The Italians were defending champions for 12 years as the World Cup did not take place between 1938 to 1950 due to the second World War. They came in to the 1950 championship severely weakened by the death of some their players in the Superga air disaster a year before the start of the tournament. They lost 3-2 to Sweden and beat Paraguay 2-0, they finished second in the group and failed to qualify.
Brazil came to the 1966 Championship having won their second World Cup in 1962. But they failed to clear the first stage at the following tournament in England. They beat Bulgaria 2-0 but lost 3-1 to Hungary and lost 3-1 to Portugal.
France had won the 1998 World Cup at home beating Brazil in the final. In the 2002 World Cup they were beaten by Senegal 1-0 in their first game in the biggest uspet in the tournament. They subsequently drew 0-0 against Uruguay and lost 2-0 to Denamark and finished bottom of their group.
Italy won the 2006 championship in a dramatic final against France which ended in a penalty shootout. In 2010 they flew to South Africa with a strong squad intent on defending their crown. They were knocked out in the group stage as they were held to 1-1 draws by Paraguay and New Zealand and lost 3-2 to Slovakia. They became the first nation to hold this dubious honour twice.
The most dominant international side for the last half-decade imploded in spectcular fashion in Brazil as the Tiki-taka failed to mesmerise or trouble opponents. They have lost 5-1 to the Netherlands and 2-0 to Chile so far.