FIFA World Cup

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The FIFA World Cup, often simply the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA
FIFA
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association , commonly known by the acronym FIFA , is the international governing body of :association football, futsal and beach football. Its headquarters are located in Zurich, Switzerland, and its president is Sepp Blatter, who is in his fourth...

), the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930
1930 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 July to 30 July 1930...

, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War. The current champions are Spain
Spain national football team
The Spain national football team represents Spain in international association football and is controlled by the Royal Spanish Football Federation, the governing body for football in Spain. The current head coach is Vicente del Bosque...

, who won the 2010 tournament
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

.

The current format of the tournament involves 32 teams competing for the title at venues within the host nation(s) over a period of about a month – this phase is often called the World Cup Finals. A qualification phase
FIFA World Cup qualification
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 a global event, so qualification is required to reduce the large field of participants from about 200 to 32.Qualifying tournaments...

, which currently takes place over the preceding three years, is used to determine which teams qualify for the tournament together with the host nation(s).

The 19 World Cup tournaments have been won by eight different national teams. Brazil
Brazil national football team
The Brazil national football team represents Brazil in international men's football and is controlled by the Brazilian Football Confederation , the governing body for football in Brazil. They are a member of the International Federation of Association Football since 1923 and also a member of the...

 have won five times, and they are the only team to have played in every tournament. The other World Cup winners are Italy
Italy national football team
The Italy National Football Team , represents Italy in association football and is controlled by the Italian Football Federation , the governing body for football in Italy. Italy is the second most successful national team in the history of the World Cup having won four titles , just one fewer than...

, with four titles; Germany
Germany national football team
The Germany national football team is the football team that has represented Germany in international competition since 1908. It is governed by the German Football Association , which was founded in 1900....

, with three titles; Argentina
Argentina national football team
The Argentina national football team represents Argentina in association football and is controlled by the Argentine Football Association , the governing body for football in Argentina. Argentina's home stadium is Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti and their head coach is Alejandro...

 and inaugural winners Uruguay
Uruguay national football team
The Uruguayan national football team represents Uruguay in international association football and is controlled by the Uruguayan Football Association, the governing body for football in Uruguay. The current head coach is Óscar Tabárez...

, with two titles each; and England
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in association football and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first...

, France
France national football team
The France national football team represents the nation of France in international football. It is fielded by the French Football Federation , the governing body of football in France, and competes as a member of UEFA, which encompasses the countries of Europe...

, and Spain
Spain national football team
The Spain national football team represents Spain in international association football and is controlled by the Royal Spanish Football Federation, the governing body for football in Spain. The current head coach is Vicente del Bosque...

, with one title each.

The World Cup is the world's most widely viewed sporting event; an estimated 715.1 million people watched the final match
2006 FIFA World Cup Final
The 2006 FIFA World Cup Final was a football match that took place on 9 July 2006 at the Olympiastadion, Berlin to determine the winner of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Italy beat France on penalties after the match finished 1–1 after extra time...

 of the 2006 FIFA World Cup
2006 FIFA World Cup
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...

 held in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

.

The next three World Cups will be hosted by Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 in 2014
2014 FIFA World Cup
The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be the 20th FIFA World Cup, an international association football tournament that will take place in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July 2014....

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 in 2018
2018 FIFA World Cup
The bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups was the process by which the locations for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups were selected. The process began officially in March 2009; eleven bids from thirteen countries were received, including one which was withdrawn and one that was...

, and Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

 in 2022
2022 FIFA World Cup
The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be the 22nd FIFA World Cup, an international association football tournament that is scheduled to take place in 2022 in Qatar. The competition is scheduled to take place in June and July, although proposals have been made for a winter season. The tournament will involve...

.

Previous international competitions


The world's first international football match was a challenge match played in Glasgow
Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

 in 1872 between Scotland
Scotland national football team
The Scotland national football team represents Scotland in international football and is controlled by the Scottish Football Association. Scotland are the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside England, whom they played in the world's first international football match in 1872...

 and England
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in association football and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first...

, which ended in a 0–0 draw. The first international tournament, the inaugural edition of the British Home Championship
British Home Championship
The British Home Championship was an annual football competition contested between the United Kingdom's four national teams, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland from the 1883–84 season until the 1983–84...

, took place in 1884. At this stage the sport was rarely played outside the United Kingdom
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

. As football grew in popularity in other parts of the world at the turn of the 20th century, it was held as a demonstration sport
Demonstration sport
A demonstration sport is a sport which is played to promote itself, most commonly during the Olympic Games, but also at other sporting events.Demonstration sports were officially introduced in 1912 Summer Olympics, when Sweden decided to include glima, traditional Icelandic wrestling, in the...

 with no medals awarded at the 1900
Football at the 1900 Summer Olympics
At the 1900 Summer Olympics, a football tournament was contested for the first time. Only two demonstration matches were held between the three club sides, and no medals were awarded...

 and 1904 Summer Olympics
Football at the 1904 Summer Olympics
At the 1904 Summer Olympics, a football event was contested. Only three club teams competed. No medals were awarded at the time, but the IOC subsequently awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals and upgrade the status of the contests to an official event....

 (however, the IOC has retroactively upgraded their status to official events), and at the 1906 Intercalated Games
Football at the 1906 Summer Olympics
At the 1906 Summer Olympics, called "Intercalated Games", in Athens, an unofficial football event was contested. Only four teams competed, three of them clubs from Greece and the Ottoman Empire...

.

After FIFA
FIFA
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association , commonly known by the acronym FIFA , is the international governing body of :association football, futsal and beach football. Its headquarters are located in Zurich, Switzerland, and its president is Sepp Blatter, who is in his fourth...

 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.

At the 1908 Summer Olympics
Football at the 1908 Summer Olympics
Bohemia were forced to withdraw before the tournament started after losing their FIFA membership.-Semi-finals:-Bronze medal match:The French were so shocked by their humiliating 17-1 defeat against Denmark that they declined to play for the bronze medal; therefore, the Netherlands played Sweden for...

 in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, football became an official competition. Planned by The Football Association
The Football Association
The Football Association, also known as simply The FA, is the governing body of football in England, and the Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. It was formed in 1863, and is the oldest national 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
England national amateur football team
The England national amateur football team was the amateur representative team for England at football. It was formed in 1906, due to the growth of the professional game which meant that amateur players could no longer easily find places in the main England national team.-First match and unbeaten...

) won the gold medal
Gold medal
A gold medal is typically the medal awarded for highest achievement in a non-military field. Its name derives from the use of at least a fraction of gold in form of plating or alloying in its manufacture...

s. They repeated the feat in 1912
Football at the 1912 Summer Olympics
Football at the 1912 Summer Olympics was one of the 102 events at the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden. It was the fourth time football was on the Olympic schedule. The tournament was contested between 11 nations, all of them from Europe, with Great Britain winning the gold medals...

 in Stockholm
Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...

, where the tournament was organised by the Swedish Football Association
Swedish Football Association
The Swedish Football Association is the governing body of football in Sweden. It organises the football leagues — Allsvenskan for men and Damallsvenskan for women — and the men's and women's national teams. It is based in Solna and is a founding member of both FIFA and UEFA...

.

With the Olympic event continuing to be contested only between amateur teams, Sir Thomas Lipton
Thomas Lipton
Sir Thomas Johnstone Lipton, 1st Baronet, KCVO was a Scotsman of Ulster-Scots parentage who was a self-made man, merchant, and yachtsman. He created the Lipton tea brand and was the most persistent challenger in the history of the America's Cup.-Parentage and childhood:Lipton was born in Glasgow...

 organised the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy
Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy
The Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy was an association football competition that took place twice, in Turin, Italy, in 1909 and 1911. It is sometimes referred to as The First World Cup. However it is predated by the Torneo Internazionale Stampa Sportiva, which was hosted in 1908 also in Turin, as the...

 tournament in Turin
Turin
Turin is a city and major business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River and surrounded by the Alpine arch. The population of the city proper is 909,193 while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat...

 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, 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
West Auckland Town F.C.
West Auckland Town F.C. are a football club from West Auckland, County Durham, England, competing in the Northern League, in the ninth tier of the English football league system...

, an amateur side from County Durham
County Durham
County Durham is a ceremonial county and unitary district in north east England. The county town is Durham. The largest settlement in the ceremonial county is the town of Darlington...

, to represent England instead. West Auckland won the tournament and returned in 1911 to successfully defend their title. They were given the trophy to keep forever, as per the rules of the competition.

In 1914, FIFA agreed to recognise the Olympic tournament
Football at the Summer Olympics
Association football, usually known simply as football or soccer, has been included in every Olympiad except 1896 and 1932 as a men's competition sport. Women's football was added to the official programme in 1996.-Early history:...

 as a "world football championship for amateurs", and took responsibility for managing the event. This paved the way for the world's first intercontinental football competition, at the 1920 Summer Olympics
Football at the 1920 Summer Olympics
The football at the 1920 Summer Olympics, was one of the 154 events at the 1920 Summer Olympics, held in Antwerp. It was the fifth time football was on the Olympic schedule. The tournament was contested by 14 teams, with host country Belgium winning the gold medals...

, contested by Egypt and thirteen European teams, and won by Belgium. Uruguay
Uruguay national football team
The Uruguayan national football team represents Uruguay in international association football and is controlled by the Uruguayan Football Association, the governing body for football in Uruguay. The current head coach is Óscar Tabárez...

 won the next two Olympic football tournaments in 1924
Football at the 1924 Summer Olympics
At the 1924 Summer Olympics held in Paris, Uruguay dominated the Football tournament winning the Gold.-Amateur Status:In 1921, the Belgium Football Association first allowed for payments to players for time lost from work; in the months that followed four other Associations permitted similar...

 and 1928
Football at the 1928 Summer Olympics
Football at the 1928 Summer Olympics tournament, won by Uruguay against Argentina, would be the precursor to the first FIFA World Cup held in 1930 in Uruguay.-Medalists:-Background:...

. Those were also the first two open world championships, as 1924 was the start of FIFA's professional era.
Due to the success of the Olympic football tournaments, FIFA, with President Jules Rimet
Jules Rimet
Jules Rimet was a French football administrator who was the 3rd President of FIFA, serving from 1921 to 1954. He was FIFA's longest serving president, having served for 33 years. He also served as the president of the French Football Federation from 1919 to 1946...

 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
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

 decided to stage a world championship itself. With Uruguay now two-time official football world champions and to celebrate their centenary of independence in 1930, FIFA named Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

 as the host country of the inaugural World Cup tournament
1930 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 July to 30 July 1930...

.

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
France national football team
The France national football team represents the nation of France in international football. It is fielded by the French Football Federation , the governing body of football in France, and competes as a member of UEFA, which encompasses the countries of Europe...

, Romania
Romania national football team
The Romania national football team is the national football team of Romania and is controlled by the Romanian Football Federation.Romania is one of only four national teams, the other three being Brazil, France, and Belgium, that took part in the first three World Cups.However, after that...

, and Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia national football team
The Yugoslavia national football team represented the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in association football. It enjoyed a modicum of success in international competition. In 1992, during the Yugoslav wars, the team was suspended from international...

 to make the trip. In total thirteen nations took part: seven from South America, four from Europe and two from North America.

The first two World Cup matches took place simultaneously on 13 July 1930, and were won by France
France national football team
The France national football team represents the nation of France in international football. It is fielded by the French Football Federation , the governing body of football in France, and competes as a member of UEFA, which encompasses the countries of Europe...

 and USA
United States men's national soccer team
The United States men's national soccer team represents the United States in international association football competitions. It is controlled by the United States Soccer Federation and competes in CONCACAF...

, who defeated Mexico
Mexico national football team
The Mexican national football team represents Mexico in association football and is governed by the Mexican Football Federation , the governing body for football in Mexico. Mexico's home stadium is the Estadio Azteca and their head coach is José Manuel de la Torre...

 4–1 and Belgium 3–0 respectively. The first goal in World Cup history was scored by Lucien Laurent
Lucien Laurent
Lucien Laurent was a French association football player. He is famous for having scored the first ever FIFA World Cup goal.-Career:Laurent was born in Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, Val-de-Marne, near Paris....

 of France. In the final
1930 FIFA World Cup Final
- External links :*...

, Uruguay
Uruguay national football team
The Uruguayan national football team represents Uruguay in international association football and is controlled by the Uruguayan Football Association, the governing body for football in Uruguay. The current head coach is Óscar Tabárez...

 defeated Argentina
Argentina national football team
The Argentina national football team represents Argentina in association football and is controlled by the Argentine Football Association , the governing body for football in Argentina. Argentina's home stadium is Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti and their head coach is Alejandro...

 4–2 in front of a crowd of 93,000 people in Montevideo
Montevideo
Montevideo is the largest city, the capital, and the chief port of Uruguay. The settlement was established in 1726 by Bruno Mauricio de Zabala, as a strategic move amidst a Spanish-Portuguese dispute over the platine region, and as a counter to the Portuguese colony at Colonia del Sacramento...

, and in doing so became the first nation to win the World Cup.

World Cups before World War II


After the creation of the World Cup, the 1932 Summer Olympics
1932 Summer Olympics
The 1932 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the X Olympiad, was a major world wide multi-athletic event which was celebrated in 1932 in Los Angeles, California, United States. No other cities made a bid to host these Olympics. Held during the worldwide Great Depression, many nations...

, held in Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles , with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621, is the most populous city in California, USA and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City. It has an area of , and is located in Southern California...

, did not plan to include football as part of the schedule due to the low popularity of the sport in the United States
Soccer in the United States
Soccer, fully known as association football,See the articles Football and Names for association football#North America for more detailed explanations of the differing names for soccer. has long been a popular sport in the United States...

, as American football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

 had been growing in popularity. FIFA and the IOC
International Olympic Committee
The International Olympic Committee is an international corporation based in Lausanne, Switzerland, created by Pierre de Coubertin on 23 June 1894 with Demetrios Vikelas as its first president...

 also disagreed over the status of amateur players, and so football was dropped from the Games. Olympic football returned at the 1936 Summer Olympics
Football at the 1936 Summer Olympics
The 1936 Olympic football tournament, won by Italy, has come to share an affinity with the political backdrop against which it was being played; in terms of the history of football, however, the tournament suffered as a reaction to the development of the FIFA World Cup.The introduction of the first...

, 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
1934 FIFA World Cup
The 1934 FIFA World Cup was the second FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in Italy from 27 May to 10 June 1934....

 and 1938
1938 FIFA World Cup
The 1938 FIFA World Cup was the third staging of the World Cup, and was held in France from 4 June to 19 June. Italy retained the championship, beating Hungary 4–2 in the final.-Host selection:...

 tournaments, with Brazil
Brazil national football team
The Brazil national football team represents Brazil in international men's football and is controlled by the Brazilian Football Confederation , the governing body for football in Brazil. They are a member of the International Federation of Association Football since 1923 and also a member of the...

 the only South American team to compete in both. The 1942 and 1946 competitions, which Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 and Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 sought to host, were cancelled due to World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 and its aftermath.

World Cups after World War II


The 1950 World Cup
1950 FIFA World Cup
The 1950 FIFA World Cup, held in Brazil from 24 June to 16 July, was the fourth FIFA World Cup. It was the first World Cup since 1938, the planned 1942 and 1946 competitions having been canceled owing to World War II...

, held in Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, was the first to include British participants. British teams
Home Nations
Home Nations is a collective term with one of two meanings depending on the context. Politically, it means the nations of the constituent countries of the United Kingdom...

 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, but rejoined in 1946 following FIFA's invitation. The tournament also saw the return of 1930 champions Uruguay
Uruguay national football team
The Uruguayan national football team represents Uruguay in international association football and is controlled by the Uruguayan Football Association, the governing body for football in Uruguay. The current head coach is Óscar Tabárez...

, 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
1978 FIFA World Cup
The 1978 FIFA World Cup, the 11th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Argentina between 1 June and 25 June. The 1978 World Cup was won by Argentina who beat the Netherlands 3–1 after extra time in the final. This win was the first World Cup title for Argentina, who became the fifth...

, 16 teams competed in each tournament, except in 1938, when Austria
Austria national football team
The Austria national football team is the association football team that represents the country of Austria in international competition and is controlled by the Austrian Football Association ....

 was absorbed
Anschluss
The Anschluss , also known as the ', was the occupation and annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany in 1938....

 into Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 after qualifying, leaving the tournament with 15 teams, and in 1950, when India
India national football team
The Indian national football team is the national football team of India and is governed by the All India Football Federation. It is a member of the Asian Football Confederation. Since 1948, the AIFF has been affiliated with FIFA, the international governing body for football. In 1954, AIFF became...

, Scotland
Scotland national football team
The Scotland national football team represents Scotland in international football and is controlled by the Scottish Football Association. Scotland are the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside England, whom they played in the world's first international football match in 1872...

 and Turkey
Turkey national football team
The Turkey national football team represents Turkey in association football and is controlled by the Turkish Football Federation, the governing body for football in Turkey. They are affiliated with UEFA...

 withdrew, leaving the tournament with 13 teams. 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
United States men's national soccer team
The United States men's national soccer team represents the United States in international association football competitions. It is controlled by the United States Soccer Federation and competes in CONCACAF...

, semi-finalists in 1930; Cuba
Cuba national football team
The Cuba national football team is the national team of Cuba and is controlled by the Asociación de Fútbol de Cuba. They are affiliated to the Caribbean Football Union of CONCACAF....

, quarter-finalists in 1938; Korea DPR
Korea DPR national football team
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea national football team represents the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in international association football and is controlled by the DPR Korea Football Association, the governing body for football in North Korea.North Korea surprised with a...

, quarter-finalists in 1966
1966 FIFA World Cup
The 1966 FIFA World Cup, the eighth staging of the World Cup, was held in England from 11 July to 30 July. England beat West Germany 4–2 in the final, winning the World Cup for the first time, so becoming the first host to win the tournament since Italy in 1934.-Host selection:England was chosen as...

; and Mexico
Mexico national football team
The Mexican national football team represents Mexico in association football and is governed by the Mexican Football Federation , the governing body for football in Mexico. Mexico's home stadium is the Estadio Azteca and their head coach is José Manuel de la Torre...

, quarter-finalists in 1970
1970 FIFA World Cup
The 1970 FIFA World Cup, the ninth staging of the World Cup, was held in Mexico, from 31 May to 21 June. The 1970 tournament was the first World Cup hosted in North America, and the first held outside South America and Europe. In a match-up of two-time World Cup champions, the final was won by...

.

Expansion to 32 teams


The tournament was expanded to 24 teams in 1982
1982 FIFA World Cup
The 1982 FIFA World Cup, the 12th FIFA World Cup, was held in Spain from 13 June to 11 July. The tournament was won by Italy, after defeating West Germany 3–1 in the final.-Host selection:...

, and then to 32 in 1998
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

, allowing more teams from Africa, Asia and North America to take part. In recent years, teams from these regions have enjoyed more success, and those who have reached the quarter-finals include: Mexico
Mexico national football team
The Mexican national football team represents Mexico in association football and is governed by the Mexican Football Federation , the governing body for football in Mexico. Mexico's home stadium is the Estadio Azteca and their head coach is José Manuel de la Torre...

, quarter-finalists in 1986
1986 FIFA World Cup
The 1986 FIFA World Cup, the 13th FIFA World Cup, was held in Mexico from 31 May to 29 June. The tournament was the second to feature a 24-team format. Colombia had been originally chosen to host the competition by FIFA but, largely due to economic reasons, was not able to do so and officially...

; Cameroon
Cameroon national football team
The Cameroon national football team, nicknamed Les Lions Indomptables , is controlled by the Fédération Camerounaise de Football and is Africa's most successful side in FIFA world cup; having qualified for the FIFA World Cup six times – in 1982, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2010– more than any...

, quarter-finalists in 1990
1990 FIFA World Cup
The 1990 FIFA World Cup was the 14th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 8 June to 8 July 1990 in Italy, the second country to host the event twice. Teams representing 116 national football associations from all six populated...

; Korea Republic
Korea Republic national football team
The Korea Republic national football team represents Korea Republic in international football and is controlled by the Korea Football Association. Korea Republic is the most successful Asian football team in the history of the FIFA World Cup having participated in eight World Cup tournaments,...

, finishing in fourth place in 2002
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

; Senegal
Senegal national football team
The Senegal national football team, nicknamed the Lions of Teranga, is the national team of Senegal and is controlled by the Fédération Sénégalaise de Football...

, along with USA
United States men's national soccer team
The United States men's national soccer team represents the United States in international association football competitions. It is controlled by the United States Soccer Federation and competes in CONCACAF...

, both quarter-finalists in 2002; and Ghana
Ghana national football team
The Ghana national football team, popularly known as the Black Stars, is the national association football team of Ghana and is controlled by the Ghana Football Association...

 as quarter-finalists in 2010. Nevertheless, European and South American teams continue to dominate, e.g., the quarter-finalists in 1998 and 2006 were all from Europe or South America.

Two hundred teams entered the 2002 FIFA World Cup
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

 qualification rounds; 198 nations attempted to qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup
2006 FIFA World Cup
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...

, while a record 204 countries entered qualification for the 2010 FIFA World Cup
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

.

Other FIFA tournaments


An equivalent tournament for women's football
Women's football (soccer)
Women's association football has been played for many decades, but was associated with charity games and physical exercise in the past before the breakthrough of organized women's association football came in the 1970s. Before the 1970s, football was basically seen as a men's game...

, the FIFA Women's World Cup
FIFA Women's World Cup
The FIFA Women's World Cup is an international association football competition contested by the senior women's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association , the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the...

, was first held in 1991
FIFA Women's World Cup 1991
The 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup was the first ever edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup. It was held in Guangdong, China and won by the United States. It was originally called the Women's World Championship.-Venues:-Teams:...

 in the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

. 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.

Football has been included in every Summer Olympic Games
Summer Olympic Games
The Summer Olympic Games or the Games of the Olympiad are an international multi-sport event, occurring every four years, organized by the International Olympic Committee. Medals are awarded in each event, with gold medals for first place, silver for second and bronze for third, a tradition that...

 except 1896 and 1932. Unlike many other sports, the men's football tournament at the Olympics
Football at the Summer Olympics
Association football, usually known simply as football or soccer, has been included in every Olympiad except 1896 and 1932 as a men's competition sport. Women's football was added to the official programme in 1996.-Early history:...

 is not a top-level tournament, and since 1992, an under-23 tournament with each team allowed three over-age players. Women's football made its Olympic debut in 1996, and is contested between full national sides with no age restrictions.

The FIFA Confederations Cup
FIFA Confederations Cup
The FIFA Confederations Cup is an association football tournament for national teams, currently held every four years by FIFA. It is contested by the winners of each of the six FIFA confederation championships , along with the FIFA World Cup winner and the host nation, to bring the number of teams...

 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.

FIFA also organises international tournaments for youth football (FIFA U-20 World Cup
FIFA U-20 World Cup
The FIFA U-20 World Cup, until 2005 known as the FIFA World Youth Championship, is the world championship of football for male players under the age of 20 and is organized by Fédération Internationale de Football Association...

, FIFA U-17 World Cup
FIFA U-17 World Cup
The FIFA U-17 World Cup, founded as the FIFA U-16 World Championship, later changed to the FIFA U-17 World Championship and known by its current name since 2007, is the world championship of association football for male players under the age of 17 organized by Fédération Internationale de Football...

, FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup
FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup
The FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup is an international association football tournament for female players under the age of 17. It is organized by Fédération Internationale de Football Association...

), club football (FIFA Club World Cup
FIFA Club World Cup
The FIFA Club World Cup is a football competition between the champion clubs from all six continental confederations.The first FIFA Club World Championship took place in Brazil in January 2000...

), and football variants such as futsal
Futsal
Futsal is a variant of association football that is played on a smaller pitch and mainly played indoors. Its name is a portmanteau of the Portuguese futebol de salão and the Spanish fútbol de salón , which can be translated as "hall football" or "indoor football"...

 (FIFA Futsal World Cup) and beach soccer
Beach soccer
Beach soccer, also known as beach football or beasal, is a variant of association football played on a beach or some form of sand. The game emphasises skill, agility and shooting at goal....

 (FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup
FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup
The FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup is a bi-annual international beach soccer competition contested by the national teams of the member associations of FIFA, the sport's global governing body. The tournament has taken place every year since its establishment in 1995, when it was originally supervised...

).

Trophy




From 1930 to 1970, the Jules Rimet Trophy was awarded to the World Cup winner. 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
Jules Rimet
Jules Rimet was a French football administrator who was the 3rd President of FIFA, serving from 1921 to 1954. He was FIFA's longest serving president, having served for 33 years. He also served as the president of the French Football Federation from 1919 to 1946...

 who set up the first tournament. In 1970
1970 FIFA World Cup
The 1970 FIFA World Cup, the ninth staging of the World Cup, was held in Mexico, from 31 May to 21 June. The 1970 tournament was the first World Cup hosted in North America, and the first held outside South America and Europe. In a match-up of two-time World Cup champions, the final was won by...

, Brazil
Brazil national football team
The Brazil national football team represents Brazil in international men's football and is controlled by the Brazilian Football Confederation , the governing body for football in Brazil. They are a member of the International Federation of Association Football since 1923 and also a member of the...

'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.

After 1970, a new trophy, known as the FIFA World Cup Trophy, was designed. The experts of FIFA, coming from seven different countries, evaluated the 53 presented models, finally opting for the work of the Italian designer Silvio Gazzaniga
Silvio Gazzaniga
Silvio Gazzaniga is an Italian sculptor. While working for the Stabilimento Artistico Bertoni company, he created the FIFA World Cup Trophy. Gazzaniga was a graduate of the Brera Academy, as is his daughter, Gabriella, and is a fan of AC Milan.His design was chosen by committee on April 5, 1971...

. The new trophy is 36 cm (14.2 in) high, made of solid 18 carat
Carat (purity)
The karat or carat is a unit of purity for gold alloys.- Measure :Karat purity is measured as 24 times the purity by mass:where...

 (75%) gold and weighs 6.175 kg (13.6 lb). The base contains two layers of semi-precious malachite
Malachite
Malachite is a copper carbonate mineral, with the formula Cu2CO32. This green-colored mineral crystallizes in the monoclinic crystal system, and most often forms botryoidal, fibrous, or stalagmitic masses. Individual crystals are rare but do occur as slender to acicular prisms...

 while the bottom side of the trophy bears the engraved year and name of each FIFA World Cup winner since 1974
1974 FIFA World Cup
The 1974 FIFA World Cup, the tenth staging of the World Cup, was held in West Germany from 13 June to 7 July. The tournament marked the first time that the current trophy, the FIFA World Cup Trophy, created by the Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga, was awarded...

. 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."

This new trophy is not awarded to the winning nation permanently. World Cup winners retain the trophy until the next tournament and are awarded a gold-plated replica rather than the solid gold original.

At the present, all members (players and coaches) of the top three teams receive medals with an insignia of the World Cup Trophy; winners' (gold), runner-ups' (silver), and third-place (bronze). In the 2002 edition
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

, fourth-place medals were awarded to hosts South Korea
Korea Republic national football team
The Korea Republic national football team represents Korea Republic in international football and is controlled by the Korea Football Association. Korea Republic is the most successful Asian football team in the history of the FIFA World Cup having participated in eight World Cup tournaments,...

. Prior to 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.

Qualification



Since the second World Cup in 1934
1934 FIFA World Cup
The 1934 FIFA World Cup was the second FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in Italy from 27 May to 10 June 1934....

, qualifying tournaments have been held to thin the field for the final tournament. They are held within the six FIFA continental zones (Africa
Confederation of African Football
The Confederation of African Football is the administrative and controlling body for African association football.CAF represents the national football associations of Africa, runs continental, national, and club competitions, and controls the prize money, regulations and media rights to those...

, Asia
Asian Football Confederation
The Asian Football Confederation is the governing body of association football in Asia. It has 46 member countries, mostly located on the Asian continent. However, due to the disputed boundary of Europe and Asia, nations such as Russia and Turkey which are located mostly in geographic Asia are...

, North and Central America and Caribbean
CONCACAF
The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football is the continental governing body for association football in North America, Central America and the Caribbean...

, South America
CONMEBOL
The South American Football Confederation , commonly known as CONMEBOL , is the continental governing body of association football in South America and it is one of FIFA's six continental confederations...

, Oceania
Oceania Football Confederation
The Oceania Football Confederation is one of the six continental confederations of international association football, consisting of Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and island nations such as Tonga, Fiji and other Pacific Island countries...

, and Europe
UEFA
The Union of European Football Associations , almost always referred to by its acronym UEFA is the administrative and controlling body for European association football, futsal and beach soccer....

), 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
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

. From the 1938 World Cup
1938 FIFA World Cup
The 1938 FIFA World Cup was the third staging of the World Cup, and was held in France from 4 June to 19 June. Italy retained the championship, beating Hungary 4–2 in the final.-Host selection:...

 onwards, host nations received 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
2006 FIFA World Cup
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...

 onward, requiring the champions to qualify. Brazil
Brazil national football team
The Brazil national football team represents Brazil in international men's football and is controlled by the Brazilian Football Confederation , the governing body for football in Brazil. They are a member of the International Federation of Association Football since 1923 and also a member of the...

, winners in 2002
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

, were the first defending champions to play in a qualifying match.

Final tournament



The current final tournament features 32 national teams competing over a month in the host nation(s). There are two stages: the group stage followed by the knockout stage.

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
FIFA World Rankings
The FIFA World Rankings is a ranking system for men's national teams in association football, currently led by Spain. The teams of the member nations of FIFA , football's world governing body, are ranked based on their game results with the most successful teams being ranked highest...

 and/or performances in recent World Cups, and drawn to separate groups. 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
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

, 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.

Each group plays a round-robin tournament
Round-robin tournament
A round-robin tournament is a competition "in which each contestant meets all other contestants in turn".-Terminology:...

, in which each team is scheduled for three matches against other teams in the same group. The last round of matches of each group is scheduled at the same time to preserve fairness among all four teams. The top two teams from each group advance to the knockout stage. Points are used to rank the teams within a group. Since 1994
1994 FIFA World Cup
The 1994 FIFA World Cup, the 15th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in nine cities across the United States from June 17 to July 17, 1994. The United States was chosen as the host by FIFA on July 4, 1988...

, three points have been awarded for a win
Three points for a win
Three points for a win is a standard used in many sports leagues and group tournaments, especially in association football, in which three points are awarded to the team winning a match, with no points to the losing team. If the game is drawn, each team receives one point...

, one for a draw and none for a loss (before, winners received two points).

The ranking of each team in each group is determined as follows:
  1. Greatest number of points in group matches
  2. Greatest goal difference in group matches
  3. Greatest number of goals scored in group matches
  4. 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
  5. 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
Single-elimination tournament
A single-elimination tournament, also called a knockout, cup or sudden death tournament, is a type of elimination tournament where the loser of each match or bracket is immediately eliminated from winning the championship or first prize in the event...

 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
Third place playoff
The third place playoff is a single match that is included in many sporting knockout tournaments to decide which competitor or team will be credited with finishing third and fourth. The teams that compete in the third place playoffs are usually the two losing semi-finalists in a particular...

 (contested by the losing semi-finalists), and the final.

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
1930 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 July to 30 July 1930...

 in Uruguay, for example, led to only four European nations competing. The next two World Cups were both held in Europe. The decision to hold the second of these in France was disputed, as the American countries understood that the location would alternate between the two continents. Both Argentina and Uruguay thus boycotted the 1938 FIFA World Cup
1938 FIFA World Cup
The 1938 FIFA World Cup was the third staging of the World Cup, and was held in France from 4 June to 19 June. Italy retained the championship, beating Hungary 4–2 in the final.-Host selection:...

.

Since the 1958 FIFA World Cup
1958 FIFA World Cup
The 1958 FIFA World Cup, the sixth staging of the World Cup, was hosted by Sweden from 8 June to 29 June. The tournament was won by Brazil, who beat Sweden 5–2 in the final for their first title. To date, this marks the only occasion that a World Cup staged in Europe was not won by a European...

, 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
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

. The 2002 FIFA World Cup
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

, hosted jointly by South Korea and Japan, was the first one held in Asia, and the only tournament with multiple hosts. South Africa became the first African nation to host the World Cup in 2010
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

. The 2014 FIFA World Cup
2014 FIFA World Cup
The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be the 20th FIFA World Cup, an international association football tournament that will take place in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July 2014....

 will be hosted by Brazil, the first held in South America since 1978
1978 FIFA World Cup
The 1978 FIFA World Cup, the 11th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Argentina between 1 June and 25 June. The 1978 World Cup was won by Argentina who beat the Netherlands 3–1 after extra time in the final. This win was the first World Cup title for Argentina, who became the fifth...

, and will be the first occasion where consecutive World Cups are held outside Europe.

The host country is now chosen in a vote by FIFA's Executive Committee. This is done under an exhaustive ballot
Exhaustive ballot
The exhaustive ballot is a voting system used to elect a single winner. Under the exhaustive ballot the elector simply casts a single vote for his or her favorite candidate. However if no candidate is supported by an overall majority of votes then the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated...

 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
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

 respectively.

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
2006 FIFA World Cup
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...

. 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
2018 FIFA World Cup
The bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups was the process by which the locations for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups were selected. The process began officially in March 2009; eleven bids from thirteen countries were received, including one which was withdrawn and one that was...

. This is partly to avoid a similar scenario to the bidding process for the 2014 tournament, where Brazil was the only official bidder.

Performances



Six of the eight champions have won one of their titles while playing in their own homeland, the exceptions being Brazil
Brazil national football team
The Brazil national football team represents Brazil in international men's football and is controlled by the Brazilian Football Confederation , the governing body for football in Brazil. They are a member of the International Federation of Association Football since 1923 and also a member of the...

, who finished as runners-up after losing the deciding match on home soil in 1950, and Spain
Spain national football team
The Spain national football team represents Spain in international association football and is controlled by the Royal Spanish Football Federation, the governing body for football in Spain. The current head coach is Vicente del Bosque...

, which reached the second round on home soil in 1982. England
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in association football and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first...

 (1966) and France
France national football team
The France national football team represents the nation of France in international football. It is fielded by the French Football Federation , the governing body of football in France, and competes as a member of UEFA, which encompasses the countries of Europe...

 (1998) won their only titles while playing as host nations. Uruguay
Uruguay national football team
The Uruguayan national football team represents Uruguay in international association football and is controlled by the Uruguayan Football Association, the governing body for football in Uruguay. The current head coach is Óscar Tabárez...

 (1930), Italy
Italy national football team
The Italy National Football Team , represents Italy in association football and is controlled by the Italian Football Federation , the governing body for football in Italy. Italy is the second most successful national team in the history of the World Cup having won four titles , just one fewer than...

 (1934) and Argentina
Argentina national football team
The Argentina national football team represents Argentina in association football and is controlled by the Argentine Football Association , the governing body for football in Argentina. Argentina's home stadium is Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti and their head coach is Alejandro...

 (1978) won their first titles as host nations but have gone on to win again, while Germany
Germany national football team
The Germany national football team is the football team that has represented Germany in international competition since 1908. It is governed by the German Football Association , which was founded in 1900....

 (1974) won their second title on home soil.

Other nations have also been successful when hosting the tournament. Sweden
Sweden national football team
The Swedish national football team represents Sweden in association football and is controlled by the Swedish Football Association, the governing body for Football in Sweden. Sweden's home ground is Råsunda Stadium in Stockholms län and their head coach is Erik Hamrén. Sweden made their first...

 (runners-up in 1958), Chile
Chile national football team
The Chilean national football team represents Chile in all major international football competitions. The team is controlled by the Federación de Fútbol de Chile which was established in 1895. They have appeared in eight World Cup tournaments and were hosts of the 1962 FIFA World Cup finishing in...

 (third place in 1962), Korea Republic
Korea Republic national football team
The Korea Republic national football team represents Korea Republic in international football and is controlled by the Korea Football Association. Korea Republic is the most successful Asian football team in the history of the FIFA World Cup having participated in eight World Cup tournaments,...

 (fourth place in 2002), and Mexico
Mexico national football team
The Mexican national football team represents Mexico in association football and is governed by the Mexican Football Federation , the governing body for football in Mexico. Mexico's home stadium is the Estadio Azteca and their head coach is José Manuel de la Torre...

 (quarter-finals in 1970 and 1986) all have their best results when serving as hosts. So far, South Africa
South Africa national football team
The South Africa national football team represents South Africa in association football and is controlled by the South African Football Association, the governing body for football in South Africa. South Africa's home ground is Soccer City, known as FNB Stadium due to a naming rights deal, in...

 (2010) was the only host nation to fail to advance beyond the first round.

Organisation and media coverage



The World Cup was first televised in 1954 and is now the most widely viewed and followed sporting event in the world, exceeding even the Olympic Games
Olympic Games
The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate...

. The cumulative audience of all matches of the 2006 World Cup is estimated to be 26.29 billion. 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.

Each FIFA World Cup since 1966 has its own mascot
Mascot
The term mascot – defined as a term for any person, animal, or object thought to bring luck – colloquially includes anything used to represent a group with a common public identity, such as a school, professional sports team, society, military unit, or brand name...

 or logo. World Cup Willie, the mascot for the 1966 competition, was the first World Cup mascot. Recent World Cups have also featured official match balls specially designed for each World Cup.

Results


Year Host Winners Score Runners-up Third Place Score Fourth Place Number of teams
1930
Details
1930 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 July to 30 July 1930...

 Uruguay 4–2
1930 FIFA World Cup Final
- External links :*...

13
1934
Details
1934 FIFA World Cup
The 1934 FIFA World Cup was the second FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in Italy from 27 May to 10 June 1934....

 Italy 2–1
1934 FIFA World Cup Final
The 1934 FIFA World Cup Final was the deciding match of the 1934 FIFA World Cup. It was contested by Italy and Czechoslovakia. Italy won the game 2-1....


(a.e.t.)
3–2 16
1938
Details
1938 FIFA World Cup
The 1938 FIFA World Cup was the third staging of the World Cup, and was held in France from 4 June to 19 June. Italy retained the championship, beating Hungary 4–2 in the final.-Host selection:...

 Early Modern France 4–2
1938 FIFA World Cup Final
- External links :*...

4–2 16
1950
Details
1950 FIFA World Cup
The 1950 FIFA World Cup, held in Brazil from 24 June to 16 July, was the fourth FIFA World Cup. It was the first World Cup since 1938, the planned 1942 and 1946 competitions having been canceled owing to World War II...

 Brazil 16/13
1954
Details
1954 FIFA World Cup
The 1954 FIFA World Cup, the fifth staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Switzerland from 16 June to 4 July. Switzerland was chosen as hosts in July 1946. The tournament set a number of all-time records for goal-scoring, including the highest average goals scored per game...

 Switzerland 3–2
1954 FIFA World Cup Final
- External links :* - fifa.com, FIFA, 2002.*...

3–1 16
1958
Details
1958 FIFA World Cup
The 1958 FIFA World Cup, the sixth staging of the World Cup, was hosted by Sweden from 8 June to 29 June. The tournament was won by Brazil, who beat Sweden 5–2 in the final for their first title. To date, this marks the only occasion that a World Cup staged in Europe was not won by a European...

 Sweden 5–2
1958 FIFA World Cup Final
-References:...

6–3 16
1962
Details
1962 FIFA World Cup
The 1962 FIFA World Cup, the seventh staging of the World Cup, was held in Chile from 30 May to 17 June. It was won by Brazil, who retained the championship by beating Czechoslovakia 3–1 in the final...

 Chile 3–1
1962 FIFA World Cup Final
The 1962 FIFA World Cup Final was the deciding match of the 1962 FIFA World Cup. It was contested by Czechoslovakia and Brazil. Brazil won the game 3-1 to record their second consecutive World Cup victory....

1–0 16
1966
Details
1966 FIFA World Cup
The 1966 FIFA World Cup, the eighth staging of the World Cup, was held in England from 11 July to 30 July. England beat West Germany 4–2 in the final, winning the World Cup for the first time, so becoming the first host to win the tournament since Italy in 1934.-Host selection:England was chosen as...

 Kingdom of England 4–2
1966 FIFA World Cup Final
The 1966 FIFA World Cup Final was the final match in the 1966 FIFA World Cup, the eighth football World Cup. The match was contested by England and West Germany on 30 July 1966 at Wembley Stadium in London, and had an attendance of 98,000. England won 4–2 after extra time to win the Jules Rimet...


(a.e.t.)
2–1 16
1970
Details
1970 FIFA World Cup
The 1970 FIFA World Cup, the ninth staging of the World Cup, was held in Mexico, from 31 May to 21 June. The 1970 tournament was the first World Cup hosted in North America, and the first held outside South America and Europe. In a match-up of two-time World Cup champions, the final was won by...

 Mexico 4–1
1970 FIFA World Cup Final
The 1970 FIFA World Cup Final was contested by Brazil and Italy on 21 June 1970 in the Azteca Stadium in Mexico, to determine the winner of the 1970 FIFA World Cup....

1–0 16
1974
Details
1974 FIFA World Cup
The 1974 FIFA World Cup, the tenth staging of the World Cup, was held in West Germany from 13 June to 7 July. The tournament marked the first time that the current trophy, the FIFA World Cup Trophy, created by the Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga, was awarded...

 West Germany 2–1
1974 FIFA World Cup Final
-References:...

1–0 16
1978
Details
1978 FIFA World Cup
The 1978 FIFA World Cup, the 11th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Argentina between 1 June and 25 June. The 1978 World Cup was won by Argentina who beat the Netherlands 3–1 after extra time in the final. This win was the first World Cup title for Argentina, who became the fifth...

 Argentina 3–1
1978 FIFA World Cup Final
The Final of the 1978 FIFA World Cup was contested between hosts Argentina and The Netherlands. The match was won by the Argentines in extra time by a score of 3–1. Mario Kempes, who finished as the tournament's top scorer, was named the man of the match...


(a.e.t.)
2–1 16
1982
Details
1982 FIFA World Cup
The 1982 FIFA World Cup, the 12th FIFA World Cup, was held in Spain from 13 June to 11 July. The tournament was won by Italy, after defeating West Germany 3–1 in the final.-Host selection:...

 Spain 3–1
1982 FIFA World Cup Final
- External links :**...

3–2 24
1986
Details
1986 FIFA World Cup
The 1986 FIFA World Cup, the 13th FIFA World Cup, was held in Mexico from 31 May to 29 June. The tournament was the second to feature a 24-team format. Colombia had been originally chosen to host the competition by FIFA but, largely due to economic reasons, was not able to do so and officially...

 Mexico 3–2
1986 FIFA World Cup Final
- External links :**...

4–2
(a.e.t.)
24
1990
Details
1990 FIFA World Cup
The 1990 FIFA World Cup was the 14th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 8 June to 8 July 1990 in Italy, the second country to host the event twice. Teams representing 116 national football associations from all six populated...

 Italy 1–0
1990 FIFA World Cup Final
The 1990 FIFA World Cup Final was a football match played between West Germany and Argentina that took place on 8 July 1990 at the Stadio Olimpico, Rome to determine the winner of the 1990 FIFA World Cup...

2–1 24
1994
Details
1994 FIFA World Cup
The 1994 FIFA World Cup, the 15th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in nine cities across the United States from June 17 to July 17, 1994. The United States was chosen as the host by FIFA on July 4, 1988...

 United States 0–0
1994 FIFA World Cup Final
The 1994 FIFA World Cup Final took place in Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California, United States. Brazil won the World Cup against Italy on a penalty shootout after the score was 0–0. This was Brazil's fourth World Cup title. It was also the first ever World Cup final to be decided by a penalty...


(a.e.t.)
(3–2 pen.)
4–0 24
1998
Details
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

 Early Modern France 3–0
1998 FIFA World Cup Final
The 1998 FIFA World Cup Final was a football match that was played on 12 July 1998 at the Stade de France in St-Denis to determine the winner of the 1998 FIFA World Cup a global football tournament held every four years...

2–1 32
2002
Details
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

 South Korea
&  Japan
2–0
2002 FIFA World Cup Final
The 2002 FIFA World Cup Final the final match of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, played between Germany and Brazil at the International Stadium in Yokohama, Japan. It was the first World Cup meeting between the two sides. Brazil won the match 2–0, winning a record fifth title...

3–2 32
2006
Details
2006 FIFA World Cup
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...

 Germany 1–1
2006 FIFA World Cup Final
The 2006 FIFA World Cup Final was a football match that took place on 9 July 2006 at the Olympiastadion, Berlin to determine the winner of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Italy beat France on penalties after the match finished 1–1 after extra time...


(a.e.t.)
(5–3 pen.)
3–1 32
2010
Details
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

 South Africa 1–0
2010 FIFA World Cup Final
The 2010 FIFA World Cup Final was a football match that took place on 11 July 2010 at Soccer City in Johannesburg, South Africa, to determine the winner of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Spain defeated the Netherlands 1–0 with a goal from Andrés Iniesta four minutes from the end of extra time...


(a.e.t.)
3–2 32
  • a.e.t.: after extra time
  • pen.: score in penalty shootout


Notes


In all, 76 nations have played in at least one World Cup
National team appearances in the FIFA World Cup
This article lists the performances of each of the 76 national teams which have made at least one appearance in the FIFA World Cup finals.-Debut of teams:Each successive World Cup has had at least one team appearing for the first time...

. Of these, eight national teams have won the World Cup, and they have added stars to their crests
Star (football crest)
In association football, some national and club sides include one or more stars as part of the crest appearing on their shirt, to represent important trophies the team has previously won. Sometimes this is a unilateral decision by the team concerned rather than a privilege earned and sanctioned...

, with each star representing a World Cup victory. (However, Uruguay are an exception to this unwritten rule; they choose to display four stars on their crest, 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 (19) to date, and they will host the 20th in 2014. 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 have made the most top-four finishes, with twelve, while sharing the record of most top-two finishes with Brazil, with seven.

Titles by team


: 5: 4: 3: 2: 2: 1: 1: 1

Teams reaching the top four



Team Titles Runners-up Third place Fourth place Total finishes in top four
5 (1958
1958 FIFA World Cup
The 1958 FIFA World Cup, the sixth staging of the World Cup, was hosted by Sweden from 8 June to 29 June. The tournament was won by Brazil, who beat Sweden 5–2 in the final for their first title. To date, this marks the only occasion that a World Cup staged in Europe was not won by a European...

, 1962
1962 FIFA World Cup
The 1962 FIFA World Cup, the seventh staging of the World Cup, was held in Chile from 30 May to 17 June. It was won by Brazil, who retained the championship by beating Czechoslovakia 3–1 in the final...

, 1970
1970 FIFA World Cup
The 1970 FIFA World Cup, the ninth staging of the World Cup, was held in Mexico, from 31 May to 21 June. The 1970 tournament was the first World Cup hosted in North America, and the first held outside South America and Europe. In a match-up of two-time World Cup champions, the final was won by...

, 1994
1994 FIFA World Cup
The 1994 FIFA World Cup, the 15th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in nine cities across the United States from June 17 to July 17, 1994. The United States was chosen as the host by FIFA on July 4, 1988...

, 2002
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

)
2 (1950
1950 FIFA World Cup
The 1950 FIFA World Cup, held in Brazil from 24 June to 16 July, was the fourth FIFA World Cup. It was the first World Cup since 1938, the planned 1942 and 1946 competitions having been canceled owing to World War II...

*, 1998
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

)
2 (1938
1938 FIFA World Cup
The 1938 FIFA World Cup was the third staging of the World Cup, and was held in France from 4 June to 19 June. Italy retained the championship, beating Hungary 4–2 in the final.-Host selection:...

, 1978
1978 FIFA World Cup
The 1978 FIFA World Cup, the 11th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Argentina between 1 June and 25 June. The 1978 World Cup was won by Argentina who beat the Netherlands 3–1 after extra time in the final. This win was the first World Cup title for Argentina, who became the fifth...

)
1 (1974
1974 FIFA World Cup
The 1974 FIFA World Cup, the tenth staging of the World Cup, was held in West Germany from 13 June to 7 July. The tournament marked the first time that the current trophy, the FIFA World Cup Trophy, created by the Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga, was awarded...

)
10
4 (1934
1934 FIFA World Cup
The 1934 FIFA World Cup was the second FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in Italy from 27 May to 10 June 1934....

*, 1938
1938 FIFA World Cup
The 1938 FIFA World Cup was the third staging of the World Cup, and was held in France from 4 June to 19 June. Italy retained the championship, beating Hungary 4–2 in the final.-Host selection:...

, 1982
1982 FIFA World Cup
The 1982 FIFA World Cup, the 12th FIFA World Cup, was held in Spain from 13 June to 11 July. The tournament was won by Italy, after defeating West Germany 3–1 in the final.-Host selection:...

, 2006
2006 FIFA World Cup
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...

)
2 (1970
1970 FIFA World Cup
The 1970 FIFA World Cup, the ninth staging of the World Cup, was held in Mexico, from 31 May to 21 June. The 1970 tournament was the first World Cup hosted in North America, and the first held outside South America and Europe. In a match-up of two-time World Cup champions, the final was won by...

, 1994
1994 FIFA World Cup
The 1994 FIFA World Cup, the 15th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in nine cities across the United States from June 17 to July 17, 1994. The United States was chosen as the host by FIFA on July 4, 1988...

)
1 (1990
1990 FIFA World Cup
The 1990 FIFA World Cup was the 14th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 8 June to 8 July 1990 in Italy, the second country to host the event twice. Teams representing 116 national football associations from all six populated...

*)
1 (1978
1978 FIFA World Cup
The 1978 FIFA World Cup, the 11th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Argentina between 1 June and 25 June. The 1978 World Cup was won by Argentina who beat the Netherlands 3–1 after extra time in the final. This win was the first World Cup title for Argentina, who became the fifth...

)
8
^ 3 (1954
1954 FIFA World Cup
The 1954 FIFA World Cup, the fifth staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Switzerland from 16 June to 4 July. Switzerland was chosen as hosts in July 1946. The tournament set a number of all-time records for goal-scoring, including the highest average goals scored per game...

, 1974
1974 FIFA World Cup
The 1974 FIFA World Cup, the tenth staging of the World Cup, was held in West Germany from 13 June to 7 July. The tournament marked the first time that the current trophy, the FIFA World Cup Trophy, created by the Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga, was awarded...

*, 1990
1990 FIFA World Cup
The 1990 FIFA World Cup was the 14th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 8 June to 8 July 1990 in Italy, the second country to host the event twice. Teams representing 116 national football associations from all six populated...

)
4 (1966
1966 FIFA World Cup
The 1966 FIFA World Cup, the eighth staging of the World Cup, was held in England from 11 July to 30 July. England beat West Germany 4–2 in the final, winning the World Cup for the first time, so becoming the first host to win the tournament since Italy in 1934.-Host selection:England was chosen as...

, 1982
1982 FIFA World Cup
The 1982 FIFA World Cup, the 12th FIFA World Cup, was held in Spain from 13 June to 11 July. The tournament was won by Italy, after defeating West Germany 3–1 in the final.-Host selection:...

, 1986
1986 FIFA World Cup
The 1986 FIFA World Cup, the 13th FIFA World Cup, was held in Mexico from 31 May to 29 June. The tournament was the second to feature a 24-team format. Colombia had been originally chosen to host the competition by FIFA but, largely due to economic reasons, was not able to do so and officially...

, 2002
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

)
4 (1934
1934 FIFA World Cup
The 1934 FIFA World Cup was the second FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in Italy from 27 May to 10 June 1934....

, 1970
1970 FIFA World Cup
The 1970 FIFA World Cup, the ninth staging of the World Cup, was held in Mexico, from 31 May to 21 June. The 1970 tournament was the first World Cup hosted in North America, and the first held outside South America and Europe. In a match-up of two-time World Cup champions, the final was won by...

, 2006*
2006 FIFA World Cup
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...

, 2010
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

)
1 (1958
1958 FIFA World Cup
The 1958 FIFA World Cup, the sixth staging of the World Cup, was hosted by Sweden from 8 June to 29 June. The tournament was won by Brazil, who beat Sweden 5–2 in the final for their first title. To date, this marks the only occasion that a World Cup staged in Europe was not won by a European...

)
12
2 (1978
1978 FIFA World Cup
The 1978 FIFA World Cup, the 11th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Argentina between 1 June and 25 June. The 1978 World Cup was won by Argentina who beat the Netherlands 3–1 after extra time in the final. This win was the first World Cup title for Argentina, who became the fifth...

*, 1986
1986 FIFA World Cup
The 1986 FIFA World Cup, the 13th FIFA World Cup, was held in Mexico from 31 May to 29 June. The tournament was the second to feature a 24-team format. Colombia had been originally chosen to host the competition by FIFA but, largely due to economic reasons, was not able to do so and officially...

)
2 (1930
1930 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 July to 30 July 1930...

, 1990
1990 FIFA World Cup
The 1990 FIFA World Cup was the 14th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 8 June to 8 July 1990 in Italy, the second country to host the event twice. Teams representing 116 national football associations from all six populated...

)
4
2 (1930
1930 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 July to 30 July 1930...

*, 1950
1950 FIFA World Cup
The 1950 FIFA World Cup, held in Brazil from 24 June to 16 July, was the fourth FIFA World Cup. It was the first World Cup since 1938, the planned 1942 and 1946 competitions having been canceled owing to World War II...

)
3 (1954
1954 FIFA World Cup
The 1954 FIFA World Cup, the fifth staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Switzerland from 16 June to 4 July. Switzerland was chosen as hosts in July 1946. The tournament set a number of all-time records for goal-scoring, including the highest average goals scored per game...

, 1970
1970 FIFA World Cup
The 1970 FIFA World Cup, the ninth staging of the World Cup, was held in Mexico, from 31 May to 21 June. The 1970 tournament was the first World Cup hosted in North America, and the first held outside South America and Europe. In a match-up of two-time World Cup champions, the final was won by...

, 2010
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

)
5
1 (1998
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

*)
1 (2006
2006 FIFA World Cup
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...

)
2 (1958
1958 FIFA World Cup
The 1958 FIFA World Cup, the sixth staging of the World Cup, was hosted by Sweden from 8 June to 29 June. The tournament was won by Brazil, who beat Sweden 5–2 in the final for their first title. To date, this marks the only occasion that a World Cup staged in Europe was not won by a European...

, 1986
1986 FIFA World Cup
The 1986 FIFA World Cup, the 13th FIFA World Cup, was held in Mexico from 31 May to 29 June. The tournament was the second to feature a 24-team format. Colombia had been originally chosen to host the competition by FIFA but, largely due to economic reasons, was not able to do so and officially...

)
1 (1982
1982 FIFA World Cup
The 1982 FIFA World Cup, the 12th FIFA World Cup, was held in Spain from 13 June to 11 July. The tournament was won by Italy, after defeating West Germany 3–1 in the final.-Host selection:...

)
5
1 (1966
1966 FIFA World Cup
The 1966 FIFA World Cup, the eighth staging of the World Cup, was held in England from 11 July to 30 July. England beat West Germany 4–2 in the final, winning the World Cup for the first time, so becoming the first host to win the tournament since Italy in 1934.-Host selection:England was chosen as...

*)
1 (1990
1990 FIFA World Cup
The 1990 FIFA World Cup was the 14th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 8 June to 8 July 1990 in Italy, the second country to host the event twice. Teams representing 116 national football associations from all six populated...

)
2
1 (2010
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

)
1 (1950
1950 FIFA World Cup
The 1950 FIFA World Cup, held in Brazil from 24 June to 16 July, was the fourth FIFA World Cup. It was the first World Cup since 1938, the planned 1942 and 1946 competitions having been canceled owing to World War II...

)
2
3 (1974
1974 FIFA World Cup
The 1974 FIFA World Cup, the tenth staging of the World Cup, was held in West Germany from 13 June to 7 July. The tournament marked the first time that the current trophy, the FIFA World Cup Trophy, created by the Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga, was awarded...

, 1978
1978 FIFA World Cup
The 1978 FIFA World Cup, the 11th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Argentina between 1 June and 25 June. The 1978 World Cup was won by Argentina who beat the Netherlands 3–1 after extra time in the final. This win was the first World Cup title for Argentina, who became the fifth...

, 2010
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

)
1 (1998
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

)
4
# 2 (1934
1934 FIFA World Cup
The 1934 FIFA World Cup was the second FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in Italy from 27 May to 10 June 1934....

, 1962
1962 FIFA World Cup
The 1962 FIFA World Cup, the seventh staging of the World Cup, was held in Chile from 30 May to 17 June. It was won by Brazil, who retained the championship by beating Czechoslovakia 3–1 in the final...

)
2
2 (1938
1938 FIFA World Cup
The 1938 FIFA World Cup was the third staging of the World Cup, and was held in France from 4 June to 19 June. Italy retained the championship, beating Hungary 4–2 in the final.-Host selection:...

, 1954
1954 FIFA World Cup
The 1954 FIFA World Cup, the fifth staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Switzerland from 16 June to 4 July. Switzerland was chosen as hosts in July 1946. The tournament set a number of all-time records for goal-scoring, including the highest average goals scored per game...

)
2
1 (1958
1958 FIFA World Cup
The 1958 FIFA World Cup, the sixth staging of the World Cup, was hosted by Sweden from 8 June to 29 June. The tournament was won by Brazil, who beat Sweden 5–2 in the final for their first title. To date, this marks the only occasion that a World Cup staged in Europe was not won by a European...

*)
2 (1950
1950 FIFA World Cup
The 1950 FIFA World Cup, held in Brazil from 24 June to 16 July, was the fourth FIFA World Cup. It was the first World Cup since 1938, the planned 1942 and 1946 competitions having been canceled owing to World War II...

, 1994
1994 FIFA World Cup
The 1994 FIFA World Cup, the 15th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in nine cities across the United States from June 17 to July 17, 1994. The United States was chosen as the host by FIFA on July 4, 1988...

)
1 (1938
1938 FIFA World Cup
The 1938 FIFA World Cup was the third staging of the World Cup, and was held in France from 4 June to 19 June. Italy retained the championship, beating Hungary 4–2 in the final.-Host selection:...

)
4
2 (1974
1974 FIFA World Cup
The 1974 FIFA World Cup, the tenth staging of the World Cup, was held in West Germany from 13 June to 7 July. The tournament marked the first time that the current trophy, the FIFA World Cup Trophy, created by the Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga, was awarded...

, 1982
1982 FIFA World Cup
The 1982 FIFA World Cup, the 12th FIFA World Cup, was held in Spain from 13 June to 11 July. The tournament was won by Italy, after defeating West Germany 3–1 in the final.-Host selection:...

)
2
1 (1954
1954 FIFA World Cup
The 1954 FIFA World Cup, the fifth staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Switzerland from 16 June to 4 July. Switzerland was chosen as hosts in July 1946. The tournament set a number of all-time records for goal-scoring, including the highest average goals scored per game...

)
1 (1934
1934 FIFA World Cup
The 1934 FIFA World Cup was the second FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in Italy from 27 May to 10 June 1934....

)
2
1 (1966
1966 FIFA World Cup
The 1966 FIFA World Cup, the eighth staging of the World Cup, was held in England from 11 July to 30 July. England beat West Germany 4–2 in the final, winning the World Cup for the first time, so becoming the first host to win the tournament since Italy in 1934.-Host selection:England was chosen as...

)
1 (2006
2006 FIFA World Cup
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...

)
2
1 (1930
1930 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 July to 30 July 1930...

)
1
1 (1962
1962 FIFA World Cup
The 1962 FIFA World Cup, the seventh staging of the World Cup, was held in Chile from 30 May to 17 June. It was won by Brazil, who retained the championship by beating Czechoslovakia 3–1 in the final...

*)
1
1 (1998
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

)
1
1 (2002
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

)
1
# 2 (1930
1930 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 July to 30 July 1930...

, 1962
1962 FIFA World Cup
The 1962 FIFA World Cup, the seventh staging of the World Cup, was held in Chile from 30 May to 17 June. It was won by Brazil, who retained the championship by beating Czechoslovakia 3–1 in the final...

)
2
# 1 (1966
1966 FIFA World Cup
The 1966 FIFA World Cup, the eighth staging of the World Cup, was held in England from 11 July to 30 July. England beat West Germany 4–2 in the final, winning the World Cup for the first time, so becoming the first host to win the tournament since Italy in 1934.-Host selection:England was chosen as...

)
1
1 (1986
1986 FIFA World Cup
The 1986 FIFA World Cup, the 13th FIFA World Cup, was held in Mexico from 31 May to 29 June. The tournament was the second to feature a 24-team format. Colombia had been originally chosen to host the competition by FIFA but, largely due to economic reasons, was not able to do so and officially...

)
1
1 (1994
1994 FIFA World Cup
The 1994 FIFA World Cup, the 15th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in nine cities across the United States from June 17 to July 17, 1994. The United States was chosen as the host by FIFA on July 4, 1988...

)
1
1 (2002
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

*)
1

The FIFA World Cup, often simply the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA
FIFA
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association , commonly known by the acronym FIFA , is the international governing body of :association football, futsal and beach football. Its headquarters are located in Zurich, Switzerland, and its president is Sepp Blatter, who is in his fourth...

), the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930
1930 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 July to 30 July 1930...

, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War. The current champions are Spain
Spain national football team
The Spain national football team represents Spain in international association football and is controlled by the Royal Spanish Football Federation, the governing body for football in Spain. The current head coach is Vicente del Bosque...

, who won the 2010 tournament
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

.

The current format of the tournament involves 32 teams competing for the title at venues within the host nation(s) over a period of about a month – this phase is often called the World Cup Finals. A qualification phase
FIFA World Cup qualification
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 a global event, so qualification is required to reduce the large field of participants from about 200 to 32.Qualifying tournaments...

, which currently takes place over the preceding three years, is used to determine which teams qualify for the tournament together with the host nation(s).

The 19 World Cup tournaments have been won by eight different national teams. Brazil
Brazil national football team
The Brazil national football team represents Brazil in international men's football and is controlled by the Brazilian Football Confederation , the governing body for football in Brazil. They are a member of the International Federation of Association Football since 1923 and also a member of the...

 have won five times, and they are the only team to have played in every tournament. The other World Cup winners are Italy
Italy national football team
The Italy National Football Team , represents Italy in association football and is controlled by the Italian Football Federation , the governing body for football in Italy. Italy is the second most successful national team in the history of the World Cup having won four titles , just one fewer than...

, with four titles; Germany
Germany national football team
The Germany national football team is the football team that has represented Germany in international competition since 1908. It is governed by the German Football Association , which was founded in 1900....

, with three titles; Argentina
Argentina national football team
The Argentina national football team represents Argentina in association football and is controlled by the Argentine Football Association , the governing body for football in Argentina. Argentina's home stadium is Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti and their head coach is Alejandro...

 and inaugural winners Uruguay
Uruguay national football team
The Uruguayan national football team represents Uruguay in international association football and is controlled by the Uruguayan Football Association, the governing body for football in Uruguay. The current head coach is Óscar Tabárez...

, with two titles each; and England
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in association football and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first...

, France
France national football team
The France national football team represents the nation of France in international football. It is fielded by the French Football Federation , the governing body of football in France, and competes as a member of UEFA, which encompasses the countries of Europe...

, and Spain
Spain national football team
The Spain national football team represents Spain in international association football and is controlled by the Royal Spanish Football Federation, the governing body for football in Spain. The current head coach is Vicente del Bosque...

, with one title each.

The World Cup is the world's most widely viewed sporting event; an estimated 715.1 million people watched the final match
2006 FIFA World Cup Final
The 2006 FIFA World Cup Final was a football match that took place on 9 July 2006 at the Olympiastadion, Berlin to determine the winner of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Italy beat France on penalties after the match finished 1–1 after extra time...

 of the 2006 FIFA World Cup
2006 FIFA World Cup
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...

 held in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

.

The next three World Cups will be hosted by Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 in 2014
2014 FIFA World Cup
The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be the 20th FIFA World Cup, an international association football tournament that will take place in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July 2014....

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 in 2018
2018 FIFA World Cup
The bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups was the process by which the locations for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups were selected. The process began officially in March 2009; eleven bids from thirteen countries were received, including one which was withdrawn and one that was...

, and Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

 in 2022
2022 FIFA World Cup
The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be the 22nd FIFA World Cup, an international association football tournament that is scheduled to take place in 2022 in Qatar. The competition is scheduled to take place in June and July, although proposals have been made for a winter season. The tournament will involve...

.

Previous international competitions


The world's first international football match was a challenge match played in Glasgow
Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

 in 1872 between Scotland
Scotland national football team
The Scotland national football team represents Scotland in international football and is controlled by the Scottish Football Association. Scotland are the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside England, whom they played in the world's first international football match in 1872...

 and England
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in association football and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first...

, which ended in a 0–0 draw. The first international tournament, the inaugural edition of the British Home Championship
British Home Championship
The British Home Championship was an annual football competition contested between the United Kingdom's four national teams, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland from the 1883–84 season until the 1983–84...

, took place in 1884. At this stage the sport was rarely played outside the United Kingdom
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

. As football grew in popularity in other parts of the world at the turn of the 20th century, it was held as a demonstration sport
Demonstration sport
A demonstration sport is a sport which is played to promote itself, most commonly during the Olympic Games, but also at other sporting events.Demonstration sports were officially introduced in 1912 Summer Olympics, when Sweden decided to include glima, traditional Icelandic wrestling, in the...

 with no medals awarded at the 1900
Football at the 1900 Summer Olympics
At the 1900 Summer Olympics, a football tournament was contested for the first time. Only two demonstration matches were held between the three club sides, and no medals were awarded...

 and 1904 Summer Olympics
Football at the 1904 Summer Olympics
At the 1904 Summer Olympics, a football event was contested. Only three club teams competed. No medals were awarded at the time, but the IOC subsequently awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals and upgrade the status of the contests to an official event....

 (however, the IOC has retroactively upgraded their status to official events), and at the 1906 Intercalated Games
Football at the 1906 Summer Olympics
At the 1906 Summer Olympics, called "Intercalated Games", in Athens, an unofficial football event was contested. Only four teams competed, three of them clubs from Greece and the Ottoman Empire...

.

After FIFA
FIFA
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association , commonly known by the acronym FIFA , is the international governing body of :association football, futsal and beach football. Its headquarters are located in Zurich, Switzerland, and its president is Sepp Blatter, who is in his fourth...

 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.

At the 1908 Summer Olympics
Football at the 1908 Summer Olympics
Bohemia were forced to withdraw before the tournament started after losing their FIFA membership.-Semi-finals:-Bronze medal match:The French were so shocked by their humiliating 17-1 defeat against Denmark that they declined to play for the bronze medal; therefore, the Netherlands played Sweden for...

 in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, football became an official competition. Planned by The Football Association
The Football Association
The Football Association, also known as simply The FA, is the governing body of football in England, and the Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. It was formed in 1863, and is the oldest national 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
England national amateur football team
The England national amateur football team was the amateur representative team for England at football. It was formed in 1906, due to the growth of the professional game which meant that amateur players could no longer easily find places in the main England national team.-First match and unbeaten...

) won the gold medal
Gold medal
A gold medal is typically the medal awarded for highest achievement in a non-military field. Its name derives from the use of at least a fraction of gold in form of plating or alloying in its manufacture...

s. They repeated the feat in 1912
Football at the 1912 Summer Olympics
Football at the 1912 Summer Olympics was one of the 102 events at the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden. It was the fourth time football was on the Olympic schedule. The tournament was contested between 11 nations, all of them from Europe, with Great Britain winning the gold medals...

 in Stockholm
Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...

, where the tournament was organised by the Swedish Football Association
Swedish Football Association
The Swedish Football Association is the governing body of football in Sweden. It organises the football leagues — Allsvenskan for men and Damallsvenskan for women — and the men's and women's national teams. It is based in Solna and is a founding member of both FIFA and UEFA...

.

With the Olympic event continuing to be contested only between amateur teams, Sir Thomas Lipton
Thomas Lipton
Sir Thomas Johnstone Lipton, 1st Baronet, KCVO was a Scotsman of Ulster-Scots parentage who was a self-made man, merchant, and yachtsman. He created the Lipton tea brand and was the most persistent challenger in the history of the America's Cup.-Parentage and childhood:Lipton was born in Glasgow...

 organised the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy
Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy
The Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy was an association football competition that took place twice, in Turin, Italy, in 1909 and 1911. It is sometimes referred to as The First World Cup. However it is predated by the Torneo Internazionale Stampa Sportiva, which was hosted in 1908 also in Turin, as the...

 tournament in Turin
Turin
Turin is a city and major business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River and surrounded by the Alpine arch. The population of the city proper is 909,193 while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat...

 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, 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
West Auckland Town F.C.
West Auckland Town F.C. are a football club from West Auckland, County Durham, England, competing in the Northern League, in the ninth tier of the English football league system...

, an amateur side from County Durham
County Durham
County Durham is a ceremonial county and unitary district in north east England. The county town is Durham. The largest settlement in the ceremonial county is the town of Darlington...

, to represent England instead. West Auckland won the tournament and returned in 1911 to successfully defend their title. They were given the trophy to keep forever, as per the rules of the competition.

In 1914, FIFA agreed to recognise the Olympic tournament
Football at the Summer Olympics
Association football, usually known simply as football or soccer, has been included in every Olympiad except 1896 and 1932 as a men's competition sport. Women's football was added to the official programme in 1996.-Early history:...

 as a "world football championship for amateurs", and took responsibility for managing the event. This paved the way for the world's first intercontinental football competition, at the 1920 Summer Olympics
Football at the 1920 Summer Olympics
The football at the 1920 Summer Olympics, was one of the 154 events at the 1920 Summer Olympics, held in Antwerp. It was the fifth time football was on the Olympic schedule. The tournament was contested by 14 teams, with host country Belgium winning the gold medals...

, contested by Egypt and thirteen European teams, and won by Belgium. Uruguay
Uruguay national football team
The Uruguayan national football team represents Uruguay in international association football and is controlled by the Uruguayan Football Association, the governing body for football in Uruguay. The current head coach is Óscar Tabárez...

 won the next two Olympic football tournaments in 1924
Football at the 1924 Summer Olympics
At the 1924 Summer Olympics held in Paris, Uruguay dominated the Football tournament winning the Gold.-Amateur Status:In 1921, the Belgium Football Association first allowed for payments to players for time lost from work; in the months that followed four other Associations permitted similar...

 and 1928
Football at the 1928 Summer Olympics
Football at the 1928 Summer Olympics tournament, won by Uruguay against Argentina, would be the precursor to the first FIFA World Cup held in 1930 in Uruguay.-Medalists:-Background:...

. Those were also the first two open world championships, as 1924 was the start of FIFA's professional era.
Due to the success of the Olympic football tournaments, FIFA, with President Jules Rimet
Jules Rimet
Jules Rimet was a French football administrator who was the 3rd President of FIFA, serving from 1921 to 1954. He was FIFA's longest serving president, having served for 33 years. He also served as the president of the French Football Federation from 1919 to 1946...

 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
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

 decided to stage a world championship itself. With Uruguay now two-time official football world champions and to celebrate their centenary of independence in 1930, FIFA named Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

 as the host country of the inaugural World Cup tournament
1930 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 July to 30 July 1930...

.

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
France national football team
The France national football team represents the nation of France in international football. It is fielded by the French Football Federation , the governing body of football in France, and competes as a member of UEFA, which encompasses the countries of Europe...

, Romania
Romania national football team
The Romania national football team is the national football team of Romania and is controlled by the Romanian Football Federation.Romania is one of only four national teams, the other three being Brazil, France, and Belgium, that took part in the first three World Cups.However, after that...

, and Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia national football team
The Yugoslavia national football team represented the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in association football. It enjoyed a modicum of success in international competition. In 1992, during the Yugoslav wars, the team was suspended from international...

 to make the trip. In total thirteen nations took part: seven from South America, four from Europe and two from North America.

The first two World Cup matches took place simultaneously on 13 July 1930, and were won by France
France national football team
The France national football team represents the nation of France in international football. It is fielded by the French Football Federation , the governing body of football in France, and competes as a member of UEFA, which encompasses the countries of Europe...

 and USA
United States men's national soccer team
The United States men's national soccer team represents the United States in international association football competitions. It is controlled by the United States Soccer Federation and competes in CONCACAF...

, who defeated Mexico
Mexico national football team
The Mexican national football team represents Mexico in association football and is governed by the Mexican Football Federation , the governing body for football in Mexico. Mexico's home stadium is the Estadio Azteca and their head coach is José Manuel de la Torre...

 4–1 and Belgium 3–0 respectively. The first goal in World Cup history was scored by Lucien Laurent
Lucien Laurent
Lucien Laurent was a French association football player. He is famous for having scored the first ever FIFA World Cup goal.-Career:Laurent was born in Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, Val-de-Marne, near Paris....

 of France. In the final
1930 FIFA World Cup Final
- External links :*...

, Uruguay
Uruguay national football team
The Uruguayan national football team represents Uruguay in international association football and is controlled by the Uruguayan Football Association, the governing body for football in Uruguay. The current head coach is Óscar Tabárez...

 defeated Argentina
Argentina national football team
The Argentina national football team represents Argentina in association football and is controlled by the Argentine Football Association , the governing body for football in Argentina. Argentina's home stadium is Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti and their head coach is Alejandro...

 4–2 in front of a crowd of 93,000 people in Montevideo
Montevideo
Montevideo is the largest city, the capital, and the chief port of Uruguay. The settlement was established in 1726 by Bruno Mauricio de Zabala, as a strategic move amidst a Spanish-Portuguese dispute over the platine region, and as a counter to the Portuguese colony at Colonia del Sacramento...

, and in doing so became the first nation to win the World Cup.

World Cups before World War II


After the creation of the World Cup, the 1932 Summer Olympics
1932 Summer Olympics
The 1932 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the X Olympiad, was a major world wide multi-athletic event which was celebrated in 1932 in Los Angeles, California, United States. No other cities made a bid to host these Olympics. Held during the worldwide Great Depression, many nations...

, held in Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles , with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621, is the most populous city in California, USA and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City. It has an area of , and is located in Southern California...

, did not plan to include football as part of the schedule due to the low popularity of the sport in the United States
Soccer in the United States
Soccer, fully known as association football,See the articles Football and Names for association football#North America for more detailed explanations of the differing names for soccer. has long been a popular sport in the United States...

, as American football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

 had been growing in popularity. FIFA and the IOC
International Olympic Committee
The International Olympic Committee is an international corporation based in Lausanne, Switzerland, created by Pierre de Coubertin on 23 June 1894 with Demetrios Vikelas as its first president...

 also disagreed over the status of amateur players, and so football was dropped from the Games. Olympic football returned at the 1936 Summer Olympics
Football at the 1936 Summer Olympics
The 1936 Olympic football tournament, won by Italy, has come to share an affinity with the political backdrop against which it was being played; in terms of the history of football, however, the tournament suffered as a reaction to the development of the FIFA World Cup.The introduction of the first...

, 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
1934 FIFA World Cup
The 1934 FIFA World Cup was the second FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in Italy from 27 May to 10 June 1934....

 and 1938
1938 FIFA World Cup
The 1938 FIFA World Cup was the third staging of the World Cup, and was held in France from 4 June to 19 June. Italy retained the championship, beating Hungary 4–2 in the final.-Host selection:...

 tournaments, with Brazil
Brazil national football team
The Brazil national football team represents Brazil in international men's football and is controlled by the Brazilian Football Confederation , the governing body for football in Brazil. They are a member of the International Federation of Association Football since 1923 and also a member of the...

 the only South American team to compete in both. The 1942 and 1946 competitions, which Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 and Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 sought to host, were cancelled due to World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 and its aftermath.

World Cups after World War II


The 1950 World Cup
1950 FIFA World Cup
The 1950 FIFA World Cup, held in Brazil from 24 June to 16 July, was the fourth FIFA World Cup. It was the first World Cup since 1938, the planned 1942 and 1946 competitions having been canceled owing to World War II...

, held in Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, was the first to include British participants. British teams
Home Nations
Home Nations is a collective term with one of two meanings depending on the context. Politically, it means the nations of the constituent countries of the United Kingdom...

 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, but rejoined in 1946 following FIFA's invitation. The tournament also saw the return of 1930 champions Uruguay
Uruguay national football team
The Uruguayan national football team represents Uruguay in international association football and is controlled by the Uruguayan Football Association, the governing body for football in Uruguay. The current head coach is Óscar Tabárez...

, 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
1978 FIFA World Cup
The 1978 FIFA World Cup, the 11th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Argentina between 1 June and 25 June. The 1978 World Cup was won by Argentina who beat the Netherlands 3–1 after extra time in the final. This win was the first World Cup title for Argentina, who became the fifth...

, 16 teams competed in each tournament, except in 1938, when Austria
Austria national football team
The Austria national football team is the association football team that represents the country of Austria in international competition and is controlled by the Austrian Football Association ....

 was absorbed
Anschluss
The Anschluss , also known as the ', was the occupation and annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany in 1938....

 into Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 after qualifying, leaving the tournament with 15 teams, and in 1950, when India
India national football team
The Indian national football team is the national football team of India and is governed by the All India Football Federation. It is a member of the Asian Football Confederation. Since 1948, the AIFF has been affiliated with FIFA, the international governing body for football. In 1954, AIFF became...

, Scotland
Scotland national football team
The Scotland national football team represents Scotland in international football and is controlled by the Scottish Football Association. Scotland are the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside England, whom they played in the world's first international football match in 1872...

 and Turkey
Turkey national football team
The Turkey national football team represents Turkey in association football and is controlled by the Turkish Football Federation, the governing body for football in Turkey. They are affiliated with UEFA...

 withdrew, leaving the tournament with 13 teams. 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
United States men's national soccer team
The United States men's national soccer team represents the United States in international association football competitions. It is controlled by the United States Soccer Federation and competes in CONCACAF...

, semi-finalists in 1930; Cuba
Cuba national football team
The Cuba national football team is the national team of Cuba and is controlled by the Asociación de Fútbol de Cuba. They are affiliated to the Caribbean Football Union of CONCACAF....

, quarter-finalists in 1938; Korea DPR
Korea DPR national football team
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea national football team represents the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in international association football and is controlled by the DPR Korea Football Association, the governing body for football in North Korea.North Korea surprised with a...

, quarter-finalists in 1966
1966 FIFA World Cup
The 1966 FIFA World Cup, the eighth staging of the World Cup, was held in England from 11 July to 30 July. England beat West Germany 4–2 in the final, winning the World Cup for the first time, so becoming the first host to win the tournament since Italy in 1934.-Host selection:England was chosen as...

; and Mexico
Mexico national football team
The Mexican national football team represents Mexico in association football and is governed by the Mexican Football Federation , the governing body for football in Mexico. Mexico's home stadium is the Estadio Azteca and their head coach is José Manuel de la Torre...

, quarter-finalists in 1970
1970 FIFA World Cup
The 1970 FIFA World Cup, the ninth staging of the World Cup, was held in Mexico, from 31 May to 21 June. The 1970 tournament was the first World Cup hosted in North America, and the first held outside South America and Europe. In a match-up of two-time World Cup champions, the final was won by...

.

Expansion to 32 teams


The tournament was expanded to 24 teams in 1982
1982 FIFA World Cup
The 1982 FIFA World Cup, the 12th FIFA World Cup, was held in Spain from 13 June to 11 July. The tournament was won by Italy, after defeating West Germany 3–1 in the final.-Host selection:...

, and then to 32 in 1998
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

, allowing more teams from Africa, Asia and North America to take part. In recent years, teams from these regions have enjoyed more success, and those who have reached the quarter-finals include: Mexico
Mexico national football team
The Mexican national football team represents Mexico in association football and is governed by the Mexican Football Federation , the governing body for football in Mexico. Mexico's home stadium is the Estadio Azteca and their head coach is José Manuel de la Torre...

, quarter-finalists in 1986
1986 FIFA World Cup
The 1986 FIFA World Cup, the 13th FIFA World Cup, was held in Mexico from 31 May to 29 June. The tournament was the second to feature a 24-team format. Colombia had been originally chosen to host the competition by FIFA but, largely due to economic reasons, was not able to do so and officially...

; Cameroon
Cameroon national football team
The Cameroon national football team, nicknamed Les Lions Indomptables , is controlled by the Fédération Camerounaise de Football and is Africa's most successful side in FIFA world cup; having qualified for the FIFA World Cup six times – in 1982, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2010– more than any...

, quarter-finalists in 1990
1990 FIFA World Cup
The 1990 FIFA World Cup was the 14th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 8 June to 8 July 1990 in Italy, the second country to host the event twice. Teams representing 116 national football associations from all six populated...

; Korea Republic
Korea Republic national football team
The Korea Republic national football team represents Korea Republic in international football and is controlled by the Korea Football Association. Korea Republic is the most successful Asian football team in the history of the FIFA World Cup having participated in eight World Cup tournaments,...

, finishing in fourth place in 2002
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

; Senegal
Senegal national football team
The Senegal national football team, nicknamed the Lions of Teranga, is the national team of Senegal and is controlled by the Fédération Sénégalaise de Football...

, along with USA
United States men's national soccer team
The United States men's national soccer team represents the United States in international association football competitions. It is controlled by the United States Soccer Federation and competes in CONCACAF...

, both quarter-finalists in 2002; and Ghana
Ghana national football team
The Ghana national football team, popularly known as the Black Stars, is the national association football team of Ghana and is controlled by the Ghana Football Association...

 as quarter-finalists in 2010. Nevertheless, European and South American teams continue to dominate, e.g., the quarter-finalists in 1998 and 2006 were all from Europe or South America.

Two hundred teams entered the 2002 FIFA World Cup
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

 qualification rounds; 198 nations attempted to qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup
2006 FIFA World Cup
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...

, while a record 204 countries entered qualification for the 2010 FIFA World Cup
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

.

Other FIFA tournaments


An equivalent tournament for women's football
Women's football (soccer)
Women's association football has been played for many decades, but was associated with charity games and physical exercise in the past before the breakthrough of organized women's association football came in the 1970s. Before the 1970s, football was basically seen as a men's game...

, the FIFA Women's World Cup
FIFA Women's World Cup
The FIFA Women's World Cup is an international association football competition contested by the senior women's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association , the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the...

, was first held in 1991
FIFA Women's World Cup 1991
The 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup was the first ever edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup. It was held in Guangdong, China and won by the United States. It was originally called the Women's World Championship.-Venues:-Teams:...

 in the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

. 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.

Football has been included in every Summer Olympic Games
Summer Olympic Games
The Summer Olympic Games or the Games of the Olympiad are an international multi-sport event, occurring every four years, organized by the International Olympic Committee. Medals are awarded in each event, with gold medals for first place, silver for second and bronze for third, a tradition that...

 except 1896 and 1932. Unlike many other sports, the men's football tournament at the Olympics
Football at the Summer Olympics
Association football, usually known simply as football or soccer, has been included in every Olympiad except 1896 and 1932 as a men's competition sport. Women's football was added to the official programme in 1996.-Early history:...

 is not a top-level tournament, and since 1992, an under-23 tournament with each team allowed three over-age players. Women's football made its Olympic debut in 1996, and is contested between full national sides with no age restrictions.

The FIFA Confederations Cup
FIFA Confederations Cup
The FIFA Confederations Cup is an association football tournament for national teams, currently held every four years by FIFA. It is contested by the winners of each of the six FIFA confederation championships , along with the FIFA World Cup winner and the host nation, to bring the number of teams...

 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.

FIFA also organises international tournaments for youth football (FIFA U-20 World Cup
FIFA U-20 World Cup
The FIFA U-20 World Cup, until 2005 known as the FIFA World Youth Championship, is the world championship of football for male players under the age of 20 and is organized by Fédération Internationale de Football Association...

, FIFA U-17 World Cup
FIFA U-17 World Cup
The FIFA U-17 World Cup, founded as the FIFA U-16 World Championship, later changed to the FIFA U-17 World Championship and known by its current name since 2007, is the world championship of association football for male players under the age of 17 organized by Fédération Internationale de Football...

, FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup
FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup
The FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup is an international association football tournament for female players under the age of 17. It is organized by Fédération Internationale de Football Association...

), club football (FIFA Club World Cup
FIFA Club World Cup
The FIFA Club World Cup is a football competition between the champion clubs from all six continental confederations.The first FIFA Club World Championship took place in Brazil in January 2000...

), and football variants such as futsal
Futsal
Futsal is a variant of association football that is played on a smaller pitch and mainly played indoors. Its name is a portmanteau of the Portuguese futebol de salão and the Spanish fútbol de salón , which can be translated as "hall football" or "indoor football"...

 (FIFA Futsal World Cup) and beach soccer
Beach soccer
Beach soccer, also known as beach football or beasal, is a variant of association football played on a beach or some form of sand. The game emphasises skill, agility and shooting at goal....

 (FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup
FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup
The FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup is a bi-annual international beach soccer competition contested by the national teams of the member associations of FIFA, the sport's global governing body. The tournament has taken place every year since its establishment in 1995, when it was originally supervised...

).

Trophy




From 1930 to 1970, the Jules Rimet Trophy was awarded to the World Cup winner. 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
Jules Rimet
Jules Rimet was a French football administrator who was the 3rd President of FIFA, serving from 1921 to 1954. He was FIFA's longest serving president, having served for 33 years. He also served as the president of the French Football Federation from 1919 to 1946...

 who set up the first tournament. In 1970
1970 FIFA World Cup
The 1970 FIFA World Cup, the ninth staging of the World Cup, was held in Mexico, from 31 May to 21 June. The 1970 tournament was the first World Cup hosted in North America, and the first held outside South America and Europe. In a match-up of two-time World Cup champions, the final was won by...

, Brazil
Brazil national football team
The Brazil national football team represents Brazil in international men's football and is controlled by the Brazilian Football Confederation , the governing body for football in Brazil. They are a member of the International Federation of Association Football since 1923 and also a member of the...

'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.

After 1970, a new trophy, known as the FIFA World Cup Trophy, was designed. The experts of FIFA, coming from seven different countries, evaluated the 53 presented models, finally opting for the work of the Italian designer Silvio Gazzaniga
Silvio Gazzaniga
Silvio Gazzaniga is an Italian sculptor. While working for the Stabilimento Artistico Bertoni company, he created the FIFA World Cup Trophy. Gazzaniga was a graduate of the Brera Academy, as is his daughter, Gabriella, and is a fan of AC Milan.His design was chosen by committee on April 5, 1971...

. The new trophy is 36 cm (14.2 in) high, made of solid 18 carat
Carat (purity)
The karat or carat is a unit of purity for gold alloys.- Measure :Karat purity is measured as 24 times the purity by mass:where...

 (75%) gold and weighs 6.175 kg (13.6 lb). The base contains two layers of semi-precious malachite
Malachite
Malachite is a copper carbonate mineral, with the formula Cu2CO32. This green-colored mineral crystallizes in the monoclinic crystal system, and most often forms botryoidal, fibrous, or stalagmitic masses. Individual crystals are rare but do occur as slender to acicular prisms...

 while the bottom side of the trophy bears the engraved year and name of each FIFA World Cup winner since 1974
1974 FIFA World Cup
The 1974 FIFA World Cup, the tenth staging of the World Cup, was held in West Germany from 13 June to 7 July. The tournament marked the first time that the current trophy, the FIFA World Cup Trophy, created by the Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga, was awarded...

. 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."

This new trophy is not awarded to the winning nation permanently. World Cup winners retain the trophy until the next tournament and are awarded a gold-plated replica rather than the solid gold original.

At the present, all members (players and coaches) of the top three teams receive medals with an insignia of the World Cup Trophy; winners' (gold), runner-ups' (silver), and third-place (bronze). In the 2002 edition
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

, fourth-place medals were awarded to hosts South Korea
Korea Republic national football team
The Korea Republic national football team represents Korea Republic in international football and is controlled by the Korea Football Association. Korea Republic is the most successful Asian football team in the history of the FIFA World Cup having participated in eight World Cup tournaments,...

. Prior to 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.

Qualification



Since the second World Cup in 1934
1934 FIFA World Cup
The 1934 FIFA World Cup was the second FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in Italy from 27 May to 10 June 1934....

, qualifying tournaments have been held to thin the field for the final tournament. They are held within the six FIFA continental zones (Africa
Confederation of African Football
The Confederation of African Football is the administrative and controlling body for African association football.CAF represents the national football associations of Africa, runs continental, national, and club competitions, and controls the prize money, regulations and media rights to those...

, Asia
Asian Football Confederation
The Asian Football Confederation is the governing body of association football in Asia. It has 46 member countries, mostly located on the Asian continent. However, due to the disputed boundary of Europe and Asia, nations such as Russia and Turkey which are located mostly in geographic Asia are...

, North and Central America and Caribbean
CONCACAF
The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football is the continental governing body for association football in North America, Central America and the Caribbean...

, South America
CONMEBOL
The South American Football Confederation , commonly known as CONMEBOL , is the continental governing body of association football in South America and it is one of FIFA's six continental confederations...

, Oceania
Oceania Football Confederation
The Oceania Football Confederation is one of the six continental confederations of international association football, consisting of Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and island nations such as Tonga, Fiji and other Pacific Island countries...

, and Europe
UEFA
The Union of European Football Associations , almost always referred to by its acronym UEFA is the administrative and controlling body for European association football, futsal and beach soccer....

), 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
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

. From the 1938 World Cup
1938 FIFA World Cup
The 1938 FIFA World Cup was the third staging of the World Cup, and was held in France from 4 June to 19 June. Italy retained the championship, beating Hungary 4–2 in the final.-Host selection:...

 onwards, host nations received 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
2006 FIFA World Cup
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...

 onward, requiring the champions to qualify. Brazil
Brazil national football team
The Brazil national football team represents Brazil in international men's football and is controlled by the Brazilian Football Confederation , the governing body for football in Brazil. They are a member of the International Federation of Association Football since 1923 and also a member of the...

, winners in 2002
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

, were the first defending champions to play in a qualifying match.

Final tournament



The current final tournament features 32 national teams competing over a month in the host nation(s). There are two stages: the group stage followed by the knockout stage.

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
FIFA World Rankings
The FIFA World Rankings is a ranking system for men's national teams in association football, currently led by Spain. The teams of the member nations of FIFA , football's world governing body, are ranked based on their game results with the most successful teams being ranked highest...

 and/or performances in recent World Cups, and drawn to separate groups. 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
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

, 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.

Each group plays a round-robin tournament
Round-robin tournament
A round-robin tournament is a competition "in which each contestant meets all other contestants in turn".-Terminology:...

, in which each team is scheduled for three matches against other teams in the same group. The last round of matches of each group is scheduled at the same time to preserve fairness among all four teams. The top two teams from each group advance to the knockout stage. Points are used to rank the teams within a group. Since 1994
1994 FIFA World Cup
The 1994 FIFA World Cup, the 15th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in nine cities across the United States from June 17 to July 17, 1994. The United States was chosen as the host by FIFA on July 4, 1988...

, three points have been awarded for a win
Three points for a win
Three points for a win is a standard used in many sports leagues and group tournaments, especially in association football, in which three points are awarded to the team winning a match, with no points to the losing team. If the game is drawn, each team receives one point...

, one for a draw and none for a loss (before, winners received two points).

The ranking of each team in each group is determined as follows:
  1. Greatest number of points in group matches
  2. Greatest goal difference in group matches
  3. Greatest number of goals scored in group matches
  4. 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
  5. 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
Single-elimination tournament
A single-elimination tournament, also called a knockout, cup or sudden death tournament, is a type of elimination tournament where the loser of each match or bracket is immediately eliminated from winning the championship or first prize in the event...

 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
Third place playoff
The third place playoff is a single match that is included in many sporting knockout tournaments to decide which competitor or team will be credited with finishing third and fourth. The teams that compete in the third place playoffs are usually the two losing semi-finalists in a particular...

 (contested by the losing semi-finalists), and the final.

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
1930 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 July to 30 July 1930...

 in Uruguay, for example, led to only four European nations competing. The next two World Cups were both held in Europe. The decision to hold the second of these in France was disputed, as the American countries understood that the location would alternate between the two continents. Both Argentina and Uruguay thus boycotted the 1938 FIFA World Cup
1938 FIFA World Cup
The 1938 FIFA World Cup was the third staging of the World Cup, and was held in France from 4 June to 19 June. Italy retained the championship, beating Hungary 4–2 in the final.-Host selection:...

.

Since the 1958 FIFA World Cup
1958 FIFA World Cup
The 1958 FIFA World Cup, the sixth staging of the World Cup, was hosted by Sweden from 8 June to 29 June. The tournament was won by Brazil, who beat Sweden 5–2 in the final for their first title. To date, this marks the only occasion that a World Cup staged in Europe was not won by a European...

, 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
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

. The 2002 FIFA World Cup
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

, hosted jointly by South Korea and Japan, was the first one held in Asia, and the only tournament with multiple hosts. South Africa became the first African nation to host the World Cup in 2010
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

. The 2014 FIFA World Cup
2014 FIFA World Cup
The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be the 20th FIFA World Cup, an international association football tournament that will take place in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July 2014....

 will be hosted by Brazil, the first held in South America since 1978
1978 FIFA World Cup
The 1978 FIFA World Cup, the 11th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Argentina between 1 June and 25 June. The 1978 World Cup was won by Argentina who beat the Netherlands 3–1 after extra time in the final. This win was the first World Cup title for Argentina, who became the fifth...

, and will be the first occasion where consecutive World Cups are held outside Europe.

The host country is now chosen in a vote by FIFA's Executive Committee. This is done under an exhaustive ballot
Exhaustive ballot
The exhaustive ballot is a voting system used to elect a single winner. Under the exhaustive ballot the elector simply casts a single vote for his or her favorite candidate. However if no candidate is supported by an overall majority of votes then the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated...

 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
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

 respectively.

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
2006 FIFA World Cup
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...

. 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
2018 FIFA World Cup
The bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups was the process by which the locations for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups were selected. The process began officially in March 2009; eleven bids from thirteen countries were received, including one which was withdrawn and one that was...

. This is partly to avoid a similar scenario to the bidding process for the 2014 tournament, where Brazil was the only official bidder.

Performances



Six of the eight champions have won one of their titles while playing in their own homeland, the exceptions being Brazil
Brazil national football team
The Brazil national football team represents Brazil in international men's football and is controlled by the Brazilian Football Confederation , the governing body for football in Brazil. They are a member of the International Federation of Association Football since 1923 and also a member of the...

, who finished as runners-up after losing the deciding match on home soil in 1950, and Spain
Spain national football team
The Spain national football team represents Spain in international association football and is controlled by the Royal Spanish Football Federation, the governing body for football in Spain. The current head coach is Vicente del Bosque...

, which reached the second round on home soil in 1982. England
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in association football and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first...

 (1966) and France
France national football team
The France national football team represents the nation of France in international football. It is fielded by the French Football Federation , the governing body of football in France, and competes as a member of UEFA, which encompasses the countries of Europe...

 (1998) won their only titles while playing as host nations. Uruguay
Uruguay national football team
The Uruguayan national football team represents Uruguay in international association football and is controlled by the Uruguayan Football Association, the governing body for football in Uruguay. The current head coach is Óscar Tabárez...

 (1930), Italy
Italy national football team
The Italy National Football Team , represents Italy in association football and is controlled by the Italian Football Federation , the governing body for football in Italy. Italy is the second most successful national team in the history of the World Cup having won four titles , just one fewer than...

 (1934) and Argentina
Argentina national football team
The Argentina national football team represents Argentina in association football and is controlled by the Argentine Football Association , the governing body for football in Argentina. Argentina's home stadium is Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti and their head coach is Alejandro...

 (1978) won their first titles as host nations but have gone on to win again, while Germany
Germany national football team
The Germany national football team is the football team that has represented Germany in international competition since 1908. It is governed by the German Football Association , which was founded in 1900....

 (1974) won their second title on home soil.

Other nations have also been successful when hosting the tournament. Sweden
Sweden national football team
The Swedish national football team represents Sweden in association football and is controlled by the Swedish Football Association, the governing body for Football in Sweden. Sweden's home ground is Råsunda Stadium in Stockholms län and their head coach is Erik Hamrén. Sweden made their first...

 (runners-up in 1958), Chile
Chile national football team
The Chilean national football team represents Chile in all major international football competitions. The team is controlled by the Federación de Fútbol de Chile which was established in 1895. They have appeared in eight World Cup tournaments and were hosts of the 1962 FIFA World Cup finishing in...

 (third place in 1962), Korea Republic
Korea Republic national football team
The Korea Republic national football team represents Korea Republic in international football and is controlled by the Korea Football Association. Korea Republic is the most successful Asian football team in the history of the FIFA World Cup having participated in eight World Cup tournaments,...

 (fourth place in 2002), and Mexico
Mexico national football team
The Mexican national football team represents Mexico in association football and is governed by the Mexican Football Federation , the governing body for football in Mexico. Mexico's home stadium is the Estadio Azteca and their head coach is José Manuel de la Torre...

 (quarter-finals in 1970 and 1986) all have their best results when serving as hosts. So far, South Africa
South Africa national football team
The South Africa national football team represents South Africa in association football and is controlled by the South African Football Association, the governing body for football in South Africa. South Africa's home ground is Soccer City, known as FNB Stadium due to a naming rights deal, in...

 (2010) was the only host nation to fail to advance beyond the first round.

Organisation and media coverage



The World Cup was first televised in 1954 and is now the most widely viewed and followed sporting event in the world, exceeding even the Olympic Games
Olympic Games
The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate...

. The cumulative audience of all matches of the 2006 World Cup is estimated to be 26.29 billion. 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.

Each FIFA World Cup since 1966 has its own mascot
Mascot
The term mascot – defined as a term for any person, animal, or object thought to bring luck – colloquially includes anything used to represent a group with a common public identity, such as a school, professional sports team, society, military unit, or brand name...

 or logo. World Cup Willie, the mascot for the 1966 competition, was the first World Cup mascot. Recent World Cups have also featured official match balls specially designed for each World Cup.

Results


Year Host Winners Score Runners-up Third Place Score Fourth Place Number of teams
1930
Details
1930 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 July to 30 July 1930...

 Uruguay 4–2
1930 FIFA World Cup Final
- External links :*...

13
1934
Details
1934 FIFA World Cup
The 1934 FIFA World Cup was the second FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in Italy from 27 May to 10 June 1934....

 Italy 2–1
1934 FIFA World Cup Final
The 1934 FIFA World Cup Final was the deciding match of the 1934 FIFA World Cup. It was contested by Italy and Czechoslovakia. Italy won the game 2-1....


(a.e.t.)
3–2 16
1938
Details
1938 FIFA World Cup
The 1938 FIFA World Cup was the third staging of the World Cup, and was held in France from 4 June to 19 June. Italy retained the championship, beating Hungary 4–2 in the final.-Host selection:...

 Early Modern France 4–2
1938 FIFA World Cup Final
- External links :*...

4–2 16
1950
Details
1950 FIFA World Cup
The 1950 FIFA World Cup, held in Brazil from 24 June to 16 July, was the fourth FIFA World Cup. It was the first World Cup since 1938, the planned 1942 and 1946 competitions having been canceled owing to World War II...

 Brazil 16/13
1954
Details
1954 FIFA World Cup
The 1954 FIFA World Cup, the fifth staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Switzerland from 16 June to 4 July. Switzerland was chosen as hosts in July 1946. The tournament set a number of all-time records for goal-scoring, including the highest average goals scored per game...

 Switzerland 3–2
1954 FIFA World Cup Final
- External links :* - fifa.com, FIFA, 2002.*...

3–1 16
1958
Details
1958 FIFA World Cup
The 1958 FIFA World Cup, the sixth staging of the World Cup, was hosted by Sweden from 8 June to 29 June. The tournament was won by Brazil, who beat Sweden 5–2 in the final for their first title. To date, this marks the only occasion that a World Cup staged in Europe was not won by a European...

 Sweden 5–2
1958 FIFA World Cup Final
-References:...

6–3 16
1962
Details
1962 FIFA World Cup
The 1962 FIFA World Cup, the seventh staging of the World Cup, was held in Chile from 30 May to 17 June. It was won by Brazil, who retained the championship by beating Czechoslovakia 3–1 in the final...

 Chile 3–1
1962 FIFA World Cup Final
The 1962 FIFA World Cup Final was the deciding match of the 1962 FIFA World Cup. It was contested by Czechoslovakia and Brazil. Brazil won the game 3-1 to record their second consecutive World Cup victory....

1–0 16
1966
Details
1966 FIFA World Cup
The 1966 FIFA World Cup, the eighth staging of the World Cup, was held in England from 11 July to 30 July. England beat West Germany 4–2 in the final, winning the World Cup for the first time, so becoming the first host to win the tournament since Italy in 1934.-Host selection:England was chosen as...

 Kingdom of England 4–2
1966 FIFA World Cup Final
The 1966 FIFA World Cup Final was the final match in the 1966 FIFA World Cup, the eighth football World Cup. The match was contested by England and West Germany on 30 July 1966 at Wembley Stadium in London, and had an attendance of 98,000. England won 4–2 after extra time to win the Jules Rimet...


(a.e.t.)
2–1 16
1970
Details
1970 FIFA World Cup
The 1970 FIFA World Cup, the ninth staging of the World Cup, was held in Mexico, from 31 May to 21 June. The 1970 tournament was the first World Cup hosted in North America, and the first held outside South America and Europe. In a match-up of two-time World Cup champions, the final was won by...

 Mexico 4–1
1970 FIFA World Cup Final
The 1970 FIFA World Cup Final was contested by Brazil and Italy on 21 June 1970 in the Azteca Stadium in Mexico, to determine the winner of the 1970 FIFA World Cup....

1–0 16
1974
Details
1974 FIFA World Cup
The 1974 FIFA World Cup, the tenth staging of the World Cup, was held in West Germany from 13 June to 7 July. The tournament marked the first time that the current trophy, the FIFA World Cup Trophy, created by the Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga, was awarded...

 West Germany 2–1
1974 FIFA World Cup Final
-References:...

1–0 16
1978
Details
1978 FIFA World Cup
The 1978 FIFA World Cup, the 11th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Argentina between 1 June and 25 June. The 1978 World Cup was won by Argentina who beat the Netherlands 3–1 after extra time in the final. This win was the first World Cup title for Argentina, who became the fifth...

 Argentina 3–1
1978 FIFA World Cup Final
The Final of the 1978 FIFA World Cup was contested between hosts Argentina and The Netherlands. The match was won by the Argentines in extra time by a score of 3–1. Mario Kempes, who finished as the tournament's top scorer, was named the man of the match...


(a.e.t.)
2–1 16
1982
Details
1982 FIFA World Cup
The 1982 FIFA World Cup, the 12th FIFA World Cup, was held in Spain from 13 June to 11 July. The tournament was won by Italy, after defeating West Germany 3–1 in the final.-Host selection:...

 Spain 3–1
1982 FIFA World Cup Final
- External links :**...

3–2 24
1986
Details
1986 FIFA World Cup
The 1986 FIFA World Cup, the 13th FIFA World Cup, was held in Mexico from 31 May to 29 June. The tournament was the second to feature a 24-team format. Colombia had been originally chosen to host the competition by FIFA but, largely due to economic reasons, was not able to do so and officially...

 Mexico 3–2
1986 FIFA World Cup Final
- External links :**...

4–2
(a.e.t.)
24
1990
Details
1990 FIFA World Cup
The 1990 FIFA World Cup was the 14th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 8 June to 8 July 1990 in Italy, the second country to host the event twice. Teams representing 116 national football associations from all six populated...

 Italy 1–0
1990 FIFA World Cup Final
The 1990 FIFA World Cup Final was a football match played between West Germany and Argentina that took place on 8 July 1990 at the Stadio Olimpico, Rome to determine the winner of the 1990 FIFA World Cup...

2–1 24
1994
Details
1994 FIFA World Cup
The 1994 FIFA World Cup, the 15th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in nine cities across the United States from June 17 to July 17, 1994. The United States was chosen as the host by FIFA on July 4, 1988...

 United States 0–0
1994 FIFA World Cup Final
The 1994 FIFA World Cup Final took place in Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California, United States. Brazil won the World Cup against Italy on a penalty shootout after the score was 0–0. This was Brazil's fourth World Cup title. It was also the first ever World Cup final to be decided by a penalty...


(a.e.t.)
(3–2 pen.)
4–0 24
1998
Details
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

 Early Modern France 3–0
1998 FIFA World Cup Final
The 1998 FIFA World Cup Final was a football match that was played on 12 July 1998 at the Stade de France in St-Denis to determine the winner of the 1998 FIFA World Cup a global football tournament held every four years...

2–1 32
2002
Details
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

 South Korea
&  Japan
2–0
2002 FIFA World Cup Final
The 2002 FIFA World Cup Final the final match of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, played between Germany and Brazil at the International Stadium in Yokohama, Japan. It was the first World Cup meeting between the two sides. Brazil won the match 2–0, winning a record fifth title...

3–2 32
2006
Details
2006 FIFA World Cup
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...

 Germany 1–1
2006 FIFA World Cup Final
The 2006 FIFA World Cup Final was a football match that took place on 9 July 2006 at the Olympiastadion, Berlin to determine the winner of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Italy beat France on penalties after the match finished 1–1 after extra time...


(a.e.t.)
(5–3 pen.)
3–1 32
2010
Details
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

 South Africa 1–0
2010 FIFA World Cup Final
The 2010 FIFA World Cup Final was a football match that took place on 11 July 2010 at Soccer City in Johannesburg, South Africa, to determine the winner of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Spain defeated the Netherlands 1–0 with a goal from Andrés Iniesta four minutes from the end of extra time...


(a.e.t.)
3–2 32
  • a.e.t.: after extra time
  • pen.: score in penalty shootout


Notes


In all, 76 nations have played in at least one World Cup
National team appearances in the FIFA World Cup
This article lists the performances of each of the 76 national teams which have made at least one appearance in the FIFA World Cup finals.-Debut of teams:Each successive World Cup has had at least one team appearing for the first time...

. Of these, eight national teams have won the World Cup, and they have added stars to their crests
Star (football crest)
In association football, some national and club sides include one or more stars as part of the crest appearing on their shirt, to represent important trophies the team has previously won. Sometimes this is a unilateral decision by the team concerned rather than a privilege earned and sanctioned...

, with each star representing a World Cup victory. (However, Uruguay are an exception to this unwritten rule; they choose to display four stars on their crest, 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 (19) to date, and they will host the 20th in 2014. 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 have made the most top-four finishes, with twelve, while sharing the record of most top-two finishes with Brazil, with seven.

Titles by team


: 5: 4: 3: 2: 2: 1: 1: 1

Teams reaching the top four



Team Titles Runners-up Third place Fourth place Total finishes in top four
5 (1958
1958 FIFA World Cup
The 1958 FIFA World Cup, the sixth staging of the World Cup, was hosted by Sweden from 8 June to 29 June. The tournament was won by Brazil, who beat Sweden 5–2 in the final for their first title. To date, this marks the only occasion that a World Cup staged in Europe was not won by a European...

, 1962
1962 FIFA World Cup
The 1962 FIFA World Cup, the seventh staging of the World Cup, was held in Chile from 30 May to 17 June. It was won by Brazil, who retained the championship by beating Czechoslovakia 3–1 in the final...

, 1970
1970 FIFA World Cup
The 1970 FIFA World Cup, the ninth staging of the World Cup, was held in Mexico, from 31 May to 21 June. The 1970 tournament was the first World Cup hosted in North America, and the first held outside South America and Europe. In a match-up of two-time World Cup champions, the final was won by...

, 1994
1994 FIFA World Cup
The 1994 FIFA World Cup, the 15th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in nine cities across the United States from June 17 to July 17, 1994. The United States was chosen as the host by FIFA on July 4, 1988...

, 2002
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

)
2 (1950
1950 FIFA World Cup
The 1950 FIFA World Cup, held in Brazil from 24 June to 16 July, was the fourth FIFA World Cup. It was the first World Cup since 1938, the planned 1942 and 1946 competitions having been canceled owing to World War II...

*, 1998
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

)
2 (1938
1938 FIFA World Cup
The 1938 FIFA World Cup was the third staging of the World Cup, and was held in France from 4 June to 19 June. Italy retained the championship, beating Hungary 4–2 in the final.-Host selection:...

, 1978
1978 FIFA World Cup
The 1978 FIFA World Cup, the 11th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Argentina between 1 June and 25 June. The 1978 World Cup was won by Argentina who beat the Netherlands 3–1 after extra time in the final. This win was the first World Cup title for Argentina, who became the fifth...

)
1 (1974
1974 FIFA World Cup
The 1974 FIFA World Cup, the tenth staging of the World Cup, was held in West Germany from 13 June to 7 July. The tournament marked the first time that the current trophy, the FIFA World Cup Trophy, created by the Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga, was awarded...

)
10
4 (1934
1934 FIFA World Cup
The 1934 FIFA World Cup was the second FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in Italy from 27 May to 10 June 1934....

*, 1938
1938 FIFA World Cup
The 1938 FIFA World Cup was the third staging of the World Cup, and was held in France from 4 June to 19 June. Italy retained the championship, beating Hungary 4–2 in the final.-Host selection:...

, 1982
1982 FIFA World Cup
The 1982 FIFA World Cup, the 12th FIFA World Cup, was held in Spain from 13 June to 11 July. The tournament was won by Italy, after defeating West Germany 3–1 in the final.-Host selection:...

, 2006
2006 FIFA World Cup
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...

)
2 (1970
1970 FIFA World Cup
The 1970 FIFA World Cup, the ninth staging of the World Cup, was held in Mexico, from 31 May to 21 June. The 1970 tournament was the first World Cup hosted in North America, and the first held outside South America and Europe. In a match-up of two-time World Cup champions, the final was won by...

, 1994
1994 FIFA World Cup
The 1994 FIFA World Cup, the 15th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in nine cities across the United States from June 17 to July 17, 1994. The United States was chosen as the host by FIFA on July 4, 1988...

)
1 (1990
1990 FIFA World Cup
The 1990 FIFA World Cup was the 14th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 8 June to 8 July 1990 in Italy, the second country to host the event twice. Teams representing 116 national football associations from all six populated...

*)
1 (1978
1978 FIFA World Cup
The 1978 FIFA World Cup, the 11th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Argentina between 1 June and 25 June. The 1978 World Cup was won by Argentina who beat the Netherlands 3–1 after extra time in the final. This win was the first World Cup title for Argentina, who became the fifth...

)
8
^ 3 (1954
1954 FIFA World Cup
The 1954 FIFA World Cup, the fifth staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Switzerland from 16 June to 4 July. Switzerland was chosen as hosts in July 1946. The tournament set a number of all-time records for goal-scoring, including the highest average goals scored per game...

, 1974
1974 FIFA World Cup
The 1974 FIFA World Cup, the tenth staging of the World Cup, was held in West Germany from 13 June to 7 July. The tournament marked the first time that the current trophy, the FIFA World Cup Trophy, created by the Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga, was awarded...

*, 1990
1990 FIFA World Cup
The 1990 FIFA World Cup was the 14th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 8 June to 8 July 1990 in Italy, the second country to host the event twice. Teams representing 116 national football associations from all six populated...

)
4 (1966
1966 FIFA World Cup
The 1966 FIFA World Cup, the eighth staging of the World Cup, was held in England from 11 July to 30 July. England beat West Germany 4–2 in the final, winning the World Cup for the first time, so becoming the first host to win the tournament since Italy in 1934.-Host selection:England was chosen as...

, 1982
1982 FIFA World Cup
The 1982 FIFA World Cup, the 12th FIFA World Cup, was held in Spain from 13 June to 11 July. The tournament was won by Italy, after defeating West Germany 3–1 in the final.-Host selection:...

, 1986
1986 FIFA World Cup
The 1986 FIFA World Cup, the 13th FIFA World Cup, was held in Mexico from 31 May to 29 June. The tournament was the second to feature a 24-team format. Colombia had been originally chosen to host the competition by FIFA but, largely due to economic reasons, was not able to do so and officially...

, 2002
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

)
4 (1934
1934 FIFA World Cup
The 1934 FIFA World Cup was the second FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in Italy from 27 May to 10 June 1934....

, 1970
1970 FIFA World Cup
The 1970 FIFA World Cup, the ninth staging of the World Cup, was held in Mexico, from 31 May to 21 June. The 1970 tournament was the first World Cup hosted in North America, and the first held outside South America and Europe. In a match-up of two-time World Cup champions, the final was won by...

, 2006*
2006 FIFA World Cup
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...

, 2010
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

)
1 (1958
1958 FIFA World Cup
The 1958 FIFA World Cup, the sixth staging of the World Cup, was hosted by Sweden from 8 June to 29 June. The tournament was won by Brazil, who beat Sweden 5–2 in the final for their first title. To date, this marks the only occasion that a World Cup staged in Europe was not won by a European...

)
12
2 (1978
1978 FIFA World Cup
The 1978 FIFA World Cup, the 11th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Argentina between 1 June and 25 June. The 1978 World Cup was won by Argentina who beat the Netherlands 3–1 after extra time in the final. This win was the first World Cup title for Argentina, who became the fifth...

*, 1986
1986 FIFA World Cup
The 1986 FIFA World Cup, the 13th FIFA World Cup, was held in Mexico from 31 May to 29 June. The tournament was the second to feature a 24-team format. Colombia had been originally chosen to host the competition by FIFA but, largely due to economic reasons, was not able to do so and officially...

)
2 (1930
1930 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 July to 30 July 1930...

, 1990
1990 FIFA World Cup
The 1990 FIFA World Cup was the 14th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 8 June to 8 July 1990 in Italy, the second country to host the event twice. Teams representing 116 national football associations from all six populated...

)
4
2 (1930
1930 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 July to 30 July 1930...

*, 1950
1950 FIFA World Cup
The 1950 FIFA World Cup, held in Brazil from 24 June to 16 July, was the fourth FIFA World Cup. It was the first World Cup since 1938, the planned 1942 and 1946 competitions having been canceled owing to World War II...

)
3 (1954
1954 FIFA World Cup
The 1954 FIFA World Cup, the fifth staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Switzerland from 16 June to 4 July. Switzerland was chosen as hosts in July 1946. The tournament set a number of all-time records for goal-scoring, including the highest average goals scored per game...

, 1970
1970 FIFA World Cup
The 1970 FIFA World Cup, the ninth staging of the World Cup, was held in Mexico, from 31 May to 21 June. The 1970 tournament was the first World Cup hosted in North America, and the first held outside South America and Europe. In a match-up of two-time World Cup champions, the final was won by...

, 2010
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

)
5
1 (1998
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

*)
1 (2006
2006 FIFA World Cup
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...

)
2 (1958
1958 FIFA World Cup
The 1958 FIFA World Cup, the sixth staging of the World Cup, was hosted by Sweden from 8 June to 29 June. The tournament was won by Brazil, who beat Sweden 5–2 in the final for their first title. To date, this marks the only occasion that a World Cup staged in Europe was not won by a European...

, 1986
1986 FIFA World Cup
The 1986 FIFA World Cup, the 13th FIFA World Cup, was held in Mexico from 31 May to 29 June. The tournament was the second to feature a 24-team format. Colombia had been originally chosen to host the competition by FIFA but, largely due to economic reasons, was not able to do so and officially...

)
1 (1982
1982 FIFA World Cup
The 1982 FIFA World Cup, the 12th FIFA World Cup, was held in Spain from 13 June to 11 July. The tournament was won by Italy, after defeating West Germany 3–1 in the final.-Host selection:...

)
5
1 (1966
1966 FIFA World Cup
The 1966 FIFA World Cup, the eighth staging of the World Cup, was held in England from 11 July to 30 July. England beat West Germany 4–2 in the final, winning the World Cup for the first time, so becoming the first host to win the tournament since Italy in 1934.-Host selection:England was chosen as...

*)
1 (1990
1990 FIFA World Cup
The 1990 FIFA World Cup was the 14th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 8 June to 8 July 1990 in Italy, the second country to host the event twice. Teams representing 116 national football associations from all six populated...

)
2
1 (2010
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

)
1 (1950
1950 FIFA World Cup
The 1950 FIFA World Cup, held in Brazil from 24 June to 16 July, was the fourth FIFA World Cup. It was the first World Cup since 1938, the planned 1942 and 1946 competitions having been canceled owing to World War II...

)
2
3 (1974
1974 FIFA World Cup
The 1974 FIFA World Cup, the tenth staging of the World Cup, was held in West Germany from 13 June to 7 July. The tournament marked the first time that the current trophy, the FIFA World Cup Trophy, created by the Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga, was awarded...

, 1978
1978 FIFA World Cup
The 1978 FIFA World Cup, the 11th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Argentina between 1 June and 25 June. The 1978 World Cup was won by Argentina who beat the Netherlands 3–1 after extra time in the final. This win was the first World Cup title for Argentina, who became the fifth...

, 2010
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

)
1 (1998
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

)
4
# 2 (1934
1934 FIFA World Cup
The 1934 FIFA World Cup was the second FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in Italy from 27 May to 10 June 1934....

, 1962
1962 FIFA World Cup
The 1962 FIFA World Cup, the seventh staging of the World Cup, was held in Chile from 30 May to 17 June. It was won by Brazil, who retained the championship by beating Czechoslovakia 3–1 in the final...

)
2
2 (1938
1938 FIFA World Cup
The 1938 FIFA World Cup was the third staging of the World Cup, and was held in France from 4 June to 19 June. Italy retained the championship, beating Hungary 4–2 in the final.-Host selection:...

, 1954
1954 FIFA World Cup
The 1954 FIFA World Cup, the fifth staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Switzerland from 16 June to 4 July. Switzerland was chosen as hosts in July 1946. The tournament set a number of all-time records for goal-scoring, including the highest average goals scored per game...

)
2
1 (1958
1958 FIFA World Cup
The 1958 FIFA World Cup, the sixth staging of the World Cup, was hosted by Sweden from 8 June to 29 June. The tournament was won by Brazil, who beat Sweden 5–2 in the final for their first title. To date, this marks the only occasion that a World Cup staged in Europe was not won by a European...

*)
2 (1950
1950 FIFA World Cup
The 1950 FIFA World Cup, held in Brazil from 24 June to 16 July, was the fourth FIFA World Cup. It was the first World Cup since 1938, the planned 1942 and 1946 competitions having been canceled owing to World War II...

, 1994
1994 FIFA World Cup
The 1994 FIFA World Cup, the 15th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in nine cities across the United States from June 17 to July 17, 1994. The United States was chosen as the host by FIFA on July 4, 1988...

)
1 (1938
1938 FIFA World Cup
The 1938 FIFA World Cup was the third staging of the World Cup, and was held in France from 4 June to 19 June. Italy retained the championship, beating Hungary 4–2 in the final.-Host selection:...

)
4
2 (1974
1974 FIFA World Cup
The 1974 FIFA World Cup, the tenth staging of the World Cup, was held in West Germany from 13 June to 7 July. The tournament marked the first time that the current trophy, the FIFA World Cup Trophy, created by the Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga, was awarded...

, 1982
1982 FIFA World Cup
The 1982 FIFA World Cup, the 12th FIFA World Cup, was held in Spain from 13 June to 11 July. The tournament was won by Italy, after defeating West Germany 3–1 in the final.-Host selection:...

)
2
1 (1954
1954 FIFA World Cup
The 1954 FIFA World Cup, the fifth staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Switzerland from 16 June to 4 July. Switzerland was chosen as hosts in July 1946. The tournament set a number of all-time records for goal-scoring, including the highest average goals scored per game...

)
1 (1934
1934 FIFA World Cup
The 1934 FIFA World Cup was the second FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in Italy from 27 May to 10 June 1934....

)
2
1 (1966
1966 FIFA World Cup
The 1966 FIFA World Cup, the eighth staging of the World Cup, was held in England from 11 July to 30 July. England beat West Germany 4–2 in the final, winning the World Cup for the first time, so becoming the first host to win the tournament since Italy in 1934.-Host selection:England was chosen as...

)
1 (2006
2006 FIFA World Cup
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...

)
2
1 (1930
1930 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 July to 30 July 1930...

)
1
1 (1962
1962 FIFA World Cup
The 1962 FIFA World Cup, the seventh staging of the World Cup, was held in Chile from 30 May to 17 June. It was won by Brazil, who retained the championship by beating Czechoslovakia 3–1 in the final...

*)
1
1 (1998
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

)
1
1 (2002
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

)
1
# 2 (1930
1930 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 July to 30 July 1930...

, 1962
1962 FIFA World Cup
The 1962 FIFA World Cup, the seventh staging of the World Cup, was held in Chile from 30 May to 17 June. It was won by Brazil, who retained the championship by beating Czechoslovakia 3–1 in the final...

)
2
# 1 (1966
1966 FIFA World Cup
The 1966 FIFA World Cup, the eighth staging of the World Cup, was held in England from 11 July to 30 July. England beat West Germany 4–2 in the final, winning the World Cup for the first time, so becoming the first host to win the tournament since Italy in 1934.-Host selection:England was chosen as...

)
1
1 (1986
1986 FIFA World Cup
The 1986 FIFA World Cup, the 13th FIFA World Cup, was held in Mexico from 31 May to 29 June. The tournament was the second to feature a 24-team format. Colombia had been originally chosen to host the competition by FIFA but, largely due to economic reasons, was not able to do so and officially...

)
1
1 (1994
1994 FIFA World Cup
The 1994 FIFA World Cup, the 15th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in nine cities across the United States from June 17 to July 17, 1994. The United States was chosen as the host by FIFA on July 4, 1988...

)
1
1 (2002
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

*)
1

The FIFA World Cup, often simply the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA
FIFA
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association , commonly known by the acronym FIFA , is the international governing body of :association football, futsal and beach football. Its headquarters are located in Zurich, Switzerland, and its president is Sepp Blatter, who is in his fourth...

), the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930
1930 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 July to 30 July 1930...

, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War. The current champions are Spain
Spain national football team
The Spain national football team represents Spain in international association football and is controlled by the Royal Spanish Football Federation, the governing body for football in Spain. The current head coach is Vicente del Bosque...

, who won the 2010 tournament
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

.

The current format of the tournament involves 32 teams competing for the title at venues within the host nation(s) over a period of about a month – this phase is often called the World Cup Finals. A qualification phase
FIFA World Cup qualification
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 a global event, so qualification is required to reduce the large field of participants from about 200 to 32.Qualifying tournaments...

, which currently takes place over the preceding three years, is used to determine which teams qualify for the tournament together with the host nation(s).

The 19 World Cup tournaments have been won by eight different national teams. Brazil
Brazil national football team
The Brazil national football team represents Brazil in international men's football and is controlled by the Brazilian Football Confederation , the governing body for football in Brazil. They are a member of the International Federation of Association Football since 1923 and also a member of the...

 have won five times, and they are the only team to have played in every tournament. The other World Cup winners are Italy
Italy national football team
The Italy National Football Team , represents Italy in association football and is controlled by the Italian Football Federation , the governing body for football in Italy. Italy is the second most successful national team in the history of the World Cup having won four titles , just one fewer than...

, with four titles; Germany
Germany national football team
The Germany national football team is the football team that has represented Germany in international competition since 1908. It is governed by the German Football Association , which was founded in 1900....

, with three titles; Argentina
Argentina national football team
The Argentina national football team represents Argentina in association football and is controlled by the Argentine Football Association , the governing body for football in Argentina. Argentina's home stadium is Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti and their head coach is Alejandro...

 and inaugural winners Uruguay
Uruguay national football team
The Uruguayan national football team represents Uruguay in international association football and is controlled by the Uruguayan Football Association, the governing body for football in Uruguay. The current head coach is Óscar Tabárez...

, with two titles each; and England
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in association football and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first...

, France
France national football team
The France national football team represents the nation of France in international football. It is fielded by the French Football Federation , the governing body of football in France, and competes as a member of UEFA, which encompasses the countries of Europe...

, and Spain
Spain national football team
The Spain national football team represents Spain in international association football and is controlled by the Royal Spanish Football Federation, the governing body for football in Spain. The current head coach is Vicente del Bosque...

, with one title each.

The World Cup is the world's most widely viewed sporting event; an estimated 715.1 million people watched the final match
2006 FIFA World Cup Final
The 2006 FIFA World Cup Final was a football match that took place on 9 July 2006 at the Olympiastadion, Berlin to determine the winner of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Italy beat France on penalties after the match finished 1–1 after extra time...

 of the 2006 FIFA World Cup
2006 FIFA World Cup
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...

 held in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

.

The next three World Cups will be hosted by Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 in 2014
2014 FIFA World Cup
The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be the 20th FIFA World Cup, an international association football tournament that will take place in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July 2014....

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 in 2018
2018 FIFA World Cup
The bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups was the process by which the locations for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups were selected. The process began officially in March 2009; eleven bids from thirteen countries were received, including one which was withdrawn and one that was...

, and Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

 in 2022
2022 FIFA World Cup
The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be the 22nd FIFA World Cup, an international association football tournament that is scheduled to take place in 2022 in Qatar. The competition is scheduled to take place in June and July, although proposals have been made for a winter season. The tournament will involve...

.

Previous international competitions


The world's first international football match was a challenge match played in Glasgow
Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

 in 1872 between Scotland
Scotland national football team
The Scotland national football team represents Scotland in international football and is controlled by the Scottish Football Association. Scotland are the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside England, whom they played in the world's first international football match in 1872...

 and England
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in association football and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first...

, which ended in a 0–0 draw. The first international tournament, the inaugural edition of the British Home Championship
British Home Championship
The British Home Championship was an annual football competition contested between the United Kingdom's four national teams, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland from the 1883–84 season until the 1983–84...

, took place in 1884. At this stage the sport was rarely played outside the United Kingdom
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

. As football grew in popularity in other parts of the world at the turn of the 20th century, it was held as a demonstration sport
Demonstration sport
A demonstration sport is a sport which is played to promote itself, most commonly during the Olympic Games, but also at other sporting events.Demonstration sports were officially introduced in 1912 Summer Olympics, when Sweden decided to include glima, traditional Icelandic wrestling, in the...

 with no medals awarded at the 1900
Football at the 1900 Summer Olympics
At the 1900 Summer Olympics, a football tournament was contested for the first time. Only two demonstration matches were held between the three club sides, and no medals were awarded...

 and 1904 Summer Olympics
Football at the 1904 Summer Olympics
At the 1904 Summer Olympics, a football event was contested. Only three club teams competed. No medals were awarded at the time, but the IOC subsequently awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals and upgrade the status of the contests to an official event....

 (however, the IOC has retroactively upgraded their status to official events), and at the 1906 Intercalated Games
Football at the 1906 Summer Olympics
At the 1906 Summer Olympics, called "Intercalated Games", in Athens, an unofficial football event was contested. Only four teams competed, three of them clubs from Greece and the Ottoman Empire...

.

After FIFA
FIFA
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association , commonly known by the acronym FIFA , is the international governing body of :association football, futsal and beach football. Its headquarters are located in Zurich, Switzerland, and its president is Sepp Blatter, who is in his fourth...

 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.

At the 1908 Summer Olympics
Football at the 1908 Summer Olympics
Bohemia were forced to withdraw before the tournament started after losing their FIFA membership.-Semi-finals:-Bronze medal match:The French were so shocked by their humiliating 17-1 defeat against Denmark that they declined to play for the bronze medal; therefore, the Netherlands played Sweden for...

 in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, football became an official competition. Planned by The Football Association
The Football Association
The Football Association, also known as simply The FA, is the governing body of football in England, and the Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. It was formed in 1863, and is the oldest national 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
England national amateur football team
The England national amateur football team was the amateur representative team for England at football. It was formed in 1906, due to the growth of the professional game which meant that amateur players could no longer easily find places in the main England national team.-First match and unbeaten...

) won the gold medal
Gold medal
A gold medal is typically the medal awarded for highest achievement in a non-military field. Its name derives from the use of at least a fraction of gold in form of plating or alloying in its manufacture...

s. They repeated the feat in 1912
Football at the 1912 Summer Olympics
Football at the 1912 Summer Olympics was one of the 102 events at the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden. It was the fourth time football was on the Olympic schedule. The tournament was contested between 11 nations, all of them from Europe, with Great Britain winning the gold medals...

 in Stockholm
Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...

, where the tournament was organised by the Swedish Football Association
Swedish Football Association
The Swedish Football Association is the governing body of football in Sweden. It organises the football leagues — Allsvenskan for men and Damallsvenskan for women — and the men's and women's national teams. It is based in Solna and is a founding member of both FIFA and UEFA...

.

With the Olympic event continuing to be contested only between amateur teams, Sir Thomas Lipton
Thomas Lipton
Sir Thomas Johnstone Lipton, 1st Baronet, KCVO was a Scotsman of Ulster-Scots parentage who was a self-made man, merchant, and yachtsman. He created the Lipton tea brand and was the most persistent challenger in the history of the America's Cup.-Parentage and childhood:Lipton was born in Glasgow...

 organised the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy
Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy
The Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy was an association football competition that took place twice, in Turin, Italy, in 1909 and 1911. It is sometimes referred to as The First World Cup. However it is predated by the Torneo Internazionale Stampa Sportiva, which was hosted in 1908 also in Turin, as the...

 tournament in Turin
Turin
Turin is a city and major business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River and surrounded by the Alpine arch. The population of the city proper is 909,193 while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat...

 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, 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
West Auckland Town F.C.
West Auckland Town F.C. are a football club from West Auckland, County Durham, England, competing in the Northern League, in the ninth tier of the English football league system...

, an amateur side from County Durham
County Durham
County Durham is a ceremonial county and unitary district in north east England. The county town is Durham. The largest settlement in the ceremonial county is the town of Darlington...

, to represent England instead. West Auckland won the tournament and returned in 1911 to successfully defend their title. They were given the trophy to keep forever, as per the rules of the competition.

In 1914, FIFA agreed to recognise the Olympic tournament
Football at the Summer Olympics
Association football, usually known simply as football or soccer, has been included in every Olympiad except 1896 and 1932 as a men's competition sport. Women's football was added to the official programme in 1996.-Early history:...

 as a "world football championship for amateurs", and took responsibility for managing the event. This paved the way for the world's first intercontinental football competition, at the 1920 Summer Olympics
Football at the 1920 Summer Olympics
The football at the 1920 Summer Olympics, was one of the 154 events at the 1920 Summer Olympics, held in Antwerp. It was the fifth time football was on the Olympic schedule. The tournament was contested by 14 teams, with host country Belgium winning the gold medals...

, contested by Egypt and thirteen European teams, and won by Belgium. Uruguay
Uruguay national football team
The Uruguayan national football team represents Uruguay in international association football and is controlled by the Uruguayan Football Association, the governing body for football in Uruguay. The current head coach is Óscar Tabárez...

 won the next two Olympic football tournaments in 1924
Football at the 1924 Summer Olympics
At the 1924 Summer Olympics held in Paris, Uruguay dominated the Football tournament winning the Gold.-Amateur Status:In 1921, the Belgium Football Association first allowed for payments to players for time lost from work; in the months that followed four other Associations permitted similar...

 and 1928
Football at the 1928 Summer Olympics
Football at the 1928 Summer Olympics tournament, won by Uruguay against Argentina, would be the precursor to the first FIFA World Cup held in 1930 in Uruguay.-Medalists:-Background:...

. Those were also the first two open world championships, as 1924 was the start of FIFA's professional era.
Due to the success of the Olympic football tournaments, FIFA, with President Jules Rimet
Jules Rimet
Jules Rimet was a French football administrator who was the 3rd President of FIFA, serving from 1921 to 1954. He was FIFA's longest serving president, having served for 33 years. He also served as the president of the French Football Federation from 1919 to 1946...

 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
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

 decided to stage a world championship itself. With Uruguay now two-time official football world champions and to celebrate their centenary of independence in 1930, FIFA named Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

 as the host country of the inaugural World Cup tournament
1930 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 July to 30 July 1930...

.

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
France national football team
The France national football team represents the nation of France in international football. It is fielded by the French Football Federation , the governing body of football in France, and competes as a member of UEFA, which encompasses the countries of Europe...

, Romania
Romania national football team
The Romania national football team is the national football team of Romania and is controlled by the Romanian Football Federation.Romania is one of only four national teams, the other three being Brazil, France, and Belgium, that took part in the first three World Cups.However, after that...

, and Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia national football team
The Yugoslavia national football team represented the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in association football. It enjoyed a modicum of success in international competition. In 1992, during the Yugoslav wars, the team was suspended from international...

 to make the trip. In total thirteen nations took part: seven from South America, four from Europe and two from North America.

The first two World Cup matches took place simultaneously on 13 July 1930, and were won by France
France national football team
The France national football team represents the nation of France in international football. It is fielded by the French Football Federation , the governing body of football in France, and competes as a member of UEFA, which encompasses the countries of Europe...

 and USA
United States men's national soccer team
The United States men's national soccer team represents the United States in international association football competitions. It is controlled by the United States Soccer Federation and competes in CONCACAF...

, who defeated Mexico
Mexico national football team
The Mexican national football team represents Mexico in association football and is governed by the Mexican Football Federation , the governing body for football in Mexico. Mexico's home stadium is the Estadio Azteca and their head coach is José Manuel de la Torre...

 4–1 and Belgium 3–0 respectively. The first goal in World Cup history was scored by Lucien Laurent
Lucien Laurent
Lucien Laurent was a French association football player. He is famous for having scored the first ever FIFA World Cup goal.-Career:Laurent was born in Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, Val-de-Marne, near Paris....

 of France. In the final
1930 FIFA World Cup Final
- External links :*...

, Uruguay
Uruguay national football team
The Uruguayan national football team represents Uruguay in international association football and is controlled by the Uruguayan Football Association, the governing body for football in Uruguay. The current head coach is Óscar Tabárez...

 defeated Argentina
Argentina national football team
The Argentina national football team represents Argentina in association football and is controlled by the Argentine Football Association , the governing body for football in Argentina. Argentina's home stadium is Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti and their head coach is Alejandro...

 4–2 in front of a crowd of 93,000 people in Montevideo
Montevideo
Montevideo is the largest city, the capital, and the chief port of Uruguay. The settlement was established in 1726 by Bruno Mauricio de Zabala, as a strategic move amidst a Spanish-Portuguese dispute over the platine region, and as a counter to the Portuguese colony at Colonia del Sacramento...

, and in doing so became the first nation to win the World Cup.

World Cups before World War II


After the creation of the World Cup, the 1932 Summer Olympics
1932 Summer Olympics
The 1932 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the X Olympiad, was a major world wide multi-athletic event which was celebrated in 1932 in Los Angeles, California, United States. No other cities made a bid to host these Olympics. Held during the worldwide Great Depression, many nations...

, held in Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles , with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621, is the most populous city in California, USA and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City. It has an area of , and is located in Southern California...

, did not plan to include football as part of the schedule due to the low popularity of the sport in the United States
Soccer in the United States
Soccer, fully known as association football,See the articles Football and Names for association football#North America for more detailed explanations of the differing names for soccer. has long been a popular sport in the United States...

, as American football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

 had been growing in popularity. FIFA and the IOC
International Olympic Committee
The International Olympic Committee is an international corporation based in Lausanne, Switzerland, created by Pierre de Coubertin on 23 June 1894 with Demetrios Vikelas as its first president...

 also disagreed over the status of amateur players, and so football was dropped from the Games. Olympic football returned at the 1936 Summer Olympics
Football at the 1936 Summer Olympics
The 1936 Olympic football tournament, won by Italy, has come to share an affinity with the political backdrop against which it was being played; in terms of the history of football, however, the tournament suffered as a reaction to the development of the FIFA World Cup.The introduction of the first...

, 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
1934 FIFA World Cup
The 1934 FIFA World Cup was the second FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in Italy from 27 May to 10 June 1934....

 and 1938
1938 FIFA World Cup
The 1938 FIFA World Cup was the third staging of the World Cup, and was held in France from 4 June to 19 June. Italy retained the championship, beating Hungary 4–2 in the final.-Host selection:...

 tournaments, with Brazil
Brazil national football team
The Brazil national football team represents Brazil in international men's football and is controlled by the Brazilian Football Confederation , the governing body for football in Brazil. They are a member of the International Federation of Association Football since 1923 and also a member of the...

 the only South American team to compete in both. The 1942 and 1946 competitions, which Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 and Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 sought to host, were cancelled due to World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 and its aftermath.

World Cups after World War II


The 1950 World Cup
1950 FIFA World Cup
The 1950 FIFA World Cup, held in Brazil from 24 June to 16 July, was the fourth FIFA World Cup. It was the first World Cup since 1938, the planned 1942 and 1946 competitions having been canceled owing to World War II...

, held in Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, was the first to include British participants. British teams
Home Nations
Home Nations is a collective term with one of two meanings depending on the context. Politically, it means the nations of the constituent countries of the United Kingdom...

 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, but rejoined in 1946 following FIFA's invitation. The tournament also saw the return of 1930 champions Uruguay
Uruguay national football team
The Uruguayan national football team represents Uruguay in international association football and is controlled by the Uruguayan Football Association, the governing body for football in Uruguay. The current head coach is Óscar Tabárez...

, 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
1978 FIFA World Cup
The 1978 FIFA World Cup, the 11th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Argentina between 1 June and 25 June. The 1978 World Cup was won by Argentina who beat the Netherlands 3–1 after extra time in the final. This win was the first World Cup title for Argentina, who became the fifth...

, 16 teams competed in each tournament, except in 1938, when Austria
Austria national football team
The Austria national football team is the association football team that represents the country of Austria in international competition and is controlled by the Austrian Football Association ....

 was absorbed
Anschluss
The Anschluss , also known as the ', was the occupation and annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany in 1938....

 into Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 after qualifying, leaving the tournament with 15 teams, and in 1950, when India
India national football team
The Indian national football team is the national football team of India and is governed by the All India Football Federation. It is a member of the Asian Football Confederation. Since 1948, the AIFF has been affiliated with FIFA, the international governing body for football. In 1954, AIFF became...

, Scotland
Scotland national football team
The Scotland national football team represents Scotland in international football and is controlled by the Scottish Football Association. Scotland are the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside England, whom they played in the world's first international football match in 1872...

 and Turkey
Turkey national football team
The Turkey national football team represents Turkey in association football and is controlled by the Turkish Football Federation, the governing body for football in Turkey. They are affiliated with UEFA...

 withdrew, leaving the tournament with 13 teams. 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
United States men's national soccer team
The United States men's national soccer team represents the United States in international association football competitions. It is controlled by the United States Soccer Federation and competes in CONCACAF...

, semi-finalists in 1930; Cuba
Cuba national football team
The Cuba national football team is the national team of Cuba and is controlled by the Asociación de Fútbol de Cuba. They are affiliated to the Caribbean Football Union of CONCACAF....

, quarter-finalists in 1938; Korea DPR
Korea DPR national football team
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea national football team represents the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in international association football and is controlled by the DPR Korea Football Association, the governing body for football in North Korea.North Korea surprised with a...

, quarter-finalists in 1966
1966 FIFA World Cup
The 1966 FIFA World Cup, the eighth staging of the World Cup, was held in England from 11 July to 30 July. England beat West Germany 4–2 in the final, winning the World Cup for the first time, so becoming the first host to win the tournament since Italy in 1934.-Host selection:England was chosen as...

; and Mexico
Mexico national football team
The Mexican national football team represents Mexico in association football and is governed by the Mexican Football Federation , the governing body for football in Mexico. Mexico's home stadium is the Estadio Azteca and their head coach is José Manuel de la Torre...

, quarter-finalists in 1970
1970 FIFA World Cup
The 1970 FIFA World Cup, the ninth staging of the World Cup, was held in Mexico, from 31 May to 21 June. The 1970 tournament was the first World Cup hosted in North America, and the first held outside South America and Europe. In a match-up of two-time World Cup champions, the final was won by...

.

Expansion to 32 teams


The tournament was expanded to 24 teams in 1982
1982 FIFA World Cup
The 1982 FIFA World Cup, the 12th FIFA World Cup, was held in Spain from 13 June to 11 July. The tournament was won by Italy, after defeating West Germany 3–1 in the final.-Host selection:...

, and then to 32 in 1998
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

, allowing more teams from Africa, Asia and North America to take part. In recent years, teams from these regions have enjoyed more success, and those who have reached the quarter-finals include: Mexico
Mexico national football team
The Mexican national football team represents Mexico in association football and is governed by the Mexican Football Federation , the governing body for football in Mexico. Mexico's home stadium is the Estadio Azteca and their head coach is José Manuel de la Torre...

, quarter-finalists in 1986
1986 FIFA World Cup
The 1986 FIFA World Cup, the 13th FIFA World Cup, was held in Mexico from 31 May to 29 June. The tournament was the second to feature a 24-team format. Colombia had been originally chosen to host the competition by FIFA but, largely due to economic reasons, was not able to do so and officially...

; Cameroon
Cameroon national football team
The Cameroon national football team, nicknamed Les Lions Indomptables , is controlled by the Fédération Camerounaise de Football and is Africa's most successful side in FIFA world cup; having qualified for the FIFA World Cup six times – in 1982, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2010– more than any...

, quarter-finalists in 1990
1990 FIFA World Cup
The 1990 FIFA World Cup was the 14th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 8 June to 8 July 1990 in Italy, the second country to host the event twice. Teams representing 116 national football associations from all six populated...

; Korea Republic
Korea Republic national football team
The Korea Republic national football team represents Korea Republic in international football and is controlled by the Korea Football Association. Korea Republic is the most successful Asian football team in the history of the FIFA World Cup having participated in eight World Cup tournaments,...

, finishing in fourth place in 2002
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

; Senegal
Senegal national football team
The Senegal national football team, nicknamed the Lions of Teranga, is the national team of Senegal and is controlled by the Fédération Sénégalaise de Football...

, along with USA
United States men's national soccer team
The United States men's national soccer team represents the United States in international association football competitions. It is controlled by the United States Soccer Federation and competes in CONCACAF...

, both quarter-finalists in 2002; and Ghana
Ghana national football team
The Ghana national football team, popularly known as the Black Stars, is the national association football team of Ghana and is controlled by the Ghana Football Association...

 as quarter-finalists in 2010. Nevertheless, European and South American teams continue to dominate, e.g., the quarter-finalists in 1998 and 2006 were all from Europe or South America.

Two hundred teams entered the 2002 FIFA World Cup
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

 qualification rounds; 198 nations attempted to qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup
2006 FIFA World Cup
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...

, while a record 204 countries entered qualification for the 2010 FIFA World Cup
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

.

Other FIFA tournaments


An equivalent tournament for women's football
Women's football (soccer)
Women's association football has been played for many decades, but was associated with charity games and physical exercise in the past before the breakthrough of organized women's association football came in the 1970s. Before the 1970s, football was basically seen as a men's game...

, the FIFA Women's World Cup
FIFA Women's World Cup
The FIFA Women's World Cup is an international association football competition contested by the senior women's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association , the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the...

, was first held in 1991
FIFA Women's World Cup 1991
The 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup was the first ever edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup. It was held in Guangdong, China and won by the United States. It was originally called the Women's World Championship.-Venues:-Teams:...

 in the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

. 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.

Football has been included in every Summer Olympic Games
Summer Olympic Games
The Summer Olympic Games or the Games of the Olympiad are an international multi-sport event, occurring every four years, organized by the International Olympic Committee. Medals are awarded in each event, with gold medals for first place, silver for second and bronze for third, a tradition that...

 except 1896 and 1932. Unlike many other sports, the men's football tournament at the Olympics
Football at the Summer Olympics
Association football, usually known simply as football or soccer, has been included in every Olympiad except 1896 and 1932 as a men's competition sport. Women's football was added to the official programme in 1996.-Early history:...

 is not a top-level tournament, and since 1992, an under-23 tournament with each team allowed three over-age players. Women's football made its Olympic debut in 1996, and is contested between full national sides with no age restrictions.

The FIFA Confederations Cup
FIFA Confederations Cup
The FIFA Confederations Cup is an association football tournament for national teams, currently held every four years by FIFA. It is contested by the winners of each of the six FIFA confederation championships , along with the FIFA World Cup winner and the host nation, to bring the number of teams...

 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.

FIFA also organises international tournaments for youth football (FIFA U-20 World Cup
FIFA U-20 World Cup
The FIFA U-20 World Cup, until 2005 known as the FIFA World Youth Championship, is the world championship of football for male players under the age of 20 and is organized by Fédération Internationale de Football Association...

, FIFA U-17 World Cup
FIFA U-17 World Cup
The FIFA U-17 World Cup, founded as the FIFA U-16 World Championship, later changed to the FIFA U-17 World Championship and known by its current name since 2007, is the world championship of association football for male players under the age of 17 organized by Fédération Internationale de Football...

, FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup
FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup
The FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup is an international association football tournament for female players under the age of 17. It is organized by Fédération Internationale de Football Association...

), club football (FIFA Club World Cup
FIFA Club World Cup
The FIFA Club World Cup is a football competition between the champion clubs from all six continental confederations.The first FIFA Club World Championship took place in Brazil in January 2000...

), and football variants such as futsal
Futsal
Futsal is a variant of association football that is played on a smaller pitch and mainly played indoors. Its name is a portmanteau of the Portuguese futebol de salão and the Spanish fútbol de salón , which can be translated as "hall football" or "indoor football"...

 (FIFA Futsal World Cup) and beach soccer
Beach soccer
Beach soccer, also known as beach football or beasal, is a variant of association football played on a beach or some form of sand. The game emphasises skill, agility and shooting at goal....

 (FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup
FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup
The FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup is a bi-annual international beach soccer competition contested by the national teams of the member associations of FIFA, the sport's global governing body. The tournament has taken place every year since its establishment in 1995, when it was originally supervised...

).

Trophy




From 1930 to 1970, the Jules Rimet Trophy was awarded to the World Cup winner. 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
Jules Rimet
Jules Rimet was a French football administrator who was the 3rd President of FIFA, serving from 1921 to 1954. He was FIFA's longest serving president, having served for 33 years. He also served as the president of the French Football Federation from 1919 to 1946...

 who set up the first tournament. In 1970
1970 FIFA World Cup
The 1970 FIFA World Cup, the ninth staging of the World Cup, was held in Mexico, from 31 May to 21 June. The 1970 tournament was the first World Cup hosted in North America, and the first held outside South America and Europe. In a match-up of two-time World Cup champions, the final was won by...

, Brazil
Brazil national football team
The Brazil national football team represents Brazil in international men's football and is controlled by the Brazilian Football Confederation , the governing body for football in Brazil. They are a member of the International Federation of Association Football since 1923 and also a member of the...

'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.

After 1970, a new trophy, known as the FIFA World Cup Trophy, was designed. The experts of FIFA, coming from seven different countries, evaluated the 53 presented models, finally opting for the work of the Italian designer Silvio Gazzaniga
Silvio Gazzaniga
Silvio Gazzaniga is an Italian sculptor. While working for the Stabilimento Artistico Bertoni company, he created the FIFA World Cup Trophy. Gazzaniga was a graduate of the Brera Academy, as is his daughter, Gabriella, and is a fan of AC Milan.His design was chosen by committee on April 5, 1971...

. The new trophy is 36 cm (14.2 in) high, made of solid 18 carat
Carat (purity)
The karat or carat is a unit of purity for gold alloys.- Measure :Karat purity is measured as 24 times the purity by mass:where...

 (75%) gold and weighs 6.175 kg (13.6 lb). The base contains two layers of semi-precious malachite
Malachite
Malachite is a copper carbonate mineral, with the formula Cu2CO32. This green-colored mineral crystallizes in the monoclinic crystal system, and most often forms botryoidal, fibrous, or stalagmitic masses. Individual crystals are rare but do occur as slender to acicular prisms...

 while the bottom side of the trophy bears the engraved year and name of each FIFA World Cup winner since 1974
1974 FIFA World Cup
The 1974 FIFA World Cup, the tenth staging of the World Cup, was held in West Germany from 13 June to 7 July. The tournament marked the first time that the current trophy, the FIFA World Cup Trophy, created by the Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga, was awarded...

. 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."

This new trophy is not awarded to the winning nation permanently. World Cup winners retain the trophy until the next tournament and are awarded a gold-plated replica rather than the solid gold original.

At the present, all members (players and coaches) of the top three teams receive medals with an insignia of the World Cup Trophy; winners' (gold), runner-ups' (silver), and third-place (bronze). In the 2002 edition
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

, fourth-place medals were awarded to hosts South Korea
Korea Republic national football team
The Korea Republic national football team represents Korea Republic in international football and is controlled by the Korea Football Association. Korea Republic is the most successful Asian football team in the history of the FIFA World Cup having participated in eight World Cup tournaments,...

. Prior to 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.

Qualification



Since the second World Cup in 1934
1934 FIFA World Cup
The 1934 FIFA World Cup was the second FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in Italy from 27 May to 10 June 1934....

, qualifying tournaments have been held to thin the field for the final tournament. They are held within the six FIFA continental zones (Africa
Confederation of African Football
The Confederation of African Football is the administrative and controlling body for African association football.CAF represents the national football associations of Africa, runs continental, national, and club competitions, and controls the prize money, regulations and media rights to those...

, Asia
Asian Football Confederation
The Asian Football Confederation is the governing body of association football in Asia. It has 46 member countries, mostly located on the Asian continent. However, due to the disputed boundary of Europe and Asia, nations such as Russia and Turkey which are located mostly in geographic Asia are...

, North and Central America and Caribbean
CONCACAF
The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football is the continental governing body for association football in North America, Central America and the Caribbean...

, South America
CONMEBOL
The South American Football Confederation , commonly known as CONMEBOL , is the continental governing body of association football in South America and it is one of FIFA's six continental confederations...

, Oceania
Oceania Football Confederation
The Oceania Football Confederation is one of the six continental confederations of international association football, consisting of Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and island nations such as Tonga, Fiji and other Pacific Island countries...

, and Europe
UEFA
The Union of European Football Associations , almost always referred to by its acronym UEFA is the administrative and controlling body for European association football, futsal and beach soccer....

), 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
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

. From the 1938 World Cup
1938 FIFA World Cup
The 1938 FIFA World Cup was the third staging of the World Cup, and was held in France from 4 June to 19 June. Italy retained the championship, beating Hungary 4–2 in the final.-Host selection:...

 onwards, host nations received 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
2006 FIFA World Cup
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...

 onward, requiring the champions to qualify. Brazil
Brazil national football team
The Brazil national football team represents Brazil in international men's football and is controlled by the Brazilian Football Confederation , the governing body for football in Brazil. They are a member of the International Federation of Association Football since 1923 and also a member of the...

, winners in 2002
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

, were the first defending champions to play in a qualifying match.

Final tournament



The current final tournament features 32 national teams competing over a month in the host nation(s). There are two stages: the group stage followed by the knockout stage.

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
FIFA World Rankings
The FIFA World Rankings is a ranking system for men's national teams in association football, currently led by Spain. The teams of the member nations of FIFA , football's world governing body, are ranked based on their game results with the most successful teams being ranked highest...

 and/or performances in recent World Cups, and drawn to separate groups. 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
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

, 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.

Each group plays a round-robin tournament
Round-robin tournament
A round-robin tournament is a competition "in which each contestant meets all other contestants in turn".-Terminology:...

, in which each team is scheduled for three matches against other teams in the same group. The last round of matches of each group is scheduled at the same time to preserve fairness among all four teams. The top two teams from each group advance to the knockout stage. Points are used to rank the teams within a group. Since 1994
1994 FIFA World Cup
The 1994 FIFA World Cup, the 15th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in nine cities across the United States from June 17 to July 17, 1994. The United States was chosen as the host by FIFA on July 4, 1988...

, three points have been awarded for a win
Three points for a win
Three points for a win is a standard used in many sports leagues and group tournaments, especially in association football, in which three points are awarded to the team winning a match, with no points to the losing team. If the game is drawn, each team receives one point...

, one for a draw and none for a loss (before, winners received two points).

The ranking of each team in each group is determined as follows:
  1. Greatest number of points in group matches
  2. Greatest goal difference in group matches
  3. Greatest number of goals scored in group matches
  4. 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
  5. 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
Single-elimination tournament
A single-elimination tournament, also called a knockout, cup or sudden death tournament, is a type of elimination tournament where the loser of each match or bracket is immediately eliminated from winning the championship or first prize in the event...

 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
Third place playoff
The third place playoff is a single match that is included in many sporting knockout tournaments to decide which competitor or team will be credited with finishing third and fourth. The teams that compete in the third place playoffs are usually the two losing semi-finalists in a particular...

 (contested by the losing semi-finalists), and the final.

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
1930 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 July to 30 July 1930...

 in Uruguay, for example, led to only four European nations competing. The next two World Cups were both held in Europe. The decision to hold the second of these in France was disputed, as the American countries understood that the location would alternate between the two continents. Both Argentina and Uruguay thus boycotted the 1938 FIFA World Cup
1938 FIFA World Cup
The 1938 FIFA World Cup was the third staging of the World Cup, and was held in France from 4 June to 19 June. Italy retained the championship, beating Hungary 4–2 in the final.-Host selection:...

.

Since the 1958 FIFA World Cup
1958 FIFA World Cup
The 1958 FIFA World Cup, the sixth staging of the World Cup, was hosted by Sweden from 8 June to 29 June. The tournament was won by Brazil, who beat Sweden 5–2 in the final for their first title. To date, this marks the only occasion that a World Cup staged in Europe was not won by a European...

, 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
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

. The 2002 FIFA World Cup
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

, hosted jointly by South Korea and Japan, was the first one held in Asia, and the only tournament with multiple hosts. South Africa became the first African nation to host the World Cup in 2010
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

. The 2014 FIFA World Cup
2014 FIFA World Cup
The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be the 20th FIFA World Cup, an international association football tournament that will take place in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July 2014....

 will be hosted by Brazil, the first held in South America since 1978
1978 FIFA World Cup
The 1978 FIFA World Cup, the 11th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Argentina between 1 June and 25 June. The 1978 World Cup was won by Argentina who beat the Netherlands 3–1 after extra time in the final. This win was the first World Cup title for Argentina, who became the fifth...

, and will be the first occasion where consecutive World Cups are held outside Europe.

The host country is now chosen in a vote by FIFA's Executive Committee. This is done under an exhaustive ballot
Exhaustive ballot
The exhaustive ballot is a voting system used to elect a single winner. Under the exhaustive ballot the elector simply casts a single vote for his or her favorite candidate. However if no candidate is supported by an overall majority of votes then the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated...

 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
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

 respectively.

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
2006 FIFA World Cup
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...

. 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
2018 FIFA World Cup
The bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups was the process by which the locations for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups were selected. The process began officially in March 2009; eleven bids from thirteen countries were received, including one which was withdrawn and one that was...

. This is partly to avoid a similar scenario to the bidding process for the 2014 tournament, where Brazil was the only official bidder.

Performances



Six of the eight champions have won one of their titles while playing in their own homeland, the exceptions being Brazil
Brazil national football team
The Brazil national football team represents Brazil in international men's football and is controlled by the Brazilian Football Confederation , the governing body for football in Brazil. They are a member of the International Federation of Association Football since 1923 and also a member of the...

, who finished as runners-up after losing the deciding match on home soil in 1950, and Spain
Spain national football team
The Spain national football team represents Spain in international association football and is controlled by the Royal Spanish Football Federation, the governing body for football in Spain. The current head coach is Vicente del Bosque...

, which reached the second round on home soil in 1982. England
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in association football and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first...

 (1966) and France
France national football team
The France national football team represents the nation of France in international football. It is fielded by the French Football Federation , the governing body of football in France, and competes as a member of UEFA, which encompasses the countries of Europe...

 (1998) won their only titles while playing as host nations. Uruguay
Uruguay national football team
The Uruguayan national football team represents Uruguay in international association football and is controlled by the Uruguayan Football Association, the governing body for football in Uruguay. The current head coach is Óscar Tabárez...

 (1930), Italy
Italy national football team
The Italy National Football Team , represents Italy in association football and is controlled by the Italian Football Federation , the governing body for football in Italy. Italy is the second most successful national team in the history of the World Cup having won four titles , just one fewer than...

 (1934) and Argentina
Argentina national football team
The Argentina national football team represents Argentina in association football and is controlled by the Argentine Football Association , the governing body for football in Argentina. Argentina's home stadium is Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti and their head coach is Alejandro...

 (1978) won their first titles as host nations but have gone on to win again, while Germany
Germany national football team
The Germany national football team is the football team that has represented Germany in international competition since 1908. It is governed by the German Football Association , which was founded in 1900....

 (1974) won their second title on home soil.

Other nations have also been successful when hosting the tournament. Sweden
Sweden national football team
The Swedish national football team represents Sweden in association football and is controlled by the Swedish Football Association, the governing body for Football in Sweden. Sweden's home ground is Råsunda Stadium in Stockholms län and their head coach is Erik Hamrén. Sweden made their first...

 (runners-up in 1958), Chile
Chile national football team
The Chilean national football team represents Chile in all major international football competitions. The team is controlled by the Federación de Fútbol de Chile which was established in 1895. They have appeared in eight World Cup tournaments and were hosts of the 1962 FIFA World Cup finishing in...

 (third place in 1962), Korea Republic
Korea Republic national football team
The Korea Republic national football team represents Korea Republic in international football and is controlled by the Korea Football Association. Korea Republic is the most successful Asian football team in the history of the FIFA World Cup having participated in eight World Cup tournaments,...

 (fourth place in 2002), and Mexico
Mexico national football team
The Mexican national football team represents Mexico in association football and is governed by the Mexican Football Federation , the governing body for football in Mexico. Mexico's home stadium is the Estadio Azteca and their head coach is José Manuel de la Torre...

 (quarter-finals in 1970 and 1986) all have their best results when serving as hosts. So far, South Africa
South Africa national football team
The South Africa national football team represents South Africa in association football and is controlled by the South African Football Association, the governing body for football in South Africa. South Africa's home ground is Soccer City, known as FNB Stadium due to a naming rights deal, in...

 (2010) was the only host nation to fail to advance beyond the first round.

Organisation and media coverage



The World Cup was first televised in 1954 and is now the most widely viewed and followed sporting event in the world, exceeding even the Olympic Games
Olympic Games
The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate...

. The cumulative audience of all matches of the 2006 World Cup is estimated to be 26.29 billion. 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.

Each FIFA World Cup since 1966 has its own mascot
Mascot
The term mascot – defined as a term for any person, animal, or object thought to bring luck – colloquially includes anything used to represent a group with a common public identity, such as a school, professional sports team, society, military unit, or brand name...

 or logo. World Cup Willie, the mascot for the 1966 competition, was the first World Cup mascot. Recent World Cups have also featured official match balls specially designed for each World Cup.

Results


Year Host Winners Score Runners-up Third Place Score Fourth Place Number of teams
1930
Details
1930 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 July to 30 July 1930...

 Uruguay 4–2
1930 FIFA World Cup Final
- External links :*...

13
1934
Details
1934 FIFA World Cup
The 1934 FIFA World Cup was the second FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in Italy from 27 May to 10 June 1934....

 Italy 2–1
1934 FIFA World Cup Final
The 1934 FIFA World Cup Final was the deciding match of the 1934 FIFA World Cup. It was contested by Italy and Czechoslovakia. Italy won the game 2-1....


(a.e.t.)
3–2 16
1938
Details
1938 FIFA World Cup
The 1938 FIFA World Cup was the third staging of the World Cup, and was held in France from 4 June to 19 June. Italy retained the championship, beating Hungary 4–2 in the final.-Host selection:...

 Early Modern France 4–2
1938 FIFA World Cup Final
- External links :*...

4–2 16
1950
Details
1950 FIFA World Cup
The 1950 FIFA World Cup, held in Brazil from 24 June to 16 July, was the fourth FIFA World Cup. It was the first World Cup since 1938, the planned 1942 and 1946 competitions having been canceled owing to World War II...

 Brazil 16/13
1954
Details
1954 FIFA World Cup
The 1954 FIFA World Cup, the fifth staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Switzerland from 16 June to 4 July. Switzerland was chosen as hosts in July 1946. The tournament set a number of all-time records for goal-scoring, including the highest average goals scored per game...

 Switzerland 3–2
1954 FIFA World Cup Final
- External links :* - fifa.com, FIFA, 2002.*...

3–1 16
1958
Details
1958 FIFA World Cup
The 1958 FIFA World Cup, the sixth staging of the World Cup, was hosted by Sweden from 8 June to 29 June. The tournament was won by Brazil, who beat Sweden 5–2 in the final for their first title. To date, this marks the only occasion that a World Cup staged in Europe was not won by a European...

 Sweden 5–2
1958 FIFA World Cup Final
-References:...

6–3 16
1962
Details
1962 FIFA World Cup
The 1962 FIFA World Cup, the seventh staging of the World Cup, was held in Chile from 30 May to 17 June. It was won by Brazil, who retained the championship by beating Czechoslovakia 3–1 in the final...

 Chile 3–1
1962 FIFA World Cup Final
The 1962 FIFA World Cup Final was the deciding match of the 1962 FIFA World Cup. It was contested by Czechoslovakia and Brazil. Brazil won the game 3-1 to record their second consecutive World Cup victory....

1–0 16
1966
Details
1966 FIFA World Cup
The 1966 FIFA World Cup, the eighth staging of the World Cup, was held in England from 11 July to 30 July. England beat West Germany 4–2 in the final, winning the World Cup for the first time, so becoming the first host to win the tournament since Italy in 1934.-Host selection:England was chosen as...

 Kingdom of England 4–2
1966 FIFA World Cup Final
The 1966 FIFA World Cup Final was the final match in the 1966 FIFA World Cup, the eighth football World Cup. The match was contested by England and West Germany on 30 July 1966 at Wembley Stadium in London, and had an attendance of 98,000. England won 4–2 after extra time to win the Jules Rimet...


(a.e.t.)
2–1 16
1970
Details
1970 FIFA World Cup
The 1970 FIFA World Cup, the ninth staging of the World Cup, was held in Mexico, from 31 May to 21 June. The 1970 tournament was the first World Cup hosted in North America, and the first held outside South America and Europe. In a match-up of two-time World Cup champions, the final was won by...

 Mexico 4–1
1970 FIFA World Cup Final
The 1970 FIFA World Cup Final was contested by Brazil and Italy on 21 June 1970 in the Azteca Stadium in Mexico, to determine the winner of the 1970 FIFA World Cup....

1–0 16
1974
Details
1974 FIFA World Cup
The 1974 FIFA World Cup, the tenth staging of the World Cup, was held in West Germany from 13 June to 7 July. The tournament marked the first time that the current trophy, the FIFA World Cup Trophy, created by the Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga, was awarded...

 West Germany 2–1
1974 FIFA World Cup Final
-References:...

1–0 16
1978
Details
1978 FIFA World Cup
The 1978 FIFA World Cup, the 11th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Argentina between 1 June and 25 June. The 1978 World Cup was won by Argentina who beat the Netherlands 3–1 after extra time in the final. This win was the first World Cup title for Argentina, who became the fifth...

 Argentina 3–1
1978 FIFA World Cup Final
The Final of the 1978 FIFA World Cup was contested between hosts Argentina and The Netherlands. The match was won by the Argentines in extra time by a score of 3–1. Mario Kempes, who finished as the tournament's top scorer, was named the man of the match...


(a.e.t.)
2–1 16
1982
Details
1982 FIFA World Cup
The 1982 FIFA World Cup, the 12th FIFA World Cup, was held in Spain from 13 June to 11 July. The tournament was won by Italy, after defeating West Germany 3–1 in the final.-Host selection:...

 Spain 3–1
1982 FIFA World Cup Final
- External links :**...

3–2 24
1986
Details
1986 FIFA World Cup
The 1986 FIFA World Cup, the 13th FIFA World Cup, was held in Mexico from 31 May to 29 June. The tournament was the second to feature a 24-team format. Colombia had been originally chosen to host the competition by FIFA but, largely due to economic reasons, was not able to do so and officially...

 Mexico 3–2
1986 FIFA World Cup Final
- External links :**...

4–2
(a.e.t.)
24
1990
Details
1990 FIFA World Cup
The 1990 FIFA World Cup was the 14th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 8 June to 8 July 1990 in Italy, the second country to host the event twice. Teams representing 116 national football associations from all six populated...

 Italy 1–0
1990 FIFA World Cup Final
The 1990 FIFA World Cup Final was a football match played between West Germany and Argentina that took place on 8 July 1990 at the Stadio Olimpico, Rome to determine the winner of the 1990 FIFA World Cup...

2–1 24
1994
Details
1994 FIFA World Cup
The 1994 FIFA World Cup, the 15th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in nine cities across the United States from June 17 to July 17, 1994. The United States was chosen as the host by FIFA on July 4, 1988...

 United States 0–0
1994 FIFA World Cup Final
The 1994 FIFA World Cup Final took place in Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California, United States. Brazil won the World Cup against Italy on a penalty shootout after the score was 0–0. This was Brazil's fourth World Cup title. It was also the first ever World Cup final to be decided by a penalty...


(a.e.t.)
(3–2 pen.)
4–0 24
1998
Details
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

 Early Modern France 3–0
1998 FIFA World Cup Final
The 1998 FIFA World Cup Final was a football match that was played on 12 July 1998 at the Stade de France in St-Denis to determine the winner of the 1998 FIFA World Cup a global football tournament held every four years...

2–1 32
2002
Details
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

 South Korea
&  Japan
2–0
2002 FIFA World Cup Final
The 2002 FIFA World Cup Final the final match of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, played between Germany and Brazil at the International Stadium in Yokohama, Japan. It was the first World Cup meeting between the two sides. Brazil won the match 2–0, winning a record fifth title...

3–2 32
2006
Details
2006 FIFA World Cup
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...

 Germany 1–1
2006 FIFA World Cup Final
The 2006 FIFA World Cup Final was a football match that took place on 9 July 2006 at the Olympiastadion, Berlin to determine the winner of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Italy beat France on penalties after the match finished 1–1 after extra time...


(a.e.t.)
(5–3 pen.)
3–1 32
2010
Details
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

 South Africa 1–0
2010 FIFA World Cup Final
The 2010 FIFA World Cup Final was a football match that took place on 11 July 2010 at Soccer City in Johannesburg, South Africa, to determine the winner of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Spain defeated the Netherlands 1–0 with a goal from Andrés Iniesta four minutes from the end of extra time...


(a.e.t.)
3–2 32
  • a.e.t.: after extra time
  • pen.: score in penalty shootout


Notes


In all, 76 nations have played in at least one World Cup
National team appearances in the FIFA World Cup
This article lists the performances of each of the 76 national teams which have made at least one appearance in the FIFA World Cup finals.-Debut of teams:Each successive World Cup has had at least one team appearing for the first time...

. Of these, eight national teams have won the World Cup, and they have added stars to their crests
Star (football crest)
In association football, some national and club sides include one or more stars as part of the crest appearing on their shirt, to represent important trophies the team has previously won. Sometimes this is a unilateral decision by the team concerned rather than a privilege earned and sanctioned...

, with each star representing a World Cup victory. (However, Uruguay are an exception to this unwritten rule; they choose to display four stars on their crest, 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 (19) to date, and they will host the 20th in 2014. 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 have made the most top-four finishes, with twelve, while sharing the record of most top-two finishes with Brazil, with seven.

Titles by team


: 5: 4: 3: 2: 2: 1: 1: 1

Teams reaching the top four



Team Titles Runners-up Third place Fourth place Total finishes in top four
5 (1958
1958 FIFA World Cup
The 1958 FIFA World Cup, the sixth staging of the World Cup, was hosted by Sweden from 8 June to 29 June. The tournament was won by Brazil, who beat Sweden 5–2 in the final for their first title. To date, this marks the only occasion that a World Cup staged in Europe was not won by a European...

, 1962
1962 FIFA World Cup
The 1962 FIFA World Cup, the seventh staging of the World Cup, was held in Chile from 30 May to 17 June. It was won by Brazil, who retained the championship by beating Czechoslovakia 3–1 in the final...

, 1970
1970 FIFA World Cup
The 1970 FIFA World Cup, the ninth staging of the World Cup, was held in Mexico, from 31 May to 21 June. The 1970 tournament was the first World Cup hosted in North America, and the first held outside South America and Europe. In a match-up of two-time World Cup champions, the final was won by...

, 1994
1994 FIFA World Cup
The 1994 FIFA World Cup, the 15th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in nine cities across the United States from June 17 to July 17, 1994. The United States was chosen as the host by FIFA on July 4, 1988...

, 2002
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

)
2 (1950
1950 FIFA World Cup
The 1950 FIFA World Cup, held in Brazil from 24 June to 16 July, was the fourth FIFA World Cup. It was the first World Cup since 1938, the planned 1942 and 1946 competitions having been canceled owing to World War II...

*, 1998
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

)
2 (1938
1938 FIFA World Cup
The 1938 FIFA World Cup was the third staging of the World Cup, and was held in France from 4 June to 19 June. Italy retained the championship, beating Hungary 4–2 in the final.-Host selection:...

, 1978
1978 FIFA World Cup
The 1978 FIFA World Cup, the 11th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Argentina between 1 June and 25 June. The 1978 World Cup was won by Argentina who beat the Netherlands 3–1 after extra time in the final. This win was the first World Cup title for Argentina, who became the fifth...

)
1 (1974
1974 FIFA World Cup
The 1974 FIFA World Cup, the tenth staging of the World Cup, was held in West Germany from 13 June to 7 July. The tournament marked the first time that the current trophy, the FIFA World Cup Trophy, created by the Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga, was awarded...

)
10
4 (1934
1934 FIFA World Cup
The 1934 FIFA World Cup was the second FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in Italy from 27 May to 10 June 1934....

*, 1938
1938 FIFA World Cup
The 1938 FIFA World Cup was the third staging of the World Cup, and was held in France from 4 June to 19 June. Italy retained the championship, beating Hungary 4–2 in the final.-Host selection:...

, 1982
1982 FIFA World Cup
The 1982 FIFA World Cup, the 12th FIFA World Cup, was held in Spain from 13 June to 11 July. The tournament was won by Italy, after defeating West Germany 3–1 in the final.-Host selection:...

, 2006
2006 FIFA World Cup
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...

)
2 (1970
1970 FIFA World Cup
The 1970 FIFA World Cup, the ninth staging of the World Cup, was held in Mexico, from 31 May to 21 June. The 1970 tournament was the first World Cup hosted in North America, and the first held outside South America and Europe. In a match-up of two-time World Cup champions, the final was won by...

, 1994
1994 FIFA World Cup
The 1994 FIFA World Cup, the 15th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in nine cities across the United States from June 17 to July 17, 1994. The United States was chosen as the host by FIFA on July 4, 1988...

)
1 (1990
1990 FIFA World Cup
The 1990 FIFA World Cup was the 14th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 8 June to 8 July 1990 in Italy, the second country to host the event twice. Teams representing 116 national football associations from all six populated...

*)
1 (1978
1978 FIFA World Cup
The 1978 FIFA World Cup, the 11th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Argentina between 1 June and 25 June. The 1978 World Cup was won by Argentina who beat the Netherlands 3–1 after extra time in the final. This win was the first World Cup title for Argentina, who became the fifth...

)
8
^ 3 (1954
1954 FIFA World Cup
The 1954 FIFA World Cup, the fifth staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Switzerland from 16 June to 4 July. Switzerland was chosen as hosts in July 1946. The tournament set a number of all-time records for goal-scoring, including the highest average goals scored per game...

, 1974
1974 FIFA World Cup
The 1974 FIFA World Cup, the tenth staging of the World Cup, was held in West Germany from 13 June to 7 July. The tournament marked the first time that the current trophy, the FIFA World Cup Trophy, created by the Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga, was awarded...

*, 1990
1990 FIFA World Cup
The 1990 FIFA World Cup was the 14th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 8 June to 8 July 1990 in Italy, the second country to host the event twice. Teams representing 116 national football associations from all six populated...

)
4 (1966
1966 FIFA World Cup
The 1966 FIFA World Cup, the eighth staging of the World Cup, was held in England from 11 July to 30 July. England beat West Germany 4–2 in the final, winning the World Cup for the first time, so becoming the first host to win the tournament since Italy in 1934.-Host selection:England was chosen as...

, 1982
1982 FIFA World Cup
The 1982 FIFA World Cup, the 12th FIFA World Cup, was held in Spain from 13 June to 11 July. The tournament was won by Italy, after defeating West Germany 3–1 in the final.-Host selection:...

, 1986
1986 FIFA World Cup
The 1986 FIFA World Cup, the 13th FIFA World Cup, was held in Mexico from 31 May to 29 June. The tournament was the second to feature a 24-team format. Colombia had been originally chosen to host the competition by FIFA but, largely due to economic reasons, was not able to do so and officially...

, 2002
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

)
4 (1934
1934 FIFA World Cup
The 1934 FIFA World Cup was the second FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in Italy from 27 May to 10 June 1934....

, 1970
1970 FIFA World Cup
The 1970 FIFA World Cup, the ninth staging of the World Cup, was held in Mexico, from 31 May to 21 June. The 1970 tournament was the first World Cup hosted in North America, and the first held outside South America and Europe. In a match-up of two-time World Cup champions, the final was won by...

, 2006*
2006 FIFA World Cup
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...

, 2010
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

)
1 (1958
1958 FIFA World Cup
The 1958 FIFA World Cup, the sixth staging of the World Cup, was hosted by Sweden from 8 June to 29 June. The tournament was won by Brazil, who beat Sweden 5–2 in the final for their first title. To date, this marks the only occasion that a World Cup staged in Europe was not won by a European...

)
12
2 (1978
1978 FIFA World Cup
The 1978 FIFA World Cup, the 11th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Argentina between 1 June and 25 June. The 1978 World Cup was won by Argentina who beat the Netherlands 3–1 after extra time in the final. This win was the first World Cup title for Argentina, who became the fifth...

*, 1986
1986 FIFA World Cup
The 1986 FIFA World Cup, the 13th FIFA World Cup, was held in Mexico from 31 May to 29 June. The tournament was the second to feature a 24-team format. Colombia had been originally chosen to host the competition by FIFA but, largely due to economic reasons, was not able to do so and officially...

)
2 (1930
1930 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 July to 30 July 1930...

, 1990
1990 FIFA World Cup
The 1990 FIFA World Cup was the 14th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 8 June to 8 July 1990 in Italy, the second country to host the event twice. Teams representing 116 national football associations from all six populated...

)
4
2 (1930
1930 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 July to 30 July 1930...

*, 1950
1950 FIFA World Cup
The 1950 FIFA World Cup, held in Brazil from 24 June to 16 July, was the fourth FIFA World Cup. It was the first World Cup since 1938, the planned 1942 and 1946 competitions having been canceled owing to World War II...

)
3 (1954
1954 FIFA World Cup
The 1954 FIFA World Cup, the fifth staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Switzerland from 16 June to 4 July. Switzerland was chosen as hosts in July 1946. The tournament set a number of all-time records for goal-scoring, including the highest average goals scored per game...

, 1970
1970 FIFA World Cup
The 1970 FIFA World Cup, the ninth staging of the World Cup, was held in Mexico, from 31 May to 21 June. The 1970 tournament was the first World Cup hosted in North America, and the first held outside South America and Europe. In a match-up of two-time World Cup champions, the final was won by...

, 2010
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

)
5
1 (1998
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

*)
1 (2006
2006 FIFA World Cup
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...

)
2 (1958
1958 FIFA World Cup
The 1958 FIFA World Cup, the sixth staging of the World Cup, was hosted by Sweden from 8 June to 29 June. The tournament was won by Brazil, who beat Sweden 5–2 in the final for their first title. To date, this marks the only occasion that a World Cup staged in Europe was not won by a European...

, 1986
1986 FIFA World Cup
The 1986 FIFA World Cup, the 13th FIFA World Cup, was held in Mexico from 31 May to 29 June. The tournament was the second to feature a 24-team format. Colombia had been originally chosen to host the competition by FIFA but, largely due to economic reasons, was not able to do so and officially...

)
1 (1982
1982 FIFA World Cup
The 1982 FIFA World Cup, the 12th FIFA World Cup, was held in Spain from 13 June to 11 July. The tournament was won by Italy, after defeating West Germany 3–1 in the final.-Host selection:...

)
5
1 (1966
1966 FIFA World Cup
The 1966 FIFA World Cup, the eighth staging of the World Cup, was held in England from 11 July to 30 July. England beat West Germany 4–2 in the final, winning the World Cup for the first time, so becoming the first host to win the tournament since Italy in 1934.-Host selection:England was chosen as...

*)
1 (1990
1990 FIFA World Cup
The 1990 FIFA World Cup was the 14th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 8 June to 8 July 1990 in Italy, the second country to host the event twice. Teams representing 116 national football associations from all six populated...

)
2
1 (2010
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

)
1 (1950
1950 FIFA World Cup
The 1950 FIFA World Cup, held in Brazil from 24 June to 16 July, was the fourth FIFA World Cup. It was the first World Cup since 1938, the planned 1942 and 1946 competitions having been canceled owing to World War II...

)
2
3 (1974
1974 FIFA World Cup
The 1974 FIFA World Cup, the tenth staging of the World Cup, was held in West Germany from 13 June to 7 July. The tournament marked the first time that the current trophy, the FIFA World Cup Trophy, created by the Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga, was awarded...

, 1978
1978 FIFA World Cup
The 1978 FIFA World Cup, the 11th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Argentina between 1 June and 25 June. The 1978 World Cup was won by Argentina who beat the Netherlands 3–1 after extra time in the final. This win was the first World Cup title for Argentina, who became the fifth...

, 2010
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

)
1 (1998
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

)
4
# 2 (1934
1934 FIFA World Cup
The 1934 FIFA World Cup was the second FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in Italy from 27 May to 10 June 1934....

, 1962
1962 FIFA World Cup
The 1962 FIFA World Cup, the seventh staging of the World Cup, was held in Chile from 30 May to 17 June. It was won by Brazil, who retained the championship by beating Czechoslovakia 3–1 in the final...

)
2
2 (1938
1938 FIFA World Cup
The 1938 FIFA World Cup was the third staging of the World Cup, and was held in France from 4 June to 19 June. Italy retained the championship, beating Hungary 4–2 in the final.-Host selection:...

, 1954
1954 FIFA World Cup
The 1954 FIFA World Cup, the fifth staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Switzerland from 16 June to 4 July. Switzerland was chosen as hosts in July 1946. The tournament set a number of all-time records for goal-scoring, including the highest average goals scored per game...

)
2
1 (1958
1958 FIFA World Cup
The 1958 FIFA World Cup, the sixth staging of the World Cup, was hosted by Sweden from 8 June to 29 June. The tournament was won by Brazil, who beat Sweden 5–2 in the final for their first title. To date, this marks the only occasion that a World Cup staged in Europe was not won by a European...

*)
2 (1950
1950 FIFA World Cup
The 1950 FIFA World Cup, held in Brazil from 24 June to 16 July, was the fourth FIFA World Cup. It was the first World Cup since 1938, the planned 1942 and 1946 competitions having been canceled owing to World War II...

, 1994
1994 FIFA World Cup
The 1994 FIFA World Cup, the 15th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in nine cities across the United States from June 17 to July 17, 1994. The United States was chosen as the host by FIFA on July 4, 1988...

)
1 (1938
1938 FIFA World Cup
The 1938 FIFA World Cup was the third staging of the World Cup, and was held in France from 4 June to 19 June. Italy retained the championship, beating Hungary 4–2 in the final.-Host selection:...

)
4
2 (1974
1974 FIFA World Cup
The 1974 FIFA World Cup, the tenth staging of the World Cup, was held in West Germany from 13 June to 7 July. The tournament marked the first time that the current trophy, the FIFA World Cup Trophy, created by the Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga, was awarded...

, 1982
1982 FIFA World Cup
The 1982 FIFA World Cup, the 12th FIFA World Cup, was held in Spain from 13 June to 11 July. The tournament was won by Italy, after defeating West Germany 3–1 in the final.-Host selection:...

)
2
1 (1954
1954 FIFA World Cup
The 1954 FIFA World Cup, the fifth staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Switzerland from 16 June to 4 July. Switzerland was chosen as hosts in July 1946. The tournament set a number of all-time records for goal-scoring, including the highest average goals scored per game...

)
1 (1934
1934 FIFA World Cup
The 1934 FIFA World Cup was the second FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in Italy from 27 May to 10 June 1934....

)
2
1 (1966
1966 FIFA World Cup
The 1966 FIFA World Cup, the eighth staging of the World Cup, was held in England from 11 July to 30 July. England beat West Germany 4–2 in the final, winning the World Cup for the first time, so becoming the first host to win the tournament since Italy in 1934.-Host selection:England was chosen as...

)
1 (2006
2006 FIFA World Cup
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...

)
2
1 (1930
1930 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 July to 30 July 1930...

)
1
1 (1962
1962 FIFA World Cup
The 1962 FIFA World Cup, the seventh staging of the World Cup, was held in Chile from 30 May to 17 June. It was won by Brazil, who retained the championship by beating Czechoslovakia 3–1 in the final...

*)
1
1 (1998
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

)
1
1 (2002
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

)
1
# 2 (1930
1930 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 July to 30 July 1930...

, 1962
1962 FIFA World Cup
The 1962 FIFA World Cup, the seventh staging of the World Cup, was held in Chile from 30 May to 17 June. It was won by Brazil, who retained the championship by beating Czechoslovakia 3–1 in the final...

)
2
# 1 (1966
1966 FIFA World Cup
The 1966 FIFA World Cup, the eighth staging of the World Cup, was held in England from 11 July to 30 July. England beat West Germany 4–2 in the final, winning the World Cup for the first time, so becoming the first host to win the tournament since Italy in 1934.-Host selection:England was chosen as...

)
1
1 (1986
1986 FIFA World Cup
The 1986 FIFA World Cup, the 13th FIFA World Cup, was held in Mexico from 31 May to 29 June. The tournament was the second to feature a 24-team format. Colombia had been originally chosen to host the competition by FIFA but, largely due to economic reasons, was not able to do so and officially...

)
1
1 (1994
1994 FIFA World Cup
The 1994 FIFA World Cup, the 15th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in nine cities across the United States from June 17 to July 17, 1994. The United States was chosen as the host by FIFA on July 4, 1988...

)
1
1 (2002
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

*)
1
* = hosts
^ = includes results representing West Germany between 1954 and 1990
# = states that have since split into two or more independent nations

Best performances by continental zones



To date, the final of the World Cup has only been contested by European
UEFA
The Union of European Football Associations , almost always referred to by its acronym UEFA is the administrative and controlling body for European association football, futsal and beach soccer....

 and South American
CONMEBOL
The South American Football Confederation , commonly known as CONMEBOL , is the continental governing body of association football in South America and it is one of FIFA's six continental confederations...

 teams. European nations have won ten titles; South American teams have won nine. Only two teams from outside these two continents have ever reached the semi-finals of the competition: USA
United States men's national soccer team
The United States men's national soccer team represents the United States in international association football competitions. It is controlled by the United States Soccer Federation and competes in CONCACAF...

 (North, Central America and Caribbean
CONCACAF
The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football is the continental governing body for association football in North America, Central America and the Caribbean...

) in 1930 and Korea Republic
Korea Republic national football team
The Korea Republic national football team represents Korea Republic in international football and is controlled by the Korea Football Association. Korea Republic is the most successful Asian football team in the history of the FIFA World Cup having participated in eight World Cup tournaments,...

 (Asia
Asian Football Confederation
The Asian Football Confederation is the governing body of association football in Asia. It has 46 member countries, mostly located on the Asian continent. However, due to the disputed boundary of Europe and Asia, nations such as Russia and Turkey which are located mostly in geographic Asia are...

) who reached the semis in 2002. The best result of an African
Confederation of African Football
The Confederation of African Football is the administrative and controlling body for African association football.CAF represents the national football associations of Africa, runs continental, national, and club competitions, and controls the prize money, regulations and media rights to those...

 team is reaching the quarter-finals: Cameroon
Cameroon national football team
The Cameroon national football team, nicknamed Les Lions Indomptables , is controlled by the Fédération Camerounaise de Football and is Africa's most successful side in FIFA world cup; having qualified for the FIFA World Cup six times – in 1982, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2010– more than any...

 in 1990, Senegal
Senegal national football team
The Senegal national football team, nicknamed the Lions of Teranga, is the national team of Senegal and is controlled by the Fédération Sénégalaise de Football...

 in 2002 and Ghana
Ghana national football team
The Ghana national football team, popularly known as the Black Stars, is the national association football team of Ghana and is controlled by the Ghana Football Association...

 in 2010. Only one Oceanian
Oceania Football Confederation
The Oceania Football Confederation is one of the six continental confederations of international association football, consisting of Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and island nations such as Tonga, Fiji and other Pacific Island countries...

 qualifier, Australia in 2006, has advanced to the second round.

Brazil
Brazil national football team
The Brazil national football team represents Brazil in international men's football and is controlled by the Brazilian Football Confederation , the governing body for football in Brazil. They are a member of the International Federation of Association Football since 1923 and also a member of the...

, Argentina
Argentina national football team
The Argentina national football team represents Argentina in association football and is controlled by the Argentine Football Association , the governing body for football in Argentina. Argentina's home stadium is Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti and their head coach is Alejandro...

, and Spain
Spain national football team
The Spain national football team represents Spain in international association football and is controlled by the Royal Spanish Football Federation, the governing body for football in Spain. The current head coach is Vicente del Bosque...

 are the only teams to win a World Cup outside their continental confederation; Brazil came out victorious in Europe
UEFA
The Union of European Football Associations , almost always referred to by its acronym UEFA is the administrative and controlling body for European association football, futsal and beach soccer....

 (1958
1958 FIFA World Cup
The 1958 FIFA World Cup, the sixth staging of the World Cup, was hosted by Sweden from 8 June to 29 June. The tournament was won by Brazil, who beat Sweden 5–2 in the final for their first title. To date, this marks the only occasion that a World Cup staged in Europe was not won by a European...

), North America
CONCACAF
The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football is the continental governing body for association football in North America, Central America and the Caribbean...

 (1970
1970 FIFA World Cup
The 1970 FIFA World Cup, the ninth staging of the World Cup, was held in Mexico, from 31 May to 21 June. The 1970 tournament was the first World Cup hosted in North America, and the first held outside South America and Europe. In a match-up of two-time World Cup champions, the final was won by...

 and 1994
1994 FIFA World Cup
The 1994 FIFA World Cup, the 15th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in nine cities across the United States from June 17 to July 17, 1994. The United States was chosen as the host by FIFA on July 4, 1988...

) and Asia
Asian Football Confederation
The Asian Football Confederation is the governing body of association football in Asia. It has 46 member countries, mostly located on the Asian continent. However, due to the disputed boundary of Europe and Asia, nations such as Russia and Turkey which are located mostly in geographic Asia are...

 (2002
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

), Argentina won a North American World Cup in 1986
1986 FIFA World Cup
The 1986 FIFA World Cup, the 13th FIFA World Cup, was held in Mexico from 31 May to 29 June. The tournament was the second to feature a 24-team format. Colombia had been originally chosen to host the competition by FIFA but, largely due to economic reasons, was not able to do so and officially...

, while Spain won the only African World Cup in 2010
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

. Only on three occasions have consecutive World Cups been won by teams from the same continent – Italy
Italy national football team
The Italy National Football Team , represents Italy in association football and is controlled by the Italian Football Federation , the governing body for football in Italy. Italy is the second most successful national team in the history of the World Cup having won four titles , just one fewer than...

 and Brazil successfully defended their titles in 1938 and 1962 respectively, while Spain's 2010 triumph followed Italy's in 2006.

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:
  • The Golden Ball for the best player, determined by a vote of media members (first awarded in 1982); the Silver Ball and the Bronze Ball are awarded to the players finishing second and third in the voting respectively;
  • The Golden Boot (sometimes called the Golden Shoe) for the top goalscorer (first awarded in 1982, but retrospectively applied to all tournaments from 1930); most recently, the Silver Boot and the Bronze Boot have been awarded to the second and third top goalscorers respectively;
  • The Golden Glove Award (formerly the Yashin Award) for the best goalkeeper, decided by the FIFA Technical Study Group (first awarded in 1994);
  • The Best Young Player Award for the best player aged 21 or younger at the start of the calendar year, decided by the FIFA Technical Study Group (first awarded in 2006).
  • The FIFA Fair Play Trophy for the team with the best record of fair play
    Sportsmanship
    Sportsmanship is an aspiration or ethos that a sport or activity will be enjoyed for its own sake, with proper consideration for fairness, ethics, respect, and a sense of fellowship with one's competitors...

    , according to the points system and criteria established by the FIFA Fair Play Committee (first awarded in 1978);
  • The Most Entertaining Team for the team that has entertained the public the most during the World Cup, determined by a poll of the general public (first awarded in 1994);

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

Records and statistics



Two players share the record for playing in the most World Cups; Mexico
Mexico national football team
The Mexican national football team represents Mexico in association football and is governed by the Mexican Football Federation , the governing body for football in Mexico. Mexico's home stadium is the Estadio Azteca and their head coach is José Manuel de la Torre...

's Antonio Carbajal
Antonio Carbajal
Antonio Félix "Tota" Carbajal Rodríguez is a Mexican former football goalkeeper. He was also called "El Cinco Copas", in reference to his record of five World Cups played.-Pro career:...

 (1950–1966) and Germany
Germany national football team
The Germany national football team is the football team that has represented Germany in international competition since 1908. It is governed by the German Football Association , which was founded in 1900....

's Lothar Matthäus
Lothar Matthäus
Lothar Herbert Matthäus , is a German football manager and former player.In 1990, he was named European Footballer of the Year and World Soccer Player of the Year after captaining West Germany to victory in the 1990 World Cup...

 (1982–1998) both played in five tournaments. Matthäus has played the most World Cup matches overall, with 25 appearances. Brazil
Brazil national football team
The Brazil national football team represents Brazil in international men's football and is controlled by the Brazilian Football Confederation , the governing body for football in Brazil. They are a member of the International Federation of Association Football since 1923 and also a member of the...

's Pelé
Pelé
However, Pelé has always maintained that those are mistakes, that he was actually named Edson and that he was born on 23 October 1940.), best known by his nickname Pelé , is a retired Brazilian footballer. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time...

 is the only player to have won three World Cup winners' medals (1958, 1962, and 1970), with 20 other players who have won two World Cup medals. West Germany
Germany national football team
The Germany national football team is the football team that has represented Germany in international competition since 1908. It is governed by the German Football Association , which was founded in 1900....

's Franz Beckenbauer
Franz Beckenbauer
Franz Anton Beckenbauer is a German football coach, manager, and former player, nicknamed Der Kaiser because of his elegant style, his leadership, his first name "Franz" , and his dominance on the football pitch...

 (1966–1974) is the only player to be named to three Finals All-Star Teams, and is also the only player to collect all three types of medals (runner- ups', third-place, and winners').

The overall top goalscorer in World Cups is Brazil's Ronaldo
Ronaldo
Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima , commonly known as Ronaldo, is a retired Brazilian footballer who last played for Corinthians. Ronaldo is widely considered to be the greatest 'pure' striker in the history of the modern game, and by some accounts, in the history of football. Ronaldo was one of the...

, scorer of 15 goals (1998–2006). Germany's Miroslav Klose
Miroslav Klose
Miroslav Josef Klose is a German footballer who plays as a striker for Lazio in the Serie A. Since bursting onto the international stage at the 2002 World Cup, he has become well known for his knack of scoring headers, front-flip goal celebrations, and decisive short passing.Klose holds German...

 (2002–2010) and West Germany's Gerd Müller
Gerd Müller
Gerhard "Gerd" Müller is a former German football player and one of the most prolific goalscorers of all time.With national records of 68 goals in 62 international appearances, 365 goals in 427 Bundesliga games and the international record of 66 goals in 74 European Club games, he was one of the...

 (1970–1974) are second, with 14 goals. The fourth placed goalscorer, France
France national football team
The France national football team represents the nation of France in international football. It is fielded by the French Football Federation , the governing body of football in France, and competes as a member of UEFA, which encompasses the countries of Europe...

's Just Fontaine
Just Fontaine
Just "Justo" Fontaine is a former French football player.-Football career:He holds the record for most goals scored in a single FIFA World Cup finals tournament, with 13 in 1958...

, holds the record for the most goals scored in a single World Cup; all his 13 goals were scored in the 1958 tournament.

Brazil's Mário Zagallo
Mário Zagallo
Mário Jorge Lobo Zagallo is a Brazilian former football player and manager.-Biography:Mário Jorge Lobo Zagallo was born in Maceió, Alagoas, to a family of Lebanese and Italian heritage....

 and West Germany's Franz Beckenbauer
Franz Beckenbauer
Franz Anton Beckenbauer is a German football coach, manager, and former player, nicknamed Der Kaiser because of his elegant style, his leadership, his first name "Franz" , and his dominance on the football pitch...

 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. Beckenbauer won in 1974 as captain and in 1990 as head coach. Italy
Italy national football team
The Italy National Football Team , represents Italy in association football and is controlled by the Italian Football Federation , the governing body for football in Italy. Italy is the second most successful national team in the history of the World Cup having won four titles , just one fewer than...

's Vittorio Pozzo
Vittorio Pozzo
Vittorio Pozzo 21 December 1968) was an Italian football coach who was most famous for leading the Italian national team to victory in the 1934 FIFA World Cup and 1938 FIFA World Cups; managed the side that won the 1930 and 1935 editions of the Central European International Cup, as well as the...

 is the only head coach to ever win two World Cups (1934 and 1938). All World Cup winning head coaches were natives of the country they coached to victory.

Among the national teams, Germany have played the most World Cup matches, with 99, while Brazil have scored the most World Cup goals, with 210. The two teams have played each other only once in the World Cup, in the 2002 final
2002 FIFA World Cup Final
The 2002 FIFA World Cup Final the final match of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, played between Germany and Brazil at the International Stadium in Yokohama, Japan. It was the first World Cup meeting between the two sides. Brazil won the match 2–0, winning a record fifth title...

.

See also


  • National team appearances in the FIFA World Cup
    National team appearances in the FIFA World Cup
    This article lists the performances of each of the 76 national teams which have made at least one appearance in the FIFA World Cup finals.-Debut of teams:Each successive World Cup has had at least one team appearing for the first time...

  • FIFA Women's World Cup
    FIFA Women's World Cup
    The FIFA Women's World Cup is an international association football competition contested by the senior women's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association , the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the...

  • List of other competitions named World Cup
  • 1980 Mundialito
    1980 Mundialito
    -Group B:---------Final:-Scorers:3 goals Waldemar Victorino1 goal Ramón Díaz Diego Maradona Edevaldo Junior Serginho Sócrates Toninho Cerezo Zé Sérgio Klaus Allofs Horst Hrubesch Jan Peters Carlo Ancelotti Jorge Barrios Julio Morales Venancio Ramos...

    , a tournament held in Uruguay to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the World Cup
  • FIFA World Cup All-Time Team
    FIFA World Cup All-Time Team
    The FIFA World Cup All-Time Team is an all-time all-star association football squad published by FIFA in 1994. It is an eleven-member side divided as one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders, and three forwards...

  • FIFA World Cup Dream Team
    FIFA World Cup Dream Team
    The FIFA World Cup Dream Team is an all-time all-star FIFA World Cup squad published by FIFA in 2002 after conducting an internet poll of fans to select a World Cup dream team. Diego Maradona of Argentina received the most votes. More than one-and-a-half million fans worldwide voted in the poll,...

  • FIFA World Cup official songs
    FIFA World Cup official songs
    FIFA World Cup championship theme songs are songs adopted officially to be used as warm-ups to the event, to accompany the championships during the event and as a souvenir reminder of the events as well as for advertising campaigns leading for the World Cup, giving the singers exceptional universal...


External links