All you need to know about World Cup 2022 (Part 2)

All you need to know about World Cup 2022 (Part 2)


How many teams have won the World Cup?

Eight teams have won the World Cup and six of them have been multiple winners (the exceptions being England and Spain, who lifted the trophy in 1966 and 2010).

Every previous winner has been either European (12 victories) or South American (nine victories).

Who won the last World Cup?

France won the 2018 World Cup in Russia, winning 4-2 against first time finalists Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
It was France's second success in the competition and the first time they had triumphed on foreign soil.

Who are the most successful teams in World Cup history?

Brazil have not won the World Cup since 2002 but they are the most successful team in the competition's history with five victories, all of them achieved on foreign soil.

The Samba Stars golden era was between 1958 and 1970 when, with the considerable help of Pele, they won three of four World Cups.

German teams have appeared in the most finals (eight).

West Germany contested six finals, winning three of them, while Germany have appeared in two – finishing runner up to Brazil in 2002, and defeating Argentina in 2014.

Who are the best teams never to have won a World Cup?

Some great teams have failed to get their hands on the trophy but the hardest luck stories could be shared by Hungary and the Netherlands.

Hungary had a great team in the early 1950s, famously defeating England 6-3 at Wembley in November 1953, and were widely considered to be the outstanding team at the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland but they fell short – losing 3-2 to West Germany in the final.

A Hungarian team featuring outstanding players Ferenc Puskas, Sandor Kocsis and Nandor Hidegkuti were two goals up after eight minutes but their opponents came roaring back to record a surprise success.

Another top class team to be edged aside by West Germany were the Dutch team of 1974, featuring legendary attacker Johan Cruyff.

The Dutch took the lead in the final, only to succumb to a 2-1 defeat, and they fell just short of redemption four years later – reaching the 1978 final and losing out 3-1 after extra-time to host nation Argentina.

Who have been the most iconic players on the World Cup stage?

Pele would be the choice of many people as the greatest footballer of all-time and his impact on World Cups has been undeniable.

The former Santos superstar was part of three World Cup winning squads, scoring 12 goals, and would probably have netted a lot more had he not been injured in the second game of the 1962 tournament in Chile.

In the two finals he did participate in (1958 and 1970) he scored three goals, and he laid on the assist for Carlos Alberto's famous strike in the 4-1 demolition of Italy in the 1970 final which is widely regarded as one of the greatest goals in the tournament's history.

A rival to Pele's status as one of the greatest World Cup players is Maradona, who dragged Argentina across the line at Mexico 1986.

Maradona scored five goals in the 1986 tournament, including the infamous 'hand of god' goal in the 2-1 quarter-final success against England and an outstanding individual goal in the same contest.

Do host nations have a big advantage?

There won't be too many people queuing up to back Qatar, but it is undeniable that host nations have a big advantage.

Six of the 21 previous winners have triumphed in front of their home fans although the last of them (France in 1998) was 23 years ago.

Brazil were famously disappointing hosts in 2014 – losing 7-1 to Germany in the semi-finals – but there have been recent examples of home teams rising to the occasion with South Korea going all the way to the last four in 2002 and unheralded Russia reaching the last eight in 2018.

Who will be the top scorer contenders?

Next year could be the last chance for two of the greatest modern era players, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, to win a World Cup winners medal.

Ronaldo is the top international goalscorer of all-time but only seven of them have been at World Cups.

Messi has notched just six times at World Cups, four of them in 2014 when Argentina finished runners-up to Germany.

If the younger generation are to shine it could be Kylian Mbappe, who will only be 23 by the start of the finals, who makes the biggest impact.

Mbappe played a crucial role in France's success at Russia 2018, scoring four goals, and, injury-permitting, he will arrive in Qatar with much greater experience under his belt.