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Five 'golden generations' who failed to deliver a WC win

December 10, 2022 00:00:00

For every World Cup winning squad of heroes there are several others who couldn't get over the line despite having some of the best players on the planet.

England fans know all too well what it is like to see a talented group come and go without a victory on the global stage, as do the likes of Argentina and the Netherlands supporters.

United Kingdom's daily newspaper Daily Star Sport have taken a look at five Golden Generations that failed to deliver on their hype in the World Cup - with a warning to several sides at the 2022 edition in Qatar.


The greatest team never to win the World Cup are quite possibly the 1950s side who revolutionised the game led by the best striker on the planet in Ferenc Puskas.

Known as the Magnificent Magyars, their brand of attacking football led to 43 victories, six draws and single defeat between 1950 unit 1956 including the 6-3 win over England at Wembley.

Heartbreakingly, the only defeat during that run was the 1954 World Cup final against West Germany, which ended up as a 3-2 upset loss known as The Miracle of Bern.


Netherlands are the most talented footballing nation that have never lifted the biggest prize in world football, losing in both the 1974 and 1978 finals and again in 2010.

Their 1970s team played a brand of the game dubbed Total Football led by iconic playmaker Johan Cruyff and head coach Rinus Michels.

Having lost to hosts Germany in 1974 despite going 1-0 up, the Netherlands went to the semi-finals of Euro 76 before losing in the final of the following World Cup to hosts Argentina with Cruyff absent from the tournament.


England may have found a togetherness under Gareth Southgate not seen in an England squad for decades, but the individuals hardly compare to the Golden Generation.

Beginning at the 2002 World Cup and crashing down in 2014, the likes of John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Cole, David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen weren't enough to help the three Lions to glory.

With Ferdinand blaming club divides as a reason for the failure on the pitch, Sven-Goran Eriksson recently gave his thoughts to Daily Star Sport.


Lionel Messi heads into the 2022 World Cup, which he says will be his last, having failed alongside his team-mates to capitalised on some truly impressive talent.

Despite reaching the final in 2014, it is the 2006 squad that stands out despite them only reaching the quarter-finals under Jose Pekerman.

A young Messi was joined by the likes of Esteban Cambiasso, Gabriel Heinze, Javier Mascherano, Hernan Crespo, Juan Roman Riquelme, Carlos Tevez, Gabriel Milito - but it wasn't enough.


The most recent Golden Generation to fail to bag the big prize is Belgium, who going into the 2022 tournament with an arguably weaker squad than the last two outings.

Although Thibaut Courtois, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku are still around, those who failed on the biggest stage include Vincent Kompany and Marouane Fellaini with several others now past their best.

Those include captain Eden Hazard as well as ageing defenders Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, with Romelu Lukaku out of form and plenty of pressure on De Bruyne.

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