At every major international football tournament, there are underdogs that come from absolutely nowhere and thrive. However, World Cup 2014 has already produced more than its fair share of surprise results.
Only one of the so-called big boys have won in Russia 2018 in France, who needed an incredible luck to defeat Australia. Germany were maimed by Mexico, Argentina iced by Iceland and then there was Brazil sideswiped by Switzerland.
No doubt a number of those big football nations will return to form at some point. They simply have too much quality in their squads. However, could an underdog actually win the World Cup in Russia?
Only eight teams have lifted the trophy
The fact that only eight countries have ever won the biggest prize in the international game illustrates just how hard it is to win. All the wins have come from either Europe or South America.
Giants like Germany and Brazil have won the competition on four and five occasions respectively. Meanwhile, Italy has won the trophy four times. Meanwhile, Uruguay and Argentina have also lifted the trophy on two occasions. Then there are the one-time winners of France, England and Spain.
All eight of the nations are regarded as big football teams on the world stage. Despite being a small country, Uruguay holds a special place in the competition, having won the first ever World Cup.
Underdogs can cause shocks in knockout competitions
Everybody loves an underdog as long as they are not playing against your team of course. They can produce shock results in one-off games or in a knockout competition.
However, in general, the teams with the most talented or strongest squads tend to come out on top at World Cups. However, underdogs have a big history of causing shocks at the European Championships, with the likes of Denmark, Greece and most recently Portugal in 2016 all winning the competition against all odds.
There are many underdogs at Russia 2018 who are well organised and that can cause the big guns big problems as we have already seen this summer.
Big guns will recover
The big guns will recover and get stronger as the competition goes on. The likes of England and Belgium are below the group of favourites who have not yet appeared at World Cup 2018. The pair kick-off their campaigns later today.
These are teams with quality but are not necessarily considered amongst the favourites to lift the trophy. These are the sort of team that could upset the odds in Russia, although Belgium winning the competition with the quality in their squad may not be majorly surprising winners.
Iceland, Switzerland and Mexico have already produced highly surprising results at World Cup 2018. The trio are unlikely to be the last underdog to cause a surprise at this summer’s World Cup.
However, it seems doubtful that a completely unexpected team will have the quality, the organisation and luck to go all the way to lift the trophy. It would be great for the competition and the game it did happen, though.
Could World Cup 2018 be the tournament of the underdog?