World Cup Winners List | Football World Cup Champions – 1930-2022
The World Cup winners list reads like a who’s who of the biggest nations in international football.
Heading into the 2022 World Cup, Brazil lead the way with five titles with Germany and Italy one behind on four.
Argentina (2), France (2), Uruguay (2), England (1) and Spain (1) are the only other teams to lift football’s most prestigious trophy.
Only four times in the last 14 World Cups has the winner been a first-time winner – England (1966), Argentina (1978), France (1998) and Spain (2010).
On that basis, if you are looking for potential finalists when you watch the World Cup live in Qatar, you would be well advised to stick to the big guns.
Despite this monopoly, the excitement generated globally by the World Cup cannot be underestimated.
Every tournament generates its fair share of thrilling matches, controversies, penalty shoot-outs, shock results and noteworthy performances.
Here is the latest World Cup winners list, a short history of different World Cup eras and a look at what to expect when the next edition is staged in 2022.
World Cup Winners List
|2018 Russia||France||France 4-2 Croatia|
|2014 Brazil||Germany||Germany 1-0 Argentina|
|2010 South Africa||Spain||Spain 1-0 Netherlands|
|2006 Germany||Italy||1-1, Italy beat France 5-3 on penalties|
|2002 Japan/S Korea||Brazil||Brazil 2-0 Germany|
|1998 France||France||France 3-0 Brazil|
|1994 USA||Brazil||0-0, Brazil beat Italy 3-2 on penalties|
|1990 Italy||Germany||Germany 1-0 Argentina|
|1986 Mexico||Argentina||Argentina 3-2 Germany|
|1982 Spain||Italy||Italy 3-1 Germany|
|1978 Argentina||Argentina||Argentina 3-1 Holland|
|1974 Germany||Germany||Germany 2-1 Holland|
|1970 Mexico||Brazil||Brazil 4-1 Italy|
|1966 England||England||England 4-2 Germany|
|1962 Chile||Brazil||Brazil 3-1 Czechoslovakia|
|1958 Sweden||Brazil||Brazil 5-2 Sweden|
|1954 Switzerland||Germany||Germany 3-2 Hungary|
|1950 Brazil||Uruguay||Uruguay 2-1 Brazil|
|1938 France||Italy||Italy 4-2 Hungary|
|1934 Italy||Italy||Italy 2-1 Czechoslovakia|
|1930 Uruguay||Uruguay||Uruguay 4-2 Argentina|
Most World Cup Titles – By Country
World Cup History – 1930 to 1938
The inaugural World Cup in 1930 was held in Uruguay, and the hosts took the title with a 4-2 triumph over Argentina.
The host country claimed the World Cup again four years later, with Italy winning the first of their four titles with an extra-time victory over Czechoslovakia.
Uruguay refused to take part in that tournament, making them the only champions to date who did not attempt to defend the trophy.
Italy retained the title by beating Hungary in 1938, before the Second World War put the tournament on the back-burner for 12 years.
World Cup History – 1950 to 1966
The World Cup returned in Brazil in 1950, and Uruguay pipped the hosts to the trophy in the only tournament that did not have a final.
West Germany won the next edition in 1954, before a Pele inspired Brazil led the Samba Kings to their first title four years later.
Pele’s absence failed to stop Brazil winning the World Cup again in 1962, but he was unable to help them out of the group stage in 1966.
England’s success at that tournament saw them become the first host country to win the World Cup title since Italy in 1934.
World Cup History – 1970 to 1990
Pele played in his fourth and final World Cup in 1970 and led Brazil to a third title in 12 years.
West Germany (1974 & 1990) and Argentina (1978 & 1986) won four of the next five tournaments, with Italy;s thrilling success in 1982 sandwiched in between.
The Netherlands become the first team to lose two finals in a row (1974 & 1978) despite having some of the most talented players in the world at their disposal.
West Germany matched the Dutch team by finishing as runners-up in 1982 and 1986 by West Germany, but set the record straight by claiming the trophy in 1990.
World Cup History – 1994 to 2006
Brazil ended their 24-year wait to win the World Cup by edging out Italy in a penalty shoot-out in 1994.
They were beaten by France in the final four years later, but bounced back to secure their fifth title by beating Germany in 2002.
The 2006 edition saw Fabio Grosso cement his status as a World Cup hero with his exploits for Italy during the latter stages of the tournament.
He scored a semi-final winner against hosts Germany before bagging the decisive penalty in the final against France to deliver Italy’s first World Cup title since 1982.
World Cup History – 2010 to 2022
Spain’s golden generation demonstrated their quality by winning the 2010 World Cup, before Germany (2014) and France (2018) took the next two editions.
The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be hugely competitive, with several teams holding a genuine chance of lifting the trophy.
France will fancy their chances of retaining the trophy, although no team has acheived the feat since Brazil in 1962.
Brazil, Spain and England are amongst the favourites to win in 2022, but Germany could be the value bet after impressing during the qualification stage.
You can see our World Cup qualifiers page for details on the teams that have made it, and teams still vying for a spot in Qatar.
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