FIFA World Cup History Explained

The world’s most popular and widely viewed sport is without a doubt football. The biggest sporting event in history is the FIFA World Cup. Men compete in this quadrennial competition to crown the world champion in their sport. Uruguay won the inaugural competition, which was held in 1930 by the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). The women’s World Cup is a sporting competition that is held specifically for women’s national teams. Every time, billions of people watch tournaments.

Except for World War II, the FIFA World Cup has been staged every four years since 1930. There are numerous tournament divisions in the competition before the 32-team finals. The World Cup has no age restrictions or amateurism requirements, in contrast to other competitive games. The FIFA World Cup has unparalleled significance on a global scale.

© Rahul Venkat

Before the world cup was created, the football competition was held in conjunction with the summer Olympics. At that time, it received the highest respect. This game was becoming more professional in the 1920s. But because it was so in opposition to the Olympic ethos, this was inappropriate for inclusion in the Games. To give National Football Teams an international stage to compete on and establish themselves as world champions, FIFA, the governing body of football, decided to introduce the FIFA World Cup. On May 26, 1928, the decision to hold a FIFA World Cup was initially made.

Although the top national teams were chosen and represented at the Summer Olympics prior to 1930, the World Cup already existed at the time of the Summer Olympics. Before 1930, the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy was used to arrange an unofficial World Cup. These events took place in 1909 and 1911.

What is a FIFA World Cup?

The senior men’s national teams of the members of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the world’s governing organization of association football, compete in the Football World Cup, commonly referred to as the World Cup. Since the first competition in 1930, the championship has been given out every four years, except for 1942 and 1946, when it was postponed due to the Second World War. France, who won their second championship at the 2018 competition in Russia, are the current champions.

The qualification phase of the present structure determines which teams advance to the tournament phase, and it occurs over the previous three years. Thirty-two teams, including the host nation(s), which automatically qualify, compete for the championship over the course of around a month at sites within the host nation(s).

Twenty-one championship matches, with seventy-nine national teams, have been played as of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Eight national teams have claimed the prize as their own. Brazil is the only team to have competed in every event and has won five times. The other World Cup champions are England, Spain, Argentina, France, Germany, Italy, and the first-place finisher Uruguay, who each have two titles.

The World Cup is not only the most renowned association football competition ever, but it is also the most watched and followed sporting event ever. An estimated 715.1 million viewers, or a tenth of the world’s population, watched the World Cup final, bringing the total number of viewers for the tournament to an estimated 26.29 billion.

The World Cup has been hosted by seventeen nations. While Uruguay, Switzerland, Sweden, Chile, England, Argentina, Spain, the United States, Japan, and South Korea (jointly), South Africa, and Russia have each hosted once, Brazil, France, Italy, Germany, and Mexico have each hosted twice. The 2022 World Cup will be held in Qatar, and the 2026 World Cup will be co-hosted by Canada, the United States, and Mexico, making Mexico the first nation to host matches in three World Cups.

Highest attendances
1930 Uruguay3/1590,5491832,80893,000
1934 Italy8/8363,0001721,35355,000
1938 France10/9375,7001820,87258,455
1950 Brazil6/61,045,2462247,511173,850
1954  Switzerland6/6768,6072629,56263,000
1958 Sweden12/12819,8103523,42350,928
1962 Chile4/4893,1723227,91268,679
1966 England8/71,563,1353248,84898,270
1970 Mexico5/51,603,9753250,124108,192
1974 West Germany9/91,865,7533849,09983,168
1978 Argentina6/51,545,7913840,67971,712
1982 Spain17/142,109,7235240,57295,500
1986 Mexico12/112,394,0315246,039114,600
1990 Italy12/122,516,2155248,38974,765
1994 United States9/93,587,5385268,99194,194
1998 France10/102,785,1006443,51780,000
2002 South Korea
2006 Germany12/123,359,4396452,49172,000
2010 South Africa10/93,178,8566449,67084,490
2014 Brazil12/123,429,8736453,59274,738
2018 Russia12/113,031,7686447,37178,011
FIFA World Cup History

How was international football before 1930?

Although it was still uncommon for the sport to be played outside of Great Britain at the time, Scotland and England competed in the first-ever official international football match in Glasgow in 1872.

At the end of the 19th century, matches between top English and Scottish clubs were regarded as the “football world championship,” such as Sunderland A.F.C.’s victory over Heart of Midlothian F.C. in 1895.

Football had become more popular worldwide by the turn of the 20th century, and national football associations were beginning to form. Uruguay and Argentina squared off in the first official international game played outside of the British Isles at Montevideo in July 1902. On May 22, 1904, football associations from France, Belgium (the two teams before it had played their first national match against one another earlier in the month), Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland, with Germany pledging to join, formed the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) in Paris.

Football was played as an Olympic sport at the 1900 and 1904 Summer Olympics, as well as the 1906 Intercalated Games, as its popularity began to soar. Football then transitioned to an official FIFA-supervised Olympic tournament with the 1908 Summer Olympics. The event, which was put on by the English Football Association and was only open to amateur players, was viewed with suspicion as a performance rather than a match. Both in 1908 and 1912, the event was won by the England national amateur football team.

In 1906, FIFA tried to host an international football competition between nations outside of the Olympic framework, and this event was held in Switzerland. The competition was deemed a failure in FIFA’s official history, which was written during the exceedingly early years of international football.

Competitions involving professional teams also began to arise as the Olympic event was still only played out amongst amateur teams. One of the first was the Torneo Internazionale Stampa Sportiva, which took place in Turin in 1908. The following year, Sir Thomas Lipton organized the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy, which also took place in Turin. Individual clubs, not national teams, competed in both events; each club represented a single country. The Thomas Lipton Trophy is sometimes referred to be The First World Cup, to the detriment of its less well-known Italian predecessor, even though neither was really a direct precursor to the World Cup.

FIFA World Cup History

FIFA agreed to accept the Olympic competition as a “global football championship for amateurs” in 1914, and they took charge of organizing the competition. This paved the stage for the first intercontinental football match, which Belgium won in the 1920 Summer Olympics. The competitions were won by Uruguay in 1924 and 1928.

1954West GermanyHungary
1966EnglandWest Germany
1974West GermanyThe Netherlands
1978ArgentinaThe Netherlands
1982ItalyWest Germany
1986ArgentinaWest Germany
1990West GermanyArgentina
2010SpainThe Netherlands
FIFA World Cups’ Winners

FIFA World Cup in 1930

FIFA decided to host its own international competition in 1930. Football was not intended to be a part of the Los Angeles 1932 Summer Olympics program because it was not a popular sport in the country. Football was eliminated from the Games because of disagreements between FIFA and the IOC regarding amateur players’ status. Jules Rimet, the president of FIFA, began the process of planning the first World Cup. Uruguay was chosen as the host nation by FIFA since they are now two-time reigning world champions and will be celebrating their 100th anniversary of independence in 1930.

The national associations of the chosen countries were invited to submit a team, but because Uruguay was the competition’s location, European teams had to travel a long way and at great expense across the Atlantic. No European nation committed to sending a team until two months before the competition began. In the end, Rimet convinced delegations from Belgium, France, Romania, Hungary, and Yugoslavia to travel. Thirteen countries participated in total, including seven from South America, four from Europe, and two from North America.

The United States and France won the first two World Cup games, which were played concurrently. They defeated Mexico 4-1 and Belgium 3-0, respectively. France’s Lucien Laurent scored the tournament’s opening goal. In the United States 3-0 victory over Paraguay four days later, Bert Patenaude scored the first hat-trick in World Cup history. In the championship game, Uruguay defeated Argentina 4-2 in front of 93,000 spectators in Montevideo to win the World Cup for the first time.

FIFA World Cup in 1934

The first World Cup to feature a qualification stage was the 1934 edition, which Italy hosted. Sixteen teams qualified for the competition, and that figure would stand until the 1982 finals tournament’s expansion. The 1930 champions Uruguay skipped the 1934 World Cup because they were still miffed about how few Europeans showed up for their World Cup in 1930. Argentina and Brazil were able to get to the championships in Italy without having to play any qualification games because Bolivia and Paraguay were also absent. The first African team to compete, Egypt, was defeated by Hungary in the opening round. Italy was the first team from Europe to win the competition.

FIFA World Cup in 1938

To the dismay of many South Americans, the 1938 World Cup competition was also staged in Europe (in France), with Uruguay and Argentina abstaining. The holders of the titles and the host nation received automatic qualification for the first time. Austria had technically advanced to the final round following a play-off match against Latvia, but due to the Anschluss with Germany in April 1938, the Austrian national team withdrew, with some Austrian players being added to the German roster (which was eliminated in the first round). England was given the chance to take Austria’s position, but they declined. There were now fifteen countries competing in the finals.

The competition was held in France, but for the first time, the hosts were unable in retaining their title as Italy defeated Hungary in the championship match. In Poland’s 6-5 loss to Brazil, Polish striker Ernest Willimowski became the first player to score four goals in a World Cup match. His record was eventually tied by several players, but it was not surpassed until 56 years later, at the 1994 World Cup.

FIFA World Cup in 1942

In 1942, the FIFA World Cup was slated to occur. On August 13, 1936, in Berlin, during the 23rd FIFA Congress, Germany submitted an official application to host the 1942 FIFA World Cup. Brazil also submitted a bid to host the competition in June 1939. Before a host nation was chosen, further preparations to cancel the 1942 World Cup were sparked by the outbreak of hostilities in Europe in September 1939. The FIFA competition did not happen.

Also Read: FIFA World Cup Schedule 2022

FIFA struggled to stay viable during World War II and lacked the financial or human resources necessary to organize a tournament for peacetime play once hostilities ended. When the war ended in 1945, it became obvious that FIFA had no chance of organizing and arranging a World Cup in 1946 in just one year. FIFA really held its first meeting on July 1, 1946, which was close to the time the 1946 World Cup would have normally been held. At that conference, it was decided that no country would host the 1949 World Cup. The 1946 South American Championship, a significant international competition, saw Argentina defeat Brazil 2-0 on February 10.

FIFA World Cup in 1950

The 1950 World Cup in Brazil saw the return of competition and featured the first British competitors. British teams withdrew from FIFA in 1920, in part because they did not want to play against nations they had been at war with and in part as a form of protest against foreign influence on football, but they returned after FIFA extended an invitation in 1946. However, England’s participation was not to be fruitful. In a campaign that included a shocking 1-0 loss to the Americans, the English were unable to advance past the group round.

The 1930 World Cup champions Uruguay, who skipped the previous two World Cups, also participated in the competition. Eastern European nations (including Hungary, the Soviet Union, and Czechoslovakia) were excluded for political reasons. Italy, the current champion, participated despite the Superga aviation tragedy of 1949, which resulted in the death of every member of the Grande Torino team—many of them were members of the national team. The 1950 World Cup was the only one to replace knockout rounds with two group phases and omit the championship match. However, given that the group standings determined that the victors would also be the overall champions, the final game of the second group round is occasionally referred to as a “final.” With a final score of 2-1, Uruguay surprised everyone by defeating the hosts’ Brazil.

FIFA World Cup in 1954

The first World Cup to be televised was in Switzerland in 1954. Due to the Soviet Union’s poor showing at the 1952 Summer Olympics, they decided not to compete. Scotland made its tournament debut but failed to pick up a victory, exiting after the group round. Several scoring records were established during this tournament, including the highest average goals per game, the highest-scoring team (Hungary), and the most goals in a single game (Austria’s 7-5 quarterfinal triumph over Switzerland). West Germany won the competition after defeating Olympic champions Hungary 3-2 in the championship game. Helmut Rahn scored the game-winning goal as West Germany overcame a 2-0 deficit. In Germany, the game is referred to as the Miracle of Bern.

FIFA World Cup in 1958

Brazil became the first team to win a World Cup outside of their own continent when they won the 1958 World Cup, which was hosted in Sweden (only four teams have done this to date – Brazil in 1958, 1970, 1994 and 2002, Argentina in 1986, Spain in 2010 and Germany in 2014). This time, the Soviet Union took part, because of their victory in Melbourne in 1956. All four British teams qualified for the championship game for the first time (and so far, only time). In the Africa/Asia zone, Wales was able to take advantage of a circumstance where Israel would qualify despite not having played a single qualifying match due to the number of withdrawals.

Israel was required to play one of the teams placing second in the other groups after FIFA decided that qualifying without playing was not permitted (despite permitting this to happen in past Cup seasons). Wales defeated Israel 2-0 twice in 1958, resulting in a stalemate. The nation played in the World Cup final round after being eliminated in the regular qualifiers for the first (and so far, only) time. Pelé, who scored twice in the championship game, also made his debut at the tournament. Just Fontaine, a French striker, finished the competition with the most goals.

FIFA World Cup in 1962

The 1962 World Cup was held in Chile. The strongest known earthquake, with a 9.5 magnitude, occurred two years prior to the competition, forcing officials to reconstruct owing to extensive infrastructure damage. Due to Pelé’s injury in Brazil’s second group match against Czechoslovakia, two of the top players were out of the competition at the start. In addition, the Soviet Union saw goalie Lev Yashin perform poorly, losing to Chile 2-1 and the hosts taking third place.

Additionally, the competition was ruined by aggressive and even violent strategies. This toxic environment culminated in the Battle of Santiago, a first-round match between Chile and Italy that Chile won 2-0. Two Italian journalists published unfavorable pieces against the host nation before the match. Players on both teams made premeditated attempts to hurt their opponents during the game, but English referee Ken Aston only dismissed two Italian players. The Italian team needs police protection to safely exit the field.

At the conclusion of the match, Brazil defeated Czechoslovakia 3-1 to win the Jules Rimet trophy for the second consecutive World Cup victory. Garrincha and Amarildo led the team in place of Pelé. Marcos Coll of Colombia made World Cup history when he beat legendary Soviet goalie Lev Yashin to score directly from a corner kick (known as an Olympic Goal in Latin America).

FIFA World Cup in 1966

The first World Cup to embrace marketing was the 1966 edition, which England hosted. It had an official mascot and emblem for the first time. The trophy was taken just before the competition, but Pickles, a dog, found it a week later. Due to its violations of the anti-discrimination charter, South Africa was expelled (apartheid). The South Africa Football Association was eventually approved by FIFA in 1992, after which the suspension was officially lifted. African nations withdrew from the competition during the qualifying rounds in protest at FIFA’s decision to only give Asia, Oceania, and Africa one qualifying spot, which caused a stir.

North Korea, who qualified from the zone, became the first Asian team to advance to the quarterfinals by defeating Italy in the process. Although Joo Havelange, the former FIFA president from 1974 to 1998, alleged that the 1966 and 1974 World Cups were arranged so that England and Germany, respectively, would win, England nonetheless won the competition. Eusébio, whose country Portugal was competing in their first World Cup, was the tournament’s leading scorer with nine goals, while Geoff Hurst became the first and remains the only player to score a hat trick in a World Cup Final.

FIFA World Cup in 1970

The 1970 World Cup‘s qualifying rounds took place concurrently with the football conflict between El Salvador and Honduras. Mexico hosted the championships. Israel had previously played for Europe, but it was become more difficult to properly put them in the preliminary rounds due to political difficulties. They belonged to the Asia/Oceania region. Then, even though doing so would automatically disqualify them, Korea DPR declined to meet with them. The match between the defending champions England and Brazil in the group stage lived up to the hype, and England goalkeeper Gordon Banks’ stop from a Pelé header on the six-yard line is still remembered.

The semi-final game between West Germany and Italy, in which five goals were scored in extra time and Franz Beckenbauer played despite having a broken arm since Germany had used all their permitted substitutions, is another encounter from the tournament that stands out. Italy eventually won the match 4-3, but Brazil defeated them 1-4 in the championship match to become the first country to win three World Cups. Brazil was also given the Jules Rimet trophy permanently in recognition of their accomplishment.

FIFA World Cup in 1974

For the West German-hosted 1974 competition, a new trophy was made. The Soviet Union and Chile drew their first UEFA/CONMEBOL Intercontinental play-off match during the qualifiers, but due to the Soviet Union’s political refusal to travel to Chile’s capital for the second match, Chile was given the victory. First-time finalist countries were East Germany, Australia, Haiti, and Zaire. The tournament also included a new format in which the top two teams from each of the first four groups were split into two new groups of four teams each, with the group winners competing against one another in the championship game.

The Netherlands defeated the West German hosts 2-1 in the championship match, but it was the Dutch’s ground-breaking Total Football system that really attracted the attention of the footballing world. After defeating Brazil 1-0 (as well as Argentina 3-2 and Italy 2-1 in the opening round of group play), extremely well-playing Poland took third place. In the semi-finals against West Germany, they narrowly lost 1-0 in the torrential rain.

FIFA World Cup in 1978

Argentina hosted the 1978 World Cup, which generated controversy because the nation had had a military coup two years prior. Thirty years later, Dutch great Johan Cruyff denied claims that he declined to play due to his political beliefs, and none of the teams chose to boycott.

Qualification for this World Cup was the most difficult ever. In Argentina, there were seven teams contending for each spot among ninety-five countries bidding for fourteen spots. England and Italy, the only other previous champions competing in European qualifying, were placed in the same group, causing England to be eliminated on goal differential. Hungary, who won their European group, had to defeat Bolivia in a play-off to qualify.

Participating for the first time were Iran and Tunisia. Tunisia became the first African team to ever win a World Cup game when they defeated Mexico 3-1 in their opening encounter. On-field controversies also existed. Argentina had the upper hand in their encounter against Peru during the second round because it began many hours after Brazil’s contest with Poland. Argentina knew they needed to defeat Peru by four goals to get to the championship game after Brazil defeated their opponent 3-1.

After falling behind 2-0 at the break, Peru just lost its composure, and Argentina went on to win 6-0. There were rumors that Peru may have been paid off to concede the victory to Argentina by such a wide margin. The Dutch finished as runners-up for the second consecutive match as Argentina went on to win the final 3-1.

FIFA World Cup in 1982

The 1982 World Cup in Spain was enlarged to include twenty-four teams, the first expansion since 1934. The groups were split into six four-team groups, with the top two teams from each group moving on to the second round, where they were split into four groups of three. Each group’s victor proceeded to the semifinals. The newcomers included Kuwait, Cameroon, Algeria, Honduras, New Zealand, and Cameroon. A ridiculous occurrence took place during Kuwait and France’s group-stage match. The Kuwaiti squad halted playing when they heard a whistle from the stands that they mistook for a referee’s call as the French were up 3-1 and French defender Maxime Bossis had scored.

The president of the Kuwait Football Association, Sheikh Fahid Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, stormed onto the field as the Kuwaiti squad was appealing the goal and gave the referee a piece of his mind before the goal was overturned. A few minutes later, Bossis added another legitimate goal, and France prevailed 4-1.

A side has only ever scored ten goals in a World Cup game once when Hungary defeated El Salvador 10-1 during the group stages. After the group encounter between West Germany and Austria, where both teams were clearly trying to maintain the qualification-guaranteed 1-0 score over the course of 80 minutes, new World Cup rules were implemented. When Patrick Battiston was knocked out by German goalkeeper Harald Schumacher’s charge with the score tied at 1-1 in the semi-final match between West Germany and France, there was yet another uproar.

Germany came back from being 1-3 down to win on penalties after Schumacher avoided receiving a red card. Italy won the World Cup, and Italian captain Dino Zoff became the oldest player to do it. The tournament’s leading scorer, Italian striker Paolo Rossi, who was making his comeback following a match-fixing scandal and the consequent suspension, had six goals, including a memorable hat-trick against Brazil.

FIFA World Cup in 1986

The 1986 World Cup was hosted by Mexico, who made history by becoming the first country to host two World Cups after Colombia withdrew as the tournament’s host nation. The second round was replaced by a pre-quarterfinal, knockout competition, for which sixteen teams would qualify, marking another change in the format. To assure total fairness, it was also determined that the first kickoff of the final two games in each group would occur simultaneously. Iraq, Canada, and Denmark advanced to their first finals. When he was dismissed from the game against Scotland after just 56 seconds, Uruguay’s José Batista set a World Cup record.

Diego Maradona, later named player of the tournament, scored two memorable goals in Argentina’s quarterfinal match against England, the first of which was a contentious handball goal, and the second of which is known as the Goal of the Century because he dribbled past five English players while traveling halfway across the field. Diego Maradona helped Argentina defeat West Germany 3-2 in the championship match by setting up Jorge Burruchaga for the game-winning goal.

FIFA World Cup in 1990

Italy hosted the Football World Cup in 1990. After defeating Argentina in the tournament’s opening match, Cameroon, playing in their second World Cup, advanced to the quarterfinals. The quarterfinals had never been reached by an African nation. Mexico was given a two-year suspension for age fraud at a youth championship, known as the Los Cachirules affair, and as a result was unable to participate in the preliminary competition for the 1990 World Cup. For the first time since 1950, the United States achieved the qualification. The South American qualifiers were tarnished by an unfortunate incident: during the game between Brazil and Chile, a firework fell close to the Chilean goalie Roberto Rojas. Rojas subsequently faked an injury by slicing his own face with a razor blade he had tucked away in his glove.

His squad declined to keep playing in the game (as they were down a goal at the time). When the scheme was uncovered, Rojas received a 12-year suspension and Chile was disqualified from the 1994 World Cup. The same teams from 1986 competed in the championship. West Germany defeated Argentina 1-0 in the championship match to win their third tournament after placing second in the first two. Additionally making their tournament debut, the Republic of Ireland advanced to the quarterfinals without picking up a single victory (four draws, with a penalty shoot-out win over Romania in the second round). Without winning a game, this is the most a team has ever progressed in the World Cup.

FIFA World Cup in 1994

Brazil defeated Italy in the first FIFA World Cup final to be decided on penalties, which was played at the United States-hosted tournament in 1994. FR Due to UN sanctions related to the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Yugoslavia was barred. Colombia shockingly defeated Argentina 5-0 to earn qualification. After tying with Iraq in the final game of the qualification round, known to fans as the “Agony of Doha,” Japan nearly missed receiving a ticket to the World Cup. South Korea subsequently earned a spot in the competition.

Along with Saudi Arabia, Greece, and Nigeria, Russia participated in its first World Cup as a new nation, replacing the Soviet Union, which collapsed between the years 1990 and 1991. Argentina was defeated by Romania in the round of sixteen without Diego Maradona, who was suspended midway through the competition after testing positive for cocaine. Despite soccer’s relative lack of popularity in the host country, the tournament broke attendance records with 3,587,538 overall spectators and an average of 68,991 spectators per match; these records remained unbroken as of 2018 despite the competition’s expansion from 24 to 32 teams starting with the 1998 World Cup.

The tournament’s almost 3.6 million total spectators remain the highest in World Cup history. In Russia’s 6-1 group-stage victory over Cameroon, Oleg Salenko became the first player to score five goals in a single World Cup finals game. The only goal for Cameroon came from 42-year-old Roger Milla in the same game, making him the oldest player to ever score in a World Cup game. Together with Oleg Salenko (six goals), Hristo Stoichkov received the Golden Boot as the tournament’s leading goal scorer. He also won the Bronze Ball. Prior to Bulgaria’s 2-1 loss to Italy and elimination from the third-place play-off, he guided the team to an unexpected 2-1 victory over the defending champions Germany in the quarterfinals.

FIFA World Cup in 1998

The 1998 FIFA World Cup was held in France and included thirty-two teams in an enlarged format. The largest margin of victory in World Cup qualification history was to Iran over the Maldives (17-0). Laurent Blanc’s goal gave the hosts a 1-0 victory in the finals match between France and Paraguay, which featured the first golden goal in World Cup history. Due to Brazilian Ronaldo’s health concerns and inability to affect the contest, hosts France won the event by defeating Brazil 3-0 in the championship match. Newcomers Croatia placed a respectable third.

FIFA World Cup in 2002

South Korea and Japan jointly hosted the first Football World Cup to be staged in Asia in 2002. At 13 years, 310 days, Souleymane Mamam of Togo became the youngest player to ever step onto a World Cup preliminary game field in Lomé, in May 2001. In a preliminary game, Australia trounced American Samoa 31-0, setting a new mark for victory margin, and making it the game with the most points ever. South Korea, Senegal, and the United States all made it to the round of eight, making the event successful for groups of countries that are typically thought of as underdogs. Brazil won the championship for the fifth time by defeating Germany 2-0. Hakan Sukur of Turkey created history against South Korea by scoring the earliest World Cup goal ever in 11 seconds.

FIFA World Cup in 2006

Germany hosted the World Cup in 2006. The previous champion had to qualify for the first time; the host nation(s) still receive an automatic berth. Four African teams participated for the first time in the world cup finals: Togo, Ivory Coast, Angola, and Ghana. Ghana impressively advanced to the round of sixteen by defeating the third-ranked Czech Republic and the United States by scores of 2-1 and 2-0, respectively, before falling to the defending champions Brazil by scores of 0-3.

The holders and first seed England, who was seeded second, and Brazil were initially the favorites among English bookies. Germany advanced to the semifinals thanks to a good showing. The final game, between Italy and France, saw French captain Zinedine Zidane dismissed in the final ten seconds of extra time for headbutting Italian central defender Marco Materazzi in the chest. After 90 minutes and extra time, the score remained tied at 1. Italy went on to win 5-3 in a penalty shootout.

FIFA World Cup in 2010

In South Africa, the 2010 Football World Cup was staged. Spain won the inaugural tournament that was held on African soil. The competition was notable for its opening matches that featured a lot of defenses, the debates over goal-line technology, and the introduction of vuvuzelas. Spain won the cup despite only scoring eight goals in seven games and dropping their opening match against Switzerland, despite being one of the tournament favorites. David Villa scored five goals to lead the team in scoring. The ten-man Netherlands team was defeated 1-0 in the 116th minute of extra time by a goal from Andrés Iniesta in a championship game that featured a record number of yellow cards given out and what some viewed as harsh conduct from the Dutch side.

FIFA World Cup in 2014

Brazil hosted the Football World Cup for the second time in 2014 when it was staged there. Germany won the trophy after defeating Argentina 1-0 in the championship match. In the bronze medal match, the Netherlands won 3-0 over Brazil (who fell to the eventual champions, Germany, 7-1 in the quarterfinals).

Cooling breaks for the players were first implemented during these games due to Brazil’s often high ambient temperatures, especially in the northern venues. This World Cup saw the introduction of sensors to prevent phantom goals with Goal-line technology, which is used to verify whether the ball passed the goal line in questionable circumstances.

FIFA World Cup in 2018

In Russia, the 2018 World Cup took place. Eastern Europe hosted the first Cup ever. France won the trophy after defeating Croatia 4-2 in the championship match. England was defeated 2-0 by Belgium to claim the bronze medal. The visual assistant referee (VAR) system was also used for the first time during this cup.

FIFA World Cup in 2022

The first World Cup not to take place during the traditional summer months will be in Qatar in 2022. The dates are November 21, 2022, to December 18, 2022.

As can be seen below, this is a list of the most successful teams in the FIFA World Cup at all times.

Most successful teams at FIFA World Cups

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