The World Cup, also known as the Mundial or Copa do Mundo, has been held 19 times since it inaugural tournament in 1930. It has been won by eight different teams, with Brazil having the most World Cup titles with five, followed by Italy with four, and West Germany with three. Argentina and Uruguay have two titles each while England, France, and Spain have one title.
Below is a year-by-year account of all the World Cup champion teams.
The1930 World Cupwas staged in Uruguay and it was the host country that won the championship. In the final match, the Uruguayans saw themselves trailing behind Argentina by 2-1 but managed to turn things around in the second half by scoring three goals. Uruguay became the first World Cup winner with a 4-2 score.
Final score:Italy 2-1 Czechoslovakia (Extra time)
The1934 World Cupwas once again won by the host country and this time it was Italy that took the trophy. Playing against Czechoslovakia, Italy imposed a very tough defense but the visiting team breached the Italian line in the 70th to lead 1-0. Italy retaliated to make the game 1-1 before the end of regulation and bagged the win in overtime by a 2-1 tally.
Italy retained its crown in the1938 World Cupin France. In the final match against Hungary, the Italians broke clear with a 3-1 score at halftime and finished the game 4-2.
The World Cup was not staged again until 1950 because of the Second World War. Played in Brazil, this edition of the Mundial saw one of the biggest upsets in football history when the host country lost to theUruguay football team.
Brazil was highly favored to win in the final match with Uruguay, which was lowly rated after not qualifying in the two previous World Cups. The Brazilians scored two minutes into the second half and everything seemed to be going well for them. However, Uruguay tied on the 66th minute mark and scored anew on the 79th to steal the1950 World Cuptrophy.
Final score:West Germany 3-2 Hungary
The1954 World Cupsaw another major upset: In the group stage, the Hungarians trashed West Germany 8-3 and was highly favored to win when the two teams met again in the final. Scoring two goals after only eight minutes, theHungarian football teamlooked like they were on a smooth way to the Mundial trophy. However, West Germany equalized within the first half and, just five minutes before the end of regulation, broke away with another goal to win 3-2.
Host Sweden matched up against Brazil in the final of the1958 World Cup. TheSwedish football teamopened the scoring but found themselves trailing by 2-1 at the end of the first half. Brazil played top-class football for the rest of the second half and finished the game 5-2. Brazils successful campaign was spurred by one of thegreatest footballers in history, Pele, who played his first Mundial in this year.
Final score:Brazil 3-1 Czechoslovakia
In the1962 World Cup, Brazil faced Czechoslovakia in the final match without its goal-scoring genius, Pele, as he was injured in the first round. The Czechoslovakians struck the first goal but the Brazilians showed their offensive flare to emerge as victors with a 3-1 score. This was the second of five World Cup trophies in theBrazilian football teams history.
Final score:England 4-2 West Germany (Extra time)
England faced West Germany at the final of the1966 World Cup. The Germans found the back of the net first but the English equalized by halftime, 1-1.
In the second half, the English pulled away with a goals lead but West Germany scored before the end of regulation to take the game into overtime with a 2-2 score. Englishman Geoff Hurst, who had one goal in regulation, scored twice in overtime to make England World Cup winners and to become the only player ever to score a hat trick in a Mundial final.
The 1966 victory is the only World Cup trophy in theEnglish football teams historyas of present.
Brazil won all its matches on the way to the final of the1970 World Cupand clipped the trophy for the third time with a relatively easy 4-1 victory over Italy. 1970 was the first edition of the Mundial that the red and yellow card scheme was used.
Final score:West Germany 2-1 Netherlands
This edition of the Mundial witnessed the finest roster that Netherlands produced, theTotal Football team. Offensive-minded and tactically equipped, the Dutch cruised their way to the final to meet tournament host West Germany.
The Dutch scored first over the Germans but saw themselves fall behind by 2-1 when halftime ended. Holland never broke through the German defense and the score stood still until the final whistle of the1974 World Cup.
Final score:Argentina 3-1 Netherlands (Extra time)
The1978 World Cupwas won by host Argentina over Netherlands with a 3-1 overtime score. However, Argentina finished the tournament amidst a huge scandal.
Having tied with Brazil in a group stage game, Argentina needed to win by at least four goals over Peru to progress to the next stage. That game ended with a 6-0 score and pushed Argentina to the final stages. The result created wide rumors of match-fixing and still remains one of the biggest controversies in football.
The1982 World Cuptitle is the third of Italy. It was not an easy one, as the Italians barely survived elimination in the first round. The first half of the final game did not prove to be inspiring either, as Italy missed a penalty that would have opened the scoring.
However, Italy managed to squeeze a goal on the 56th minute and followed it up with two more goals to lead 3-0. West Germany scored a goal in the 82nd minute to finish the game honorably, 3-1.
Final score:Argentina 3-2 West Germany
The 1986 Copa do Mundo belonged to Argentina and thefinest Argentinean footballer ever, Diego Maradona. With his exceptional playing skills, he led his country from the opening round all the way to the final. However, he also brought his team into controversy by scoring a goal against England in the quarter-finals with the use of his left hand.
Nonetheless, Maradona has proven his brilliance beyond any doubt and led Argentina to a 3-2 final victory over the strong-willed Germans for the1986 World Cuptrophy.
Final score:West Germany 1-0 Argentina
The1990 World Cuptitle was the third of West Germany, which they took at the expense of defending champion Argentina. The only goal in the final game was made by the Germans through apenalty kick.
The final match was criticized for its cynicism and hyper-defensive plays by both sides, which can be considered asanti football. The 1990 Mundial is widely regarded as the poorest ever.
Final score:Brazil 0-0 Italy (3-2 pen)
The1994 World Cup, held in the United States, is the fourth occasion that Brazil would rip the highest honor in football. In the final match, neither Brazil nor its opponent, Italy, scored in the regulation and extra periods so the game was forced into apenalty shootout.
Both sides missed on their first attempt but Brazil converted its following shots while Italy suffered two more misses to lose 3-2 in the shootout. The biggest disappointment came toItalian football heroRoberto Baggio, who led his team throughout the tournament only to miss his chance from the penalty spot in the final game.
The1998 World Cuptrophy was competed between 32 teams and it was France that emerged triumphant. The French survived the quarter finals through a penalty shootout against Italy and defeated Croatia in the semis with a 2-1 score. They went on to the final to square up with Brazil.
The final belonged toFrench football legendZinedine Zidane who scored two goals in regulation to make victory imminent for the host country. His efforts were complemented by Emmanuel Petit, who added another goal in stoppage period. The match ended 3-0 for the first World Cup title inFrances football squad history.
The2002 World Cupwas the first to be held in Asia and saw Brazil become the winner once again. Ronaldo scored both of Brazils goals to surge pass Germany 2-0 in the final match. The brilliant striker finished as 2002 top scorer but it was thefootball goalkeeping legendOliver Kahn of Germany who bagged the award for the tournaments best player, the Golden Ball. (This World Cup, with Korea and Japan as hosts, is the first to be hosted by two nations.)
Final score:Italy 1-1 France (5-3 pen)
Held in Germany, the2006 World Cupwas the fourth that the Italians reigned supreme. They saw France take the lead in the first half via a penalty shot but managed to equalize immediately. Italy never broke the 1-1 deadlock even after extra time so the game headed to a penalty shootout. The Italians won the penalty shootout on a 5-3 score to gain the fourth championship inItalian football team history.
Final score:Spain 1-0 Netherlands (Extra time)
The final match of the2010 World Cup in South Africawas fought between Spain and Netherlands with the Spanish triumphing after extra time, 1-0. Pressure was high on theNetherlands football teamas it was the third time they were in a Mundial finalonly to make it also the third time they finished second.
Final score:Germany 1-0 Argentina (Extra time)
After humiliating the host country Brazil in an overwhelming 7-1 win, Germany went on to the finals to face Argentina led by football superstar Lionel Messi.
With tight defenses on both sides, the match went on to overtime. The stalemate was finally broken by an incredible goal by Mario Goetze 23 minutes into the extra time, leading Germany to win the 2014 World Cup after a 24-year title drought and to become the first European to win the Mundial in the Americas.
Check out our complete list with images of AFC Asian Cup Champions from 1956 to present.
Complete index of all the Libertadores tournament champions, from 1960 to present
the complete index of football clubs from 1972 to present who captured the Europe League trophy formerly known as UEFA Cup.
the list of the Gold Cup title-holders, champions history list by year, including the runner-ups, teams who participated and the host nation.
find out what are the medalists of the European soccer cup from 1956 up to present , complete index of the European cup title holders.