A Brazil team inspired by Pele won consecutive FIFA World Cups in 1958 and 1962 and Italy did it in the 1930s when the tournament was still in its infancy.
Could Germany join those nations by pulling of back-to-back tournaments this year?
It might be surprising how there have only been two teams that have achieved the feat.
It’s a record that makes it clear how hard it is to keep enough continuity in a team over a four-year period to mount serious consecutive challenges.
Plus there’s the added factor of teams being more informed tactically of how to combat winning teams after already seeing a World Cup winner’s winning formula.
Recently, most attempts at defending the title have ended dismally. In fact, three of the last four defending champions have failed to make it out of the group stage (Brazil being the exception with their quarterfinal exit in 2006).
Germany have certainly shown ominous form in the buildup up to this year’s tournament. They won last year’s Confederations Cup in Russia even though they rested half of the squad that they ended up taking to the World Cup.
No team has ever won the Confederations Cup and then gone on to win the World Cup, so that would be a first-time feat if Die Mannschaft were to pull it off.
A World Cup win for Germany would result in another major historic feat in the tournament’s history other that winning it twice in a row.
They currently sit one short of the record of five World Cup wins held by Brazil.
The Selecao have been the outright record holders ever since their fourth win in 1994.
A win for Germany this time round would mean that the South Americans would be joined on their perch of most successful World Cup nation ever – something the Brazilians are not used to.
A trend that Germany would follow is that of European countries winning the trophy on European soil.
Only once has a team from outside of Europe won when the World Cup was on the continent when Brazil triumphed in Sweden in 1968.
Looking at the current Germany squad, there is a lot of continuity from four years ago that’s been kept under coach Joachim Loew. However, there are certain key players that will be absent from the team that triumphed in Brazil.
Philipp Lahm, their captain in that tournament, has since retired. Bastian Schweinsteiger will be missing. Miroslav Klose, the record goalscorer at World Cup tournaments, has moved on.
While Manuel Neuer is in the squad, there will be doubts around him that he can regain the world-class form he’s shown in the past after returning from long-term injury.
In the three World Cups before Germany’s last win, they were knocked out by the team that ended up being the tournament winners.
So while history might not be on their side when it comes to retaining their World Cup title, recent history would suggest that if they are to fall short, it could well be at the hands of the side that will lift the trophy in Russia.