Bad news, Spain, European Champions rarely win World Cups
Of course, the last team to become World and European Champions at the same time were France, when they won Euro 2000 to follow up victory at France 98.
And, in the reverse sequence, West Germany won Euro 1972, before also finding glory at the World Cup in 1974.
Those are the only two occasions when the two titles have been combined, and – as noted with the aforementioned Germans – only once have the reigning European Champions won the World Cup.
This isn’t great news for Spain.
On the plus side, of the previous twelve European Champs – dating back to 1962 when the old Soviet Union won – four teams have made it to the semi-finals stage, with three of them going through to the final (Italy, 1970; West Germany, 1974; West Germany, 1982).
The one exception was France in 1986.
Compare that to the record of runners-up at the preceding Euro’s – as Germany are this time, having lost in the final to Spain at Euro 2008 – and you’ll notice that not one has made it to a World Cup final.
Of the three that made it to this stage – Yugoslavia, 1962; Soviet Union, 1966; Portugal, 2006 – all have fallen in the semis.
Both teams have odds of 13/8 to go through.
Interestingly, when the West Germans united the titles in 1974, they were also the victims of a shock defeat during the group stages – losing 1-0 to their neighbours, East Germany.
Can Spain emulate their rival’s team from 1974? See the full Germany vs Spain market.