Qatar, North Korea, Greece… The worst teams in the history of the World Cup

Qatar (2022)

This step was very high for the country hosting this 22nd World Cup. He simply couldn’t compete with opponents who were far superior and didn’t need to hone their skills too much to ensure victory. Qatar, led by Spaniard Felix Sanchez since July 2017, played the World Cup at home for the first time in its history and with all the controversies outside the sport as we know it. Which did not help the image of the national team, which is 50th in the FIFA ranking.

Al-Annabi (Bordeaux in French) has never been at the level despite several months of preparation on the European continent, especially in Spain. Their recent record: 3 matches, 3 defeats (0-2 against Ecuador, 1-3 against Senegal, 0-2 against Netherlands), scored one goal, conceded 7. And elimination from the group stage (confirmed on the evening of Day 2), a first for the host nation in the competition’s history.

North Korea (2010)

44 years after their first participation in the competition (lost in the quarter-finals by Portugal, 5-3), North Korea returned to the World Cup in South Africa in 2010 for the second time in its history. And it sank. Having lost a narrow header to Brazil (1-2) on their debut in the competition, Kim Jong-hun’s men suffered their biggest defeat in history a few days later when they were crushed by Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo (0-7).

A recent defeat against Cote d’Ivoire (0-3) and the “Chollimas” (winged horses) could join the country with their heads down, without a point on the clock and with a -11 goal difference.

North Korea lost to small Brazil (2:1) on the first day of the group stage. (Mantey/Team)

Saudi Arabia (2002)

Having dominated the Asian continent since the 1980s (winning 3 Asian Cups in 1984, 1988 and 1996 and a Confederations Cup finalist in 1992), there was nothing to suggest that the Falcons would be relegated to the first world of the 21st century. The world championship held in Japan and South Korea.

Their build-up before the start of the competition saw iconic goalkeeper and cap record holder (178) Mohamed El-Deayya’s team-mates line up against the Blues’ future opponents in Group A. Thus they had defeated Denmark (1). -0) in February, Uruguay (3-2) in March and Senegal (3-2) in May. Although Saudi Arabia qualified for the 3rd World Cup in a row, they failed in the first round and conceded 12 goals in 3 matches, including a hard slap by Miroslav Klose, the author of a hat-trick in the opening against Germany (0:8). After losing to Cameroon (0-1) and then Eire (0-3), Nasser al-Johar’s men left the competition without scoring a goal.

German striker Carsten Janker (in white uniform) scored a goal in the match against Saudi Arabia (8:0).  (Sports Press)

German striker Carsten Janker (in white uniform) scored a goal in the match against Saudi Arabia (8:0). (Sports Press)

Greece (1994)

At the start of the 1992 election, more than a decade after Alketas Panagoulias, known as “Alkis”, left, Greece seemed to have given wings. The coach also looked particularly confident before facing Diego Maradona’s Argentina for his first World Cup appearance. “Dream final between Brazil and Greece”.

But his team quickly showed its limits with a heavy defeat to “Albiceleste” (0-4, June 21, with Maradona’s goal). After another defeat against Bulgaria (0-4, June 26), the coach lowered his ambitions and said: “Our main goal will be to score against Nigeria”. Missed (0-2). With 3 losses in as many matches, conceding 10 goals and no goals, Greece returned home with the worst ever record for a European team at the World Cup.

Between Argentinian captain Diego Maradona and defender Roberto Sensini, Greek Nikos Tsiantakis.  (Pichon/Team)

Greece’s Nikos Tsiantakis between Argentina captain Diego Maradona and defender Roberto Sensini. (Pichon/Team)

El Salvador (1982)

For their 2nd appearance in the World Cup (since 1970), La Selecta certainly did not imagine that they would experience such a correction: 1-10 against Hungary. The heaviest defeat in the history of the competition. A sad record that still stands 40 years later. Luis Ramirez Zapata may have scored the first Salvadoran goal at the World Cup, the punch was fierce.

Another defeat against Belgium (0-1) and the last one against Argentina (0-2) and sent home with El Salvador, where they were also sent home with zero points in terms of points scored and goals scored.

Hungarian Tibor Nyilasi (in red uniform) scored twice in El Salvador's goal.  (Staedele/AFP)

Hungarian Tibor Nyilasi (in red uniform) scored twice in El Salvador’s goal. (Staedele/AFP)

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