World Cup history

History

There's nothing quite like the buzz and thrill of the World Cup. Don't get me wrong, day to day football is fine but there's a reason why this is looked at as the grandest stage of them all.

Before the World Cup, football was included as part of the Olympics but as the competition grew, along with the transition of football as a whole, it was felt that it wasn't the best fit. This intensified after the forming of FIFA which led to the tournaments creation in 1930.

Since then the tournament has been held every four years with nations across the world hosting - there was a hiatus between 1938 and 1950, due to World War II. Initially starting with just 13 teams the tournament has expanded to include 32 teams and there's plans to increase this to 48 in the future.

Anyway, that was a whistle stop overview, there is a lot more to the story but that is the jist for you!

Past winners

Over the years there have been several different winners, with Brazil being the most successful lifting the trophy 5 times. Here are a list of previous winners...

  • 1930 - Uruguay
  • 1934 - Italy
  • 1938 - Italy
  • 1950 - Uruguay
  • 1954 - West Germany
  • 1958 - Brazil
  • 1962 - Brazil
  • 1966 - England
  • 1970 - Brazil
  • 1974 - West Germany
  • 1978 - Argentina
  • 1982 - Italy
  • 1986 - Argentina
  • 1990 - West Germany
  • 1994 - Brazil
  • 1998 - France
  • 2002 - Brazil
  • 2006 - Italy
  • 2010 - Spain
  • 2014 - Germany
  • 2018 - France
  • 2022 - ??

Past hosts

A few nations have hosted the World Cup over the years and here they are...

  • 1930 - Uruguay
  • 1934 - Italy
  • 1938 - France
  • 1950 - Brazil
  • 1954 - Switzerland
  • 1958 - Sweden
  • 1962 - Chile
  • 1966 - England
  • 1970 - Mexico
  • 1974 - West Germany
  • 1978 - Argentina
  • 1982 - Spain
  • 1986 - Mexico
  • 1990 - Italy
  • 1994 - United States
  • 1998 - France
  • 2002 - South Korea & Japan
  • 2006 - Germany
  • 2010 - South Africa
  • 2014 - Brazil
  • 2018 - Russia
  • 2022 - Qatar

Top scorers

Here are a list of the all-time top World Cup goal scorers (how many do you remember?)

  • Miroslav Klose (Germany) - 16
  • Ronaldo (Brazil) - 15
  • Gerd Müller (Germany) - 14
  • Just Fontaine (France) - 13
  • Pelé (Brazil) - 12
  • Jürgen Klinsmann (Germany) - 11
  • Sándor Kocsis (Hungary) - 11
  • Gabriel Batistuta - 10
  • Teófilo Cubillas (Peru) - 10
  • Grzegorz Lato (Poland) - 10
  • Gary Lineker (England) - 10
  • Thomas Müller (Germany) - 10
  • Helmut Rahn (Germany) - 10

Trivia

Here are a few facts and nonsense trivia that will help you waste a few minutes or, better still, aid future pub quizzes...

  • Brazil are the most successful World Cup team - lifting the trophy 5 times.
  • Sticking with Brazil, they have played in every tournament.
  • The original trophy was named after the FIFA president who helped set up the first World Cup - Jules Rimet.
  • In 1966 someone stole the trophy but luckily a dog named Pickles found it again - good boy Pickles, good boy!
  • French striker Just Fontaine holds the record for the most goals scored in a single tournament - how many did he score? 13.
  • German forward Miroslav Klose holds the record for most goals scored in World Cup history, 16.
  • The highest scoring match occurred in 1954 where Austria beat Switzerland 7-5.
  • England keeper Peter Shilton holds the record for most clean sheets in a World Cup with 10.
  • In terms of teams with the most wins, draws and losses...
    • Wins - Brazil with 70
    • Draws - Italy with 21
    • Losses - Mexico with 25

Now you know, and knowing is half the battle, so please feel free to share your new found knowledge with friends, loved ones or pets!

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