FIFA World Cup

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FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup wordmark.svg
Founded1930;89 years ago (1930)
RegionInternational (FIFA)
Number of teams32 (finals)
211 (eligible to enter qualification)
Related competitions FIFA Confederations Cup
Current championsFlag of France.svg  France (2nd title)
Most successful team(s)Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil (5 titles)
Television broadcasters List of broadcasters
Website fifa.com/worldcup/

The FIFA World Cup, often simply called the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War. The current champion is France, which won its second title at the 2018 tournament in Russia.

Association football Team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

FIFA International governing body of association football

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association is an organization which describes itself as an international governing body of association football, fútsal, beach soccer, and eFootball. FIFA is responsible for the organization of football's major international tournaments, notably the World Cup which commenced in 1930 and the Women's World Cup which commenced in 1991.

1930 FIFA World Cup 1930 edition of the FIFA World Cup

The 1930 FIFA World Cup was the inaugural FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in Uruguay from 13 to 30 July 1930. FIFA, football's international governing body, selected Uruguay as host nation, as the country would be celebrating the centenary of its first constitution, and the Uruguay national football team had successfully retained their football title at the 1928 Summer Olympics. All matches were played in the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo, the majority at the Estadio Centenario, which was built for the tournament.

Contents

The current format of the competition involves a qualification phase, which currently takes place over the preceding three years, to determine which teams qualify for the tournament phase, which is often called the World Cup Finals. After this, 32 teams, including the automatically qualifying host nation(s), compete in the tournament phase for the title at venues within the host nation(s) over a period of about a month.

The FIFA World Cup qualification is the process that a national association football team goes through to qualify for the FIFA World Cup finals. The FIFA World Cup is the largest international team sport competition in the world with a qualification process required to reduce the large field of countries from 211 to just 32 for the World Cup finals.

The 21 World Cup tournaments have been won by eight national teams. Brazil have won five times, and they are the only team to have played in every tournament. The other World Cup winners are Germany and Italy, with four titles each; Argentina, France and inaugural winner Uruguay, with two titles each; and England and Spain with one title each.

The Brazil national football team represents Brazil in international men's association football. Brazil is administered by the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), the governing body for football in Brazil. They have been a member of FIFA since 1923 and member of CONMEBOL since 1916.

Germany national football team mens national association football team representing Germany

The Germany national football team is the men's football team that has represented Germany in international competition since 1908. It is governed by the German Football Association, founded in 1900. Ever since the DFB was reinaugurated in 1949 the team has represented the Federal Republic of Germany. Under Allied occupation and division, two other separate national teams were also recognised by FIFA: the Saarland team representing the Saarland (1950–1956) and the East German team representing the German Democratic Republic (1952–1990). Both have been absorbed along with their records by the current national team. The official name and code "Germany FR (FRG)" was shortened to "Germany (GER)" following the reunification in 1990.

Italy national football team mens national association football team representing Italy

The Italy national football team has officially represented Italy in association football since their first match in 1910. The squad is under the global jurisdiction of FIFA and is governed in Europe by UEFA—the latter of which was co-founded by the Italian team's supervising body, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC). Italy's home matches are played at various stadiums throughout Italy, and their primary training ground is located at the FIGC headquarters in Coverciano, Florence.

The World Cup is the most prestigious association football tournament in the world, as well as the most widely viewed and followed sporting event in the world, exceeding even the Olympic Games; the cumulative viewership of all matches of the 2006 World Cup was estimated to be 26.29 billion with an estimated 715.1 million people watching the final match, a ninth of the entire population of the planet. [1] [2] [3] [4]

Olympic Games major international sport event

The modern Olympic Games or Olympics are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games are considered the world's foremost sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. The Olympic Games are held every four years, with the Summer and Winter Games alternating by occurring every four years but two years apart.

2006 FIFA World Cup 18th FIFA World Cup, held in Germany in 2006

The 2006 FIFA World Cup was the 18th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 9 June to 9 July 2006 in Germany, which won the right to host the event in July 2000. Teams representing 198 national football associations from all six populated continents participated in the qualification process which began in September 2003. Thirty-one teams qualified from this process, along with the host nation, Germany, for the finals tournament. It was the second time that Germany staged the competition, and the tenth time that it was held in Europe.

2006 FIFA World Cup Final association football match

The 2006 FIFA World Cup Final was a football match that took place on 9 July 2006 at the Olympiastadion, Berlin, Germany, to determine the winner of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Italy beat France 5–3 on penalties after the match finished 1–1 after extra time. France's Zinedine Zidane was sent off in his last-ever match, for headbutting Italy's Marco Materazzi's chest in retaliation to Materazzi's verbal provocation.

17 countries have hosted the World Cup. Brazil, France, Italy, Germany and Mexico have each hosted twice, while Uruguay, Switzerland, Sweden, Chile, England, Argentina, Spain, the United States, Japan and South Korea (jointly), South Africa and Russia have each hosted once. Qatar are planned as hosts of the 2022 finals, and 2026 will be jointly hosted by Canada, the United States and Mexico, which will give Mexico the distinction of being the first country to have hosted games in three finals.

History

Previous international competitions

The world's first international football match was a challenge match played in Glasgow in 1872 between Scotland and England, [5] which ended in a 0–0 draw. The first international tournament, the inaugural British Home Championship, took place in 1884. [6] As football grew in popularity in other parts of the world at the start of the 20th century, it was held as a demonstration sport with no medals awarded at the 1900 and 1904 Summer Olympics (however, the IOC has retroactively upgraded their status to official events), and at the 1906 Intercalated Games. [7]

Glasgow City and council area in Scotland

Glasgow is the most populous city in Scotland, and the third most populous city in the United Kingdom, as of the 2017 estimated city population of 621,020. Historically part of Lanarkshire, the city now forms the Glasgow City council area, one of the 32 council areas of Scotland; the local authority is Glasgow City Council. Glasgow is situated on the River Clyde in the country's West Central Lowlands. Inhabitants of the city are referred to as "Glaswegians" or "Weegies". It is the fourth most visited city in the UK. Glasgow is also known for the Glasgow patter, a distinct dialect of the Scots language that is noted for being difficult to understand by those from outside the city.

Scotland national football team Mens association football team representing Scotland

The Scotland national football team represents Scotland in international football and is controlled by the Scottish Football Association. It competes in the three major professional tournaments, the FIFA World Cup, UEFA Nations League and the UEFA European Championship. Scotland, as a constituent country of the United Kingdom, is not a member of the International Olympic Committee and therefore the national team does not compete in the Olympic Games. The majority of Scotland's home matches are played at the national stadium, Hampden Park.

England national football team Mens association football team representing England

The England national football team represents England in senior men's international football and is controlled by The Football Association, the governing body for football in England.

After FIFA was founded in 1904, it tried to arrange an international football tournament between nations outside the Olympic framework in Switzerland in 1906. These were very early days for international football, and the official history of FIFA describes the competition as having been a failure. [8]

At the 1908 Summer Olympics in London, football became an official competition. Planned by The Football Association (FA), England's football governing body, the event was for amateur players only and was regarded suspiciously as a show rather than a competition. Great Britain (represented by the England national amateur football team) won the gold medals. They repeated the feat at the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm.

With the Olympic event continuing to be contested only between amateur teams, Sir Thomas Lipton organised the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy tournament in Turin in 1909. The Lipton tournament was a championship between individual clubs (not national teams) from different nations, each one of which represented an entire nation. The competition is sometimes described as The First World Cup, [9] and featured the most prestigious professional club sides from Italy, Germany and Switzerland, but the FA of England refused to be associated with the competition and declined the offer to send a professional team. Lipton invited West Auckland, an amateur side from County Durham, to represent England instead. West Auckland won the tournament and returned in 1911 to successfully defend their title.

In 1914, FIFA agreed to recognise the Olympic tournament as a "world football championship for amateurs", and took responsibility for managing the event. [10] This paved the way for the world's first intercontinental football competition, at the 1920 Summer Olympics, contested by Egypt and 13 European teams, and won by Belgium. [11] Uruguay won the next two Olympic football tournaments in 1924 and 1928. Those were also the first two open world championships, as 1924 was the start of FIFA's professional era.

World Cups before World War II

FIFA president Jules Rimet convinced the confederations to promote an international football tournament. Jules Rimet 1933.jpg
FIFA president Jules Rimet convinced the confederations to promote an international football tournament.

Due to the success of the Olympic football tournaments, FIFA, with President Jules Rimet as the driving force, again started looking at staging its own international tournament outside of the Olympics. On 28 May 1928, the FIFA Congress in Amsterdam decided to stage a world championship itself. [12] With Uruguay now two-time official football world champions and to celebrate their centenary of independence in 1930, FIFA named Uruguay as the host country of the inaugural World Cup tournament.

The national associations of selected nations were invited to send a team, but the choice of Uruguay as a venue for the competition meant a long and costly trip across the Atlantic Ocean for European sides. Indeed, no European country pledged to send a team until two months before the start of the competition. Rimet eventually persuaded teams from Belgium, France, Romania, and Yugoslavia to make the trip. In total, 13 nations took part: seven from South America, four from Europe and two from North America.

Estadio Centenario, the location of the first World Cup final in 1930 in Montevideo, Uruguay Estadio Centenario (vista aerea).jpg
Estadio Centenario, the location of the first World Cup final in 1930 in Montevideo, Uruguay

The first two World Cup matches took place simultaneously on 13 July 1930, and were won by France and the USA, who defeated Mexico 4–1 and Belgium 3–0 respectively. The first goal in World Cup history was scored by Lucien Laurent of France. [13] In the final, Uruguay defeated Argentina 4–2 in front of 93,000 people in Montevideo, and became the first nation to win the World Cup. [14] After the creation of the World Cup, FIFA and the IOC disagreed over the status of amateur players, and so football was dropped from the 1932 Summer Olympics. [15] Olympic football returned at the 1936 Summer Olympics, but was now overshadowed by the more prestigious World Cup.

The issues facing the early World Cup tournaments were the difficulties of intercontinental travel, and war. Few South American teams were willing to travel to Europe for the 1934 World Cup and all North and South American nations except Brazil and Cuba boycotted the 1938 tournament. Brazil was the only South American team to compete in both. The 1942 and 1946 competitions, which Germany and Brazil sought to host, [16] were cancelled due to World War II and its aftermath.

World Cups after World War II

The opening game of the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, shortly before the 1950 FIFA World Cup. From the National Archives of Brazil Jogo no Estadio do Maracana, antes da Copa do Mundo de 1950.tif
The opening game of the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, shortly before the 1950 FIFA World Cup. From the National Archives of Brazil

The 1950 World Cup, held in Brazil, was the first to include British participants. British teams withdrew from FIFA in 1920, partly out of unwillingness to play against the countries they had been at war with, and partly as a protest against foreign influence on football, [17] but rejoined in 1946 following FIFA's invitation. [18] The tournament also saw the return of 1930 champions Uruguay, who had boycotted the previous two World Cups. Uruguay won the tournament again after defeating the host nation Brazil, in the match called "Maracanazo" (Portuguese: Maracanaço).

In the tournaments between 1934 and 1978, 16 teams competed in each tournament, except in 1938, when Austria was absorbed into Germany after qualifying, leaving the tournament with 15 teams, and in 1950, when India, Scotland, and Turkey withdrew, leaving the tournament with 13 teams. [19] Most of the participating nations were from Europe and South America, with a small minority from North America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. These teams were usually defeated easily by the European and South American teams. Until 1982, the only teams from outside Europe and South America to advance out of the first round were: USA, semi-finalists in 1930; Cuba, quarter-finalists in 1938; North Korea, quarter-finalists in 1966; and Mexico, quarter-finalists in 1970.

Expansion to 32 teams

Interior view of the Soccer City in Johannesburg, South Africa, during a match at the 2010 FIFA World Cup FIFA World Cup 2010 Uruguay Ghana.jpg
Interior view of the Soccer City in Johannesburg, South Africa, during a match at the 2010 FIFA World Cup

The tournament was expanded to 24 teams in 1982, [20] and then to 32 in 1998, [21] also allowing more teams from Africa, Asia and North America to take part. Since then, teams from these regions have enjoyed more success, with several having reached the quarter-finals: Mexico, quarter-finalists in 1986; Cameroon, quarter-finalists in 1990; South Korea, finishing in fourth place in 2002; Senegal, along with USA, both quarter-finalists in 2002; Ghana, quarter-finalists in 2010; and Costa Rica, quarter-finalists in 2014. Nevertheless, European and South American teams continue to dominate, e.g., the quarter-finalists in 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2018 were all from Europe or South America and so were the finalists of all tournaments so far.

Two hundred teams entered the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds; 198 nations attempted to qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, while a record 204 countries entered qualification for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. [22]

Expansion to 48 teams

In October 2013, Sepp Blatter spoke of guaranteeing the Caribbean Football Union's region a position in the World Cup. [23] In the edition of 25 October 2013 of the FIFA Weekly Blatter wrote that: "From a purely sporting perspective, I would like to see globalisation finally taken seriously, and the African and Asian national associations accorded the status they deserve at the FIFA World Cup. It cannot be that the European and South American confederations lay claim to the majority of the berths at the World Cup." [24] Those two remarks suggested to commentators that Blatter could be putting himself forward for re-election to the FIFA Presidency. [25]

Following the magazine's publication, Blatter's would-be opponent for the FIFA Presidency, UEFA President Michel Platini, responded that he intended to extend the World Cup to 40 national associations, increasing the number of participants by eight. Platini said that he would allocate an additional berth to UEFA, two to the Asian Football Confederation and the Confederation of African Football, two shared between CONCACAF and CONMEBOL, and a guaranteed place for the Oceania Football Confederation. [26] Platini was clear about why he wanted to expand the World Cup. He said: "[The World Cup is] not based on the quality of the teams because you don't have the best 32 at the World Cup ... but it's a good compromise. ... It's a political matter so why not have more Africans? The competition is to bring all the people of all the world. If you don't give the possibility to participate, they don't improve." [26]

In October 2016, FIFA president Gianni Infantino stated his support for a 48-team World Cup in 2026. [27] On 10 January 2017, FIFA confirmed the 2026 World Cup will have 48 finalist teams. [28]

2015 FIFA corruption case

By May 2015, the games were under a particularly dark cloud because of the 2015 FIFA corruption case, allegations and criminal charges of bribery, fraud and money laundering to corrupt the issuing of media and marketing rights (rigged bids) for FIFA games, [29] with FIFA officials accused of taking bribes totaling more than $150 million over 24 years. In late May, the U.S. Justice Department announced a 47-count indictment with charges of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy against 14 people. Arrests of over a dozen FIFA officials were made since that time, particularly on 29 May and 3 December. [30] By the end of May 2015, a total of nine FIFA officials and five executives of sports and broadcasting markets had already been charged on corruption. At the time, FIFA president Sepp Blatter announced he would relinquish his position in February 2016. [31]

On 4 June 2015 Chuck Blazer while co-operating with the FBI and the Swiss authorities admitted that he and the other members of FIFA's then-executive committee were bribed in order to promote the 1998 and 2010 World Cups. [32] On 10 June 2015 Swiss authorities seized computer data from the offices of Sepp Blatter. [33] The same day, FIFA postponed the bidding process for the 2026 FIFA World Cup in light of the allegations surrounding bribery in the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 tournaments. Then-secretary general Jérôme Valcke stated, "Due to the situation, I think it's nonsense to start any bidding process for the time being." [34] On 28 October 2015, Blatter and FIFA VP Michel Platini, a potential candidate for presidency, were suspended for 90 days; both maintained their innocence in statements made to the news media. [35]

On 3 December 2015 two FIFA vice-presidents were arrested on suspicion of bribery in the same Zurich hotel where seven FIFA officials had been arrested in May. [36] An additional 16 indictments by the U.S. Department of Justice were announced on the same day. [37]

Other FIFA tournaments

The BC Place in Vancouver hosting a 2015 Women's World Cup match Round of 16 Canada vs Switzerland (18852958960).jpg
The BC Place in Vancouver hosting a 2015 Women's World Cup match

An equivalent tournament for women's football, the FIFA Women's World Cup, was first held in 1991 in China. [38] The women's tournament is smaller in scale and profile than the men's, but is growing; the number of entrants for the 2007 tournament was 120, more than double that of 1991. [39]

Men's football has been included in every Summer Olympic Games except 1896 and 1932. Unlike many other sports, the men's football tournament at the Olympics is not a top-level tournament, and since 1992, an under-23 tournament with each team allowed three over-age players. [40] Women's football made its Olympic debut in 1996.

The FIFA Confederations Cup is a tournament held one year before the World Cup at the World Cup host nation(s) as a dress rehearsal for the upcoming World Cup. It is contested by the winners of each of the six FIFA confederation championships, along with the FIFA World Cup champion and the host country. [41]

FIFA also organises international tournaments for youth football (FIFA U-20 World Cup, FIFA U-17 World Cup, FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup), club football (FIFA Club World Cup), and football variants such as futsal (FIFA Futsal World Cup) and beach soccer (FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup). The latter three do not have a women's version, although a FIFA Women's Club World Cup has been proposed. [42]

The FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup is held the year before each Women's World Cup and both tournaments are awarded in a single bidding process. The U-20 tournament serves as a dress rehearsal for the larger competition. [43]

Trophy

Queen Elizabeth II presenting the Jules Rimet trophy to 1966 World Cup winning England captain Bobby Moore The Queen presents the 1966 World Cup to England Captain, Bobby Moore. (7936243534).jpg
Queen Elizabeth II presenting the Jules Rimet trophy to 1966 World Cup winning England captain Bobby Moore

From 1930 to 1970, the Jules Rimet Trophy was awarded to the World Cup winning team. It was originally simply known as the World Cup or Coupe du Monde, but in 1946 it was renamed after the FIFA president Jules Rimet who set up the first tournament. In 1970, Brazil's third victory in the tournament entitled them to keep the trophy permanently. However, the trophy was stolen in 1983 and has never been recovered, apparently melted down by the thieves. [44]

The current trophy (held by France forward Ousmane Dembele in 2018) has been presented since 1974 Ousmane Dembele World Cup Trophy.jpg
The current trophy (held by France forward Ousmane Dembélé in 2018) has been presented since 1974

After 1970, a new trophy, known as the FIFA World Cup Trophy, was designed. The experts of FIFA, coming from seven countries, evaluated the 53 presented models, finally opting for the work of the Italian designer Silvio Gazzaniga. The new trophy is 36 cm (14.2 in) high, made of solid 18 carat (75%) gold and weighs 6.175 kg (13.6 lb). [45] The base contains two layers of semi-precious malachite while the bottom side of the trophy bears the engraved year and name of each FIFA World Cup winner since 1974. [45] The description of the trophy by Gazzaniga was: "The lines spring out from the base, rising in spirals, stretching out to receive the world. From the remarkable dynamic tensions of the compact body of the sculpture rise the figures of two athletes at the stirring moment of victory." [46]

This new trophy is not awarded to the winning nation permanently. World Cup winners retain the trophy only until the post-match celebration is finished. They are awarded a gold-plated replica rather than the solid gold original immediately afterwards. [47]

Currently, all members (players, coaches, and managers) of the top three teams receive medals with an insignia of the World Cup Trophy; winners' (gold), runners-up' (silver), and third-place (bronze). In the 2002 edition, fourth-place medals were awarded to hosts South Korea. Before the 1978 tournament, medals were only awarded to the eleven players on the pitch at the end of the final and the third-place match. In November 2007, FIFA announced that all members of World Cup-winning squads between 1930 and 1974 were to be retroactively awarded winners' medals. [48] [49] [50]

Format

Qualification

Since the second World Cup in 1934, qualifying tournaments have been held to thin the field for the final tournament. [51] They are held within the six FIFA continental zones (Africa, Asia, North and Central America and Caribbean, South America, Oceania, and Europe), overseen by their respective confederations. For each tournament, FIFA decides the number of places awarded to each of the continental zones beforehand, generally based on the relative strength of the confederations' teams.

The qualification process can start as early as almost three years before the final tournament and last over a two-year period. The formats of the qualification tournaments differ between confederations. Usually, one or two places are awarded to winners of intercontinental play-offs. For example, the winner of the Oceanian zone and the fifth-placed team from the Asian zone entered a play-off for a spot in the 2010 World Cup. [52] From the 1938 World Cup onwards, host nations receive automatic qualification to the final tournament. This right was also granted to the defending champions between 1938 and 2002, but was withdrawn from the 2006 FIFA World Cup onward, requiring the champions to qualify. Brazil, winners in 2002, were the first defending champions to play qualifying matches. [53]

Final tournament

The current final tournament has been used since 1998 and features 32 national teams competing over the course of a month in the host nation(s). There are two stages: the group stage followed by the knockout stage. [54]

In the group stage, teams compete within eight groups of four teams each. Eight teams are seeded, including the hosts, with the other seeded teams selected using a formula based on the FIFA World Rankings and/or performances in recent World Cups, and drawn to separate groups. [55] The other teams are assigned to different "pots", usually based on geographical criteria, and teams in each pot are drawn at random to the eight groups. Since 1998, constraints have been applied to the draw to ensure that no group contains more than two European teams or more than one team from any other confederation. [56]

Each group plays a round-robin tournament, in which each team is scheduled for three matches against other teams in the same group. This means that a total of six matches are played within a group. The last round of matches of each group is scheduled at the same time to preserve fairness among all four teams. [57] The top two teams from each group advance to the knockout stage. Points are used to rank the teams within a group. Since 1994, three points have been awarded for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss (before, winners received two points).

If one considers all possible outcomes (win, draw, loss) for all six matches in a group, there are 729 (= 36) outcome combinations possible. However, 207 of these combinations lead to ties between the second and third places. In such case, the ranking among these teams is determined as follows: [58]

  1. Greatest combined goal difference in all group matches
  2. Greatest combined number of goals scored in all group matches
  3. If more than one team remain level after applying the above criteria, their ranking will be determined as follows:
    1. Greatest number of points in head-to-head matches among those teams
    2. Greatest goal difference in head-to-head matches among those teams
    3. Greatest number of goals scored in head-to-head matches among those teams
    4. Fair play points, defined by the number of yellow and red cards received in the group stage:
      1. Yellow card: minus 1 point
      2. Indirect red card (as a result of a second yellow card): minus 3 points
      3. Direct red card: minus 4 points
      4. Yellow card and direct red card: minus 5 points
  4. If any of the teams above remain level after applying the above criteria, their ranking will be determined by the drawing of lots

The knockout stage is a single-elimination tournament in which teams play each other in one-off matches, with extra time and penalty shootouts used to decide the winner if necessary. It begins with the round of 16 (or the second round) in which the winner of each group plays against the runner-up of another group. This is followed by the quarter-finals, the semi-finals, the third-place match (contested by the losing semi-finalists), and the final. [54]

On 10 January 2017, FIFA approved a new format, the 48-team World Cup (to accommodate more teams), which consists of 16 groups of three teams each, with two teams qualifying from each group, to form a round of 32 knockout stage, to be implemented by 2026. [59]

Hosts

Map of FIFA World Cup final hosts, 1930-2022. Green: once; dark green: twice; light green: planned World cup hosts.png
Map of FIFA World Cup final hosts, 1930–2022. Green: once; dark green: twice; light green: planned

Selection process

Early World Cups were given to countries at meetings of FIFA's congress. The locations were controversial because South America and Europe were by far the two centres of strength in football and travel between them required three weeks by boat. The decision to hold the first World Cup in Uruguay, for example, led to only four European nations competing. [60] The next two World Cups were both held in Europe. The decision to hold the second of these in France was disputed, as the South American countries understood that the location would alternate between the two continents. Both Argentina and Uruguay thus boycotted the 1938 FIFA World Cup. [61]

Since the 1958 FIFA World Cup, to avoid future boycotts or controversy, FIFA began a pattern of alternating the hosts between the Americas and Europe, which continued until the 1998 FIFA World Cup. The 2002 FIFA World Cup, hosted jointly by South Korea and Japan, was the first one held in Asia, and the first tournament with multiple hosts. [62] South Africa became the first African nation to host the World Cup in 2010. The 2014 FIFA World Cup was hosted by Brazil, the first held in South America since Argentina 1978, [63] and was the first occasion where consecutive World Cups were held outside Europe.

Russian delegates celebrate being chosen as the host of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 World Cup.jpeg
Russian delegates celebrate being chosen as the host of the 2018 FIFA World Cup

The host country is now chosen in a vote by FIFA's Council. This is done under an exhaustive ballot system. The national football association of a country desiring to host the event receives a "Hosting Agreement" from FIFA, which explains the steps and requirements that are expected from a strong bid. The bidding association also receives a form, the submission of which represents the official confirmation of the candidacy. After this, a FIFA designated group of inspectors visit the country to identify that the country meets the requirements needed to host the event and a report on the country is produced. The decision on who will host the World Cup is usually made six or seven years in advance of the tournament. However, there have been occasions where the hosts of multiple future tournaments were announced at the same time, as was the case for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which were awarded to Russia and Qatar, with Qatar becoming the first Middle Eastern country to host the tournament. [64] [65]

For the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, the final tournament is rotated between confederations, allowing only countries from the chosen confederation (Africa in 2010, South America in 2014) to bid to host the tournament. The rotation policy was introduced after the controversy surrounding Germany's victory over South Africa in the vote to host the 2006 tournament. However, the policy of continental rotation will not continue beyond 2014, so any country, except those belonging to confederations that hosted the two preceding tournaments, can apply as hosts for World Cups starting from 2018. [66] This is partly to avoid a similar scenario to the bidding process for the 2014 tournament, where Brazil was the only official bidder. [67]

The 2026 FIFA World Cup was chosen to be held in the United States, Canada and Mexico, marking the first time a World Cup has been shared by three host nations. [68] The 2026 tournament will be the biggest World Cup ever held, with 48 teams playing 80 matches. Sixty matches will take place in the US, including all matches from the quarter-finals onward, while Canada and Mexico will host 10 games each. [68]

Performances

Six of the eight champions have won one of their titles while playing in their own homeland, the exceptions being Brazil, who finished as runners-up after losing the deciding match on home soil in 1950 and lost their semi-final against Germany in 2014, and Spain, which reached the second round on home soil in 1982. England (1966) won its only title while playing as a host nation. Uruguay (1930), Italy (1934), Argentina (1978) and France (1998) won their first titles as host nations but have gone on to win again, while Germany (1974) won their second title on home soil. [69]

Other nations have also been successful when hosting the tournament. Switzerland (quarter-finals 1954), Sweden (runners-up in 1958), Chile (third place in 1962), South Korea (fourth place in 2002), and Mexico (quarter-finals in 1970 and 1986) all have their best results when serving as hosts. So far, South Africa (2010) has been the only host nation to fail to advance beyond the first round. [70]

Attendance

YearHostsVenues/
Cities
Total
attendance
MatchesAvg.
attendance
Highest attendances †
NumberVenueGame(s)
1930 Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 3/1590,5491832,80893,000 Estadio Centenario, MontevideoUruguay 6–1 Yugoslavia, Semi-final
1934 Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg  Italy 8/8363,0001721,35355,000 Stadio Nazionale PNF, Rome Italy 2–1 Czechoslovakia, Final
1938 Flag of France.svg  France 10/9375,7001820,87258,455 Olympique de Colombes, ParisFrance 1–3 Italy, Quarter-final
1950 Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg  Brazil 6/61,045,2462247,511173,850 [71] Maracanã Stadium, Rio de Janeiro Brazil 1–2 Uruguay, Deciding match
1954 Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland 6/6768,6072629,56263,000 Wankdorf Stadium, Bern West Germany 3–2 Hungary, Final
1958 Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden 12/12819,8103523,42350,928 Ullevi Stadium, GothenburgBrazil 2–0 Soviet Union, Group stage
1962 Flag of Chile.svg  Chile 4/4893,1723227,91268,679 Estadio Nacional, SantiagoBrazil 4–2 Chile, Semi-final
1966 Flag of England.svg  England 8/71,563,1353248,84898,270 Wembley Stadium, London England 4–2 West Germany, Final
1970 Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 5/51,603,9753250,124108,192 Estadio Azteca, Mexico CityMexico 1–0 Belgium, Group stage
1974 Flag of Germany.svg  West Germany 9/91,865,7533849,09983,168 Olympiastadion, West BerlinWest Germany 1–0 Chile, Group stage
1978 Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 6/51,545,7913840,67971,712 River Plate Stadium, Buenos AiresItaly 1–0 Argentina, Group stage
1982 Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 17/142,109,7235240,57295,500 Camp Nou, BarcelonaArgentina 0–1 Belgium, Opening match
1986 Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 12/112,394,0315246,039114,600 Estadio Azteca, Mexico CityMexico 1–1 Paraguay, Group stage
Argentina 3–2 West Germany, Final
1990 Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 12/122,516,2155248,38974,765 San Siro, MilanWest Germany 4–1 Yugoslavia, Group stage
1994 Flag of the United States.svg  United States 9/93,587,5385268,99194,194 Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California Brazil 0(3)–(2)0 Italy, Final
1998 Flag of France.svg  France 10/102,785,1006443,51780,000 Stade de France, Saint-Denis Brazil 0–3 France, Final
2002 Flag of Japan.svg  Japan / Flag of South Korea (1997-2011).svg  South Korea 20/202,705,1976442,26969,029 International Stadium, Yokohama, Japan Brazil 2–0 Germany, Final
2006 Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 12/123,359,4396452,49172,000 Olympiastadion, Berlin Germany 1(4)–(2)1 Argentina, Quarter-final
2010 Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 10/93,178,8566449,67084,490 Soccer City, Johannesburg Spain 1–0 Netherlands, Final
2014 Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 12/123,429,8736453,59274,738 Maracanã Stadium, Rio de Janeiro Germany 1–0 Argentina, Final
2018 Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 12/113,031,7686447,37178,011 Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow France 4–2 Croatia, Final
Overall40,532,47890045,036171,772 Maracanã Stadium, Rio (1950)

Dagger-14-plain.png The best-attended single match, shown in the last three columns, has been the final in half of the 20 World Cups as of 2014. Another match or matches drew more attendance than the final in 1930, 1938, 1958, 1962, 1970–1982, 1990 and 2006.

Broadcasting and promotion

A Coca-Cola bottle promoting the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan Coca cola world cup 2002.jpg
A Coca-Cola bottle promoting the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan

The World Cup was first televised in 1954 and is now the most widely viewed and followed sporting event in the world. The cumulative viewership of all matches of the 2006 World Cup is estimated to be 26.29 billion. [1] 715.1 million individuals watched the final match of this tournament (a ninth of the entire population of the planet). The 2006 World Cup draw, which decided the distribution of teams into groups, was watched by 300 million viewers. [73] The World Cup attracts many sponsors such as Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Adidas. For these companies and many more, being a sponsor strongly impacts their global brands. Host countries typically experience a multimillion-dollar revenue increase from the month-long event. The governing body of the sport, FIFA, generated $4.8 billion in revenue from the 2014 tournament. [74]

Each FIFA World Cup since 1966 has its own mascot or logo. World Cup Willie, the mascot for the 1966 competition, was the first World Cup mascot. [75] World Cups feature official match balls specially designed for each tournament. [76] Each World Cup also has an official song, which have been performed by artists ranging from Shakira to Will Smith. [77] [78] Other songs, such as “Nessun dorma”, performed by The Three Tenors at four World Cup concerts, have also become identified with the tournament. [79]

Forming a partnership with FIFA in 1970, Panini published its first sticker album for the 1970 World Cup. [80] Since then, collecting and trading stickers has become part of the World Cup experience, especially for the younger generation. [81] FIFA has also licensed World Cup video games since 1986, with Electronic Arts the current license holder. [80]

The World Cup even has a statistically significant effect on birth rates, the male/female sex ratio of newborns, and heart attacks in nations whose national teams are competing. [82] [83] [84]

Results

#YearHostsChampionsScore and VenueRunners-upThird placeScore and VenueFourth placeNo. of Teams
11930
Details
Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay Flag of Uruguay.svg
Uruguay
4–2
Estadio Centenario, Montevideo
Flag of Argentina.svg
Argentina
Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg
United States
[note 1] Flag of Yugoslavia (1918-1943).svg
Yugoslavia
13
21934
Details
Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg  Italy Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg
Italy
2–1 ( a.e.t. )
Stadio Nazionale PNF, Rome
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia
Flag of Germany (1933-1935).svg
Germany
3–2
Stadio Giorgio Ascarelli, Naples
Flag of Austria.svg
Austria
16
31938
Details
Flag of France (1794-1815, 1830-1958).svg  France Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg
Italy
4–2
Stade de Colombes, Paris
Flag of Hungary 1940.svg
Hungary
Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg
Brazil
4–2
Parc Lescure, Bordeaux
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden
15
1942Editions not organized because of World War II.
1946
41950
Details
Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg  Brazil Flag of Uruguay.svg
Uruguay
[note 2]
2–1
Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro
Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg
Brazil
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden
[note 2]
3–1
Pacaembu, São Paulo
Flag of Spain (1945-1977).svg
Spain
13
51954
Details
Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland Flag of Germany.svg
West Germany
3–2
Wankdorfstadion, Bern
Flag of Hungary (1949-1956; 1-2 aspect ratio).svg
Hungary
Flag of Austria.svg
Austria
3–1
Hardturm, Zürich
Flag of Uruguay.svg
Uruguay
16
61958
Details
Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg
Brazil
5–2
Råsundastadion, Solna
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden
Flag of France.svg
France
6–3
Ullevi, Gothenburg
Flag of Germany.svg
West Germany
16
71962
Details
Flag of Chile.svg  Chile Flag of Brazil (1960-1968).svg
Brazil
3–1
Estadio Nacional, Santiago
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
Czechoslovakia
Flag of Chile.svg
Chile
1–0
Estadio Nacional, Santiago
Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg
Yugoslavia
16
81966
Details
Flag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg
England
4–2 ( a.e.t. )
Wembley Stadium, London
Flag of Germany.svg
West Germany
Flag of Portugal.svg
Portugal
2–1
Wembley Stadium, London
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet Union
16
91970
Details
Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico Flag of Brazil (1968-1992).svg
Brazil
4–1
Estadio Azteca, Mexico City
Flag of Italy.svg
Italy
Flag of Germany.svg
West Germany
1–0
Estadio Azteca, Mexico City
Flag of Uruguay.svg
Uruguay
16
101974
Details
Flag of Germany.svg  West Germany Flag of Germany.svg
West Germany
2–1
Olympiastadion, Munich
Flag of the Netherlands.svg
Netherlands
Flag of Poland (1928-1980).svg
Poland
1–0
Olympiastadion, Munich
Flag of Brazil (1968-1992).svg
Brazil
16
111978
Details
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina Flag of Argentina.svg
Argentina
3–1 ( a.e.t. )
Monumental de Núñez, Buenos Aires
Flag of the Netherlands.svg
Netherlands
Flag of Brazil (1968-1992).svg
Brazil
2–1
Monumental de Núñez, Buenos Aires
Flag of Italy.svg
Italy
16
121982
Details
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Flag of Italy.svg
Italy
3–1
Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
Flag of Germany.svg
West Germany
Flag of Poland.svg
Poland
3–2
Estadio José Rico Pérez, Alicante
Flag of France.svg
France
24
131986
Details
Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico Flag of Argentina.svg
Argentina
3–2
Estadio Azteca, Mexico City
Flag of Germany.svg
West Germany
Flag of France.svg
France
4–2( a.e.t. )
Estadio Cuauhtémoc, Puebla
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg
Belgium
24
141990
Details
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Flag of Germany.svg
West Germany
1–0
Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Flag of Argentina.svg
Argentina
Flag of Italy.svg
Italy
2–1
Stadio San Nicola, Bari
Flag of England.svg
England
24
151994
Details
Flag of the United States (Pantone).svg  United States Flag of Brazil.svg
Brazil
0–0 ( a.e.t. )
(3–2 pen.)
Rose Bowl, Pasadena
Flag of Italy.svg
Italy
Flag of Sweden.svg
Sweden
4–0
Rose Bowl, Pasadena
Flag of Bulgaria.svg
Bulgaria
24
161998
Details
Flag of France.svg  France Flag of France.svg
France
3–0
Stade de France, Saint-Denis
Flag of Brazil.svg
Brazil
Flag of Croatia.svg
Croatia
2–1
Parc des Princes, Paris
Flag of the Netherlands.svg
Netherlands
32
172002
Details
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan
Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea
Flag of Brazil.svg
Brazil
2–0
International Stadium, Yokohama
Flag of Germany.svg
Germany
Flag of Turkey.svg
Turkey
3–2
Daegu Stadium, Daegu
Flag of South Korea (1997-2011).svg
South Korea
32
182006
Details
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Flag of Italy.svg
Italy
1–1 ( a.e.t. )
(5–3 pen.)
Olympiastadion, Berlin
Flag of France.svg
France
Flag of Germany.svg
Germany
3–1
Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion, Stuttgart
Flag of Portugal.svg
Portugal
32
192010
Details
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa Flag of Spain.svg
Spain
1–0 ( a.e.t. )
Soccer City, Johannesburg
Flag of the Netherlands.svg
Netherlands
Flag of Germany.svg
Germany
3–2
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Flag of Uruguay.svg
Uruguay
32
202014
Details
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil Flag of Germany.svg
Germany
1–0 ( a.e.t. )
Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro
Flag of Argentina.svg
Argentina
Flag of the Netherlands.svg
Netherlands
3–0
Estádio Nacional, Brasília
Flag of Brazil.svg
Brazil
32
212018
Details
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia Flag of France.svg
France
4–2
Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
Flag of Croatia.svg
Croatia
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg
Belgium
2–0
Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg
Flag of England.svg
England
32
222022
Details
Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar TBDTBD
Iconic Stadium, Lusail
TBDTBDTBD
TBD
TBD32
232026
Details
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
TBDTBD
TBD, United States
TBDTBDTBD
TBD
TBD48
Notes
  1. There was no third place match in 1930; the United States and Yugoslavia lost in the semi-finals. FIFA now recognises the United States as the third-placed team and Yugoslavia as the fourth-placed team, using the overall records of the teams in the tournament. [85]
  2. 1 2 There was no official World Cup final match in 1950. [86] The tournament winner was decided by a final round-robin group contested by four teams (Uruguay, Brazil, Sweden, and Spain). Coincidentally, one of the last two matches of the tournament pitted the two top ranked teams against each other, with Uruguay's 2–1 victory over Brazil thus often being considered as the de facto final of the 1950 World Cup. [87] Likewise, the game between the lowest ranked teams, played at the same time as Uruguay vs Brazil, can be considered equal to a 3rd place match, with Sweden's 3–1 victory over Spain ensuring that they finished third.

In all, 79 nations have played in at least one World Cup. [88] Of these, eight national teams have won the World Cup, and they have added stars to their badges, with each star representing a World Cup victory. (Uruguay, however, choose to display four stars on their badge, representing their two gold medals at the 1924 and 1928 Summer Olympics and their two World Cup titles in 1930 and 1950).

With five titles, Brazil are the most successful World Cup team and also the only nation to have played in every World Cup (21) to date. [89] Brazil were also the first team to win the World Cup for the third (1970), fourth (1994) and fifth (2002) time. Italy (1934 and 1938) and Brazil (1958 and 1962) are the only nations to have won consecutive titles. West Germany (1982–1990) and Brazil (1994–2002) are the only nations to appear in three consecutive World Cup finals. Germany has made the most top-four finishes (13), medals (12), as well as the most finals (8).

Map of countries' best results World cup countries best results and hosts.PNG
Map of countries' best results

Teams reaching the top four

Teams reaching the top four
TeamTitlesRunners-upThird placeFourth placeTop 4
Finishes
Top 3
Finishes
Top 2
Finishes
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 5 (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002)2 (1950 *, 1998)2 (1938, 1978)2 (1974, 2014 *)1197
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany ^ 4 (1954, 1974 *, 1990, 2014)4 (1966, 1982, 1986, 2002)4 (1934, 1970, 2006 *, 2010)1 (1958)13128
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 4 (1934 *, 1938, 1982, 2006)2 (1970, 1994)1 (1990 *)1 (1978)876
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 2 (1978 *, 1986)3 (1930, 1990, 2014)555
Flag of France.svg  France 2 (1998 *, 2018)1 (2006)2 (1958, 1986)1 (1982)653
Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 2 (1930 *, 1950)3 (1954, 1970, 2010)522
Flag of England.svg  England 1 (1966 *)2 (1990, 2018)311
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 1 (2010)1 (1950)211
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 3 (1974, 1978, 2010)1 (2014)1 (1998)543
Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary 2 (1938, 1954)222
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czechoslovakia # 2 (1934, 1962)222
Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden 1 (1958 *)2 (1950, 1994)1 (1938)431
Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia 1 (2018)1 (1998)221
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland 2 (1974, 1982)22
Flag of Austria.svg  Austria 1 (1954)1 (1934)21
Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal 1 (1966)1 (2006)21
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium 1 (2018)1 (1986)21
Flag of the United States.svg  United States 1 (1930)11
Flag of Chile.svg  Chile 1 (1962 *)11
Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey 1 (2002)11
Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg  Yugoslavia # 2 (1930, 1962)2
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union # 1 (1966)1
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria 1 (1994)1
Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea 1 (2002 *)1
* = hosts

Best performances by continental zones

South Koreans watching their nation on the big screens in Seoul Plaza during the 2002 World Cup when they became the first Asian country to reach the semi-finals. Seoul Plaza 2002 FIFA World Cup.jpg
South Koreans watching their nation on the big screens in Seoul Plaza during the 2002 World Cup when they became the first Asian country to reach the semi-finals.

To date, the final of the World Cup has only been contested by teams from the UEFA (Europe) and CONMEBOL (South America) confederations. European nations have won twelve titles, while South American have won nine. Only two teams from outside these two continents have ever reached the semi-finals of the competition: United States (North, Central America and Caribbean) in 1930 and South Korea (Asia) in 2002. The best result of an African team is reaching the quarter-finals: Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010. Only one Oceanian qualifier, Australia in 2006, has advanced to the second round. [90]

Brazil, Argentina, Spain and Germany are the only teams to win a World Cup outside their continental confederation; Brazil came out victorious in Europe (1958), North America (1970 and 1994) and Asia (2002). Argentina won a World Cup in North America in 1986, while Spain won in Africa in 2010. In 2014, Germany became the first European team to win in the Americas. Only on five occasions have consecutive World Cups been won by teams from the same continent, and currently it is the first time with four champions in a row from the same continental confederation. Italy and Brazil successfully defended their titles in 1938 and 1962 respectively, while Italy's triumph in 2006 has been followed by wins for Spain in 2010, Germany in 2014 and France in 2018. Currently, it is also the first time that one of the currently winning continents (Europe) is ahead of the other (South America) by more than one championship.

Total times teams qualified by confederation
Confederation AFC CAF CONCACAF CONMEBOL OFC UEFA Total
Teams374442854245457
Top 16691435191156
Top 8235340100144
Top 41012206084
Top 20001402842
1st000901221
2nd000501621
3rd001301721
4th100501521

Awards

At the end of each World Cup, awards are presented to the players and teams for accomplishments other than their final team positions in the tournament. There are currently six awards: [91]

An All-Star Team consisting of the best players of the tournament has also been announced for each tournament since 1998.

Records and statistics

Lothar Matthaus played a record 25 World Cup matches across a joint record five tournaments. Lothar Matthaus.jpg
Lothar Matthäus played a record 25 World Cup matches across a joint record five tournaments.

Three players share the record for playing in the most World Cups; Mexico's Antonio Carbajal (1950–1966) and Rafael Márquez (2002–2018); and Germany's Lothar Matthäus (1982–1998) all played in five tournaments. [96] Matthäus has played the most World Cup matches overall, with 25 appearances. [97] Brazil's Djalma Santos (1954–1962), West Germany's Franz Beckenbauer (1966–1974) and Germany's Philipp Lahm (2006–2014) are the only players to be named to three Finals All-Star Teams. [98]

Miroslav Klose of Germany (2002–2014) is the all-time top scorer at the finals, with 16 goals. He broke Ronaldo of Brazil's record of 15 goals (1998–2006) during the 2014 semi-final match against Brazil. West Germany's Gerd Müller (1970–1974) is third, with 14 goals. [99] The fourth placed goalscorer, France's Just Fontaine, holds the record for the most goals scored in a single World Cup; all his 13 goals were scored in the 1958 tournament. [100]

In November 2007, FIFA announced that all members of World Cup-winning squads between 1930 and 1974 were to be retroactively awarded winners' medals. [48] This made Brazil's Pelé the only player to have won three World Cup winners' medals (1958, 1962, and 1970, although he did not play in the 1962 final due to injury), [101] with 20 other players who have won two winners' medals. Seven players have collected all three types of World Cup medals (winners', runner- ups', and third-place); five players were from West Germany's squad of 1966–1974 including Franz Beckenbauer, Jürgen Grabowski, Horst-Dieter Höttges, Sepp Maier and Wolfgang Overath (1966–1974), Italy's Franco Baresi (1982, 1990, 1994) and the most recent has been Miroslav Klose of Germany (2002–2014) with four consecutive medals. [102]

Brazil's Mário Zagallo, West Germany's Franz Beckenbauer and France's Didier Deschamps are the only people to date to win the World Cup as both player and head coach. Zagallo won in 1958 and 1962 as a player and in 1970 as head coach. [103] Beckenbauer won in 1974 as captain and in 1990 as head coach, [104] and Deschamps repeated the feat in 2018, after having won in 1998 as captain. [105] Italy's Vittorio Pozzo is the only head coach to ever win two World Cups (1934 and 1938). [106] All World Cup-winning head coaches were natives of the country they coached to victory. [107]

Among the national teams, Germany and Brazil have played the most World Cup matches (109), Germany appeared in the most finals (8), semi-finals (13), quarter-finals (16), while Brazil has appeared in the most World Cups (21), has the most wins (73) and has scored the most goals (229). [108] [109] The two teams have played each other twice in the World Cup, in the 2002 final and in the 2014 semi-final. [110]

Top goalscorers

Miroslav Klose scored a record 16 goals across four World Cups. FIFA WC-qualification 2014 - Austria vs. Germany 2012-09-11 - Miroslav Klose 01.JPG
Miroslav Klose scored a record 16 goals across four World Cups.
Players with more than 10 goals at World Cup tournaments
RankNationPlayerGoals scored
1 Flag of Germany.svg Miroslav Klose 16
2 Flag of Brazil.svg Ronaldo 15
3 Flag of Germany.svg Gerd Müller 14
4 Flag of France.svg Just Fontaine 13
5 Flag of Brazil.svg Pelé 12
6 Flag of Germany.svg Jürgen Klinsmann 11
Flag of Hungary.svg Sándor Kocsis 11

All-time table for champions

PositionName of TeamParticipationsPldWDLGFGAGDPtsAvg
Pts
Trophies
1Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 211097318182291051242372.175
2Flag of Germany.svg  Germany [111] 191096720222261251012212.034
3Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 188345211712877511561.884
4Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 178143152313793441441.782
5Flag of France.svg  France 156634131912077431151.742
6Flag of England.svg  England 15692921199164271081.591
7Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 15633015189972271051.671
8Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 1356241220877413841.502

See also

Notes and references

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  3. Stephen Dobson and John Goddard, The Economics of Football, page 407, quote "The World Cup is the most widely viewed sporting event in the world: the estimated cumulative television audience for the 2006 World Cup in Germany was 26.2 billion, an average of 409 million viewers per match.”
  4. Glenn M. Wong, The Comprehensive Guide to Careers in Sports, page 144, quote "The World Cup is the most-watched sporting event in the world. In 2006, more than 30 billion viewers in 214 countries watched the World Cup on television, and more than 3.3 million spectators attended the 64 matches of the tournament."
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