Germany's three worst losses in a World Cup match
The reigning World champions, Germany, are one of the most prolific National Teams throughout the FIFA World Cup history. Considering Germany turned down its invitation to the first World Cup in Uruguay 1930 and was banned from the tournament in 1950, Germany played eighteen World Cups so far, and it reached the second phase in seventeen occasions.
In addition to its success in the first round of the tournament, Germany entered the top four thirteen times (most all-time) and advanced to the deciding stage in eight opportunities (most all-time).
Out of the eight top 2 finishes in its history, Germany took the trophy home four times, joining Italy in 2014 in the second spot, behind Brazil's five crowns.
Among the various stats of the tournament, Germany ranks first in games played and goals scored. Together with Brazil, Germany is the second team in World Cup history to play in more than 100 matches in the competition. The Germans trail Brazil in wins (70-66), and in overall participation (20-18) even though Germany owns the record for most matches played.
On the European side, Germany is the most successful by far. Even with its woes in matches versus Italy (5 games, 3 Italian wins, and two ties), Germany still is the most decorated European in the competition.
But with so many matches played, 18 trips to the tournament, deciding games in the big stage, there has to be a downside to the success. It is time to find out what are Germany's worst losses statistically in the competition, so let's start with this anecdotic ranking.
#3 Germany 0-3 Croatia / France 1998
At the 1998 World Cup in France, Germany arrived with a usual good all-around team, even though Matthias Sammer, Germany's last Ballon d'Or winner to date, couldn't play in the tournament because of injury. Berti Vogts was Germany's coach.
After completing a decent group stage; with 2-0 victories over the USA and Iran, and a 2-2 tie with Yugoslavia, Germany played México in the round of sixteen and was able to knock down the Aztecs squad with a fantastic recovery in the last fifteen minutes to win 2-1.
Croatia defeated Romania 1-0 thanks to a penalty kick by striker Davor Šuker in the round of sixteen to advance to the quarterfinals. With Germany undefeated in the competition and Croatia advancing second in its group stage, where it played against Argentina and fell 1-0, many expected Germany to go into the semifinals.
However, Croatia stepped its game up and stunned the Germans with their third-worst loss in their World Cup history.
Its 1998 loss to Croatia means the last time to date Germany has not advanced to the World Cup semifinals, after its runner-up effort in 2002, third place in 2006 and 2010, and the 2014 championship.