Football World Cup winners list

Take a close look at the greatest football teams on earth: the FIFA World Cup champions.

England squad played in Football World Cup 1966

The World Cup, also known as the Mundial or Copa do Mundo, has been held 19 times since it inaugural tournament in 1930. It has been won by eight different teams, with Brazil having the most World Cup titles with five, followed by Italy with four, and West Germany with three. Argentina and Uruguay have two titles each while England, France, and Spain have one title.

Below is a year-by-year account of all the World Cup champion teams.

1930 FIFA World CupFootball World Cup 1930 winner - Uruguay

Winner: Uruguay
Runner-up: Argentina
Final score: Uruguay 4-2 Argentina
Host country: Uruguay

The 1930 World Cup was staged in Uruguay and it was the host country that won the championship. In the final match, the Uruguayans saw themselves trailing behind Argentina by 2-1 but managed to turn things around in the second half by scoring three goals. Uruguay became the first World Cup winner with a 4-2 score.

1934 FIFA World Cup

Winner: Italy
Runner-up: Czechoslovakia
Final score: Italy 2-1 Czechoslovakia (Extra time)
Host country: Italy

The 1934 World Cup was once again won by the host country and this time it was Italy that took the trophy. Playing against Czechoslovakia, Italy imposed a very tough defense but the visiting team breached the Italian line in the 70th to lead 1-0. Italy retaliated to make the game 1-1 before the end of regulation and bagged the win in overtime by a 2-1 tally.

1938 FIFA World Cup

Winner: Italy
Runner-up: Hungary
Final score: Italy 4-2 Hungary
Host country: France

Italy retained its crown in the 1938 World Cup in France. In the final match against Hungary, the Italians broke clear with a 3-1 score at halftime and finished the game 4-2.

1950 FIFA World Cup Uruguay National Football Team, 1950 World Cup

Winner: Uruguay
Runner-up: Brazil
Final score: Uruguay 2-1 Brazil
Host country: Brazil

The World Cup was not staged again until 1950 because of the Second World War. Played in Brazil, this edition of the Mundial saw one of the biggest upsets in football history when the host country lost to the Uruguay football team.

Brazil was highly favored to win in the final match with Uruguay, which was lowly rated after not qualifying in the two previous World Cups. The Brazilians scored two minutes into the second half and everything seemed to be going well for them. However, Uruguay tied on the 66th minute mark and scored anew on the 79th to steal the 1950 World Cup trophy.

1954 FIFA World CupGermany Fussball Bund, 1954 World Cup

Winner: West Germany
Runner-up: Hungary
Final score: West Germany 3-2 Hungary
Host country: Switzerland

The 1954 World Cup saw another major upset: In the group stage, the Hungarians trashed West Germany 8-3 and was highly favored to win when the two teams met again in the final. Scoring two goals after only eight minutes, the Hungarian football team looked like they were on a smooth way to the Mundial trophy. However, West Germany equalized within the first half and, just five minutes before the end of regulation, broke away with another goal to win 3-2.

1958 FIFA World CupBrazil National Football Squad, 1958 World Cup

Winner: Brazil
Runner-up: Sweden
Final score: Brazil 5-2 Sweden
Host country: Sweden

Host Sweden matched up against Brazil in the final of the 1958 World Cup. The Swedish football team opened the scoring but found themselves trailing by 2-1 at the end of the first half. Brazil played top-class football for the rest of the second half and finished the game 5-2. Brazil’s successful campaign was spurred by one of the greatest footballers in history, Pele, who played his first Mundial in this year.

1962 FIFA World CupBrazil National Football Team, 1962 World Cup

Winner: Brazil
Runner-up: Czechoslovakia
Final score: Brazil 3-1 Czechoslovakia
Host country: Chile

In the 1962 World Cup, Brazil faced Czechoslovakia in the final match without its goal-scoring genius, Pele, as he was injured in the first round. The Czechoslovakians struck the first goal but the Brazilians showed their offensive flare to emerge as victors with a 3-1 score. This was the second of five World Cup trophies in the Brazilian football team’s history.

1966 FIFA World Cup

Winner: England
Runner-up: West Germany
Final score: England 4-2 West Germany (Extra time)
Host country: England

England faced West Germany at the final of the 1966 World Cup. The Germans found the back of the net first but the English equalized by halftime, 1-1.

In the second half, the English pulled away with a goal’s lead but West Germany scored before the end of regulation to take the game into overtime with a 2-2 score. Englishman Geoff Hurst, who had one goal in regulation, scored twice in overtime to make England World Cup winners and to become the only player ever to score a hat trick in a Mundial final.

The 1966 victory is the only World Cup trophy in the English football team’s history as of present.

1970 FIFA World CupBrazil National Football Squad, 1970 World Cup

Winner: Brazil
Runner-up: Italy
Final score: Brazil 4-1 Italy
Host country: Mexico

Brazil won all its matches on the way to the final of the 1970 World Cup and clipped the trophy for the third time with a relatively easy 4-1 victory over Italy. 1970 was the first edition of the Mundial that the red and yellow card scheme was used.

1974 FIFA World CupThe National Football Team of Germany, 1974 World Cup

Winner: West Germany
Runner-up: Netherlands
Final score: West Germany 2-1 Netherlands
Host country: West Germany

This edition of the Mundial witnessed the finest roster that Netherlands produced, the Total Football team. Offensive-minded and tactically equipped, the Dutch cruised their way to the final to meet tournament host West Germany.

The Dutch scored first over the Germans but saw themselves fall behind by 2-1 when halftime ended. Holland never broke through the German defense and the score stood still until the final whistle of the 1974 World Cup.

1978 FIFA World Cup

Winner: Argentina
Runner-up: Netherlands
Final score: Argentina 3-1 Netherlands (Extra time)
Host country: Argentina

The 1978 World Cup was won by host Argentina over Netherlands with a 3-1 overtime score. However, Argentina finished the tournament amidst a huge scandal.

Having tied with Brazil in a group stage game, Argentina needed to win by at least four goals over Peru to progress to the next stage. That game ended with a 6-0 score and pushed Argentina to the final stages. The result created wide rumors of match-fixing and still remains one of the biggest controversies in football.

1982 FIFA World CupNational Football Team of Italy, 1982 World Cup

Winner: Italy
Runner-up: West Germany
Final score: Italy 3-1 West Germany
Host country: Spain

The 1982 World Cup title is the third of Italy. It was not an easy one, as the Italians barely survived elimination in the first round. The first half of the final game did not prove to be inspiring either, as Italy missed a penalty that would have opened the scoring.

However, Italy managed to squeeze a goal on the 56th minute and followed it up with two more goals to lead 3-0. West Germany scored a goal in the 82nd minute to finish the game honorably, 3-1.

1986 FIFA World CupArgentina National Football Team, 1986 World Cup

Winner: Argentina
Runner-up: West Germany
Final score: Argentina 3-2 West Germany
Host country: Mexico

The 1986 Copa do Mundo belonged to Argentina and the finest Argentinean footballer ever, Diego Maradona. With his exceptional playing skills, he led his country from the opening round all the way to the final. However, he also brought his team into controversy by scoring a goal against England in the quarter-finals with the use of his left hand.

Nonetheless, Maradona has proven his brilliance beyond any doubt and led Argentina to a 3-2 final victory over the strong-willed Germans for the 1986 World Cup trophy.

1990 FIFA World CupGermany National Football Team, 1990 World Cup

Winner: West Germany
Runner-up: Argentina
Final score: West Germany 1-0 Argentina
Host country: Italy

The 1990 World Cup title was the third of West Germany, which they took at the expense of defending champion Argentina. The only goal in the final game was made by the Germans through a penalty kick.

The final match was criticized for its cynicism and hyper-defensive plays by both sides, which can be considered as anti football. The 1990 Mundial is widely regarded as the poorest ever.

1994 FIFA World CupBrazil's National Football Squad, 1994 World Cup

Winner: Brazil
Runner-up: Italy
Final score: Brazil 0-0 Italy (3-2 pen)
Host country: United States

The 1994 World Cup, held in the United States, is the fourth occasion that Brazil would rip the highest honor in football. In the final match, neither Brazil nor its opponent, Italy, scored in the regulation and extra periods so the game was forced into a penalty shootout.

Both sides missed on their first attempt but Brazil converted its following shots while Italy suffered two more misses to lose 3-2 in the shootout. The biggest disappointment came to Italian football hero Roberto Baggio, who led his team throughout the tournament only to miss his chance from the penalty spot in the final game. 

1998 FIFA World CupFrance National Football Team, 1998 World Cup

Winner: France
Runner-up: Brazil
Final score: France 3-0 Brazil
Host country: France

The 1998 World Cup trophy was competed between 32 teams and it was France that emerged triumphant. The French survived the quarter finals through a penalty shootout against Italy and defeated Croatia in the semis with a 2-1 score. They went on to the final to square up with Brazil.

The final belonged to French football legend Zinedine Zidane who scored two goals in regulation to make victory imminent for the host country. His efforts were complemented by Emmanuel Petit, who added another goal in stoppage period. The match ended 3-0 for the first World Cup title in France’s football squad history.

2002 FIFA World CupBrazil's National Football Squad, 2002 World Cup

Winner: Brazil
Runner-up: Germany
Final score: Brazil 2-0 Germany
Host country: South Korea & Japan

The 2002 World Cup was the first to be held in Asia and saw Brazil become the winner once again. Ronaldo scored both of Brazil’s goals to surge pass Germany 2-0 in the final match. The brilliant striker finished as 2002 top scorer but it was the football goalkeeping legend Oliver Kahn of Germany who bagged the award for the tournament’s best player, the Golden Ball. (This World Cup, with Korea and Japan as hosts, is the first to be hosted by two nations.)

2006 FIFA World CupNational Football Team of Italy, 2006 World Cup

Winner: Italy
Runner-up: France
Final score: Italy 1-1 France (5-3 pen)
Host country: Germany

Held in Germany, the 2006 World Cup was the fourth that the Italians reigned supreme. They saw France take the lead in the first half via a penalty shot but managed to equalize immediately. Italy never broke the 1-1 deadlock even after extra time so the game headed to a penalty shootout. The Italians won the penalty shootout on a 5-3 score to gain the fourth championship in Italian football team history.

2010 FIFA World CupNational Football Team of Spain, 2010 World Cup

Winner: Spain
Runner-up: Netherlands
Final score: Spain 1-0 Netherlands (Extra time)
Host country: South Africa

The final match of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa was fought between Spain and Netherlands with the Spanish triumphing after extra time, 1-0. Pressure was high on the Netherlands football team as it was the third time they were in a Mundial final—only to make it also the third time they finished second.

2014 FIFA World CupGermany World Cup Champion 2014

Winner: Germany
Runner-up: Argentina
Final score: Germany 1-0 Argentina (Extra time)
Host country: Brazil

After humiliating the host country Brazil in an overwhelming 7-1 win, Germany went on to the finals to face Argentina led by football superstar Lionel Messi.

With tight defenses on both sides, the match went on to overtime. The stalemate was finally broken by an incredible goal by Mario Goetze 23 minutes into the extra time, leading Germany to win the 2014 World Cup after a 24-year title drought and to become the first European to win the Mundial in the Americas.