FIFA World Cup Finals Winners and Runners Up

With the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final upon us, we thought we’d take a look at World Cup Final’s past. This year, the final soccer match will be held for the first time at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia. However, while this is Russia’s first time hosting the World Cup Final, there are some countries that have been hosts multiple times. Find out which countries have hosted the final multiple times, which stadiums have attracted the largest audiences, and most importantly, which national team has won the most cups. Discover the World Cup’s past before you tune in to watch the 21st FIFA World Cup Final, which we hear is going to be quite the matchup.

View FIFA World Cup Winners & Runners Up in a full screen map

Check out the map above to get a sense of which national teams have won the World Cup time and time again, and which teams just can’t beat the runners-up status, or read on for more insights into FIFA World Cup history.

Goooaaal: World Cup’s Top Winners

Of the 20 World Cup tournaments that have been played since 1930, only eight national teams have won the coveted cup. Of those eight World Cup holders, only three have more than three wins.

National team Wins Years won
Brazil 5 1958,  1962,  1970,  1994,  2002
Germany 4 1954,  1974,  1990,  2014
Italy 4 1934,  1938,  1982,  2006

As you can see, Brazil is the ultimate champion with five World Cup wins. Brazil’s first two wins were in consecutive World Cups in 1958 and immediately after in 1962. In addition to Brazil’s five wins, the team has also been runner-up in two final matches, the first in 1950 and again in 1998. In total, Brazil has played in seven World Cup finals.

Germany and Italy have both been World Cup champions four times throughout the years. However, Germany has played in two more World Cup finals than Italy, having been runner-up four times. In total, Germany has been to the World Cup more often than any other country with a total of eight times. They are also the current World Cup champions, having won the most recent World Cup in 2014.

Like Germany, Italy has four World Cup wins under its belt, and like Brazil, Italy’s first two wins were consecutive, the first in 1934 and the second in ‘38. Italy has also been the runner-up in two final matches, with a total of six final appearances.

Runners Up: Teams that Competed but Failed to Score the W

Not all teams can be as fortunate as the top three winning teams. The following national teams have been runners-up at the FIFA World Cup, but are yet to be winners.

National team Wins Runners-up Years runners-up
Netherlands 0 3 1974,  1978,  2010
Czechoslovakia 0 2 1934,  1962
Hungary 0 2 1938,  1954
Sweden 0 1 1958

While the Netherlands team does hold a record, it’s not a very good one. The Dutch are known for having competed in the most World Cup finals without ever winning.

Hold the Field for Hosts

As for where the FIFA World Cup Finals take place, 16 countries have had the honor of hosting the world’s best soccer players, and some countries have hosted more than once. Hosting the FIFA World Cup is a pretty sweet deal because the host country is automatically entered to be one of the 32 teams set to compete for the World Cup.

View FIFA World Cup Locations & Attendance in a full screen map

Only three soccer or fútbol stadiums around the world can say they’ve gotten the chance to host the FIFA World Cup more than once. Estadio Azteca, Estádio do Maracanã, and Olympiastadion all have hosted the championships two times each. Estadio Azteca, located in Mexico City, Mexico hosted the World Cup in 1970 and then again in 1986. Estádio do Maracanã, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has also hosted the World Cup twice, the first time in 1950 and the second time in the most recent past World Cup of 2014. Olympiastadion, in Germany, hosted twice in 1974 and 2006.

Both Italy and France have been the host country more than once, although the location of the stadiums varied. Italy hosted the 1934 World Cup at the Stadio Nazionale PNF, and again hosted the World Cup in 1990, this time at the Stadio Olimpico. The World Cup was played in Paris, France in 1938 at the Stade Olympique de Colombes and in Saint-Denis, France sixty years later in 1998 at the Stade de France.

Home-Field Advantage

If you’re curious if the hosts of the World Cup have a home-field advantage, six out of eight teams won the World Cup when the final game was played on their home turf. Brazil and Sweden are the only two teams who have lost while the game was played at home. Notably, England and France have only ever won the World Cup when it was played at home.

Attendance for the Win: Highest Attended World Cup Finals

Some World Cup Finals are better attended than others. Here is a list of the top three most-attended World Cup Finals:

  • 199,854, Estádio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1950
  • 114,600, Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico, 1986
  • 107,412, Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico, 1970

The 1950 World Cup, which was Brazil’s first time ever hosting, was unlike all other World Cups past and future in that there was no final game. Instead, the year saw a 4-team round robin tournament, the last match of which Uruguay beat Brazil on Brazil’s home turf. This round robin tournament could explain the extremely high attendance.

As for the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City? The reason for this stadium’s high attendance during two World Cups could be because spectators were dying to see Brazil vs. Italy in the 1970 final or because Argentina vs. West Germany seemed to be an interesting matchup in 1986. Or the high attendance could be because the stadium is said to be one of the most famous and highly regarded stadiums in the world.

On the other hand, France’s 1938 World Cup at in Paris at the Stade Olympique de Colombes had the lowest turnout of all of the World Cups with only 45,000 people, which is nearly ¼ the size of the highest attended World Cup. The game featured Italy versus Hungary.

Tune in to the 2018 World Cup Final in July to see if one of the teams that have never won a World Cup wins this year, or if it goes to one of the eight teams who already got a shot at holding the trophy. Speaking of shots, if you’re less of a soccer fan and more into basketball, be sure to check out all of the NBA Finals on a Map.