10 Greatest World Cup Underdog Stories

10. New Zealand (2010)

New Zealand didn't even get out of the group stage in 2010, but they still had a hugely successful World Cup for such a small nation. The All Whites were making only their second ever appearance at a World Cup and had no well-known players to speak of, apart from Blackburn defender Ryan Nelsen.

The team found themselves in a tricky group containing Italy, Paraguay, and Slovakia. They weren't expected to win a single game, and they didn't, but they didn't lose a single game either! In fact, they were the only team at the tournament to go undefeated. Even the winners, Spain, lost their first match to Switzerland.

In their opening group game against Slovakia, New Zealand defended well but were losing 1-0 until the very last minute when Winston Reid scored to tie up the game. Against Italy, New Zealand opened the scoring early through Shane Smeltz. They were pegged back, but held out for a 1-1 result. The final game against Paraguay ended 0-0, with New Zealand finishing in third spot of their group, just 1 point behind Slovakia and 1 point ahead of the 2006 World Champions, Italy. After the tournament, the team released a DVD called 'Undefeated'. Seriously!

Contributor

Mike Pedley hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.