Who is the best team in World Cup history? The top performing nations - from appearances to most trophies

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Only eight teams in history have ever won the World Cup

The FIFA World Cup is quite simply the most prestigious competition in football. It takes place once every four years and features the best players on the planet.

For many footballers simply playing in the World Cup is the greatest achievement in their career, but which country has the right to call themselves the greatest?

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Here we take a look at the most successful nations to compete in the World Cup.

Which nation has made the most World Cup appearances?

Brazil is the only team to have participated in every single World Cup. They will be making their 22nd appearance in the upcoming tournament in Qatar, and head coach Adenor Leonardo Bacchi, better known as Tite, will be aiming to guide his side to glory for the first time in 20 years.

Close behind in appearances is 2014 winners Germany with 20, followed by Argentina and Italy with 18 each.

Brazil last won the World Cup in 2002 (Getty Images)Brazil last won the World Cup in 2002 (Getty Images)
Brazil last won the World Cup in 2002 (Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

The top five countries to have made the most World Cup appearances, including the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, are:

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  1. Brazil, with 22 appearances
  2. Germany, with 20 appearances
  3. Argentina, with 18 appearances
  4. Italy, with 18 appearances
  5. Mexico, with 17 appearances

How many times have England played in the World Cup?

This tournament will be England’s 16th appearance at the World Cup. The Three Lions have successfully qualified for all of the last seven World Cups.

The last time England failed to reach the World Cup was in 1994, when they were managed by Graham Taylor. After the game Taylor famously blamed the referee for getting him the sack after he failed to send off Ronald Koeman for what many pundits felt was a blatant red card.

Queen Elizabeth II smiles after presenting England captain Bobby Moore with the Jules Rimet trophy in 1966 (Getty Images)Queen Elizabeth II smiles after presenting England captain Bobby Moore with the Jules Rimet trophy in 1966 (Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II smiles after presenting England captain Bobby Moore with the Jules Rimet trophy in 1966 (Getty Images) | Getty Images

Which nation is the most successful in World Cup history?

Since the inaugural competition in 1930, the FIFA World Cup has produced eight different champions.

Brazil are the most successful team in World Cup history and have lifted the World Cup a record five times, in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002. Alongside this record Brazil have also played in more matches than any other team (109) and scored the most goals in the competition (229).

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Brazil are closely followed by Germany and Italy, who have both lifted the trophy on four occasions.

The most successful teams in World Cup history are:

  1. Brazil, with 5 titles
  2. Italy, with 4 titles
  3. Germany, with 4 titles
  4. Argentina, with 2 titles
  5. France, with 2 titles
  6. Uruguay, with 2 titles
  7. England, with 1 title
  8. Spain, with 1 title
Graphic: Kim MoggGraphic: Kim Mogg
Graphic: Kim Mogg | Graphic: Kim Mogg

Who is the favourite to win World Cup 2022?

Brazil are currently the bookmakers’ favourites to bag the World Cup in Qatar with odds of 9/2. They have an incredibly strong team at their disposal and are spearheaded by PSG striker Neymar who is just two goals away from becoming his country’s all-time record goalscorer.

Defending champions France are the second favourites for the tournament at 5/1 and possess an impressive line-up which includes Kylian Mbappe and Champions League winner Karim Benzema. The question will be whether they can keep their camp harmonious.

England narrowly missed out on the European Championships on penalties last year and are again viewed as contenders for this year’s tournament. Gareth Southgate has a huge pool of talent at his disposal and his England side have odds of 13/2 to bring it home for the first time since 1966.

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Host nation Qatar are the only side making their debut at this years competition and have odds of 500/1 to become champions

Here are the odds to win the World Cup 2022 according to Sky Bet:

  • Brazil - 9/2
  • France - 5/1
  • England - 13/2
  • Argentina - 7/1
  • Spain - 8/1
  • Germany - 9/1
  • Netherlands - 12/1
  • Belgium - 14/1
  • Portugal - 14/1
  • Denmark - 28/1
  • Uruguay - 40/1
  • Croatia - 50/1
  • Switzerland - 66/1
  • Mexico - 80/1
  • Senegal-  80/1
  • Serbia - 100/1
  • Wales - 100/1
  • Ecuador - 150/1
  • Poland - 150/1
  • USA - 150/1
  • Cameroon - 250/1
  • Ghana - 250/1
  • Japan - 250/1
  • Morocco - 250/1
  • South Korea - 250/1
  • Australia - 500/1
  • Canada - 500/1
  • Iran - 500/1
  • Qatar - 500/1
  • Tunisia - 500/1
  • Costa Rica - 750/1
  • Saudi Arabia - 750/1

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