After Argentina and Brazil both made quarter-final exits in the Copa America, this week's First XI looks through some of the other international sides to have been humbled.
England (1950 World Cup)
England decided not to enter the first three World Cups, and when they finally did deign to enter the 1950 tournament in Brazil, there was a belief in the country that a squad containing the likes of Stanley Matthews, Tom Finney and Billy Wright ought to be going all the way.
Things did not go according to plan. Though England beat Chile 2-0 in their opening game, they were then on the wrong end of perhaps the greatest upset in the sport's history against USA. Coach Bill Jeffrey had said his men were like "sheep ready to be slaughtered", but USA won 1-0 after what the Guardian's match report described as "probably the worst display ever by an England side", leaving Walter Winterbottom's men needing a victory over Spain in their final game.
Again, though, they lost 1-0, and while the press, players, fans and even neutrals in the ground felt England were hard done by as the Italian official failed to punish Spain's roughhouse tactics, the self-appointed 'Kings of Football' had been truly humbled.
The country that created the game had fallen quite hopelessly behind the rest of the world, as a statement from Arthur Drewry, chairman of the FA's international selection committee, made clear. "We have learned a lesson in Brazil which I have been trying to teach for some time - the need for coaching in English football," he said. "Now that I have been in Brazil and have seen what has been done, I would advocate coaching even more."
Argentina (1958 World Cup)
Although participating in their first World Cup since 1934 and having been handed a tough group, Argentina were considered among the favourites in Sweden, not least among their own supporters.
They lost their opener 3-1 to defending champions West Germany, but they were still expected to progress after beating Northern Ireland by the same scoreline in their next match. In their final group game, against a Czechoslovakia team that had yet to record a victory, Argentina were beaten 6-1.
Amid suggestions the players had shown a lack of discipline in Sweden, the fans at home were incensed. They stoned the Argentinean FA's headquarters and the home of its president, while posters appeared demanding the players' wages were cut and calling on people to boycott any league matches featuring the supposed stars of the national team.
The players' wives demanded security for their husbands, and the Argentine delegation in Sweden asked the state airline to fly to Uruguay so they could make their returns undetected. In the end, they agreed to fly to Buenos Aires, but only after Air Force units, frontier guards and strong police forces were called in to keep the mob at bay.
Brazil (1966 World Cup)
Brazil were considered strong contenders for a third successive World Cup triumph in England despite problems behind the scenes and a lingering injury crisis.
With Pele and Garrincha in the side, Brazil defeated Bulgaria 2-0 in their first game, but the encounter took its toll on O Rei and he was unable to face Hungary. Without Pele, they were beaten 3-1 at a rain-soaked Goodison Park, their first defeat in the competition since losing to the same opponents in the 'Battle of Berne' of 1954.
Brazil made nine changes for their final group game, against Portugal, with Pele returning and Garrincha left out. Hopes were high, but the Portuguese attacked in every sense, with Pele crippled by Joao Morais while the brilliant Eusebio netted twice in a 3-1 win. Hungary's victory over Bulgaria the following day confirmed Brazil's exit, and fights broke out between Brazilian and Portuguese fans in Sao Paulo.
Dr Hilton Gosling, the team's medical adviser and spokesman, said: "There is a new style of play coming into favour in Europe. I do not think it will give as much pleasure to the public as we have tried to give over the last eight years. It seems inevitable now that we shall have to put more emphasis onto the physical side of the game and rather less on technique."
Italy (1966 World Cup)
Two-time winners Italy, featuring the likes of Gianni Rivera, Sandro Mazzola and Giancinto Facchetti, had been expected to cruise into the quarter-finals.
They saw off Chile 2-0 in the opener and, though they lost 1-0 to USSR in their second match, David Lacey wrote in his Guardian match report that "so obvious was their lack of interest in the proceedings that I conclude they are regarding their games in the group as mere sparring to prepare themselves for the sterner test of the quarter-finals". Such was their lack of effort, neutrals at the stadium subjected the Italians to boos and slow hand-clapping.
Nonetheless, they only had to beat North Korea in their final game to progress. The Koreans, playing at the finals for the first time, were considered a joke before the tournament. "We will win," they said ahead of their opener against USSR, before losing 3-0. A dramatic late goal rescued a 1-1 draw against Chile but, even so, bookmakers rated them at 1,000-1 for the cup.
Incredibly, North Korea beat Italy 1-0 after a 42nd-minute goal from Pak Doo-Ik. The Italians faced an explosion of anger in their homeland, forced to fly home in the dead of night to an unannounced airport to avoid mobs, and head coach Edmondo Fabbri said: "The result has shaken me. I have not yet spoken to the players. They are so upset. What is the use talking to them? They are like a family without parents."
Brazil (1975 Copa America)
Brazil, the three-time world champions, had been favourites for this first edition of the newly-rebranded Copa America despite neglecting to select the likes of Rivelinho, Jairzinho and Falcao for the tournament. They lived up to the expectation early on as they won all four of their group games, beating Argentina twice, to set up a semi-final meeting with Peru.
Peru were little fancied after having failed to qualify for 1974 World Cup, but they secured their first ever away victory over Brazil as they came out 3-1 winners in the first leg in Sao Paulo. Peru defender Julio Melendez told Globo this summer: "It was a great party. It was really beautiful."
The Brazilian media was, as would be expected, critical of coach Osvaldo Brandao for selecting a team consisting almost entirely of Cruzeiro and Atletico Minero players, and he told Peruvian newspaper La Prensa after the defeat: "It was a provincial team - a long way from representing the current strength of Brazilian football."
Brazil managed to win the second leg 2-0 in Peru, levelling the scores at 3-3 on aggregate, but under the rules of the competition at that time, the team to advance to the final would have to be selected by the drawing of lots. The draw was made by the daughter of Teofilo Salinas, the Peruvian president of the Confederacion Sudamericana de Futbol, and Peru were picked out of the hat.
There have been claims that the draw was rigged - the Peru ball was supposedly kept in a fridge beforehand so she knew which one to select - but they went on to win the competition, while the Brazilian federation decided that it would be wise to begin selecting their strongest team in future.
Nigeria (1982 African Nations Cup)
Nigeria had finished third in the African Nations Cup in both 1976 and 1978, and they became continental champions for the first time in 1980 under the leadership of Brazilian coach Otto Gloria.
Gloria was a well-known name in world football having guided Portugal to third place at the 1966 World Cup - beating his home country along the way - as well as leading Benfica to the 1968 European Cup final.
He became a hero in Nigeria with the Super Eagles' African Nations Cup success, which culminated in a 3-0 win over Algeria in the final, but things fell apart at the following tournament. Without some of the leading stars of 1980, including Segun 'Mathematical' Odegbami, the 1982 campaign began well with a 3-0 victory over Ethiopia but a 2-1 defeat to Algeria and a 3-0 thrashing against Zambia saw the defending champions fall at the first hurdle.
Gloria left his job in the aftermath, while Nigeria bounced back to reach the final of the 1984 tournament.
West Germany (1984 European Championships)
As defending European champions and World Cup finalists in 1982, much was expected of West Germany ahead of Euro 1984 as Jupp Derwall's squad boasted the likes of Rudi Voller, Lothar Matthaus, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Harald Schumacher and Pierre Littbarski. The bookmakers considered the team second favourites behind France, but all was not well.
Der Spiegel had written in April that year that "almost everyone in German football is calling for the sacking of Jupp Derwall", and the team's performance in France that June made his position untenable.
In their opening game against Portugal, the opposition played one man up front and ground out a 0-0 draw, but the West Germans beat a reputable Romania side 2-1 in their next match. However, they were on the plane home after a last-gasp Antonio Maceda goal saw them lose 1-0 to Spain in their final group game.
Former West Germany star Paul Breitner labelled that match "a first-class funeral", and Derwall arrived back in Frankfurt to be met by a horde of jeering fans before being given the boot.
France (1992 European Championships)
Michel Platini led France to Euro 1992 with an unprecedented 100% record in qualification and, with a team containing the likes of Jean-Pierre Papin, Eric Cantona and Laurent Blanc, expectations were high.
However, their warm-up games had not gone to plan - "It has been difficult for me to motivate the players immediately prior to the championship," Platini explained - and they never got going when it came to the finals. A 1-1 draw with hosts Sweden preceded a 0-0 draw with a faltering England side, but the shock came with their 2-1 defeat to eventual winners Denmark, who remained little fancied at that stage.
France had exited without winning a game and Platini, who faced widespread criticism from French newspapers and even some of his own players, stepped down, never to return to coaching.
Brazil (2001 Copa America)
Brazil had been without the likes of Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho at the 2001 Copa America, but Luiz Felipe Scolari's men were still confident of winning the tournament for the third time in succession.
Argentina had pulled out of the competition at the last minute after it was finally confirmed that it would take place in Colombia, with the Albicelestes having received death threats from terrorist groups in the country. Their replacements, Honduras, had arrived in Colombia only a few hours before their opening game, and having barely managed to scramble a squad together.
Honduras lost their opening game - to no-one's great surprise - against Costa Rica, but after victories over Bolivia and Uruguay they progressed to the quarter-finals, where they met Group B winners Brazil.
Scolari and his players admitted to complete ignorance of the Honduras team other than the fact that they could be dangerous and had a player called Guevara who might be good. Dangerous they were. Having had the better of the first half, Honduras took the lead through a Juliano Belletti own goal on 57 minutes and then saw a further strike wrongly disallowed five minutes later.
Brazil rallied but were unable to find an equaliser and, after Brazil captain Emerson Ferreira and Honduras defender David Carcamo were sent off for fighting, Saul Martinez made it 2-0 with a counter-attack deep into injury time.
"I will go down in history as the Brazil coach who lost to Honduras," Scolari said afterwards. "It's horrible, but Honduras played better."
The Brazilian press was astonished. Sports daily Lance ran with the headline "You can't be serious?" on its front page, while Globo labelled the result a "historic shame". The Argentine press, meanwhile, rather enjoyed the result. "It's divine, beautiful, sublime," sports daily Ole said. "They won in the white and blue shirt of Argentina and handed Brazil one of the worst humiliations in their history."
France (2002 World Cup)
France had arrived at the 2002 tournament in South Korea and Japan as favourites having won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000, but they were to endure a disastrous campaign and exited at the group stage without scoring a goal.
With Zinedine Zidane missing through injury, France were beaten 1-0 by Senegal and held to a 0-0 draw by Uruguay. When Zidane returned, they lost 2-0 to Denmark. There were other injury problems - notably to Robert Pires and Frank Leboeuf - but boss Roger Lemerre accepted Les Bleus had simply failed to deliver. "You have to tell it like it is - we failed to get to grips with this edition of the World Cup," he said. "We just weren't up to it."
Lemerre, who had been assistant to Aime Jacquet in 1998 and in charge for the Euro 2000 success, was sacked after the tournament.
Italy (2010 World Cup)
Age caught up with defending champions Italy in South Africa. With Marcello Lippi back in charge after Roberto Donadoni's undistinguished reign, there was hope he would be able to inspire the heroes of 2006 - Fabio Cannavaro, Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Pirlo, Gennaro Gattuso et al - to a glorious swansong. "We have old players, but with age comes charisma and the experience of playing in big games," Lippi said.
Their performance proved worse than anyone could have expected: after draws with Paraguay and New Zealand, they were defeated 3-2 by Slovakia to finish bottom of Group F.
Buffon, who played just 45 minutes at the tournament due to injury, had no excuses for the failure. "Slovakia and New Zealand are teams worth respecting but nothing more," he said. "If we can't beat at least one of them, it's only fair that we go home."