Major first round disasters of previous World Cups.

France 2002

It's a jinx France seem to carry. Once entering a World Cup final, they fail horribly in the next edition.

France won the 1998 World Cup, and Zidane was the hero. In 2002, they could not even score a single goal in the tournament. Les Blues were World and European champions going into the 2002 World Cup. However, they failed to score a single goal and tumbled out at the group stage.

They shockingly lost to Senegal in the opening game of the tournament, drew 0-0 with Uruguay after an early red card for Thierry Henry and lost to Denmark 0-2 in the final match.

Brazil 1966

Yes, even the champions suffered a first round exit. The reason for their exit could be attributed to the fact that their players were either too old or too inexperienced, the exception being Pele, who was arguably their best player on the pitch.

Pele was, however, injured during a game against Bulgaria and that spelt doom for the then three-time World champions.

Brazil were dumped out of the World Cup by Portugal, who won 3-1. It was the only post-War instance of Brazil going out in the first round.

Image: Pele

Italy 1966, 1974

In 1966, Italy were bounced out by an unknown North Korea. Italy's cause was not helped by the fact that they had had lost to Russia in the group stages and they only needed a draw to stay in the tournament.

But down to 10 men in the first half itself, Korea pulled off a dramatic win.

Then, again, in 1974, they were bounced out by Poland, who won 2-1. That World Cup was famous for in-fighting in the team, where Giorgio Chinaglia publicly stuck two fingers up at his manager Ferruccio Valcareggi.

Although Italy managed to win their match against Haiti 3-1, a draw against Argentina and a 2-1 loss Poland saw them on their way home.

Image: Fabio Capello was a part of Italy's 1974 World Cup side

Colombia 1994

Colombia shook the world when they beat Argentina 5-0 in the qualifiers. They suddenly rose from no ones to big guns. The Colombians gained momentum on their short passing game and certainly looked a genuine threat.

However, a 3-1 defeat Romania, followed by a 2-1 defeat to the United States, where Andres Escobar scored a fatal own goal meant that they were out of the tournament with a game to spare.

Even though they managed to secure a 2-0 win over Switzerland, it was not enough to keep them in the tournament.

Image: Andres Escobar reacts after scoring an own goal

Spain 1998

Perennial underachievers Spain's case is that they haven't even made it to the semi-finals of a World Cup.

They were leading Nigeria 2-1 in their opening match before goalkeeper Andoni Zubizaretta scored a farcical own goal. Nigeria went on to win 3-2.

A dull draw against Paraguay didn't help their cause either. Even though Spain beat Bulgaria 6-1 in their final game, it was too late by then.

Image: Andoni Zubizaretta

Argentina 2002

Argentina came into the tournament as always -- one of the favourites to lift the Cup. They were drawn with Sweden, England and Nigeria.

They started on a convincing note, beating Nigeria, but against England, they were caught out and lost 1-0.

They had to win their concluding game against Sweden, but could only manage a 1-1 draw.

Image: David Beckham celebrates after England beat Argentina