FIFA World Cup

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The FIFA World Cup is the most watched sport of football (soccer). The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) puts together the World Cup every four years. More people watch the World Cup finals than any other sporting event in the world—even more people than the Olympic Games.[1] The most successful team has been Brazil.

The finals tournament is held every four years. On the other years there are only qualifiers (qualifying tournaments). These games help to decide which teams will move on. Over 160 national teams play in the beginning games. The best teams from the beginning games win a place in the finals. The finals now include 32 teams. Before 1998, only 24 teams were in the finals. Many years before each World Cup, FIFA picks the host nation, the country where the finals will be held. Being the host nation means that their team has qualified for the finals tournament automatically and does not need to play any qualifying games. The 32 teams in the finals then play for four weeks, usually between June and July, to decide the champion (tournament winner).

Germany Miroslav Klose is currently the all-time top scorer of the FIFA World Cup with 16 goals.

Past World Cup results[change | change source]

Year Host Winner Score Runners-up Third Place Score Fourth Place
1930
Details
Uruguay Uruguay
Uruguay
4 – 2
Argentina

United States
[note 1]
Yugoslavia
1934
Details
Italy Italy
Italy
2 – 1
(a.e.t.)

Czechoslovakia

Germany
3 – 2
Austria
1938
Details
France France
Italy
4 – 2
Hungary

Brazil
4 – 2
Sweden
1950
Details
Brazil Brazil
Uruguay
[note 2]
Brazil

Sweden
[note 2]
Spain
1954
Details
SwitzerlandSwitzerland
West Germany
3 – 2
Hungary

Austria
3 – 1
Uruguay
1958
Details
Sweden
Brazil
5 – 2
Sweden

France
6 – 3
West Germany
1962
Details
Chile Chile
Brazil
3 – 1
Czechoslovakia

Chile
1 – 0
Yugoslavia
1966
Details
England England
England
4 – 2
(a.e.t.)

West Germany

Portugal
2 – 1
USSR
1970
Details
Mexico Mexico
Brazil
4 – 1
Italy

West Germany
1 – 0
Uruguay
1974
Details
West Germany West Germany
West Germany
2 – 1
Netherlands

Poland
1 – 0
Brazil
1978
Details
Argentina Argentina
Argentina
3 – 1
(a.e.t.)

Netherlands

Brazil
2 – 1
Italy
1982
Details
Spain Spain
Italy
3 – 1
West Germany

Poland
3 – 2
France
1986
Details
Mexico Mexico[note 2]
Argentina
3 – 2
West Germany

France
4 – 2
(a.e.t.)

Belgium
1990
Details
Italy Italy
West Germany
1 – 0
Argentina

Italy
2 – 1
England
1994
Details
United States United States
Brazil
0 – 0
(a.e.t.)
(3 – 2 penalties)

Italy

Sweden
4 – 0
Bulgaria
1998
Details
France France
France
3 – 0
Brazil

Croatia
2 – 1
Netherlands
2002
Details
South Korea Korea Republic
& Japan Japan

Brazil
2 – 0
Germany

Turkey
3 – 2
Korea Republic
2006
Details
Germany Germany
Italy
1 – 1
(a.e.t.)
(5 – 3 penalties)

France

Germany
3 – 1
Portugal
2010
Details
South Africa South Africa
Spain
1 – 0
(a.e.t.)

Netherlands

Germany
3 – 2
Uruguay
2014
Details
Brazil Brazil
Germany
1 – 0
(a.e.t.)

Argentina

Netherlands
3 – 0
Brazil
2018
Details
Russia Russia ?? '
?? ?? ' ??
Notes
  1. There was no Third Place match in 1930, so FIFA decided that the United States finished third because they played better overall in the tournament than Yugoslavia.[2]
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 There was no official World Cup final match in 1950,[3] instead the winner was decided in a final group competition with four teams (Uruguay, Brazil, Sweden and Spain). Urugauy finished top of the league, so they were the champions. Brazil finished second, Sweden finished third and Spain finished fourth. Because Uruguay's last match was against Brazil, this match is often considered the final of the 1950 World Cup.[4]

Wins by team[change | change source]

Map of winning countries
Team Titles Runners-up
Brazil Brazil 5 (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002) 2 (1950, 1998)
Germany Germany 4 (1954, 1974, 1990, 2014) 4 (1966, 1982, 1986, 2002)
Italy Italy 4 (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006) 2 (1970, 1994)
Argentina Argentina 2 (1978, 1986) 3 (1930, 1990, 2014)
Uruguay Uruguay 2 (1930, 1950)
France France 1 (1998) 1 (2006)
England England 1 (1966)
Spain Spain 1 (2010)
Netherlands Netherlands 3 (1974, 1978, 2010)
Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakia 2 (1934, 1962)
Hungary Hungary 2 (1938, 1954)
Sweden Sweden 1 (1958)

References[change | change source]

  1. World’s most watched TV sports events: 2006
  2. 1930 FIFA World Cup, FIFA.com. Retrieved on 5 March 2009. Archived 17 January 2010 at WebCite
  3. 1950 FIFA World Cup, FIFA.com. Retrieved on 5 March 2009.
  4. FIFA World Cup Finals since 1930 (PDF), FIFA.com. Retrieved on 5 March 2009.