya Gupta, who has attended every World Cup since 2002, recalls his favourite matches from the tournament. At No. 3 is the 2006 final, in which Italy beat France 5-4 on penalties after the game ended 1-1 in regulation time.

The memory

It's a strange one, because what I remember most is not what I saw but what I didn't see. And, of course, the moments - minutes, hours, days even - after. I was sitting in the stands towards the end Italy were attacking;...