List of Countries That Have Won the World Cup From 1930 to 2022

List of Countries That Have Won the World Cup From 1930 to 2022
Credit: Iconsport

The FIFA World Cup is an international men's football (soccer) tournament held every four years. It is organized by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and brings together teams from all over the world to compete for the prestigious title of world champions.

1930 FIFA World Cup: The first World Cup

The 1930 FIFA World Cup marked the beginning of a prestigious tournament that would captivate football fans for decades to come. Held in Uruguay from July 13 to 30, 1930, this inaugural edition of the World Cup was chosen to coincide with the nation's centenary of its first constitution.

Uruguay was granted the privilege of hosting the tournament as a result of their remarkable victory in the football competition at the 1928 Summer Olympics. Montevideo, the vibrant capital of Uruguay, played host to all the matches, with the majority taking place in the newly constructed Estadio Centenario, purpose-built for this historic event.

Thirteen teams from across the globe participated in the tournament, with seven representing South America, four from Europe, and two from North America. However, the competition witnessed a notable absence of European teams, owing to the arduous journey to South America amidst an ongoing economic crisis.

The teams were divided into four groups, and after a series of hard-fought matches, the winners from each group advanced to the semi-finals. Ultimately, the highly anticipated final showcased a fierce battle between neighboring rivals Uruguay and Argentina. In front of an awe-inspiring crowd of 68,346 spectators, the hosts emerged triumphant with a score of 4-2, etching their name in history as the first-ever nation to claim the coveted World Cup title.

Current FIFA World Cup Format

The FIFA World Cup follows a rigorous process that begins with the qualification phase, held over the course of three years leading up to the tournament. This phase serves to determine which teams from different regions of the world will earn their spots in the tournament phase.

Once the qualification is complete, the tournament phase begins with 32 teams, who gather in the host nation(s) to compete for the coveted title over the course of approximately a month. It's worth noting that the host nation(s) automatically qualify for the group stage of the tournament, ensuring their participation.

Looking ahead, the 2026 FIFA World Cup is set to introduce an expansion to 48 teams, allowing more nations to participate and increasing the overall excitement and diversity of the tournament. This expansion is expected to bring forth new rivalries, stories, and moments that will further enhance the magic of the World Cup.

The tournament consists of several stages, including group stages, knockout rounds, quarterfinals, semifinals, and the final. Matches are played in various stadiums across the host country, with the final typically held in a prominent venue.

The Hosting of the FIFA World Cup

The host country is selected through a bidding process by FIFA. The tournament takes place in different countries each time, providing an opportunity for nations to showcase their footballing infrastructure and culture to the world.

The 2026 FIFA World Cup will mark a historic moment as it will be jointly hosted by Canada, the United States, and Mexico. This decision grants Mexico a remarkable distinction, as it becomes the first country ever to host games in three different World Cups.

About The World Cup Trophy

The FIFA World Cup is synonymous with the iconic solid gold trophy presented to the victorious team of the tournament. Throughout its history since its inception in 1930, the World Cup has witnessed two distinct trophies. The first was the Jules Rimet Trophy, utilized from 1930 until 1970, and later succeeded by the FIFA World Cup Trophy, which has been in use since 1974 and continues to this day. This remarkable accolade is renowned for its exceptional value, estimated at a staggering $20,000,000, making it one of the most expensive trophies in the realm of sports.

Originally named Victory but subsequently renamed in honor of FIFA president Jules Rimet, the first trophy was crafted from gold-plated sterling silver and adorned with lapis lazuli. It featured a depiction of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. Brazil's emphatic win in 1970 led to their permanent possession of the trophy, resulting in the commissioning of a replacement. However, the original Jules Rimet Trophy was tragically stolen in 1983 and has never been recovered, leaving a void in its storied history.

In 1974, the current trophy, known as the “FIFA World Cup Trophy,” was introduced. Crafted from 18 karat gold with elegant bands of malachite encircling its base, this magnificent symbol stands tall at a height of 36.8 centimeters and weighs an impressive 6.175 kilograms (13.61 lb). The trophy was meticulously created by the renowned Italian company, Stabilimento Artistico Bertoni, and portrays two human figures uplifting the Earth. As of the latest tournament in 2022, the distinguished honor of holding the trophy belongs to Argentina, who emerged victorious as the winners of that World Cup.

Most Succesful National Teams in The FIFA World Cup

Throughout the history of the FIFA World Cup, several national teams have established themselves as the epitome of success in the tournament. Among the most triumphant is Brazil, the record-holders with a remarkable five World Cup titles. Brazil's dominance began in 1958 when they captured their first trophy, led by the iconic Pelé. They went on to clinch the title in 1962, 1970, 1994, and 2002, solidifying their status as the most successful national team in World Cup history.

Following closely behind Brazil is Germany, with four World Cup triumphs to their name. Germany claimed their first victory as West Germany in 1954, and later added titles in 1974, 1990, and 2014. Italy as well has four World Cup trophies. Their first triumph came in 1934 when they hosted the tournament and their second arrived in 1938. After a gap of 44 years, Italy triumphed once again in 1982. Their most recent World Cup success came in 2006.

Most Successful African Teams in the FIFA World Cup

Morocco made history at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 by achieving the furthest run ever by an African team in the prestigious tournament. Not only did they qualify for the semifinals, but their journey was filled with thrilling moments. One remarkable aspect of their performance was their solid defense, as they didn't concede a single goal from open play in their first five games.

Nigeria, on the other hand, has a notable World Cup track record in Africa. They have qualified for the tournament on multiple occasions, with only Cameroon surpassing their participation. The Super Eagles remain the only African country to have progressed past the World Cup group stage on three separate occasions, a testament to their consistency and competitive spirit.

Cameroon holds a significant place in African football history, as they became the first-ever African nation to reach the quarterfinals of the World Cup in 1990. Since then, both Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010 have also reached the quarterfinals, further solidifying the growth and competitiveness of African teams on the global football stage.     

FIFA World Cup Winners List

Year Winners Runners-up
1930 Uruguay Argentina
1934 Italy Czechoslovakia
1938 Italy Hungary
1950 Uruguay Brazil
1954 West Germany Hungary
1958 Brazil Sweden
1962 Brazil Czechoslovakia
1966 England West Germany
1970 Brazil Italy
1974 West Germany The Netherlands
1978 Argentina The Netherlands
1982 Italy West Germany
1986 Argentina West Germany
1990 West Germany Argentina
1994 Brazil Italy
1998 France Brazil
2002 Brazil Germany
2006 Italy France
2010 Spain The Netherlands
2014 Germany Argentina
2018 France Croatia
2022 Argentina France

This article was most recently revised and updated 12 months ago

Rababe Koussaimi, a 22-year-old journalist, is deeply passionate about the world of sports. She grew up in a footballing environment, supporting both Bayern Munich and Wydad Athletic Club. She began her English journalism career by hosting a podcast for the first English radio station in Morocco. Currently, the Moroccan journalist channels her enthusiasm into writing and conducting extensive research, creating insightful and engaging content for GoalBall Live readers.