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World Cup 2010 Comment: Three World Cup Final defeats and no victories...

World Cup 2010 Comment: Three World Cup Final defeats and no victories... looks back at the teams who have a knack of falling at the final hurdle

The Netherlands added another World Cup runners-up title to their name last night in Johannesburg but are still waiting to be crowned champions for the first time after a third defeat in the final. Andres Iniesta's strike in extra time downed the Dutch in a final which could have gone either way.

The Dutch are not the only team over history to have suffered the cruel fate of failing in finals, a feeling everyone would agree is the worst of all.

Here we take a look back at other teams that have tried to trump the Dutch lack of triumph in cup finals:


1996-97 v Borussia Dortmund 1-3

After defeating Ajax on penalties the previous year, Juventus were in the final defending their title in Munich. On home ground the Germans were too strong and a double from Karl-Heinz Reidle and then fastest ever substitute's goal by Lars Ricken were enough to hold onto. Del Piero's back heel was a mere consolation in a game where Zinedine Zidane was man marked out by Paul Lambert.

1997-98 v Real Madrid 0-1

Juventus missed out on being crowned champions for a second year in a row in the Amsterdam ArenA. The Turin club threw everything at Real but it was a fiery Predrag Mijatovic who collected a Roberto Carlos blocked shot to round Juve captain Angelo Peruzzi and score.

2002-03 v Milan 0-0 (lost 2-3 on pens)

Most recently in the 2002-03 season, it was the "Theatre of Dreams", Old Trafford, Manchester, where the Old Lady concluded a nightmare run of European finals. The Italian job had succeeded in rampaging through the streets of Europe, ending in a finale of Milan and Juventus. It was to be the first ever all-Italian encounter in the final and it proved to be shrouded in history. After a goalless 120 minutes - not without entertainment mind, a Andriy Shevchenko disallowed goal and both sides striking the goal frame, the match went to penalties. Milan goalkeeper Dida caused controversy by coming off his line before the penalties to save three and Juve's Buffon stopped two. Shevchenko scored the winning penalty to make himself the first ever Ukrainian to collect a winners' medal.


1938 World Cup Final v Italy 2-4

In the last World Cup before WWII, Italy were the first country to retain the crown against a spirited Hungary side. After going behind in the  sixth minute, the Hungarians equalised through Pal Titkos but could not come back from 3-1 down.

1954 World Cup Final v W Germany 2-3

The famous "Das wunder von Bern" was made into a movie in Germany. Hungary were 2-0 up within 10 minutes, opening the scoring through Ferenc Puskas, a quite remarkable player who scored 84 goals in 85 games for Hungary. The Hungarians had defeated Germany in the group stages and were pre-tournament favourites for the trophy but the game turned upside down. The creation of Adidas boots equipped the Germans for the adverse weather and they held on to win, despite Puskas having a goal disallowed late on. The match was a turning point in football technology and a huge shock thrown into the bargain.

Stade Riems

1956 European Cup Final v Real Madrid 3-4

In what was the first European Cup final, French side Stade Riems lost in Paris even though they were 2-0 up and cruising. Real's Argentinian duo Di Stefano and Rial scored three goals between them and ensured that Madrid won the first of five consecutive European crowns.

1959 European Cup Final v Real Madrid 0-2

One of those five consecutive titles was a re-match of the first final. This time Stade Riems could not find a way past the Madrid defence and Alfredo Di Stefano haunted the French side again, sealing the match early in the second half. Stade Riems are far from their glory days of the past, now playing in Ligue 2 in France after being promoted last season.


1963 European Cup Final v Milan 1-2

This was the first of Milan's European titles against a Benfica side that contained Eusebio. It was the Portuguese striker who gave Benfica the lead before a double from Brazilian Jose Altafini earned the Italians victory. Altafini had previously scored eight, yes EIGHT, goals in one game against Union Luxembourg.

1965 European Cup Final v Inter 0-1

Eusebio's men fell again just two years later. Inter's Brazilian star Jair scoring the only goal of the game. The game was actually played at the San Siro despite mass protest from Benfica.

1968 European Cup Final v Manchester United 1-4 AET

The game at Wembley signalled Machester United's return to the top of European football after the Munich disaster ten years before. A certain Bobby Charlton and George Best helped Manchester United secure victory in extra time.

1988 European Cup Final v PSV 5-6 (pens)

Guus Hiddink's PSV Eindhoven defeated Benfica on penalties after defender Antonio Veloso missed his kick.

1990 European Cup Final v Milan 0-1

Another Dutchman ruined Benfica's last appearance in a European Cup Final; Frank Rijkaard running through the defence after Marco Van Basten had picked him out.

Leeds United and Don Revie

Don Revie was persuaded to take the Leeds job by a journalist and despite turning the team around and enjoying success to a great extent, he also managed to flop in a fair few finals in his time. The 1973 FA Cup  final defeat to Second Division Sunderland was the most prominent as they lost 1-0.

In the years he was in charge of Leeds United, 1961-74, they were runners-up on 13 occasions in League and Cup competitions. Don Revie will be forever remembered for his aggressive tactics, generating many critics at the time.

Aris Thessaloniki

The Greek side, who were named (Ares) after the Olympian God of War, are the team to end on as quite possibly the ultimate final floppers in terms of winning ratio in the Greek Cup.

Winning the Greek Cup once in 1970, they have been runners-up eight times in total, including four times in the last eight years. Ouch.

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