World Cup 2010: Netherlands' Perfect Winning Streak Can Match Historic Feat Of Brazil 1970

Only one team has ever won all their qualifiers and finals matches - until now.
The Netherlands' World Cup 2010 odyssey began in September 2008 with a 2-1 win in Macedonia - little could they have known then that they would go on a victory run that stands alongside the greatest in tournament history.

Only the revered Brazil side of 1970 won all of their qualifying matches AND their matches at the World Cup finals to lift the trophy. That was a total of 12 games - Bert Van Marwijk's side have won 14 games to reach the final on Sunday.

So how did Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben & Co manage to be on the brink of being mentioned in the same breath as the classic Brazil side that included the likes of Pele, Rivelino and Carlos Alberto? Here is the winning run of each side:

WCQ 2-0 v Colombia (a)
WCQ 2-1 v Macedonia (a)
WCQ 5-0 v Venezuela (a)
WCQ 2-0 v Iceland (h)
WCQ 3-0 v Paraguay (a)
WCQ 1-0 v Norway (a)
WCQ 6-2 v Colombia (h)
WCQ 3-0 v Scotland (h)
WCQ 6-0 v Venezuela (h)
WCQ 4-0 v Macedonia (h)
WCQ 1-0 v Paraguay (h)
WCQ 2-1 v Iceland (a)

WCQ 2-0 v Norway (h)

WCQ 1-0 v Scotland (a)

GROUP 4-1 v Czechoslovakia
GROUP 2-0 v Denmark
GROUP 1-0 v England
GROUP 1-0 v Japan
GROUP 3-2 v Romania
GROUP 2-1 v Cameroon

QF 4-2 v Peru
Last 16 2-1 v Slovakia
SF 3-1 v Uruguay
QF 2-1 v Brazil
FINAL 4-1 v Italy SF 3-2 v Uruguay

There are five other teams who have won the World Cup with a perfect record, though none except Brazil 1970 and Netherlands 2010 have won every qualifier and every match at the finals in 90 minutes. Here are the nearly sides, and the reason why they don't quite meet the same criteria:

Uruguay 1930

The Uruguayans won each of their four matches to lift the inaugural World Cup on home turf. They did so by scoring 15 goals in those four games and conceding just three times. But because they went straight into the finals as hosts, they fall some way short of having the perfect record of Brazil 1970.

Italy 1934

Another side to win the trophy as hosts but they did require to qualify. The Italians defeated Greece 4-0 in the San Siro in the first leg of their qualifying tie, and didn't even have to face a second leg as the Greeks withdrew. The first 'preliminary' round of the finals brought a 7-1 victory over the United States, and Spain, Austria and Czechoslovakia (in the final) were all defeated as the Azzurri claimed the title. However, they required extra time to beat the Spanish and the Czechs, unlike faultless Brazil in 1970.

Italy 1938

For the first time, FIFA granted the hosts and the previous winners automatic entry into the finals, meaning the 1938 Italy team does not match up to Brazil 1970. Indeed they needed only four matches in total to retain their trophy, and the first of those - against Norway - went to extra time before the Italians progressed 2-1.

France 1998

Another team to qualify as hosts, but they did become the first side of the modern era to win all of their matches at the World Cup finals. Two of those games went beyond 90 minutes though: the last 16 encounter with Paraguay that Laurent Blanc settled with the first Golden Goal in World Cup history, and the quarter-final meeting with Italy that reached penalties before Luigi Di Biagio's miss sent the French onwards and into an eventual Zinedine Zidane-inspired victory over Brazil in the final.

Brazil 2002

The only side other than Brazil 1970 and Netherlands 2010 to win each of their matches at the finals within 90 minutes, thanks to the skills of Ronaldinho, Rivaldo and Ronaldo. However, it hadn't been that way for Luiz Felipe Scolari's men in South American qualifying in the lead-up to the tournament - they contrived to lose six of their 18 qualifying games.

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