Incredible statistic links Italy, Spain and Germany and their most recent World Cup victories

World Cup Italy Germany Spain
(Image credit: Getty Images)

With Spain failing to beat Morocco in their World Cup 2022 last-16 encounter, they join Italy and Germany in a fascinating statistic where all three sides have failed to win a World Cup knockout match since they last lifted the trophy.

Italy last won the World Cup in 2006, beating France on penalties. However, at both the 2010 and 2014 tournaments they were knocked out in the group stages, while they simply failed to even qualify in 2018 and 2022 - despite winning Euro 2020. 

In fact, Italy haven't actually won a World Cup knockout match since the 2006 quarter-finals, when they beat Ukraine 3-0. They left it until extra-time in the semis to beat Germany, with the aforementioned game against France going to a shootout in the final. 

Spain, meanwhile, couldn't make it out of their 2014 group, and at the most recent two World Cups they lost on penalties both times in the last 16. Russia defeated them four years ago, with Morocco inflicting the same damage on them in Qatar.

Similarly to Italy, Spain didn't actually win their 2010 World Cup in normal time, either. Iniesta scored in extra-time, meaning their last knockout victory within 90 minutes came against Germany. 

World Cup 2014 winners Germany haven't even played a knockout game since their victory, getting knocked out in the group stages of the two most recent tournaments - a fate they have only suffered once before prior to their 2014 win, in 1938.  

Germany also haven't won a knockout game at the World Cup in normal time since their demolition of Brazil at the 2014 World Cup. 

Astoundingly, that means, in a combined seven potential tournaments for the three nations to have played in since their lifting of the Jules Rimet, they have only played two knockout stage games between them - both of which involved Spain. 

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Ryan Dabbs
Staff writer

Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.