The Top 25 Teams in World Cup History
Since its inaugural tournament in 1930, the World Cup has seen more than 70 countries take to the field in hopes of earning the championship title. Starting with just 50 teams, FIFA membership has now quadrupled to over 200. The past 88 years of the World Cup have been rich in politics, drama, and triumph. Scroll down to learn more about the highest ranked teams in the tournament's history.
by oscar santamarina and Mary Beth McAndrews

brazil

World Cup 2018

1930

'34

'38

No World Cups

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

3-time

champion

'78

'82

Pelé

'86

'90

2-time

champion

'94

'98

Garrincha

'02

'06

Top scorer

'10

Ronaldo

Nazario

'14

1950. With no one petitioning to host the first tournament after World War II, the World Cup was at risk of being canceled. In 1946, Brazil volunteered to host, saving that year's tournament.

2014. Protests and delays defined Brazil's hosting year in 2014. The country struggled with high building costs, deaths of construction workers, and police brutality.

Year

1930

brazil

World Cup 2018

'34

'38

host

1950. With no one petitioning to host the first tournament after World War II, the World Cup was at risk of being canceled. In 1946, Brazil volunteered to host, saving that year's tournament.

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

1958. At 17, Pelé was the youngest player to participate in and win the World Cup with his team. He is also the only player in World Cup history to win three times.

'74

'78

82

'86

'90

'94

'98

2014. Protests and delays defined Brazil's hosting year in 2014. The country struggled with high building costs, deaths of construction workers, and police brutality.

'02

'06

'10

host

'14

Notable Players

3-time champion

2-time champion

Top scorer

Garrincha

Pelé

Ronaldo Nazario

1958–1970

1994–2006

1958–1966

Notable Players

3-time champion

2-time champion

Top scorer

brazil

Garrincha

Pelé

Ronaldo Nazario

World Cup 2018

1958–1970

1994–2006

1958–1966

host

host

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Year

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1950. With no one petitioning to host the first tournament after World War II, the World Cup was at risk of being canceled. In 1946, Brazil volunteered to host, saving that year's tournament.

1958. At 17, Pelé was the youngest player to participate in and win the World Cup with his team. He is also the only player in World Cup history to win three times.

2014. Protests and delays defined Brazil's hosting year in 2014. The country struggled with high building costs, deaths of construction workers, and police brutality.

Notable Players

Top scorer

3-time champion

2-time champion

Brazil

Pelé

Garrincha

Ronaldo Nazario

World Cup 2018

1958–1970

1994–2006

1958–1966

host

host

Year

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1950. With no one petitioning to host the first tournament after World War II, the World Cup was at risk of being canceled. In 1946, Brazil volunteered to host, saving that year's tournament.

1958. At 17, Pelé was the youngest player to participate in and win the World Cup with his team. He is also the only player in World Cup history to win three times.

2014. Protests and delays defined Brazil's hosting year in 2014. The country struggled with high building costs, deaths of construction workers, and police brutality.

germany

World Cup 2018

1930

'34

'38

No World Cups

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'74 champion

Franz

Beckenbauer

'78

'82

'86

'90

Most games

Lothar

Matthäus

'94

'98

'02

'06

Top scorer

Miroslav

Klose

'10

'14

1950. After World War II, Germany and Japan were banned from playing in the 1950 World Cup. Allies to Germany, such as Italy, were not banned from the tournament.

1994. Germany played for the first time as a reunified nation in 1994, combining the East and West Germany teams. The national team continued with the record of West Germany.

Year

1930

germany

World Cup 2018

'34

'38

1950. After World War II, Germany and Japan were banned from playing in the 1950 World Cup. Allies to Germany, such as Italy, were not banned from the tournament.

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

host

1990. Franz Beckenbauer is one of only two men who have won the World Cup as both a player and a manager-and the only one to have won as both a team captain and manager.

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

1994. Germany played for the first time as a reunified nation in 1994, combining the East and West Germany teams. The national team continued with the record of West Germany.

'02

host

'06

'10

'14

Notable Players

Top scorer

'74 champion

Most games

Franz Beckenbauer

Miroslav Klose

Lothar Matthäus

1966-1974

1982-1998

2002-2014

Notable Players

Top scorer

'74 champion

Most games

germany

Franz Beckenbauer

Miroslav Klose

Lothar Matthäus

World Cup 2018

1966-1974

1982-1998

2002-2014

host

host

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Year

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1950. After World War II, Germany and Japan were banned from playing in the 1950 World Cup. Allies to Germany, such as Italy, were not banned from the tournament.

1990. Franz Beckenbauer is one of only two men who have won the World Cup as both a player and a manager-and the only one to have won as both a team captain and manager.

1994. Germany played for the first time as a reunified nation in 1994, combining the East and West Germany teams. The national team continued with the record of West Germany.

Notable Players

Top scorer

'74 champion

Most games

germany

Franz Beckenbauer

Lothar Matthäus

Miroslav Klose

World Cup 2018

1966-1974

2002-2014

1982-1998

host

host

Year

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1950. After World War II, Germany and Japan were banned from playing in the 1950 World Cup. Allies to Germany, such as Italy, were not banned from the tournament.

1990. Franz Beckenbauer is one of only two men who have won the World Cup as both a player and a manager-and the only one to have won as both a team captain and manager.

1994. Germany played for the first time as a reunified nation in 1994, combining the East and West Germany teams. The national team continued with the record of West Germany.

Italy

World Cup 2018

1930

'34

'38

No World Cups

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'82 champion

Paolo

Rossi

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94 finalist

Roberto

Baggio

'94

'98

'02

'06

'06 champion

Fabio

Cannavaro

'10

'14

1934. The second World Cup occurred in Italy during Benito Mussolini's fascist regime. Some believe he used the tournament to spread propaganda and swayed referees to favor Italy.

2006. Just before the World Cup, Italy's match-fixing scandal, known as Calciopoli, exploded into the soccer world. Despite the scandal, Italy won the tournament.

Year

1930

Italy

host

World Cup 2018

'34

'38

1934. The second World Cup occurred in Italy during Benito Mussolini's fascist regime. Some believe he used the tournament to spread propaganda and swayed referees to favor Italy.

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

1938. Following their victory in 1938, Italian official and FIFA Vice President Ottorino Barassi hid the Cup in a shoebox under his bed during World War II to keep it safe from the Nazis.

'74

'78

'82

'86

host

'90

'94

'98

2006. Just before the World Cup, Italy's match-fixing scandal, known as Calciopoli, exploded into the soccer world. Despite the scandal, Italy won the tournament.

'02

'06

'10

'14

Notable Players

'82 champion

'94 finalist

'06 champion

Paolo Rossi

Fabio Cannavaro

Roberto Baggio

1978-1986

1990-1998

1998-2010

Notable Players

'06 champion

'82 champion

'94 finalist

Italy

Paolo Rossi

Fabio Cannavaro

Roberto Baggio

World Cup 2018

1978-1986

1990-1998

1998-2010

host

host

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Year

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1934. The second World Cup occurred in Italy during Benito Mussolini's fascist regime. Some believe he used the tournament to spread propaganda and swayed referees to favor Italy.

1938. Following their victory in 1938, Italian official and FIFA Vice President Ottorino Barassi hid the Cup in a shoebox under his bed during World War II to keep it safe from the Nazis.

2006. Just before the World Cup, Italy's match-fixing scandal, known as Calciopoli, exploded into the soccer world. Despite the scandal, Italy won the tournament.

Notable Players

'06 champion

'82 champion

'94 finalist

Italy

Paolo Rossi

Roberto Baggio

Fabio Cannavaro

World Cup 2018

1978-1986

1998-2010

1990-1998

host

host

Year

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1934. The second World Cup occurred in Italy during Benito Mussolini's fascist regime. Some believe he used the tournament to spread propaganda and swayed referees to favor Italy.

1938. Following their victory in 1938, Italian official and FIFA Vice President Ottorino Barassi hid the Cup in a shoebox under his bed during World War II to keep it safe from the Nazis.

2006. Just before the World Cup, Italy's match-fixing scandal, known as Calciopoli, exploded into the soccer world. Despite the scandal, Italy won the tournament.

argentina

World Cup 2018

1930

'34

'38

No World Cups

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'86 champion

'78

Diego

Maradona

'82

'86

'90

Top scorer

'94

Gabriel

Batistuta

'98

'02

'06

'14 finalist

'10

Lionel

Messi

'14

1938. Argentina did not participate in the 1938 iteration of the World Cup, protesting the decision from FIFA to hold a second successive tournament in Europe.

1994. Diego Maradona led Argentina's national team to win the World Cup. Eight years later, he was removed from the World Cup after testing positive for stimulants banned by FIFA.

Year

1930

argentina

World Cup 2018

'34

'38

1930. After losing to Uruguay 4-2 in the final match in Montevideo, some Argentine fans were so upset that they attacked the Uruguayan consulate in Argentina.

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

1938. Argentina did not participate in the 1938 iteration of the World Cup, protesting the decision from FIFA to hold a second successive tournament in Europe.

'74

host

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

1994. Diego Maradona led Argentina's national team to win the World Cup. Eight years later, he was removed from the World Cup after testing positive for stimulants banned by FIFA.

'02

'06

'10

'14

Notable Players

Top scorer

'86 champion

'14 finalist

Gabriel Batistuta

Diego Maradona

Lionel Messi

1982-1994

2006-present

1994-2002

Notable Players

'86 champion

Top scorer

'14 finalist

argentina

Gabriel Batistuta

Diego Maradona

Lionel Messi

World Cup 2018

1982-1994

2006-present

1994-2002

host

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Year

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1930. After losing to Uruguay 4-2 in the final match in Montevideo, some Argentine fans were so upset that they attacked the Uruguayan consulate in Argentina.

1938. Argentina did not participate in the 1938 iteration of the World Cup, protesting the decision from FIFA to hold a second successive tournament in Europe.

1994. Diego Maradona led Argentina's national team to win the World Cup. Eight years later, he was removed from the World Cup after testing positive for stimulants banned by FIFA.

Notable Players

'86 champion

Top scorer

'14 finalist

argentina

Diego Maradona

Gabriel Batistuta

Lionel Messi

World Cup 2018

1982-1994

2006-present

1994-2002

host

Year

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1930. After losing to Uruguay 4-2 in the final match in Montevideo, some Argentine fans were so upset that they attacked the Uruguayan consulate in Argentina.

1938. Argentina did not participate in the 1938 iteration of the World Cup, protesting the decision from FIFA to hold a second successive tournament in Europe.

1994. Diego Maradona led Argentina's national team to win the World Cup. Eight years later, he was removed from the World Cup after testing positive for stimulants banned by FIFA.

Spain

World Cup 2018

1930

'34

'38

No World Cups

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

Most games

Iker

Casillas

'78

'82

'86

'90

Top scorer

David

Villa

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10 champion

Andrés

Iniesta

'10

'14

1938. Spain's entry to the 1938 Cup was denied by FIFA officials, who voiced concerns that the Spanish Civil War would keep the team from participating in all of their matches.

2010. Spain won their first World Cup against the Netherlands during the 2010 tournament, which was the first and only one hosted in Africa. They played the final in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Year

1930

Spain

World Cup 2018

'34

'38

1938. Spain's entry to the 1938 Cup was denied by FIFA officials, who voiced concerns that the Spanish Civil War would keep the team from participating in all of their matches.

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

1982. Spain was declared the 1982 host country a year after the death of dictator Francisco Franco. FIFA hoped that this move would show the world a revitalized Spain.

'74

'78

host

'82

'86

'90

'94

2010. Spain won their first World Cup against the Netherlands during the 2010 tournament, which was the first and only one hosted in Africa. They played the final in Johannesburg, South Africa.

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Notable Players

Most games

Top scorer

'10 champion

Iker Casillas

Andrés Iniesta

David Villa

2002-2014

2006-2014

2006-present

Notable Players

'10 champion

Most games

Top scorer

Spain

Iker Casillas

Andrés Iniesta

David Villa

World Cup 2018

2002-2014

2006-2014

2006-present

host

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Year

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1938. Spain's entry to the 1938 Cup was denied by FIFA officials, who voiced concerns that the Spanish Civil War would keep the team from participating in all of their matches.

1982. Spain was declared the 1982 host country a year after the death of dictator Francisco Franco. FIFA hoped that this move would show the world a revitalized Spain.

2010. Spain won their first World Cup against the Netherlands during the 2010 tournament, which was the first and only one hosted in Africa. They played the final in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Notable Players

'10 champion

Most games

Top scorer

Spain

Iker Casillas

Andrés Iniesta

David Villa

World Cup 2018

2002-2014

2006-2014

2006-present

host

Year

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1938. Spain's entry to the 1938 Cup was denied by FIFA officials, who voiced concerns that the Spanish Civil War would keep the team from participating in all of their matches.

1982. Spain was declared the 1982 host country a year after the death of dictator Francisco Franco. FIFA hoped that this move would show the world a revitalized Spain.

2010. Spain won their first World Cup against the Netherlands during the 2010 tournament, which was the first and only one hosted in Africa. They played the final in Johannesburg, South Africa.

England

World Cup 2018

1930

'34

'38

No World Cups

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'66 champion

Bobby

Charlton

'78

'82

'86

'90

Most games

Peter

Shilton

'94

'98

'02

'06

Top scorer

Gary

Lineker

'10

'14

1958. The 1958 World Cup was the first and only tournament where every United Kingdom nation qualified. England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland all participated.

1966. The year England hosted the World Cup was the first one with over 70 entries, partially due to previously colonized nations becoming independent and participating in the tournament.

Year

1930

England

World Cup 2018

'34

'38

1930. The United Kingdom declined to take part in the first three World Cups, partly because U.K. officials believed their home championship was superior to the global tournament.

'50

'54

'58

'62

host

'66

'70

1958. The 1958 World Cup was the first and only tournament where every United Kingdom nation qualified. England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland all participated.

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

1966. The year England hosted the World Cup was the first one with over 70 entries, partially due to previously colonized nations becoming independent and participating in the tournament.

'02

'06

'10

'14

Notable Players

Top scorer

'66 champion

Most games

Bobby Charlton

Gary Lineker

Peter Shilton

1958-1970

1982-1990

1986-1990

Notable Players

Top scorer

'66 champion

Most games

England

Bobby Charlton

Gary Lineker

Peter Shilton

World Cup 2018

1958-1970

1982-1990

1986-1990

host

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Year

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1930. The United Kingdom declined to take part in the first three World Cups, partly because U.K. officials believed their home championship was superior to the global tournament.

1958. The 1958 World Cup was the first and only tournament where every United Kingdom nation qualified. England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland all participated.

1966. The year England hosted the World Cup was the first one with over 70 entries, partially due to previously colonized nations becoming independent and participating in the tournament.

Notable Players

Top scorer

'66 champion

Most games

England

Bobby Charlton

Peter Shilton

Gary Lineker

World Cup 2018

1958-1970

1986-1990

1982-1990

host

Year

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1930. The United Kingdom declined to take part in the first three World Cups, partly because U.K. officials believed their home championship was superior to the global tournament.

1958. The 1958 World Cup was the first and only tournament where every United Kingdom nation qualified. England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland all participated.

1966. The year England hosted the World Cup was the first one with over 70 entries, partially due to previously colonized nations becoming independent and participating in the tournament.

France

World Cup 2018

1930

'34

'38

No World Cups

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

Top scorer

Just

Fontaine

'78

'82

'86

'90

'86 third

place

Michel Platini

'94

'98

'02

'06

'98 champion

Zinedine

Zidane

'10

'14

1958. French player Just Fontaine scored 13 goals throughout the 1958 tournament, which is still an unbeaten record. He only played one World Cup in his career.

2006. In his final World Cup match, French player Zinedine Zidane was removed for head-butting Italian player Marco Materazzi. France lost the final in a penalty shoot-out.

Year

1930

France

World Cup 2018

'34

host

'38

1930. France lost to Argentina amid controversy: the referees ended the game six minutes early and later brought the players back to finish the game.

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

1958. French player Just Fontaine scored 13 goals throughout the 1958 tournament, which is still an unbeaten record. He only played one World Cup in his career.

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

host

'98

2006. In his final World Cup match, French player Zinedine Zidane was removed for head-butting Italian player Marco Materazzi. France lost the final in a penalty shoot-out.

'02

'06

'10

'14

Notable Players

Top scorer

'86 third place

'98 champion

Just Fontaine

Zinedine Zidane

Michel Platini

1958

1978-1986

1998-2006

Notable Players

'98 champion

Top scorer

'86 third place

France

Just Fontaine

Zinedine Zidane

Michel Platini

World Cup 2018

1958

1978-1986

1998-2006

host

host

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Year

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1930. France lost to Argentina amid controversy: the referees ended the game six minutes early and later brought the players back to finish the game.

1958. French player Just Fontaine scored 13 goals throughout the 1958 tournament, which is still an unbeaten record. He only played one World Cup in his career.

2006. In his final World Cup match, French player Zinedine Zidane was removed for head-butting Italian player Marco Materazzi. France lost the final in a penalty shoot-out.

Notable Players

'98 champion

Top scorer

'86 third place

France

Just Fontaine

Michel Platini

Zinedine Zidane

World Cup 2018

1958

1998-2006

1978-1986

host

host

Year

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1930. France lost to Argentina amid controversy: the referees ended the game six minutes early and later brought the players back to finish the game.

1958. French player Just Fontaine scored 13 goals throughout the 1958 tournament, which is still an unbeaten record. He only played one World Cup in his career.

2006. In his final World Cup match, French player Zinedine Zidane was removed for head-butting Italian player Marco Materazzi. France lost the final in a penalty shoot-out.

Netherlands

World Cup 2018

1930

'34

'38

No World Cups

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'74 finalist

Johan Cruyff

'78

'82

'86

'90

Top scorer

Johnny Rep

'94

'98

'02

Tied most games

Wesley

Sneijder

'06

'10

'14

1974. The 1974 World Cup was the first time the Netherlands participated in the tournament since their occupation by Germany. They lost to Germany 2-1 in the final game.

1978. Johan Cruyff, considered the team's best player at the time, surprisingly did not participate. In a later interview, Cruyff stated someone had attempted to kidnap his family from their Barcelona home.

Year

1930

Netherlands

World Cup 2018

'34

'38

1974. The 1974 World Cup was the first time the Netherlands participated in the tournament since their occupation by Germany. They lost to Germany 2-1 in the final game.

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

1978. Johan Cruyff, considered the team's best player at the time, surprisingly did not participate. In a later interview, Cruyff stated someone had attempted to kidnap his family from their Barcelona home.

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

2010. The Dutch national team holds the record for playing in the most World Cup finals without a win. They played unsuccessful final matches in 1974, 1978, and 2010.

'02

'06

'10

'14

Notable Players

'74 finalist

Top scorer

Tied most games

Johan Cruyff

Wesley Sneijder

Johnny Rep

1974

1974-1978

2006-2014

Notable Players

'74 finalist

Top scorer

Tied most games

Netherlands

Johan Cruyff

Wesley Sneijder

Johnny Rep

World Cup 2018

1974

1974-1978

2006-2014

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Year

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1974. The 1974 World Cup was the first time the Netherlands participated in the tournament since their occupation by Germany. They lost to Germany 2-1 in the final game.

1978. Johan Cruyff, considered the team's best player at the time, surprisingly did not participate. In a later interview, Cruyff stated someone had attempted to kidnap his family from their Barcelona home.

2010. The Dutch national team holds the record for playing in the most World Cup finals without a win. They played unsuccessful final matches in 1974, 1978, and 2010.

Notable Players

'74 finalist

Top scorer

Tied most games

Netherlands

Johan Cruyff

Johnny Rep

Wesley Sneijder

World Cup 2018

1974

2006-2014

1974-1978

Year

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1974. The 1974 World Cup was the first time the Netherlands participated in the tournament since their occupation by Germany. They lost to Germany 2-1 in the final game.

1978. Johan Cruyff, considered the team's best player at the time, surprisingly did not participate. In a later interview, Cruyff stated someone had attempted to kidnap his family from their Barcelona home.

2010. The Dutch national team holds the record for playing in the most World Cup finals without a win. They played unsuccessful final matches in 1974, 1978, and 2010.

Uruguay

World Cup 2018

1930

'34

'38

No World Cups

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

Top scorer

Óscar Míguez

'78

'82

'86

'86 &

'90 squad

Enzo

Francescoli

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10 fourth place

Diego Forlán

'10

'14

1930. The first ever World Cup was held in Uruguay. Thirteen countries participated, but few came from Europe due to an economic depression. Uruguay also won the tournament.

1950. Uruguay defeated Brazil on their home soil in the match known as "Maracanazo." It remains the highest attended final match, with 174,000 fans in the stadium.

Year

1930

Uruguay

host

World Cup 2018

'34

'38

1930. The first ever World Cup was held in Uruguay. Thirteen countries participated, but few came from Europe due to an economic depression. Uruguay also won the tournament.

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

1934. Uruguay won the 1930 tournament but refused to defend their title in Italy, protesting of the lack of Europeans teams in the 1930 Cup. Uruguay remains the only winning team not to defend its title.

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

1950. Uruguay defeated Brazil on their home soil in the match known as "Maracanazo." It remains the highest attended final match, with 174,000 fans in the stadium.

'02

'06

'10

'14

Notable Players

'10 fourth place

Top scorer

'86 & '90 squad

Óscar Míguez

Diego Forlán

Enzo Francescoli

1950-1954

1986-1990

2002, 2010-2014

Notable Players

Top scorer

'86 & '90 squad

'10 fourth place

Uruguay

Óscar Míguez

Diego Forlán

Enzo Francescoli

World Cup 2018

1950-1954

1986-1990

2002, 2010-2014

host

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Year

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1930. The first ever World Cup was held in Uruguay. Thirteen countries participated, but few came from Europe due to an economic depression. Uruguay also won the tournament.

1934. Uruguay won the 1930 tournament but refused to defend their title in Italy, protesting of the lack of Europeans teams in the 1930 Cup. Uruguay remains the only winning team not to defend its title.

1950. Uruguay defeated Brazil on their home soil in the match known as "Maracanazo." It remains the highest attended final match, with 174,000 fans in the stadium.

Notable Players

'10 fourth place

Top scorer

'86 & '90 squad

Uruguay

Óscar Míguez

Enzo Francescoli

Diego Forlán

World Cup 2018

1950-1954

2002, 2010-2014

1986-1990

host

Year

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1930. The first ever World Cup was held in Uruguay. Thirteen countries participated, but few came from Europe due to an economic depression. Uruguay also won the tournament.

1934. Uruguay won the 1930 tournament but refused to defend their title in Italy, protesting of the lack of Europeans teams in the 1930 Cup. Uruguay remains the only winning team not to defend its title.

1950. Uruguay defeated Brazil on their home soil in the match known as "Maracanazo." It remains the highest attended final match, with 174,000 fans in the stadium.

Uruguay

World Cup 2018

1930

'34

'38

No World Cups

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

Top scorer

Óscar Míguez

'78

'82

'86

'86 &

'90 squad

Enzo

Francescoli

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10 fourth place

Diego Forlán

'10

'14

1930. The first ever World Cup was held in Uruguay. Thirteen countries participated, but few came from Europe due to an economic depression. Uruguay also won the tournament.

1950. Uruguay defeated Brazil on their home soil in the match known as "Maracanazo." It remains the highest attended final match, with 174,000 fans in the stadium.

Uruguay

World Cup 2018

1930

'34

'38

No World Cups

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

Top scorer

Óscar Míguez

'78

'82

'86

'86 &

'90 squad

Enzo

Francescoli

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10 fourth place

Diego Forlán

'10

'14

1930. The first ever World Cup was held in Uruguay. Thirteen countries participated, but few came from Europe due to an economic depression. Uruguay also won the tournament.

1950. Uruguay defeated Brazil on their home soil in the match known as "Maracanazo." It remains the highest attended final match, with 174,000 fans in the stadium.

Uruguay

World Cup 2018

1930

'34

'38

No World Cups

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

Top scorer

Óscar Míguez

'78

'82

'86

'86 &

'90 squad

Enzo

Francescoli

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10 fourth place

Diego Forlán

'10

'14

1930. The first ever World Cup was held in Uruguay. Thirteen countries participated, but few came from Europe due to an economic depression. Uruguay also won the tournament.

1950. Uruguay defeated Brazil on their home soil in the match known as "Maracanazo." It remains the highest attended final match, with 174,000 fans in the stadium.

Sweden

World Cup 2018

1930

'34

'38

No World Cups

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'58 squad

Nils Liedholm

'78

'82

'86

'90

Tied for

Top scorer

Kennet Andersson

'94

'98

'02

'06

Most games

Henrik

Larsson

'10

'14

1950. Claiming there was no room for professional players at the World Cup, the Swedish national team competed in 1950 with a team made up entirely of amateurs.

1958. In the final game in Solna, Sweden-the host that year-lost 2-5 to the Brazilian national team. To date, this is most goals scored in a World Cup final.

Year

1930

Sweden

World Cup 2018

'34

'38

No World Cups

1938. In the 1938 tournament, hosted by France, Sweden advanced straight to the quarter finals against Cuba after their first-round match with German-occupied Austria was cancelled.

'50

'54

host

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

1950. Claiming there was no room for professional players at the World Cup, the Swedish national team competed in 1950 with a team made up entirely of amateurs.

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

1958. In the final game in Solna, Sweden-the host that year-lost 2-5 to the Brazilian national team. To date, this is most goals scored in a World Cup final.

'02

'06

'10

'14

Notable Players

'58 squad

Tied for top scorer

Most games

Nils Liedholm

Henrik Larsson

Kennet Andersson

1958

1994

1994, 2002-2006

Notable Players

Most games

'58 squad

Tied for top scorer

Sweden

Nils Liedholm

Henrik Larsson

Kennet Andersson

World Cup 2018

1958

1994

1994, 2002-2006

host

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Year

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1938. In the 1938 tournament, hosted by France, Sweden advanced straight to the quarter finals against Cuba after their first-round match with German-occupied Austria was cancelled.

1950. Claiming there was no room for professional players at the World Cup, the Swedish national team competed in 1950 with a team made up entirely of amateurs.

1958. In the final game in Solna, Sweden-the host that year-lost 2-5 to the Brazilian national team. To date, this is most goals scored in a World Cup final.

Notable Players

Most games

'58 squad

Tied for top scorer

Sweden

Nils Liedholm

Kennet Andersson

Henrik Larsson

World Cup 2018

1958

1994, 2002-2006

1994

host

Year

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1938. In the 1938 tournament, hosted by France, Sweden advanced straight to the quarter finals against Cuba after their first-round match with German-occupied Austria was cancelled.

1950. Claiming there was no room for professional players at the World Cup, the Swedish national team competed in 1950 with a team made up entirely of amateurs.

1958. In the final game in Solna, Sweden-the host that year-lost 2-5 to the Brazilian national team. To date, this is most goals scored in a World Cup final.

Russia

World Cup 2018

1930

'34

'38

No World Cups

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

Most games

Lev Yashin

'78

'82

'86

'90

Top scorer

Oleg

Salenko

'94

'98

'02

'06

'58 squad

Nikita

Simonyan

'10

'14

1958. The government of the Soviet Union finally granted its national team permission to enter the World Cup. They lost to Sweden, that year's host, in the quarterfinals of the tournament.

1994. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russia played their first World Cup competition as an independent country. They couldn't make it past the group stage.

Year

1930

Russia

World Cup 2018

'34

'38

1958. The government of the Soviet Union finally granted its national team permission to enter the World Cup. They lost to Sweden, that year's host, in the quarterfinals of the tournament.

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

1974. The Soviet Union refused to travel to Chile to play a qualifying match for political reasons, so, in accordance with regulations, Chile was awarded the victory.

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

1994. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russia played their first World Cup competition as an independent country. They couldn't make it past the group stage.

'02

'06

'10

'14

Notable Players

Most games

Top scorer

'58 squad

Lev Yashin

Nikita Simonyan

Oleg Salenko

1958-1970

1994

1958

Notable Players

'58 squad

Most games

Top scorer

Russia

Lev Yashin

Nikita Simonyan

Oleg Salenko

World Cup 2018

1958-1970

1994

1958

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Year

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1958. The government of the Soviet Union finally granted its national team permission to enter the World Cup. They lost to Sweden, that year's host, in the quarterfinals of the tournament.

1974. The Soviet Union refused to travel to Chile to play a qualifying match for political reasons, so, in accordance with regulations, Chile was awarded the victory.

1994. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russia played their first World Cup competition as an independent country. They couldn't make it past the group stage.

Notable Players

Most games

Top scorer

'58 squad

Russia

Lev Yashin

Nikita Simonyan

Oleg Salenko

World Cup 2018

1958-1970

1994

1958

Year

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1958. The government of the Soviet Union finally granted its national team permission to enter the World Cup. They lost to Sweden, that year's host, in the quarterfinals of the tournament.

1974. The Soviet Union refused to travel to Chile to play a qualifying match for political reasons, so, in accordance with regulations, Chile was awarded the victory.

1994. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russia played their first World Cup competition as an independent country. They couldn't make it past the group stage.

Serbia

World Cup 2018

1930

'34

'38

No World Cups

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'30 squad

"Ivica" Bek

'78

'82

'86

Top scorer

Dražan

Jerković

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

Tied for

Most games

Dejan

Stanković

'10

'14

2010. Serbia made its debut in the tournament as an independent country, having played as Serbia and Montenegro in 2006 and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1998.

Dejan Stankovic was recognized as the first player to have represented three different countries in three World Cups: Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro, and Serbia.

Year

1930

Serbia

World Cup 2018

'34

'38

1994. Due to sanctions from the United Nations, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia-a union created by Serbia and Montenegro from 1992-2003-was barred from qualifying for this World Cup.

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

2010. Serbia made its debut in the tournament as an independent country, having played as Serbia and Montenegro in 2006 and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1998.

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

Dejan Stankovic was recognized as the first player to have represented three different countries in three World Cups: Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro, and Serbia.

'02

'06

'10

'14

Notable Players

'30 squad

Top scorer

Tied for most games

"Ivica" Bek

Dejan Stanković

Dražan Jerković

1930

1998-2010

1958-1962

Notable Players

'30 squad

Top scorer

Tied for most games

Serbia

"Ivica" Bek

Dejan Stanković

Dražan Jerković

World Cup 2018

1930

1998-2010

1958-1962

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Year

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1994. Due to sanctions from the United Nations, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia-a union created by Serbia and Montenegro from 1992-2003-was barred from qualifying for this World Cup.

2010. Serbia made its debut in the tournament as an independent country, having played as Serbia and Montenegro in 2006 and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1998.

Dejan Stankovic was recognized as the first player to have represented three different countries in three World Cups: Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro, and Serbia.

Notable Players

'30 squad

Top scorer

Tied for most games

Serbia

Dražan Jerković

"Ivica" Bek

Dejan Stanković

World Cup 2018

1930

1998-2010

1958-1962

Year

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1994. Due to sanctions from the United Nations, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia-a union created by Serbia and Montenegro from 1992-2003-was barred from qualifying for this World Cup.

2010. Serbia made its debut in the tournament as an independent country, having played as Serbia and Montenegro in 2006 and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1998.

Dejan Stankovic was recognized as the first player to have represented three different countries in three World Cups: Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro, and Serbia.

Mexico

World Cup 2018

1930

'34

'38

No World Cups

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

Top scorer

Luis

Hernández

'78

'82

'86

'90

Played in 3 WC

Cuauhtémoc

Blanco

'94

'98

'02

'06

Most games

Rafael

Márquez

'10

'14

1970. The year that Mexico hosted the World Cup was also the first to ever be broadcast on television in color. They passed the group stage for the first time in their history of the tournament.

1986. A major earthquake hit Mexico City eight months before the tournament, causing thousands of casualties before Mexico was set to host the Cup.

Year

1930

Mexico

World Cup 2018

'34

'38

1970. The year that Mexico hosted the World Cup was also the first to ever be broadcast on television in color. They passed the group stage for the first time in their history of the tournament.

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

host

'70

1986. A major earthquake hit Mexico City eight months before the tournament, causing thousands of casualties before Mexico was set to host the Cup.

'74

'78

'82

host

'86

'90

'94

'98

1990. Mexico was suspended from the 1990 World Cup qualifying rounds after falsifying the ages of players during a youth championship tournament.

'02

'06

'10

'14

Notable Players

Top scorer

Played in 3 WC

Most games

Luis Hernández

Rafael Márquez

Cuauhtémoc Blanco

1998-2002

1998-2002, 2010

2002-present

Notable Players

Top scorer

Played in 3 WC

Most games

Mexico

Luis Hernández

Rafael Márquez

Cuauhtémoc Blanco

World Cup 2018

1998-2002

1998-2002, 2010

2002-present

host

host

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Year

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1970. The year that Mexico hosted the World Cup was also the first to ever be broadcast on television in color. They passed the group stage for the first time in their history of the tournament.

1986. A major earthquake hit Mexico City eight months before the tournament, causing thousands of casualties before Mexico was set to host the Cup.

1990. Mexico was suspended from the 1990 World Cup qualifying rounds after falsifying the ages of players during a youth championship tournament.

Notable Players

Most games

Top scorer

Played in 3 WC

Mexico

Luis Hernández

Cuauhtémoc Blanco

Rafael Márquez

World Cup 2018

1998-2002

2002-present

1998-2002, 2010

host

host

Year

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1970. The year that Mexico hosted the World Cup was also the first to ever be broadcast on television in color. They passed the group stage for the first time in their history of the tournament.

1986. A major earthquake hit Mexico City eight months before the tournament, causing thousands of casualties before Mexico was set to host the Cup.

1990. Mexico was suspended from the 1990 World Cup qualifying rounds after falsifying the ages of players during a youth championship tournament.

Belgium

World Cup 2018

1930

'34

'38

No World Cups

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

Most games

Enzo Scifo

'78

'82

'86

'90

Top scorer

Marc

Wilmots

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14 squad

Eden Hazard

'14

1930. Belgium played the United States in one of the first World Cup matches. The other game, which was played simultaneously, was between France and Mexico.

1970. After years of defeat, the Belgian national team had their first victory at the 1970 World Cup. Dressed in all white, the team earned the nickname 'the White Devils'.

Year

1930

Belgium

World Cup 2018

'34

'38

1930. Belgium played the United States in one of the first World Cup matches. The other game, which was played simultaneously, was between France and Mexico.

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

1970. After years of defeat, the Belgian national team had their first victory at the 1970 World Cup. Dressed in all white, the team earned the nickname 'the White Devils'.

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

1974. Belgium is the only nation ever to miss a World Cup final round despite not allowing the opposition to score a single goal during the qualifiers. They came in second to the Netherlands.

'02

'06

'10

'14

Notable Players

Most games

Top scorer

'14 squad

Enzo Scifo

Eden Hazard

Marc Wilmots

1986-1998

1990-2002

2014-present

Notable Players

'14 squad

Most games

Top scorer

Belgium

Enzo Scifo

Eden Hazard

Marc Wilmots

World Cup 2018

1986-1998

1990-2002

2014-present

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Year

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1930. Belgium played the United States in one of the first World Cup matches. The other game, which was played simultaneously, was between France and Mexico.

1970. After years of defeat, the Belgian national team had their first victory at the 1970 World Cup. Dressed in all white, the team earned the nickname 'the White Devils'.

1974. Belgium is the only nation ever to miss a World Cup final round despite not allowing the opposition to score a single goal during the qualifiers. They came in second to the Netherlands.

Notable Players

'14 squad

Most games

Top scorer

Belgium

Enzo Scifo

Marc Wilmots

Eden Hazard

World Cup 2018

1986-1998

2014-present

1990-2002

Year

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1930. Belgium played the United States in one of the first World Cup matches. The other game, which was played simultaneously, was between France and Mexico.

1970. After years of defeat, the Belgian national team had their first victory at the 1970 World Cup. Dressed in all white, the team earned the nickname 'the White Devils'.

1974. Belgium is the only nation ever to miss a World Cup final round despite not allowing the opposition to score a single goal during the qualifiers. They came in second to the Netherlands.

Poland

World Cup 2018

1930

'34

'38

No World Cups

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

Top scorer

Grzegorz Lato

'78

'82

'86

'90

Most games

Władysław Żmuda

'94

'98

'02

'06

'82 squad

Zbigniew Boniek

'10

'14

1938. Ernst Wilimowski was the first player to score four goals in one match at a FIFA World Cup. Poland still lost 5-6 to Brazil, and he remains the only player to score that many times and still lose the match.

1982. Due to civil resistance against communist Poland in 1980, several prominent players were suspended and the team manager resigned. Many players were reinstated before the 1982 tournament.

Year

1930

Poland

World Cup 2018

'34

'38

1938. Ernst Wilimowski was the first player to score four goals in one match at a FIFA World Cup. Poland still lost 5-6 to Brazil, and he remains the only player to score that many times and still lose the match.

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

1982. Due to civil resistance against communist Poland in 1980, several prominent players were suspended and the team manager resigned. Many players were reinstated before the 1982 tournament.

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

Nazis in German-occupied Poland introduced a total ban on regional sports clubs, so Polish activists and players risked their lives by organizing secret football competitions throughout the country.

'02

'06

'10

'14

Notable Players

Top scorer

Most games

'82 squad

Władysław Żmuda

Grzegorz Lato

Zbigniew Boniek

1974-1982

1974-1986

1978-1986

Notable Players

'82 squad

Top scorer

Most games

Poland

Władysław Żmuda

Grzegorz Lato

Zbigniew Boniek

World Cup 2018

1974-1982

1974-1986

1978-1986

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Year

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1938. Ernst Wilimowski was the first player to score four goals in one match at a FIFA World Cup. Poland still lost 5-6 to Brazil, and he remains the only player to score that many times and still lose the match.

1982. Due to civil resistance against communist Poland in 1980, several prominent players were suspended and the team manager resigned. Many players were reinstated before the 1982 tournament.

Nazis in German-occupied Poland introduced a total ban on regional sports clubs, so Polish activists and players risked their lives by organizing secret football competitions throughout the country.

Notable Players

'82 squad

Top scorer

Most games

Poland

Władysław Żmuda

Grzegorz Lato

Zbigniew Boniek

World Cup 2018

1974-1982

1978-1986

1974-1986

Year

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1938. Ernst Wilimowski was the first player to score four goals in one match at a FIFA World Cup. Poland still lost 5-6 to Brazil, and he remains the only player to score that many times and still lose the match.

1982. Due to civil resistance against communist Poland in 1980, several prominent players were suspended and the team manager resigned. Many players were reinstated before the 1982 tournament.

Nazis in German-occupied Poland introduced a total ban on regional sports clubs, so Polish activists and players risked their lives by organizing secret football competitions throughout the country.

Hungary

World Cup 2018

1930

'34

'38

No World Cups

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

Top scorer

Sándor Kocsis

'82

'86

'90

'54 squad

Ferenc Puskás

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

Most games

Ferenc Sipos

'14

1954. Hungarian star player Ferenc Puskás accused the Germans of using dope during the 1954 World Cup. However, FIFA eventually forced him to rescind his accusations and issue an apology.

1958. Hungary's domination of European soccer was cut short due to the Hungarian revolution of 1956. During this time, many players were forced to leave the country.

Year

1930

Hungary

World Cup 2018

'34

'38

1954. Hungarian star player Ferenc Puskás accused the Germans of using dope during the 1954 World Cup. However, FIFA eventually forced him to rescind his accusations and issue an apology.

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

1954. After years of defeat, Hungary's 'Golden Team' played in the 1954 World Cup. The team was led by Ferenc Puskás, who is the leading goalscorer of the 20th century.

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

1958. Hungary's domination of European soccer was cut short due to the Hungarian revolution of 1956. During this time, many players were forced to leave the country.

'02

'06

'10

'14

Notable Players

Top scorer

'54 squad

Most games

Sándor Kocsis

Ferenc Sipos

Ferenc Puskás

1954

1954-1962

1958-1966

Notable Players

Most games

Top scorer

'54 squad

Hungary

Sándor Kocsis

Ferenc Sipos

Ferenc Puskás

World Cup 2018

1954

1954-1962

1958-1966

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Year

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1954. Hungarian star player Ferenc Puskás accused the Germans of using dope during the 1954 World Cup. However, FIFA eventually forced him to rescind his accusations and issue an apology.

1954. After years of defeat, Hungary's 'Golden Team' played in the 1954 World Cup. The team was led by Ferenc Puskás, who is the leading goalscorer of the 20th century.

1958. Hungary's domination of European soccer was cut short due to the Hungarian revolution of 1956. During this time, many players were forced to leave the country.

Notable Players

Most games

Top scorer

'54 squad

Hungary

Sándor Kocsis

Ferenc Puskás

Ferenc Sipos

World Cup 2018

1954

1958-1966

1954-1962

Year

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1954. Hungarian star player Ferenc Puskás accused the Germans of using dope during the 1954 World Cup. However, FIFA eventually forced him to rescind his accusations and issue an apology.

1954. After years of defeat, Hungary's 'Golden Team' played in the 1954 World Cup. The team was led by Ferenc Puskás, who is the leading goalscorer of the 20th century.

1958. Hungary's domination of European soccer was cut short due to the Hungarian revolution of 1956. During this time, many players were forced to leave the country.

Portugal

World Cup 2018

1930

'34

'38

No World Cups

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

Top scorer

Eusébio

'82

'86

'90

'94

'06 squad

Luís Figo

'98

'02

'06

Most games

Cristiano

Ronaldo

'10

'14

1966. Mozambique-born player Eusébio qualified for the Portuguese national team since Mozambique was a Portuguese colony at the time. He became one of Portugal's best players.

2006. After an incredible debut performance in 1966, Portugal made it to only two World Cups in the next 40 years, finally finishing fourth in 2006. They lost to France in the semi-finals.

Year

1930

Portugal

World Cup 2018

'34

'38

1966. Mozambique-born player Eusébio qualified for the Portuguese national team since Mozambique was a Portuguese colony at the time. He became one of Portugal's best players.

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

2006. During the 2006 match between Portugal and the Netherlands in Germany, there were a total of 16 yellow cards given. This is the most ever in World Cup history.

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

2006. After an incredible debut performance in 1966, Portugal made it to only two World Cups in the next 40 years, finally finishing fourth in 2006. They lost to France in the semi-finals.

'02

'06

'10

'14

Notable Players

Most games

Top scorer

'06 squad

Eusébio

Cristiano Ronaldo

Luís Figo

1966

2002-2006

2006-present

Notable Players

Most games

Top scorer

'06 squad

Portugal

Eusébio

Cristiano Ronaldo

Luís Figo

World Cup 2018

1966

2002-2006

2006-present

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Year

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1966. Mozambique-born player Eusébio qualified for the Portuguese national team since Mozambique was a Portuguese colony at the time. He became one of Portugal's best players.

2006. During the 2006 match between Portugal and the Netherlands in Germany, there were a total of 16 yellow cards given. This is the most ever in World Cup history.

2006. After an incredible debut performance in 1966, Portugal made it to only two World Cups in the next 40 years, finally finishing fourth in 2006. They lost to France in the semi-finals.

Notable Players

Most games

Top scorer

'06 squad

Portugal

Eusébio

Luís Figo

Cristiano Ronaldo

World Cup 2018

1966

2006-present

2002-2006

Year

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1966. Mozambique-born player Eusébio qualified for the Portuguese national team since Mozambique was a Portuguese colony at the time. He became one of Portugal's best players.

2006. During the 2006 match between Portugal and the Netherlands in Germany, there were a total of 16 yellow cards given. This is the most ever in World Cup history.

2006. After an incredible debut performance in 1966, Portugal made it to only two World Cups in the next 40 years, finally finishing fourth in 2006. They lost to France in the semi-finals.

Czech Republic

World Cup 2018

1930

'34

'38

No World Cups

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

Top scorer

Oldřich

Nejedlý

'78

'82

'86

'90

'62 squad

Josef

Masopust

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'06 squad

Pavel Nedvěd

'14

1998. For the 1998 World Cup, the Czech Republic and Slovakia entered the 1998 World Cup as separate teams. However, neither team qualified for the tournament.

2006. As Czechoslovakia, the team placed second in the World Cup twice. After the split, the Czech Republic has qualified for the World Cup just once.

Year

1930

Czech Republic

World Cup 2018

'34

'38

1994. While Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993, the two countries played as a joint team for the remaining qualifying matches.

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

1998. For the 1998 World Cup, the Czech Republic and Slovakia entered the 1998 World Cup as separate teams. However, neither team qualified for the tournament.

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

2006. As Czechoslovakia, the team placed second in the World Cup twice. After the split, the Czech Republic has qualified for the World Cup just once.

'02

'06

'10

'14

Notable Players

Top scorer

'62 squad

'06 squad

Oldřich Nejedlý

Pavel Nedvěd

Josef Masopust

1934-1938

1958-1962

2006

Notable Players

'06 squad

Top scorer

'62 squad

Czech Republic

Oldřich Nejedlý

Pavel Nedvěd

Josef Masopust

World Cup 2018

1934-1938

1958-1962

2006

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Year

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1994. While Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993, the two countries played as a joint team for the remaining qualifying matches.

1998. For the 1998 World Cup, the Czech Republic and Slovakia entered the 1998 World Cup as separate teams. However, neither team qualified for the tournament.

2006. As Czechoslovakia, the team placed second in the World Cup twice. After the split, the Czech Republic has qualified for the World Cup just once.

Notable Players

'06 squad

Top scorer

'62 squad

Czech Republic

Oldřich Nejedlý

Josef Masopust

Pavel Nedvěd

World Cup 2018

1934-1938

2006

1958-1962

Year

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1994. While Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993, the two countries played as a joint team for the remaining qualifying matches.

1998. For the 1998 World Cup, the Czech Republic and Slovakia entered the 1998 World Cup as separate teams. However, neither team qualified for the tournament.

2006. As Czechoslovakia, the team placed second in the World Cup twice. After the split, the Czech Republic has qualified for the World Cup just once.

Austria

World Cup 2018

1930

'34

'38

No World Cups

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'34 squad

Matthias Sindelar

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

Top scorer

Erich Probst

'98

'02

'06

'10

'54 squad

Ernst Ocwirk

'14

1938. Austria was annexed by Germany during World War II. This caused their national team to lose its place in the 1938 finals and forfeit their game against Sweden.

1978. In the World Cup hosted in Argentina, Austria defeated West Germany for the first time in 47 years, with a final score of 3-2. Austrian fans regard this game as the 'Miracle of Cordoba.'

Year

1930

Austria

World Cup 2018

'34

'38

1938. Austria was annexed by Germany during World War II. This caused their national team to lose its place in the 1938 finals and forfeit their game against Sweden.

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

1938. Matthias Sindelar, Austria's top player at the time, refused to play for Germany in the 1938 Cup. Several months later, he was found dead in his bed in Vienna.

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

1978. In the World Cup hosted in Argentina, Austria defeated West Germany for the first time in 47 years, with a final score of 3-2. Austrian fans regard this game as the 'Miracle of Cordoba.'

'02

'06

'10

'14

Notable Players

'34 squad

Top scorer

'54 squad

Matthias Sindelar

Ernst Ocwirk

Erich Probst

1934

1954

1954

Notable Players

'54 squad

'34 squad

Top scorer

Austria

Matthias Sindelar

Ernst Ocwirk

Erich Probst

World Cup 2018

1934

1954

1954

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Year

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1938. Austria was annexed by Germany during World War II. This caused their national team to lose its place in the 1938 finals and forfeit their game against Sweden.

1938. Matthias Sindelar, Austria's top player at the time, refused to play for Germany in the 1938 Cup. Several months later, he was found dead in his bed in Vienna.

1978. In the World Cup hosted in Argentina, Austria defeated West Germany for the first time in 47 years, with a final score of 3-2. Austrian fans regard this game as the 'Miracle of Cordoba.'

Notable Players

'54 squad

'34 squad

Top scorer

Austria

Matthias Sindelar

Erich Probst

Ernst Ocwirk

World Cup 2018

1934

1954

1954

Year

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1938. Austria was annexed by Germany during World War II. This caused their national team to lose its place in the 1938 finals and forfeit their game against Sweden.

1938. Matthias Sindelar, Austria's top player at the time, refused to play for Germany in the 1938 Cup. Several months later, he was found dead in his bed in Vienna.

1978. In the World Cup hosted in Argentina, Austria defeated West Germany for the first time in 47 years, with a final score of 3-2. Austrian fans regard this game as the 'Miracle of Cordoba.'

Chile

World Cup 2018

1930

'34

'38

No World Cups

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'62 squad

Leonel

Sánchez

'78

'82

'86

'90

Most games

Elías

Figueroa

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

Top scorer

Marcelo Salas

'14

1974. Following the coup d'etat that brought Augusto Pinochet to power in 1973, the military executed prisoners in Santiago stadium. Russia then refused to play Chile in the stadium for a qualifying match.

1994. Chile was banned from the 1994 tournament in the United States after its goalkeeper feigned injury by a fan-lit firework to delay a qualifying match in 1989.

Year

1930

Chile

World Cup 2018

'34

'38

1962. "La batalla de Santiago" between Chile and Italy was described as one of the most vicious games in World Cup history. It escalated to violence between the two teams and local police needed to intervene.

'50

'54

'58

host

'62

'66

'70

1974. Following the coup d'etat that brought Augusto Pinochet to power in 1973, the military executed prisoners in Santiago stadium. Russia then refused to play Chile in the stadium for a qualifying match.

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

1994. Chile was banned from the 1994 tournament in the United States after its goalkeeper feigned injury by a fan-lit firework to delay a qualifying match in 1989.

'02

'06

'10

'14

Notable Players

'62 squad

Most games

Top scorer

Leonel Sánchez

Marcelo Salas

Elías Figueroa

1962-1966

1966-1982

1998

Notable Players

Top scorer

'62 squad

Most games

Chile

Leonel Sánchez

Marcelo Salas

Elías Figueroa

World Cup 2018

1962-1966

1966-1982

1998

host

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Year

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1962. "La batalla de Santiago" between Chile and Italy was described as one of the most vicious games in World Cup history. It escalated to violence between the two teams and local police needed to intervene.

1974. Following the coup d'etat that brought Augusto Pinochet to power in 1973, the military executed prisoners in Santiago stadium. Russia then refused to play Chile in the stadium for a qualifying match.

1994. Chile was banned from the 1994 tournament in the United States after its goalkeeper feigned injury by a fan-lit firework to delay a qualifying match in 1989.

Notable Players

Top scorer

'62 squad

Most games

Chile

Elías Figueroa

Leonel Sánchez

Marcelo Salas

World Cup 2018

1962-1966

1966-1982

1998

host

Year

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1962. "La batalla de Santiago" between Chile and Italy was described as one of the most vicious games in World Cup history. It escalated to violence between the two teams and local police needed to intervene.

1974. Following the coup d'etat that brought Augusto Pinochet to power in 1973, the military executed prisoners in Santiago stadium. Russia then refused to play Chile in the stadium for a qualifying match.

1994. Chile was banned from the 1994 tournament in the United States after its goalkeeper feigned injury by a fan-lit firework to delay a qualifying match in 1989.

Switzerland

World Cup 2018

1930

'34

'38

No World Cups

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

Most games

"Kiki" Antenen

'78

'82

'86

'90

Top scorer

"Sepp Huegi"

'94

'98

'02

'06

'14 squad

Xherdan

Shaqiri

'10

'14

1954. The Switzerland-hosted World Cup in 1954 was the first to be televised. This tournament also set the record for highest average goals scored per game. Switzerland reached the quarterfinals.

1994. The last game between Switzerland and Colombia in the 1994 Cup was also the last game for Colombian defender Andres Escobar. He was murdered a week after his team was eliminated in Colombia.

Year

1930

Switzerland

World Cup 2018

'34

'38

1954. The Switzerland-hosted World Cup in 1954 was the first to be televised. This tournament also set the record for highest average goals scored per game. Switzerland reached the quarterfinals.

'50

host

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

1994. The last game between Switzerland and Colombia in the 1994 Cup was also the last game for Colombian defender Andres Escobar. He was murdered a week after his team was eliminated in Colombia.

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

2006. Switzerland was eliminated from the 2006 tournament despite not letting a single team score a goal against them. The team holds the record for fewest goals conceded in tournament history.

'02

'06

'10

'14

Notable Players

'14 squad

Most games

Top scorer

"Kiki" Antenen

Xherdan Shaqiri

"Sepp Huegi"

1950-1962

1954

2010-present

Notable Players

'14 squad

Most games

Top scorer

Switzerland

"Kiki" Antenen

"Sepp Huegi"

Xherdan Shaqiri

World Cup 2018

1950-1962

2010-present

1954

host

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Year

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1954. The Switzerland-hosted World Cup in 1954 was the first to be televised. This tournament also set the record for highest average goals scored per game. Switzerland reached the quarterfinals.

1994. The last game between Switzerland and Colombia in the 1994 Cup was also the last game for Colombian defender Andres Escobar. He was murdered a week after his team was eliminated in Colombia.

2006. Switzerland was eliminated from the 2006 tournament despite not letting a single team score a goal against them. The team holds the record for fewest goals conceded in tournament history.

Notable Players

'14 squad

Most games

Top scorer

Switzerland

"Kiki" Antenen

"Sepp Huegi"

Xherdan Shaqiri

World Cup 2018

1950-1962

2010-present

1954

host

Year

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1954. The Switzerland-hosted World Cup in 1954 was the first to be televised. This tournament also set the record for highest average goals scored per game. Switzerland reached the quarterfinals.

1994. The last game between Switzerland and Colombia in the 1994 Cup was also the last game for Colombian defender Andres Escobar. He was murdered a week after his team was eliminated in Colombia.

2006. Switzerland was eliminated from the 2006 tournament despite not letting a single team score a goal against them. The team holds the record for fewest goals conceded in tournament history.

Paraguay

World Cup 2018

1930

'34

'38

No World Cups

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'98 & '02 squad

José Luis

Chilavert

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'06 squad

Salvador Cabañas

'94

'98

'02

'06

Tied for

Most games

Roque

Santa Cruz

'10

'14

2010. Before the 2010 World Cup, Salvador Cabañas was shot in the head after an argument with a narcotics trafficker in a nightclub in Mexico City. He survived the incident, but it ended his professional career.

2010. In Paraguay's best World Cup performance, the nation reached the quarterfinals for first and only time. The team was eliminated by Spain, who went on to win the Cup.

Year

1930

Paraguay

World Cup 2018

'34

'38

2010. Before the 2010 World Cup, Salvador Cabañas was shot in the head after an argument with a narcotics trafficker in a nightclub in Mexico City. He survived the incident, but it ended his professional career.

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

2010. In Paraguay's best World Cup performance, the nation reached the quarterfinals for first and only time. The team was eliminated by Spain, who went on to win the Cup.

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

José Luis Chilavert was famous for being a goalkeeper that also scored goals. He scored seven goals in qualifying games throughout his career. However, he never scored a goal during the World Cup.

'02

'06

'10

'14

Notable Players

'98 & '02 squad

'06 squad

Tied for most games

José Luis Chilavert

Roque Santa Cruz

Salvador Cabañas

1998-2002

2006

2002-2010

Notable Players

'98 & '02 squad

'06 squad

Tied for most games

Paraguay

José Luis Chilavert

Roque Santa Cruz

Salvador Cabañas

World Cup 2018

1998-2002

2006

2002-2010

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Year

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

2010. Before the 2010 World Cup, Salvador Cabañas was shot in the head after an argument with a narcotics trafficker in a nightclub in Mexico City. He survived the incident, but it ended his professional career.

2010. In Paraguay's best World Cup performance, the nation reached the quarterfinals for first and only time. The team was eliminated by Spain, who went on to win the Cup.

José Luis Chilavert was famous for being a goalkeeper that also scored goals. He scored seven goals in qualifying games throughout his career. However, he never scored a goal during the World. Cup.

Notable Players

'98 & '02 squad

'06 squad

Tied for most games

Paraguay

José Luis Chilavert

Salvador Cabañas

Roque Santa Cruz

World Cup 2018

1998-2002

2002-2010

2006

Year

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

2010. Before the 2010 World Cup, Salvador Cabañas was shot in the head after an argument with a narcotics trafficker in a nightclub in Mexico City. He survived the incident, but it ended his professional career.

2010. In Paraguay's best World Cup performance, the nation reached the quarterfinals for first and only time. The team was eliminated by Spain, who went on to win the Cup.

José Luis Chilavert was famous for being a goalkeeper that also scored goals. He scored seven goals in qualifying games throughout his career. However, he never scored a goal during the World Cup.

United States

World Cup 2018

1930

'34

'38

No World Cups

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'02 squad

Cobi Jones

'78

'82

'86

'90

Top scorer

Landon Donovan

'94

'98

'02

'06

Played in 4 WC

DaMarcus Beasley

'10

'14

1950. With a team formed mainly by amateur players and given 500 to 1 odds to win, the United States beat England 1-0 during the group stage. However, they did not make it past that stage.

1994. The U.S.-hosted World Cup in 1994 had a cumulative attendance of 3,587,538, breaking the previous record by more than one million. Average game attendance was 68,991 per game.

Year

1930

United States

World Cup 2018

'34

'38

1950. With a team formed mainly by amateur players and given 500 to 1 odds to win, the United States beat England 1-0 during the group stage. However, they did not make it past that stage.

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

1994. The U.S.-hosted World Cup in 1994 had a cumulative attendance of 3,587,538, breaking the previous record by more than one million. Average game attendance was 68,991 per game.

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

host

'94

'98

1998. The United States' match against Iran in the 1998 World Cup had significance beyond the game for the two nations, both of which were often demonized by the other's media at the time.

'02

'06

'10

'14

Notable Players

'02 squad

Top scorer

Played in 4 WC

Cobi Jones

DaMarcus Beasley

Landon Donovan

1994-2002

2002-2010

2002-2014

Notable Players

Played in 4 WC

'02 squad

Top scorer

United States

Cobi Jones

DaMarcus Beasley

Landon Donovan

World Cup 2018

1994-2002

2002-2010

2002-2014

host

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Year

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1950. With a team formed mainly by amateur players and given 500 to 1 odds to win, the United States beat England 1-0 during the group stage. However, they did not make it past that stage.

1994. The U.S.-hosted World Cup in 1994 had a cumulative attendance of 3,587,538, breaking the previous record by more than one million. Average game attendance was 68,991 per game.

1998. The United States' match against Iran in the 1998 World Cup had significance beyond the game for the two nations, both of which were often demonized by the other's media at the time.

Notable Players

Played in 4 WC

'02 squad

Top scorer

United States

Cobi Jones

Landon Donovan

DaMarcus Beasley

World Cup 2018

1994-2002

2002-2014

2002-2010

host

Year

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1950. With a team formed mainly by amateur players and given 500 to 1 odds to win, the United States beat England 1-0 during the group stage. However, they did not make it past that stage.

1994. The U.S.-hosted World Cup in 1994 had a cumulative attendance of 3,587,538, breaking the previous record by more than one million. Average game attendance was 68,991 per game.

1998. The United States' match against Iran in the 1998 World Cup had significance beyond the game for the two nations, both of which were often demonized by the other's media at the time.

Romania

World Cup 2018

1930

'34

'38

No World Cups

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'94 squad

Gheorghe

Hagi

'78

'82

'86

'90

Most games

Gheorghe

Popescu

'94

'98

'02

'06

Top scorer

Florin Răducioiu

'10

'14

1930. King Carol of Romania personally chose the players for its national team. His selected players were guaranteed job retention upon their return. They didn't make it past the group stage.

1930. Romania's 1930 match against Peru drew the smallest crowd in World Cup history. Attendance was officially recorded at around 2,500 fans, but some report there were fewer than 300 people at the game.

Year

1930

Romania

World Cup 2018

'34

'38

1930. King Carol of Romania personally chose the players for its national team. His selected players were guaranteed job retention upon their return. They didn't make it past the group stage.

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

1930. Romania's 1930 match against Peru drew the smallest crowd in World Cup history. Attendance was officially recorded at around 2,500 fans, but some report there were fewer than 300 people at the game.

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

1998. The Romanian team dyed their hair blonde after defeating England in hopes it would bring them good luck. It didn't, and they lost their next match against Croatia.

'02

'06

'10

'14

Notable Players

'94 squad

Most games

Top scorer

Gheorghe Hagi

Florin Răducioiu

Gheorghe Popescu

1990-1998

1990-1998

1990-1994

Notable Players

Top scorer

'94 squad

Most games

Romania

Gheorghe Hagi

Florin Răducioiu

Gheorghe Popescu

World Cup 2018

1990-1998

1990-1998

1990-1994

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Year

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1930. King Carol of Romania personally chose the players for its national team. His selected players were guaranteed job retention upon their return. They didn't make it past the group stage.

1930. Romania's 1930 match against Peru drew the smallest crowd in World Cup history. Attendance was officially recorded at around 2,500 fans, but some report there were fewer than 300 people at the game.

1998. The Romanian team dyed their hair blonde after defeating England in hopes it would bring them good luck. It didn't, and they lost their next match against Croatia.

Notable Players

Top scorer

'94 squad

Most games

Romania

Gheorghe Hagi

Gheorghe Popescu

Florin Răducioiu

World Cup 2018

1990-1998

1990-1994

1990-1998

Year

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1930. King Carol of Romania personally chose the players for its national team. His selected players were guaranteed job retention upon their return. They didn't make it past the group stage.

1930. Romania's 1930 match against Peru drew the smallest crowd in World Cup history. Attendance was officially recorded at around 2,500 fans, but some report there were fewer than 300 people at the game.

1998. The Romanian team dyed their hair blonde after defeating England in hopes it would bring them good luck. It didn't, and they lost their next match against Croatia.

Denmark

World Cup 2018

1930

'34

'38

No World Cups

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'86, '98 squad

Michael

Laudrup

'78

'82

'86

'90

'98 squad

Peter

Schmeichel

'94

'98

'02

'06

Top scorer

Jon Dahl

Tomasson

'10

'14

1986. Instead of hooligans, Danish fans are known as roligans. In Danish, rolig means calm and mild-mannered. The fans weren't rowdy or destructive. They were renowned for their peaceful behavior.

1930 to 1954. Denmark did not enter the competition between 1930 and 1954 due to their strict rule of only allowing amateurs on the national team. This rule was abolished in 1971.

Year

1930

Denmark

World Cup 2018

'34

'38

1986. Instead of hooligans, Danish fans are known as roligans. In Danish, rolig means calm and mild-mannered. The fans weren't rowdy or destructive. They were renowned for their peaceful behavior.

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

1998. Danish brothers Michael and Brian Laudrup-who many consider history's most gifted set of soccer-playing brothers-led the team during the France-hosted World Cup.

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

1930 to 1954. Denmark did not enter the competition between 1930 and 1954 due to their strict rule of only allowing amateurs on the national team. This rule was abolished in 1971.

'02

'06

'10

'14

Notable Players

Top scorer

'86 & '98 squad

'98 squad

Michael Laudrup

Jon Dahl Tomasson

Peter Schmeichel

1986,1998

1998

2002,2010

Notable Players

Top scorer

'86 & '98 squad

'98 squad

Denmark

Michael Laudrup

Jon Dahl Tomasson

Peter Schmeichel

World Cup 2018

1986,1998

1998

2002,2010

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Year

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1930 to 1954. Denmark did not enter the competition between 1930 and 1954 due to their strict rule of only allowing amateurs on the national team. This rule was abolished in 1971.

1986. Instead of hooligans, Danish fans are known as roligans. In Danish, rolig means calm and mild-mannered. The fans weren't rowdy or destructive. They were renowned for their peaceful behavior.

1998. Danish brothers Michael and Brian Laudrup-who many consider history's most gifted set of soccer-playing brothers-led the team during the France-hosted World Cup.

Notable Players

Top scorer

'86 & '98 squad

'98 squad

Denmark

Michael Laudrup

Peter Schmeichel

Jon Dahl Tomasson

World Cup 2018

1986,1998

2002,2010

1998

Year

1930

'34

'38

'50

'54

'58

'62

'66

'70

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'02

'06

'10

'14

Qualification stage

Group stage

Knockout stage

Penalty shoot-out

Champion

1930 to 1954. Denmark did not enter the competition between 1930 and 1954 due to their strict rule of only allowing amateurs on the national team. This rule was abolished in 1971.

1986. Instead of hooligans, Danish fans are known as roligans. In Danish, rolig means calm and mild-mannered. The fans weren't rowdy or destructive. They were renowned for their peaceful behavior.

1998. Danish brothers Michael and Brian Laudrup-who many consider history's most gifted set of soccer-playing brothers-led the team during the France-hosted World Cup.

About the data: This ranking is based off of FIFA's list of the top performing teams of all time in the World Cup only. Stats for the players do not include the qualification stage.

OSCAR SANTAMARINA, MARY BETH MCANDREWS AND LINDSAY SMITH, NG STAFF; DAVID MOSSE, FOX SPORTS.
SOURCES: FIFA. PHOTOGRAPHS AND ILLUSTRATIONS: GETTY IMAGES.
This summer National Geographic is partnering with FOX Sports to cover the world’s most watched single-sport tournament: the FIFA World Cup. Tune in to FOX Sports as our reporter Sergey Gordeev presents daily stories about the people, culture, and beauty of host country Russia, and read more of our World Cup stories.
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Copyright © 2015-2018 National Geographic Partners, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Copyright © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society. Copyright © 2015-2016 National Geographic Partners, LLC. All rights reserved