FIFA World Cup


Year Host nation(s) Winner Runner-up
1930 Uruguay Uruguay Argentina
1934 Italy Italy Czechoslovakia
1938 France Italy Hungary
1950 Brazil Uruguay Brazil
1954 Switzerland Germany Hungary
1958 Sweden Brazil Sweden
1962 Chile Brazil Czechoslovakia
1966 England England Germany
1970 Mexico Brazil Italy
1974 Germany Germany Netherlands
1978 Argentina Argentina Netherlands
1982 Spain Italy Germany
1986 Mexico Argentina Germany
1990 Italy Germany Argentina
1994 United States Brazil Italy
1998 France France Brazil
2002 Korea Republic and Japan Brazil Germany
2006 Germany Italy France
2010 South Africa Spain Netherlands
2014 Brazil Germany Argentina
2018 Russia France Croatia
2022 Qatar Argentina France


The World Cup was conceived by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association's (FIFA's) founders, but the driving force was undoubtedly Jules Rimet - the president of both FIFA and the French federation in the 1920s.

The British associations shunned FIFA's initial meeting in Paris in 1904. By the time of the first World Cup tournament in 1930, they had both joined and then withdrawn from the world governing body over the topic of broken time payments for amateurs.

Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Uruguay all applied to stage the inaugural tournament but the European countries withdrew after an impassioned plea from the South Americans who would be celebrating a hundred years of independence in 1930.
Uruguay would build a new stadium in Montevideo and pay all the travelling and accommodation expenses for all the competing nations.

However, due to the daunting three-week boat trip, the Europeans were reluctant to take part and two months before kick-off, no European entries had been received. Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru, Chile, Mexico, Bolivia and United States had all accepted.
The Latin American federations were so incensed that they threatened to withdraw from FIFA. Having come under increasing pressure, France, Belgium, Yugoslavia and Romania relented and agreed to participate.

The first FIFA World Cup Final was played on 30 July 1930 when 68,346 crammed in to the Estadio Centenario to see the hosts beat their South American rivals Argentina 4-2. So incensed at their loss, Argentinian fans in Buenos Aires stoned the Uruguayan embassy denting diplomatic relations between the two nations.

While football was still catching on around the world when the tournament began, of course, it has now grown out of all recognition.

The World Cup is consistently one of the biggest sport events in the years it is staged. For example, the 2014 tournament in Brazil is estimated to have been watched by over 3.2billion people on TV at some point during the tournament and FIFA has said that an astonishing one billion people tuned in to the Final to see Germany beat Argentina.