FIFA World Cup winners list: every nation that has won the tournament from 1930 to the present day

The World Cup has been won by eight different nations in its 92-year history (Images: Getty)The World Cup has been won by eight different nations in its 92-year history (Images: Getty)
The World Cup has been won by eight different nations in its 92-year history (Images: Getty) | Getty
France will take on Argentina in the 2022 World Cup final - and both nations have illustrious histories in the tournament

The FIFA World Cup is the most prestigious competition in football. It takes place once every four years and is a stage which has seen some of the greatest footballers of all-time including Pele, Diego Maradona, Zinedine Zidane, Johan Cryuff and more recently Lionel Messi.

This years’ final will see reigning world champions France aim to become the first nation in 60 years to win back to back World Cup titles. Les Bleus will take on South American giants Argentina in the final at the Lusail Iconic Stadium. Argentina are the reigning Copa America champions and have a strong team spearheaded by seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi.

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Both nations are seeking to lift the trophy for the third time and cement their status in history amongst an illustrious list of previous champions. Here we take a look back at every nation to have lifted the most coveted prize in football and how they did it.

1930: Uruguay (host nation)

The 1930 FIFA World Cup was the inaugural championship which took place 92 years ago. FIFA chose Uruguay to be the host nation and the South American side possessed one of the most exciting teams in world football at the time. Uruguay were the reigning Olympic champions after winning gold in the 1928 Olympics and they certainly didn’t disappoint in their first World Cup.

Uruguay cruised through the group in style, winning both of their two games against Peru and Romania, before hammering Yugoslavia 6-1 in the semi-final. Uruguay became the first ever winners of the competition with a 4-2 victory over Argentina in the final.

Uruguay were the first nation to win the World Cup. (Getty Images)Uruguay were the first nation to win the World Cup. (Getty Images)
Uruguay were the first nation to win the World Cup. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

1934 - Italy (host nation)

The 1934 World Cup was the second edition of the competition and the first to take place in a European nation. Italia 1934 consisted of 16 teams and followed a straight knockout format. Italy began the tournament in fine fashion with an emphatic 7-1 victory over USA and followed that up with victories over Spain and Austria to reach the final. The Azzurri became the first ever European winners of the competition with a 2-1 victory after extra time against Czech Republic.

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Italy were the first team from Europe to win the World Cup. (Getty Images)Italy were the first team from Europe to win the World Cup. (Getty Images)
Italy were the first team from Europe to win the World Cup. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

1938 - Italy (France)

The 1934 World Cup sparked an era of dominance for Italy who became the first ever team to win back to back World Cup titles. Italy’s 1934 and 1938 teams also hold the distinction of being the only men’s national team to win the World Cup twice in a row under the same manager - a record which Didier Deschamps will hope to equal on Sunday.

Vitorio Pozzo and his team continued their reign of dominance in football by beating Norway, France and Brazil on the route to the final. They completed their historic double with a 4-2 victory over Hungary in the final. The 1938 tournament would prove to be the last World Cup in 12 years due to the disruption of World War II.

Italy retained their title in 1938. (Getty Images)Italy retained their title in 1938. (Getty Images)
Italy retained their title in 1938. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

1950 - Uruguay (Brazil)

The 1950 World Cup was the fourth edition of the tournament and the first to take place after World War II. It was the first tournament where the trophy was referred to as the Jules Rimet trophy to mark the 25th anniversary of Jules Rimet’s presidency of FIFA.

The 1950 edition followed an unusual format and was the first World Cup to not be decided by a one-match final. The tournament instead consisted of two group stages. Uruguay prevailed from their first group after dismantling Bolivia’s defence in ruthless fashion with an 8-0 victory. They then topped their second group by finishing ahead of runners-up Brazil, Sweden and Spain.

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Uruguayan Juan “Pepe” Schiaffino scores the first goal against Brazil, during the 1950 World Cup. (Getty Images)Uruguayan Juan “Pepe” Schiaffino scores the first goal against Brazil, during the 1950 World Cup. (Getty Images)
Uruguayan Juan “Pepe” Schiaffino scores the first goal against Brazil, during the 1950 World Cup. (Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

1954 - West Germany (Switzerland)

The 1954 tournament saw West Germany lift the first of their four World Cup titles. At the time West Germany were seen as huge underdogs and it was actually Hungary who were seen as the overwhelming favourites for the tournament due to the influence of their talismanic striker Ferenc Puskas.

Hungary faced West Germany twice in the competition and it was Puskas and his team who recorded an emphatic 8-3 victory in the first encounter. West Germany recovered from their early setback in the group and progressed alongside Hungary as runners-up after a 7-2 play-off victory over Turkey. They followed this up with victories over Yugoslavia and Austria to reach the final.

West Germany got their revenge in the second encounter between the two teams and recorded a 3-2 victory over Hungary in the final. The victory is still viewed as one of the great upsets in World Cup history.

Miss Europe 1954 Christel Schaack congratulates Football players of West Germany after winning against Turkey during the FIFA World Cup (Getty Images)Miss Europe 1954 Christel Schaack congratulates Football players of West Germany after winning against Turkey during the FIFA World Cup (Getty Images)
Miss Europe 1954 Christel Schaack congratulates Football players of West Germany after winning against Turkey during the FIFA World Cup (Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

1958 - Brazil (Sweden)

South American giants Brazil won the first of their record setting five World Cup titles in Sweden back in 1958. Brazil possessed one of the most exciting teams on the planet at the time and the tournament saw football icon Pele announce himself on the world stage at just 17 years of age.

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Pele hit a total of six goals - all of which came in the knockout stage of the tournament. The highlight of which was an iconic double during a 5-2 victory over hosts Sweden in the final.

Brazil players celebrate by running around the stadium waving the Swedish flag to acknowledge the support they received from the crowd after winning the FIFA World Cup Final against Sweden. (Getty Images)Brazil players celebrate by running around the stadium waving the Swedish flag to acknowledge the support they received from the crowd after winning the FIFA World Cup Final against Sweden. (Getty Images)
Brazil players celebrate by running around the stadium waving the Swedish flag to acknowledge the support they received from the crowd after winning the FIFA World Cup Final against Sweden. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

1962 - Brazil (Chile)

Brazil continued their era of dominance by becoming only the second nation in World Cup history to defend their title; no team has since achieved the feat. The South American giants cruised through the group stage in top spot ahead of the likes of Czechoslovakia, Mexico and Spain. They then went on to beat England and host nation Chile to reach the final of the World Cup.

Brazil lifted their second World Cup with a 3-1 victory over Czechoslovakia in the final. Brazil played most of the tournament without star man Pele, but were still victorious thanks to the goalscoring form of Garrincha and Vava in attack.

Brazil were the last team to defend the World Cup title. (Getty Images)Brazil were the last team to defend the World Cup title. (Getty Images)
Brazil were the last team to defend the World Cup title. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

1966 - England (Host nation)

The 1966 tournament is a memorable one for The Three Lions and it remains England’s only ever World Cup triumph to date. England possessed a star-studded team in all areas of the pitch. In goal they had Gordon Banks, the defence consisted of Jack Charlton and Bobby Moore, the midfield featured Manchester United pair Nobby Stiles and Bobby Charlton and upfront the likes of Jimmy Greaves and Geoff Hurst led the line.

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Alf Ramsey’s side began the tournament with a 0-0 draw against Uruguay but secured top spot in the group after 2-0 victories over Mexico and France. England then prevailed against Argentina and Eusebio’s Portugal to secure a place against old rivals West Germany.

The final proved to be one of the most entertaining in World Cup history and England ran out 4-2 winners after extra time. The game saw Hurst become the first and only player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final.

England captain Bobby Moore  holds up the Jules Rimet trophy. (Getty Images)England captain Bobby Moore  holds up the Jules Rimet trophy. (Getty Images)
England captain Bobby Moore holds up the Jules Rimet trophy. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

1970 - Brazil (Mexico)

Brazil regained their place on the footballing throne and lifted their third World Cup title in four tournaments. This Brazil team was arguably the pick of the bunch and it is often referred to by football experts as the greatest ever international team. The South American side had a footballing dream team featuring players such as Carlos Alberto, Pele, Gerson, Rivelino and Jairzinho.

Brazil enjoyed a perfect record of six wins in six games during the tournament without ever needing extra time. They secured their World Cup title in style with a 4-1 victory over Italy in the final. The win gave Brazil its third World Cup title and allowed them to keep the Jules Rimet trophy on a permanent basis.

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Brazilian forward Jairzinho is carried by fans after Brazil defeated Italy 4-1 in the World Cup final. (Getty Images)Brazilian forward Jairzinho is carried by fans after Brazil defeated Italy 4-1 in the World Cup final. (Getty Images)
Brazilian forward Jairzinho is carried by fans after Brazil defeated Italy 4-1 in the World Cup final. (Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

1974 - West Germany (host nation)

The 1974 World Cup was played in West Germany and saw the host nation pick up their second World Cup crown. The tournament was the first of three World Cups to feature two rounds of group stages and a final.

West Germany were drawn in the group stage with rivals East Germany and both sides successfully navigated their way through the group stage. East Germany claimed top spot after a shock 1-0 win in the final group game.

The Netherlands and West Germany both secured top spot in the second group phase to set up a blockbuster all-European final. The Dutch had caught the imagination of the footballing world with their total football style and the talent of Johan Cryuff, and they took the lead in the opening minutes of the game. However, it was West Germany and Franz Beckenbauer who prevailed and they fought back from behind to secure a 2-1 victory.

Germany’s star and team captain Franz Beckenbauer receives the World  Cup won by his team after a 2-1 victory over Holland. (Getty Images) Germany’s star and team captain Franz Beckenbauer receives the World  Cup won by his team after a 2-1 victory over Holland. (Getty Images)
Germany’s star and team captain Franz Beckenbauer receives the World Cup won by his team after a 2-1 victory over Holland. (Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

1978 - Argentina (host nation)

Argentina lifted their first ever World Cup in 1978 and became the third host nation in four editions of the tournament to win the prestigious trophy. The South American side prevailed from their first group stage as runners-up with Italy and finished ahead of France and Hungary.

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Argentina narrowly made the final ahead of rivals Brazil after finishing top of the second group stage on goal difference. The key victory proved to be a 6-0 win over Peru.

Argentina were paired with 1974 runners-up the Netherlands in the final and secured victory with a 3-1 win in extra time. Player of the tournament and Golden Boot winner Mario Kempes secured the victory with a brace in the final.

Mario Kempes scored in the 1978 World Cup final  (Getty Images)Mario Kempes scored in the 1978 World Cup final  (Getty Images)
Mario Kempes scored in the 1978 World Cup final (Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

1982- Italy (Spain)

Italy reclaimed their World Cup crown for the first time with tournament top scorer Paolo Rossi and goalkeeper Dino Zoff being some of the standout players of the tournament. The European giants began the tournament slowly and only narrowly made it through the group stage on goals scored after three draws in their opening three games.

Italy found their best form in the second group stage and earned a place in the semi-final after victories over South American heavyweights Argentina and Brazil. Italy won 2-0 in their semi-final match against Poland and earnt their third World Cup title after a 3-1 victory against West Germany in the final.

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Italy lift the 1982 World Cup. (Getty Images)Italy lift the 1982 World Cup. (Getty Images)
Italy lift the 1982 World Cup. (Getty Images) | Hulton Archive

1986 - Argentina (Mexico)

Argentina last reigned supreme in the 1986 World Cup after the heroics of their maestro, Diego Maradona. The tournament was played in Mexico and was the first tournament to feature the crowd phenomenon of the Mexican wave. The tournament saw a return to the group stage and knockout format - rather than having two group stages.

Argentina secured top spot in the group stage and reached the quarter-finals after a 1-0 victory over Uruguay. In the quarter-final Argentina broke English hearts with a 2-1 victory in a match that was riddled with controversy. Maradona opened the scoring controversially with a goal that has since been dubbed the “hand of god” - four minutes later he won the game with one of the greatest goals in World Cup history.

Maradona struck another double in the semi-final against Belgium and Argentina secured a second World Cup triumph after a 3-2 victory against West Germany.

Argentina captain Diego Maradona holds aloft the trophy after the FIFA 1986 World Cup  final match (Getty Images)Argentina captain Diego Maradona holds aloft the trophy after the FIFA 1986 World Cup  final match (Getty Images)
Argentina captain Diego Maradona holds aloft the trophy after the FIFA 1986 World Cup final match (Getty Images) | Hulton Archive

1990 - West Germany (Italy)

Italia 90 stands as one of the most memorable World Cup tournaments in history and England’s success influenced the resurgence of domestic top-flight and the birth of the Premier League.

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West Germany were the eventual winners of the competition in the final tournament before their unification. They finished top of the group before beating the likes of the Netherlands, Czechoslovakia and England to reach the World Cup final. The final saw a reunion with Argentina and West Germany came out 1-0 winners after a penalty by Andreas Brehme.

West German midfielder Lothar Matthaeus and forward Pierre Littbarski celebrate with the World Cup trophy after their team beat the defending champions Argentina 1-0 . (Getty Images)West German midfielder Lothar Matthaeus and forward Pierre Littbarski celebrate with the World Cup trophy after their team beat the defending champions Argentina 1-0 . (Getty Images)
West German midfielder Lothar Matthaeus and forward Pierre Littbarski celebrate with the World Cup trophy after their team beat the defending champions Argentina 1-0 . (Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

1994 - Brazil (USA)

Brazil regained the World Cup crown in 1994 for the first time in 24 years. They possessed an excellent team and the likes of Romario and Bebeto were the stars in attack. They finished top of their group and beat the likes of the USA, the Netherlands and Sweden to reach the final.

The South American side won the World Cup on penalties after a tightly fought 0-0 draw - it was the first time the final had been decided by a shoot-out and also the only time to date that the final had finished goalless.

Brazilian captain Dunga holds aloft the FIFA World Cup trophy. (Getty Images)Brazilian captain Dunga holds aloft the FIFA World Cup trophy. (Getty Images)
Brazilian captain Dunga holds aloft the FIFA World Cup trophy. (Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

1998 - France (Host nation)

France lifted their first World Cup final in 1998 and are the last nation to win the tournament on home soil. Les Bleus possessed an immensely talented team featuring the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry and current French manager Didier Deschamps.

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France powered through the group with three wins in their opening three games and earned a place in the final after victories over Paraguay, Italy and Croatia. They faced reigning champions and tournament favourites Brazil in their first ever final and comfortably overcame the holders with a 3-0 victory.

Didier Deschamps captained France to World Cup glory in 1998. (Getty Images)Didier Deschamps captained France to World Cup glory in 1998. (Getty Images)
Didier Deschamps captained France to World Cup glory in 1998. (Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

2002 - Brazil (Japan and South Korea)

The 2002 World Cup was dubbed as a redemption mission for Brazil and their talisman striker Ronaldo, who had suffered a seizure before the 1998 final. Felipe Scolari’s side were the most potent team at the tournament and won all seven of their games throughout the duration of the competition.

The South American powerhouses had the perfect mixture of experience and youth with the likes of Ronaldo,Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Cafu and Roberto Carlos all playing important roles. Brazil secured their record breaking fifth title with a 2-0 victory over Germany. The game saw Ronaldo pick up a brace and finish the tournament as top scorer with eight goals.

Brazil forward Ronaldo was the star man in their 2002 World Cup win. (Getty Images)Brazil forward Ronaldo was the star man in their 2002 World Cup win. (Getty Images)
Brazil forward Ronaldo was the star man in their 2002 World Cup win. (Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

2006 - Italy (Germany)

Italy edged closer to Brazil by lifting their fourth title in the 2006 World Cup. Marcello Lippi’s side were filled with talent across the pitch with the likes of Fabio Cannavaro, Luca Toni, Andrea Pirlo and Marco Materazzi all playing important roles.

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Italy progressed from the group as leaders and earned a place in the final after victories over Australia, Ukraine and host nation Germany. They secured their fourth World Cup after a dramatic penalty shootout victory over France. The game was filled with drama and talking points including Zidane’s shock headbutt on Materazzi in the final.

The victory for Italy in the World Cup final remains their last in a knockout game of the competition.

The Italian players celebrate as Fabio Cannavaro of Italy lifts the World Cup trophy. (Getty Images)The Italian players celebrate as Fabio Cannavaro of Italy lifts the World Cup trophy. (Getty Images)
The Italian players celebrate as Fabio Cannavaro of Italy lifts the World Cup trophy. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

2010 - Spain (South Africa)

Reigning European champions Spain entered the World Cup in South Africa as strong favourites but had to win the tournament the hard way after opening their campaign with a 1-0 defeat to Switzerland.

Spain progressed from the group stage as leaders after two victories and made their way to the final after narrow 1-0 victories over Portugal, Paraguay and Germany. Vincent Del Bosque’s side secured their first world title with a 1-0 victory in extra time from Andres Iniesta and became the first team to win the World Cup after losing their opening game.

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Spain lifted their first World Cup title in 2010. (Getty Images)Spain lifted their first World Cup title in 2010. (Getty Images)
Spain lifted their first World Cup title in 2010. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

2014 - Germany (Brazil)

Germany won their first world title since the reunification in 1990. Joachim Low’s side progressed through the group stage as leaders and recorded victories over Algeria and France to book their place in the semi-final against Brazil.

During the semi-final Germany produced one of the greatest shocks in World Cup history by hammering the hosts and five-time winners 7-1 in the semi-final. Germany earned their fourth World Cup title by beating Argentina 1-0 after a goal from substitute Mario Gotze.

Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany lifts the World Cup trophy with teammates. (Getty Images)Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany lifts the World Cup trophy with teammates. (Getty Images)
Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany lifts the World Cup trophy with teammates. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

2018 - France (Russia)

France are the reigning world champions and claimed their second title in Russia four years ago. Les Bleus were blessed with a golden generation of talent featuring the likes of Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappe, N’Golo Kante and Oliver Giroud.

France are the reigning world champions after a 4-2 victory against Croatia in the 2018 final. (Getty Images)France are the reigning world champions after a 4-2 victory against Croatia in the 2018 final. (Getty Images)
France are the reigning world champions after a 4-2 victory against Croatia in the 2018 final. (Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

France cruised through their group as leaders and made it to the final after victories over Argentina, Uruguay and Belgium. They then secured an historic second title with a thrilling 4-2 victory over Croatia. The victory saw Mbappe announce himself on the world stage at just 18 years of age and become the first teenager to score in a World Cup final since Pele.

Manager Descamps became only the third person to win the World Cup as a player and a manager, joining German legend Franz Beckenbauer and Brazilian icon Mario Zagallo.

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