This week the tentpole competition of international football begins, as Qatar welcomes 32 hopeful nations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. This tournament boasts a rich and colourful history, stretching back over 21 previous editions and all the way back to 1930 when the quadrennial event was first debuted with just 13 participating teams.
Of course, there can only be one winner when all the games have been played, one team basking in glory as they lift the World Cup trophy. International bookies are already offering odds on their favourites for 2022, including the most recommended betting sites in Kuwait, based on the latest reviews from industry experts. Beyond the odds, quality overall service and consistency are essential, and a proven track record of reliability.
The same applies to the most successful nations in World Cup history, so before deciding which side to back at the upcoming 2022 tournament, let’s take a look at the teams who have the strongest records for past achievements.
Most Successful Champions
No team has won the World Cup more times than Brazil, having reigned supreme at five separate tournaments over the years. The iconic team in yellow earned their first three titles over the space of just four tournaments, first as back-to-back champions in 1958 and 1962, then again in 1970. This was during a golden era that featured the legendary Pele, the man who coined the “beautiful game” phrase associated with football.
Brazil then had to wait some time for their next period of success, despite boasting many of the most gifted players in the game. The fourth success came at the 1994 World Cup in the USA, following a tense 0-0 draw against Italy in the final, which could only be resolved by a penalty shoot-out. The record fifth World Cup title was clinched in Japan and South Korea, when generational icon Ronaldo made the difference in 2002, scoring twice in a 2-0 final victory against Germany.
Only two other nations have come close to matching the success of Brazil, lifting the World Cup trophy four times apiece. Italy has the largest gap between their four triumphs, winning consecutive tournaments in 1934 and 1938, before waiting until 1982 and 2006 for the next. Germany clinched their first title in 1954, then waited two decades for the next in 1974. The third came in 1990 before another lengthy period empty-handed, until their most recent success in 2014.
Three other nations have managed to enjoy World Cup success on two occasions. Uruguay hosted and won the very first FIFA tournament back in 1930, then repeated that success 20 years later in 1950. Argentina won their first World Cup in 1978, then dazzled again in Mexico in 1986, when Diego Maradona was the star of the show. France achieved their success in more recent times, earning their first triumph at the tournament they hosted in 1998, and they are the current reigning champions of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Just Beyond reach
In any sport and particularly football, nothing is more agonising than making it all the way to a final, only to suffer defeat after such a promising journey. This is the fate that has befallen several proud national teams, and on more than just one occasion. Unsurprisingly, for some of the most successful sides in World Cup history, missing out on the biggest prize is also something they have experienced.
Germany has reached more World Cup finals than any other nation, losing the decisive games of tournaments just as many times as they won. They were the losing side in the finals of 1934, 1970, 2006, and 2010, when the trophy ultimately proved to be just beyond reach. The two sides have endured similar experiences three times apiece, although while Argentina has at least savoured the taste of success twice, the Netherlands has not. The Dutch side reached back-back-to-back finals in 1974 and 1978, only to suffer defeat, before the third loss in 2010.
Along with lifting the trophy five times, Brazil has also tasted defeat in two finals, losing their shot at the titles in 1950 and 1998. Italy enjoyed four successes but also the sinking feeling of defeat, beaten in the 1970 and 1994 finals. Neither will be present at the 2022 World Cup, although Hungary was losing finalists in 1938 and 1954, as was the Czech Republic in 1938 and 1962, albeit as the larger country of Czechoslovakia.