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World Cup Finals

The Fifa World Cup, also known as the World Cup, is an international football tournament contested by men’s national football teams. The World Cup happens every four years and has been doing so since its beginning in 1930 – except in 1942 and 1946 due to World War Two. The international tournament is held in host nations every four years, these nations have included: Brazil, Italy, France, Uruguay, Switzerland, Mexico and Germany both of which have hosted twice, Chile, England, Sweden, Japan and South Korea jointly hosting the tournament, Spain, the United States, Argentina, South Africa, Russia, and Qatar for the 2022 World Cup currently happening.

The World Cup is structured by a qualification stage that takes place the three years prior to the actual tournament to determine who qualifies for the competition – those that do qualify enter the tournament. The next stage is selection by a group formation, where thirty-two teams are put into eight groups, followed by the round of sixteen, the quarter final, the semi final, and then a final. The nation that is hosting the World Cup automatically qualifies for the competition.

The tournament itself is incredibly popular with billions of football fans worldwide tuning in to support their representative countries – in the last World Cup in 2018 around 3.572 billion people watched. The current World Cup champion is France, who won the title at the 2018 tournament held in Russia. The tournament’s final, the World Cup final, is one of the most popular matches carried out throughout the whole competition. According to FIFA, the 2018 tournament final saw an average live audience of 517 million viewers with 1.1 billion tuning into the match over the 90 minutes.

#CountryFIFA World Cup FinalsMost Popular SportWorld Cup Wins
1Germany8Soccer4
2Brazil7Soccer5
3Argentina6Soccer3
4Italy6Soccer4
5France4Soccer2
6Netherlands3Soccer
7Czech Republic2Soccer
8Hungary2Soccer
9Uruguay2Soccer2
10Croatia1Soccer
11Spain1Soccer1
12Sweden1Soccer
13United Kingdom1Soccer1

World Cup Finals

The World Cup final is an international event to remember with billions tuning in to catch a glimpse of sporting history being played. Throughout the years there have been 32 World Cup Finals, seeing 79 teams competing in finals, and only 8 teams who have ever won a trophy.

List of World Cup Finals by year:

  1. 1930 – Uruguay vs Argentina (4-2)
  2. 1934 – Italy vs Czechoslovakia (2-1)
  3. 1938 – Italy vs Hungary (4-2)
  4. 1950 – Uruguay vs Brazil (2-1)
  5. 1954 – West Germany vs Hungary (3-2)
  6. 1958 – Brazil vs Sweden (5-2)
  7. 1962 – Brazil vs Czechoslovakia (3-1)
  8. 1966 – England vs West Germany (4-2)
  9. 1970 – Brazil vs Italy (4-1)
  10. 1974 – West Germany vs the Netherlands (2-1)
  11. 1978 – Argentina vs the Netherlands (3-1)
  12. 1982 – Italy vs West Germany (3-1)
  13. 1986 – Argentina vs West Germany (3-2)
  14. 1990 – West Germany vs Argentina (1-0)
  15. 1994 – Brazil vs Italy (3-2 penalties)
  16. 1998 – France vs Brazil (3-0)
  17. 2002 – Brazil vs Germany (2-0)
  18. 2006 – Italy vs France (5-3 penalties)
  19. 2010 – Spain vs the Netherland (1-0)
  20. 2014 – Germany vs Argentina (1-0)
  21. 2018 – France vs Croatia (4-2)

History of World Cup Winners

Looking at the World Cup history and comparing those who entered the final and those who won the championship, patterns become apparent. Brazil has the most World Cup wins, holding five world titles, which they won in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, and 2002. Brazil is not alone in winning more than one title as other nations also hold more than one World Cup title between them, these include: Italy and Germany who both have won four titles, France, the current champions, Uruguay and Argentina, who all have two titles each. While England and Spain have won one title each.

List of the 8 World Cup Winners:

  1. Brazil has won the most titles, taking home the trophy five times: 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, and 2002
  2. Italy has won four titles: 1934, 1938, 1982, and 2006
  3. Germany has also won four titles: 1954, 1974, 1990, and 2014 
  4. France has won twice: 1998 and 2018 
  5. Uruguay has won the world title two times: 1930 and 1950
  6. Argentina has also won twice: 1978 and 1986
  7. England has only won once in 1966
  8. Spain has also only won one world title in 2010

FIFA World Cup Finals by Country

Argentina

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6

Ranked in the World

#3

Ranked in the World

#4

Argentina's soccer team has been to the FIFA World Cup finals six times, with their first appearance in 1930. They went on to compete in the final again in 1978, 1986, 1990, 2014, and 2022. In 1978 they played against The Netherlands, and after an intense match, Argentina came away with a 3-1 victory. This was their first World Cup final win and it was celebrated across the country to commemorate their first triumph. Eight years later they competed against West Germany in the 1986 FIFA World Cup final but failed to win the match after a thrilling penalty shoot-out ended 3-2 in favor of West Germany. Argentina also participated in the 1990 World Cup where they were up against West Germany once again - but lost 1-0. In 2014 Argentina faced Germany for the third time in the finals; however, their efforts were not enough as Germany won 1-0 through a Mario Gotze goal late into extra time. Argentina was again in the World Cup final in 2022 against France and won.

Brazil

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7

Ranked in the World

#2

Ranked in the World

#1

With seven World Cup finals and five titles to its name, Brazil has an impressive competitive record in the FIFA World Cup finals. The team went to their first final in 1950 and faced Uruguay at Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Unfortunately, they lost the match 2-1, with the goal from Uruguayan striker Alcides Ghiggia being remembered as one of the most memorable moments in football history. Since then, Brazil has gone on to win other five world cup titles (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, and 2002). Brazil is also only the second nation to have participated in every single edition of the FIFA World Cup since its inception in 1930. This shows their outstanding dedication and commitment on a world stage towards football.

Croatia

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1

Ranked in the World

#10

In 2018, Croatia’s national soccer team made their first-ever appearance in the FIFA World Cup finals after a run against some of the toughest opponents. The team reached the finals for the very first time in their nation's history and faced off against France at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on July 15th, 2018. Croatia was unable to take home the title of world champions but still managed to earn the admiration of soccer enthusiasts around the world with their stellar performance. Despite being one of the smaller countries to compete in the tournament, they gave a strong showing and managed to beat out teams such as Argentina, Russia, and England - all of whom had been favored to win - making it all the way to face France in the finals. Ultimately, this highly successful tournament marked a milestone for Croatian soccer fans and was an incredible achievement for Croatian players who put forth all their efforts into reaching this feat.

Czech Republic

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2

Ranked in the World

#7

The Czech Republic's soccer team has been to the FIFA World Cup finals twice, in 1934 and 1962. The country made an impressive run in 1934, advancing all the way to the semifinals where they were ultimately defeated by Italy 2-1 after extra time. In 1962, the Czech Republic advanced to its second-ever World Cup final, facing Brazil in Santiago de Chile. Despite a valiant effort from the Czechs to battle back from a 3-1 deficit with just minutes remaining, they ultimately fell 3-1 and were unable to capture their first world title. As of 2022, the Czech Republic is yet to lift the iconic trophy but they remain one of Europe's most competitive teams on the international stage. The country has had some notable successes over its World Cup history, such as finishing in third place at Euro 1996 and reaching the quarterfinals of Euro 2004 and Euro 2016.

France

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4

Ranked in the World

#5

Ranked in the World

#5

France's national soccer team has made it to the FIFA World Cup finals four times in its history. In 1998, Les Bleus defeated Brazil 3-0 in Paris to become the first-ever country to win a World Cup on home soil and their first major international trophy since 1984. In 2006, the team reached the finals again, this time against Italy at Berlin's Olympic Stadium, but were unable to come away with the title after a dramatic penalty shootout resulted in a 5-3 Italian victory. Finally, in 2018 France returned to the World Cup finals for the third time. This time they faced off against Croatia at Moscow's Luzhinki Stadium and won 4-2 after a hard-fought battle that had viewers on the edge of their seats until the very last minute. This was France's second world cup victory and further established Les Bleus as one of the preeminent teams in international soccer. France’s soccer team made it to the finals once again in 2022 but lost after a penalty shootout against Argentina.

Germany

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8

Ranked in the World

#1

Ranked in the World

#2

Germany has had a long and successful history in the FIFA World Cup, playing eight World Cup finals. The first time Germany had gone to the finals is 1954 when they faced Hungary and ended up winning 3-2. The next time, in 1966, was against England and Germany lost 4-2. Germany took home another victory in 1974 over the Netherlands. Following this triumph, they proceeded to reach two more finals in 1982, 1986, 1990, 2002, and 2014. In 2014, Germany's national soccer team played in their eighth FIFA World Cup Final against Argentina and emerged victorious after Mario Gotze scored the winning goal in extra time. Throughout these tournaments, Germany has not only demonstrated exceptional skill on the field but also held a reputation for being one of the most well-organized teams of all time.

Hungary

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2

Ranked in the World

#8

The Hungarian football team has been a contender in the FIFA World Cup finals a total of two times. The first time was in 1938 during which Hungary played against Italy in the finals and lost with a score of 4-2. The second time Hungary qualified for the FIFA World Cup finals was in 1954 when they faced off against Germany and lost 3-2. Despite not winning any titles, Hungary's team has gone down in history as one of Europe's greatest teams due to their immense success in international competitions before and after these tournaments.

Italy

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6

Ranked in the World

#4

Ranked in the World

#3

Italy's first appearance in the FIFA World Cup finals was in 1934 when they faced Czechoslovakia and were victorious by a score of 2-1. They went on to become one of the most successful nations in World Cup history with four titles, winning their second title in 1938 against Hungary (4-2) before claiming two titles in 1982 and 2006 versus West Germany (3–1) and France (5-3 at penalty shootout), respectively. Throughout the years, numerous Italian players have become stars on the world's stage such as Paolo Rossi, Dino Zoff, Roberto Baggio, Alessandro Del Piero, and Fabio Cannavaro; all helping Italy write its impressive history throughout the World Cup era.

Netherlands

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3

Ranked in the World

#6

The Netherlands have appeared in the FIFA World Cup Finals three times, most recently in 2010 when they faced Spain. The team had previously gone in 1974 and 1978 but was unable to take home a title either time. In 1974, the Dutch battled Germany for the championship, but ultimately lost 2-1. Four years later, they played Argentina for the World Cup title and once again fell short, losing 3-1. In 2010, after defeating Uruguay 3-2 in the semi-finals, the Netherlands squared off against Spain in Johannesburg's Soccer City stadium. Despite dominating possession and shots on target throughout regulation and extra time, they were unable to scrape together a goal before falling to Spain 1-0. As of 2022, the Netherlands has yet to win a FIFA World Cup trophy.

Spain

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1

Ranked in the World

#11

Ranked in the World

#7

In 2010, Spain's national soccer team made it to the FIFA World Cup finals for the first time ever. They played against the Netherlands in a hard-fought battle, but eventually, their technical skill and strategic discipline secured them a 1-0 victory. This win marked a historic moment for Spain, as they became the first country from Europe to ever win the cup outside of their continent. The goal was scored by Andres Iniesta in extra time, capping off an impressive display of tight defending and patient possession football by La Furia Roja.

Sweden

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1

Ranked in the World

#12

The Sweden national soccer team participated in a total of one FIFA World Cup final, in 1958. Sweden played against Brazil at Solna's Råsunda Stadium but ultimately lost 5-2. After this, Sweden never reached the World Cup finals once again. Yet in 2018, Sweden went up against England in the quarter-finals, where they put up a valiant fight despite ultimately losing 2-0. Prior to that, Sweden reached the round of 16 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, where they were eliminated after a closely contested match with Portugal that ended 1-0. Going further back still, Sweden was successful in making it to the semi-finals of the 1994 FIFA World Cup. There they met Brazil and played an incredibly hard-fought match but eventually lost 1-1 on penalties.

United Kingdom

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1

Ranked in the World

#13

Ranked in the World

#8

England's soccer team has been to the FIFA World Cup Finals once in 1966. That year, England faced off against West Germany at Wembley Stadium in London and emerged victorious with a 4-2 victory after extra time. This marked the first and only time that England won the tournament, and also happened to be the first ever FIFA World Cup final to be broadcasted live on television across the globe. The win is still remembered fondly by many avid English football fans as "The Wembley Goal" since it was Geoff Hurst's hat trick that secured England's victory over West Germany. Additionally, this match was special for being regarded as one of the most thrilling finals ever played, with both teams trading goals throughout the match until England ultimately secured the win with their fourth goal in extra time.

Uruguay

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2

Ranked in the World

#9

Ranked in the World

#6

Uruguay's soccer team has been a consistent contender in FIFA World Cup competitions since 1930. Uruguay first made the finals of the FIFA World Cup in 1930, when the nation won the tournament hosted on their home soil. This feat was repeated twenty years later when they traveled to Brazil and beat the host country 2-1 in a thrilling final match. Since then, Uruguay has continually competed at a high level in international football competitions.