Do you know what country has the most World Cup wins of all time?
The FIFA World Cup — which is being held in Brazil this year — pits the best footballing countries in the world against each other in an epic month that consists of 32 teams, 64 matches, 736 players and more than 96 hours of soccer.
Uruguay won the inaugural edition of the World Cup back in 1930, with Argentina and Uruguay grabbing second and third place, respectively. With the 20th edition of the tournament now in full swing, it’s time to look at the most successful countries of all time.
Here are the top 10 countries based on World Cup wins.
World Cup Wins #10: Serbia, Russia
Serbia and Russia are tied for the #10 spot on our list with 17 World Cup wins apiece.
The former did not qualify for this year’s edition of the tournament while the latter had to settle for a 1-1 draw in their first World Cup 2014 match against South Korea. The Serbian national team made the semifinals and finished in fourth place in the inaugural World Cup. The country repeated that feat in 1962.
Russia has also tasted some success, reaching the semifinals and capturing fourth place in 1960. The team is currently in a group with Belgium, South Korea and Algeria.
Russia’s next match is at noon EDT on Sunday, June 22 against Belgium.
Russia and Serbia both have yet to win the World Cup Trophy
World Cup Wins #9: Uruguay
Uruguay has only recorded 18 World Cup wins but the South American team has enjoyed plenty of success in past World Cups.
The team — nicknamed La Celeste — won the World Cup trophy in 1930 and 1950. Uruguay won the 1930 tournament in home soil against Argentine and the 1950 tournament against hosts and heavy favorites Brazil.
La Celeste has gotten off to a rocky start in 2014, losing 3-1 to Costa Rica on Saturday. Uruguay will be looking to get back on track when the team faces England at 3 p.m. EST on Thursday, June 19.
World Cup Wins #8: Netherlands
The phrase “always the bridesmaid, never the bride” sums up the Dutch team’s World Cup history. The Netherlands has enjoyed plenty of success in the World Cup, recording 23 World Cup wins and making the final three times in 1974, 1978 and 2010. The European country has provided us with some of the most beautiful football of all time thanks in large part to 1970s Ajax legend Johan Cruyff.
Expectations were low coming in to this year’s World Cup but the Flying Dutchmen have gotten off to an incredible start, upsetting reigning champions Spain 5-1 on the team’s first fixture. Robin Van Persie’s leaping header in that match has even given birth to new meme known as Perseing.
The team also was successful in its second 2014 game, coming from behind to beat Australia 3-2. The Netherlands plays its last group stage game against Chile on Monday, June 23 at 12:00 p.m.
The Netherlands have not won the World Cup Title
World Cup Wins #6 (tied): France
The French national team has recorded 26 World Cup wins in the nation’s storied history.
Les Bleus rose to the pinnacle of the footballing world in 1998 when they lifted the trophy at home, trouncing Brazil 3-0 thanks to two Zinedine Zidane goals. Zizou was on the wrong end of the spotlight in 2006 when he headbutted Marco Materazzi in the World Cup final against Italy. Italy went on to win that game on penalties.
The French have gotten off to a formidable start in this year’s World Cup, defeating Honduras 3-0 in their first match. Les Bleus will face Switzerland on Friday at 3 p.m.
World Cup Wins #6 (tied): England
England also has won 26 matches in the biggest stage of international football and one World Cup trophy in 1996.
The Three Lions won the 1966 edition of the tournament in home soil, defeating West Germany 4-2 in the final in very controversial fashion. The English may have created the first professional football association in the world, but they have a painful history of underperforming in the big stage.
England got off to a bad start in 2014 against an average Italy team, losing 2-1 in their first match. The Three Lions will face Uruguay on Thursday at 3 p.m.
World Cup Wins #5: Spain
The country — led by coach Vicente del Bosque — is the most successful team of recent times, winning its last three major international competitions (Euro 2008, 2010 World Cup, Euro 2012).
La Furia Roja was demolished 5-1 in its first 2014 match against the Netherlands — the same team Spain beat in the 2010 World Cup final. Five days later, Chile upset Spain 2-0 and eliminated the defending champions from the 2014 World Cup.
Spain will be looking to save some face in its last World Cup fixture against Australia at noon EDT on Monday, June 23.
World Cup Wins #4: Argentina
The Argentines have conquered the footballing world twice and won a total of 38 matches in the process.
The Albicelestes won their first World Cup trophy at home in 1978 against the mighty Netherlands, who was without Johan Cruyff due to very scary circumstances. Argentina repeated the feat in 1986 when Diego Maradona ran the show in Mexico.
The South American team got off to a good start this year, defeating Bosnia-Herzegovina 2-1 in its first match. Argentina faces Iran at noon EDT on Saturday, June 21.
World Cup Wins #3: Italy
Italy has enjoyed plenty of success in the big stage, racking up 45 World Cup wins and lifting the trophy four times.
The Azzurri won the World Cup in 1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006. Italy might not have won the World Cup in 1970, but the Italians were on the winning side of the “Game of the Century.” The 4-3 victory against West Germany in extra time was a hard-fought, seesaw affair that ultimately saw the Azzurri come out on top in one of the country’s most famous World Cup wins.
Italy beat England 2-1 in the team’s first 2014 match. The European team will look to continue its good run of form at noon EDT on Friday, June 20 against Costa Rica.
World Cup Wins #2: Germany
Germany has amassed an impressive 61 victories and won three World Cup trophies.
Die Nationalmannschaft lifted the trophy in 1954, 1974 and 1990. The 1974 West Germany team is widely considered to be one of the greatest sides of all time thanks to goalscoring prowess of Gerd Muller and the defensive heroics of Franz Beckenbauer.
However, the Germans’ most famous victory has to be the 1954 World Cup final which saw West Germany erase a 2-0 deficit and defeat heavy favorites Hungary in a thrilling 3-2 victory. The match — dubbed the “Miracle of Bern” — is even more impressive when you consider that Hungary demolished the Germans 8-3 in the group stage of the tournament.
Germany won its first World Cup game in 2014 against Portugal 4-0. Die Nationalmannschaft faces Ghana at 3 p.m. EDT on Saturday, June 21.
World Cup Wins #1: Brazil
Brazil has football’s most passionate fans and most World Cup wins ever with 68.
La Seleção has won the World Cup a record five times, making it the most successful international side of all time. The Brazilians first rose to prominence in 1958 when a 17-year-old Pele helped carry his nation to the top of world football, scoring a hat-trick against France in the semi-final.
Brazil also lifted the trophy in 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002. The 1970 Brazil team is widely considered to be the greatest team of all time which included talents such as Carlos Alberto, Jairzinho, Tostao, Rivelino, Clodoaldo and Pele.
As the hosts of the 2014 World Cup, the pressure is on the Brazilians who look to exorcise the demons of 1950 and finally win the cup at home.
Brazil won its first match against Croatia by a 3-1 scoreline and tied Mexico 0-0 in the team’s second match. La Seleção will be looking to win its last group-stage game against Cameroon at 4 p.m. EDT on Monday, June 23.
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