Football World Cup

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Football World Cup
FIFA logoTemplate: Infobox football competition / maintenance / logo format
Full name FIFA World Cup
abbreviation WM
Association FIFA
First edition 1930
Teams 32 (finals, since 1998)
Game mode Round-robin tournament  (8 groups of 4 teams each)
Knockout system (from the round of 16)
Title holder FranceFrance France (2nd title)
Record winner BrazilBrazil Brazil (5 tracks)
Record player GermanGerman Lothar Matthäus (25 games)
Record scorer GermanGerman Miroslav Klose (16 goals)
Französische Fußballnationalmannschaft Deutsche Fußballnationalmannschaft Spanische Fußballnationalmannschaft Italienische Fußballnationalmannschaft Brasilianische Fußballnationalmannschaft Französische Fußballnationalmannschaft Brasilianische Fußballnationalmannschaft Deutsche Fußballnationalmannschaft Argentinische Fußballnationalmannschaft Italienische Fußballnationalmannschaft Argentinische Fußballnationalmannschaft Deutsche Fußballnationalmannschaft Brasilianische Fußballnationalmannschaft Englische Fußballnationalmannschaft Brasilianische Fußballnationalmannschaft Brasilianische Fußballnationalmannschaft Deutsche Fußballnationalmannschaft Uruguayische Fußballnationalmannschaft Italienische Fußballnationalmannschaft Italienische Fußballnationalmannschaft Uruguayische Fußballnationalmannschaft

The men's soccer world championship is a competition for national teams . Every four years they can qualify for the finals of the World Cup. In a final four-week tournament, the best national team as world champions will be determined. The world football association FIFA organizes and markets the tournament under the official label FIFA World Cup or FIFA World Cup. The respective host country organizes the tournament. Measured by the number of TV viewers worldwide, this final tournament is the largest sporting event in the world and, along with the Olympic Games, is considered the most important sporting event in the world.

The 2018 tournament was held in Russia from June 14th to July 15th, 2018 and ended with the victory of the French national team .


The time of organized football began in 1863 with the founding of the English Football Association in London , which, for the first time in history , set itself apart from rugby football in its rules for association football and, for example, forbade the controversial handball, which led to withdrawals led to the new association and the withdrawal of the treasurer. On January 9, 1864, the world's first football game based on the rules of the FA took place with selected players. At that time the British Empire was the most influential power in the world, it had bases around the world and British ships could be found in every port. This historical peculiarity was the basis for the worldwide spread of the English football rules within a generation. The first games outside of the British Isles were organized by British sailors in seaports, among other places.

During the late 19th century, many national associations were founded in Europe and America, which made it possible to organize international meetings for the first time. The first game between representatives of national associations took place on November 30, 1872 on Hamilton Crescent , in what is now the Partick district of Glasgow , between Scotland and England , the match ended goalless.

On May 1, 1904, the first international match between the national teams of Belgium and France took place in Uccle / Ukkel in Belgium (3: 3). It was suggested to found an international football organization. On 21 May 1904, then by Robert Guerin , secretary of the football department Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques , and Carl Anton Wilhelm Hirschmann , secretary of the Nederlandse Voetbal Bond , in Paris the FIFA founded and thus a purely national thinking of the associations prevented. Nevertheless, it would take many decades before FIFA was able to assert itself against the supremacy of the English FA and before the American associations were able to exert a significant influence on the policies of FIFA, which were shaped by the European associations.

The second FIFA Congress took place in July 1905, and Vice-President Carl Anton Wilhelm Hirschmann proposed a world tournament. He had already created a game plan for this purely European event, and the country was to be Switzerland. The congress participants were enthusiastic, but many words were not followed by actions due to the lack of interest.

Up until the first soccer World Cup in Uruguay in 1930 , the Olympic tournaments had the status of a world championship. From the point of view of the Olympic officials, football was unsuitable for the Games, as it was not a competitive sport, but only a game, and they viewed this sport as a show performance. In 1896 football was not part of the Olympic program, and four years later in Paris only three club teams from France, Belgium and Great Britain were present for a demonstration competition. In 1904 in St. Louis , three North American teams competed against each other.

A stroke of luck for the future of international football was the award of the Games to London in 1908 . In the home country of football, one could expect professional organization from the FA. In addition, FIFA has now been led by the British Daniel Burley Woolfall . In addition to Great Britain, the associations from Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands put on a team. France even sent two teams to the British capital. The winners were the English who defeated Denmark, the strongest team in continental Europe at the time , in the final. In 1912 , 11 teams took part in the Olympic football tournament. The final encounter was repeated, with a 4-2 the English were able to win the gold medal again.

In 1920 Antwerp was the center of the football world and 14 teams battled it out to win the Olympic Games. Belgium and Czechoslovakia faced each other in the final. During the game, the Czechoslovaks felt disadvantaged by the referee and left the field, Belgium was declared the winner. The 1924 Olympic Games became the first world football tournament. In addition to the Europeans, Egypt sent a team. There was also an American selection, which, however, largely consisted of European immigrants, as well as the team from Uruguay .

The unexpectedly superior performance of South American football four years earlier meant that many teams from South America were invited to guest appearances in Europe before the 1928 Olympic tournament . The Olympians had to be amateurs , which led to the cancellation of some important countries. It was becoming increasingly clear to FIFA that the IOC's amateur rule was a problem. That is why it decided on May 28, 1929 to organize an independent World Cup after FIFA President Jules Rimet and the Uruguayan patron Enrique Buero had been working towards it since 1924. In addition to Uruguay, some European countries also wanted to make this event possible. Their group quickly became smaller, and in the end only Italy, Hungary and Uruguay were left. The Argentine delegate Adrian Beccar Varela gave a speech for his neighboring country, which convinced the two European competitors. Thus, Montevideo was determined to host the first soccer world championship .

Set of rules

Official name

The official German spelling of the World Cup is FIFA World Cup . The spelling of the football component corresponds to the official German spelling rules (Section 25 E2, the world football association FIFA has its headquarters in Zurich , Switzerland ), but not the space after FIFA (see Section 44, Paragraph 1).

Award procedure for the venue

Organizer of the World Cup
dark green: 2 ×, light green: 1 ×, weakly highlighted: future, dark gray: event canceled

The FIFA Executive Committee decides on the location of the World Cup. In the event of a tie, the FIFA President's vote counts twice. Since 1958, all soccer world championships have been held alternately in Europe and another continent.

In 2000, FIFA decided on a so-called rotation process , according to which World Cups will be held alternately between the six continental associations from 2010 onwards. This procedure was abolished in 2007 by the Executive Committee. Only the continental associations in which the last two World Championships took place are excluded. For the 2018 World Cup , this meant that countries were excluded from the African Football Association and the South American Football Association as hosts. On December 19, 2008, the FIFA Executive Committee decided at its meeting in Tokyo to award the 2018 World Cup and the 2022 World Cup at the same time. With the FIFA Statutes in force since 2016, the only restriction is not to award a World Cup to members of the same confederation twice in a row.


In order to be able to participate in the final round of the World Cup, the teams usually have to prevail in the qualifying round. Only the host country is automatically entitled to start in the final round. In the finals from 1938 up to and including 2002, both the host country and the reigning world champion were automatically qualified.

The qualification will take place within the individual continental associations . Each continental federation is entitled to a fixed number of final round participants, although there are also “half” starting places that have to prevail in an intercontinental relegation.

The mode in the qualifying tournaments differs from continent to continent. In the South American zone, all ten national teams play in one group. The four best teams in the group are qualified for the finals, while the fifth-placed national team plays for another starting place in relegation games against a North American representative. In the other continental associations, the participants are also determined in group games or in the knockout system .


The qualified teams play with the previously determined host country in a four-week competition for the title of world champion, which is awarded every four years. The mode of the finals has changed several times throughout history. Previous modes are described below. The currently valid mode has been in use since 1998.

In the first tournament phase (group phase), the teams are randomly divided into several groups of four teams each, with some teams being selected according to certain criteria (hosts, world champions, FIFA rankings) and the other teams being drawn from predominantly regionally oriented pots. This is to prevent the tournament favorites from clashing in the group stage or a group consisting only of national teams from one continent .

Each team has to play three games against their group opponents in the group stage. As is the global standard in football, a win earns three points (since 1994, previously two), a draw one point and a defeat no point. The last two teams in each group are eliminated after the three games in the group stage. If two or more teams are tied, the ranking in the group will be determined as follows in accordance with Art. 42 (5) of the FIFA Rules for the 2014 World Cup: The first criterion is the goal difference from all group matches. If this is the same, the higher number of goals scored in all group matches counts. If two or more teams agree on all of these criteria, the direct comparison of these teams (again in the order of points, goal difference and number of goals scored from the games between these teams) and ultimately the lot will decide .

In the coming rounds the knockout system applies , i.e. H. only the winner goes to the next round. If there is a tie at the end of the regular 90-minute playing time, the game goes into overtime . In the meantime, the golden goal rule applied to the decision in extra time . Since the 2006 World Cup, extra time has taken place again in the classic form: After a break of five minutes, the game is played twice for 15 minutes without another break (only with a change of sides). The team that scores more goals in extra time wins. If there is still no winner after extra time, a penalty shoot-out decides .

After half of the teams were eliminated in the group stage, there are 16 teams left to fight for progress in the round of 16 games. Each group leader plays against the group runner-up from another group. The winners of the round of 16 play one of four games known as the quarter-finals. The four winners of these games are allowed to move into one of two semi-finals.

The two losers of the semi-finals contest the game for third place in the World Cup, which takes place on the evening before the final and is also referred to as the "small final". The final of the soccer world championship is one of the most prestigious and popular sporting events a soccer player can experience. The winning team of the final game receives the trophy and can call themselves world champions for four years.

The mode of competition is changing

An overview of the delivery modes
year Host Tournament form
(1.) Group stage Final round
1930 UruguayUruguay Uruguay 1 group of 4
3 groups of 3
1934 Italy 1861Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946) Italy Round of 16
- finals semi - finals
3rd place / final
1938 Third French RepublicThird French Republic France
1950 Brazil 1889Brazil Brazil 2 groups of 4
1 group of 3
1 group of 2
1 group of 4
1954 SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland 4 groups of 4 Quarter
- finals, semi - finals,
3rd place / final
1958 SwedenSweden Sweden
1962 ChileChile Chile
1966 EnglandEngland England
1970 MexicoMexico Mexico
1974 Germany Federal RepublicFederal Republic of Germany Germany 2 groups of 4,
3rd place / final
1978 ArgentinaArgentina Argentina
1982 SpainSpain Spain 6 groups of 4 4 groups of 3
3rd place / final
1986 MexicoMexico Mexico Round of 16
- finals semi - finals
3rd place / final
1990 ItalyItaly Italy
1994 United StatesUnited States United States
1998 FranceFrance France 8 groups of 4
2002 Korea SouthSouth Korea South Korea Japan
2006 GermanyGermany Germany
2010 South AfricaSouth Africa South Africa
2014 BrazilBrazil Brazil
2018 RussiaRussia Russia
2022 QatarQatar Qatar
2026 CanadaCanada Canada Mexico United States
United StatesUnited States 
16 groups of 3 Round of
last sixteen
3rd place / Final

The hosting mode of the soccer world championships has been changed several times. The first tournament in 1930 should actually be carried out entirely in the knockout system. However, since only 13 teams had come, it was decided to carry out a group phase with three groups of three and one group of four teams before the start. This should also guarantee that the four European teams who had traveled a long time by ship would not have to start their return journey immediately. The composition of the groups was drawn after the arrival of all participants shortly before the tournament. The winners of the four groups played against each other in the semi-finals, the two winners contested the final. For the only time in World Cup history, the game for third place has not yet been played.

In 1934 and 1938 the tournament, beginning with a round of 16, was carried out entirely in the knockout system, with all games in one round taking place at the same time. If there was a tie after extra time, there was a replay one day (1934) or two to five days (1938) later. After that, the lot might have decided. In 1934, the host Italy first had to qualify in terms of sport, the defending champion waived in protest against a tournament in Europe; In 1938, when Austria was annexed, one team was lost and instead became part of the German team.

After the Second World War, they returned to group mode in the preliminary round in 1950. Since three qualified teams did not participate, there were two groups with four, one group with three and one with only two teams, i.e. a single game. This was criticized in the next round, as the Uruguayan team had only played one game with it, while the Brazilian team had three games. The four group winners then played the world champion in a further group round, so there was no official final. However, it turned out that the two best-ranked teams met in the third game. At the time, the tournament host still determined the mode, which is still unique today.

In 1954 the preliminary round was carried out in a very unusual group mode with four groups: two teams were set up per group that did not even have to play against each other. If games ended in a draw in the group stage, they were extended by 15 minutes twice before the final result counted. If the second and third were equal, there was a playoff, and a drawing of lots between the first and second. The goal difference played no role. The attempt to spare favored teams through the betting mode in the preliminary round, however, only resulted in low point yields, which made a total of two playoffs and drawing lots necessary. Then there was a knockout round, in which the group winners, some of which were drawn, played against the second. For the first time, the teams wore fixed numbers .

In 1958, the preliminary round was also played in group mode, but without seeded teams, but if there was a tie there were still playoffs. The knockout round was again carried out in a crossover comparison (first against second in another group).

From 1962 to 1970, the goal difference (quotient) was used for the first time to determine the group winners and runners-up in the event of a tie ; since 1974 it has been the goal difference, as is still common today. In 1970 the yellow and red cards and the option of two substitutions were introduced.

In 1974 and 1978, the preliminary round with 16 teams was followed by an intermediate round, in which two group winners and two group runners-up in two groups each played off each of the finalists. The two second rounds played off third place. So there were no semi-finals.

In 1982 a tournament with 24 teams was held for the first time. After the preliminary round in the now usual group mode, there was an intermediate round with four groups of three teams. The group winners played the two finalists against each other in the semi-finals. At this tournament, a penalty shoot- out was carried out for the first time if a game was still drawn after extra time.

From 1986 to 1994, in addition to the six group winners and runners-up, the four best thirds in the group qualified for the first sixteen since 1938.

The tournament has been held with 32 teams since 1998. The eight group winners and runners-up qualify for the round of 16, whereby two teams from the same group can only meet again in the final or in the game for third place. In 2002, however, the aim was to prevent the two organizers (Japan and South Korea) from clashing too early, so that two teams from the same group (Brazil and Turkey) played against each other again in the semi-finals. There was also the golden goal in 1998 and 2002 , which meant that overtime with the first goal scored was automatically decided before the end of the game.

Since 2006, the reigning world champion is no longer automatically qualified, only the host.

On January 10, 2017, FIFA decided that from 2026 48 teams will take part in a total of 16 groups of three teams each, with the top two in the group qualifying for the knockout phase. The number of preliminary round games remains the same (48 games), but in the knockout system there is the round of the sixteenth finals with 16 additional games, so that the total number of games increases from 64 to 80.


At the first soccer world championship in 1930 it was announced that the association whose selection wins the world cup three times may keep it. When the Brazilian national team won the third World Cup in 1970, the trophy, which was named after the FIFA President Coupe Jules Rimet in 1946 , became the property of the Brazilian Football Association. The original was stolen in 1983 and presumably melted down.

The FIFA World Cup trophy designed by the Italian Silvio Gazzaniga was selected from 53 designs and has been awarded to the tournament winner since 1974. The challenge cup is 36.8 cm high, weighs 6175 g and is made of 18- carat gold and two rings made of malachite . Initially, the reigning soccer world champion was allowed to keep the trophy until the next World Cup. At FIFA's request, the original trophy must now be returned to FIFA upon departure from the host country of the final tournament at the latest. The world champion receives a gold-plated replica. The replica also remains the property of FIFA and must be returned upon request. Since 2006, the trophy has been sent on a world tour of several months before each final round as part of the “ FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour ” and then presented in the host country.

The teams in first, second and third place receive medals made of gold, silver or bronze.

First participations

A total of 211 national football associations are registered in FIFA (as of May 13, 2016). Up to and including the 2018 World Cup, 79 of these associations were represented at a World Cup finals with their own selection. The following list gives an overview of the World Cup premieres of all previous participants including the designation of their state or sub-state valid at the time.

  • Teams in bold became world champions when they first participated.
  • Teams marked with an * were also hosts when they participated for the first time.
  • Teams written in italics belonged to the legal successors of dissolved states or associations and had adopted the full results and titles of their predecessors in the official FIFA statistics (see also footnotes).
year First time participant
1930 ArgentinaArgentina Argentina BelgiumBelgium Belgium BoliviaBolivia Bolivia Brazil 1889Brazil Brazil
ChileChile Chile Third French RepublicThird French Republic France Yugoslavia Kingdom 1918Kingdom of Yugoslavia Yugoslavia Mexico 1918Mexico Mexico
Paraguay 1842Paraguay Paraguay Peru 1825Peru Peru Romania kingdomRomania Romania UruguayUruguay Uruguay *
United States 48United States United States
1934 Egypt 1922Egypt Egypt Nazi stateNazi state Germany Italy 1861Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946) Italy * NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands
AustriaAustria Austria SwedenSweden Sweden SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland Spain Second RepublicSecond Spanish Republic Spain
Czechoslovakia 1920Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakia Hungary 1918Hungary Hungary
1938 CubaCuba Cuba NetherlandsNetherlands Dutch East Indies NorwayNorway Norway Poland 1928Second Polish Republic Poland
1950 EnglandEngland England
1954 ScotlandScotland Scotland Korea Sud 1949South Korea South Korea TurkeyTurkey Turkey
1958 Northern IrelandNorthern Ireland Northern Ireland Soviet Union 1955Soviet Union Soviet Union Wales 1953Wales Wales
1962 Bulgaria 1948Bulgaria Bulgaria ColombiaColombia Colombia
1966 Korea NorthNorth Korea North Korea PortugalPortugal Portugal
1970 El SalvadorEl Salvador El Salvador IsraelIsrael Israel MoroccoMorocco Morocco
1974 AustraliaAustralia Australia Germany Democratic Republic 1949GDR GDR Haiti 1964Haiti Haiti ZaireZaire Zaire
1978 Iran 1964Iran Iran TunisiaTunisia Tunisia
1982 AlgeriaAlgeria Algeria HondurasHonduras Honduras CameroonCameroon Cameroon KuwaitKuwait Kuwait
New ZealandNew Zealand New Zealand
1986 DenmarkDenmark Denmark Iraq 1963Iraq Iraq CanadaCanada Canada
1990 Costa RicaCosta Rica Costa Rica IrelandIreland Ireland United Arab EmiratesUnited Arab Emirates UA Emirates
1994 GreeceGreece Greece NigeriaNigeria Nigeria RussiaRussia Russia Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia Saudi Arabia
1998 JamaicaJamaica Jamaica Japan 1870Japan Japan CroatiaCroatia Croatia South AfricaSouth Africa South Africa
Yugoslavia Federal Republic 1992Yugoslavia BR Yugoslavia
2002 China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China China EcuadorEcuador Ecuador SenegalSenegal Senegal SloveniaSlovenia Slovenia
2006 AngolaAngola Angola Ivory CoastIvory Coast Ivory Coast GhanaGhana Ghana TogoTogo Togo
Trinidad and TobagoTrinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago UkraineUkraine Ukraine Czech RepublicCzech Republic Czech Republic Serbia and MontenegroSerbia and Montenegro Serbia and Montenegro
2010 SlovakiaSlovakia Slovakia SerbiaSerbia Serbia    
2014 Bosnia and HerzegovinaBosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina      
2018 IcelandIceland Iceland PanamaPanama Panama    
2022 QatarQatar Qatar *      
  1. a b c d Serbia is rated by FIFA as the successor to the following “three countries”: 1.) Yugoslavia (debut 1930), 2.) Federal Republic of Yugoslavia or the rest of Yugoslavia (“debut” 1998 under the name of Yugoslavia ) and 3 .) Serbia and Montenegro (name of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from February 2003 until the split from Montenegro, "debut" 2006 under the name Serbia and Montenegro ). The results of all these teams will be allocated to Serbia in FIFA statistics. The year 1930 is considered to be Serbia's debut. See the country statistics for Serbia at FIFA . Serbia first appeared under its own name at a World Cup in 2010.
  2. a b The German Football Association (DFB) is a founding member of FIFA and has represented Germany in international football from 1904 to the Second World War and since 1990. The first World Cup participation took place in 1934. After the war, a DFB was founded again in western Germany and accepted into FIFA under the full state name "Federal Republic of Germany", just in time for the 1954 World Cup, at which the FRG reached first place. The DFV was founded in eastern Germany and accepted by FIFA as a representative of its own state (only participation in a World Cup final was 1974). After German reunification, the national football associations were also reunited and, from 1994 onwards, ran again under the name “Germany” in FIFA. In 1990, however, the “Federal Republic of Germany” became world champions. See the country statistics for Germany at FIFA .
  3. a b c Both the Czech Republic (“Debut” under this name in 2006) and Slovakia (“Debut” under this name in 2010) were initially both considered by FIFA to be the successors of Czechoslovakia (debut in 1934). As a result, Czechoslovakia results were allocated to both the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Therefore, the year 1934 was considered a World Cup debut for both countries. See the country statistics for the Czech Republic at FIFA. FIFA now sees 2010 as the year Slovakia will participate for the first time. Nevertheless, the statistics of Slovak players who played for Czechoslovakia are assigned to the Slovak team. See the FIFA statistics for Slovakia .
  4. Today Indonesia .IndonesiaIndonesia 
  5. a b Russia is regarded by FIFA as the successor to the USSR. The results of the Soviet team are assigned to Russia in the FIFA statistics. As a debut of Russia thus the year 1958. applies under his own name entered Russia , starting in 1994 at a World Cup on. See the country statistics for Russia from FIFA .
  6. Today the Democratic Republic of the Congo .Congo Democratic RepublicDemocratic Republic of Congo 
  7. As part of the USSR, Ukraine took part in the tournaments from 1958 to 1990. Ukrainian players were important players in the Soviet national team at this time. B. Oleh Blochin , who took part in the World Cup with the USSR in 1982 and 1986. In 1994, with Sergei Juran , Yuri Nikiforow , Wladislaw Ternawski and Ilja Zymbalar , players who were still born in Ukraine played for Russia at the World Cup. The results of the USSR are only attributed to Russia and the Ukraine's first World Cup participation is 2006.

Tournaments at a glance

year host final Game for third place
winner Result 2nd place 3rd place Result 4th Place
1930 Uruguay UruguayUruguay
4: 2 ArgentinaArgentina
United States 48United States
United States
not carried out 1 Yugoslavia Kingdom 1918Kingdom of Yugoslavia
1934 Italy Italy 1861Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946)
2: 1 a.d. Czechoslovakia 1920Czechoslovakia
Nazi stateNazi state
3: 2 AustriaAustria
1938 France Italy 1861Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946)
4: 2 Hungary 1918Hungary
Brazil 1889Brazil
4: 2 SwedenSweden
1950 2 Brazil UruguayUruguay
3Final round 3 Brazil 1889Brazil
Final round 3 Spain 1945Spain
1954 Switzerland Germany Federal RepublicFederal Republic of Germany
BR Germany
3: 2 Hungary 1949Hungary
3: 1 UruguayUruguay
1958 Sweden Brazil 1889Brazil
5: 2 SwedenSweden
France 1946Fourth French Republic
6: 3 Germany Federal RepublicFederal Republic of Germany
BR Germany
1962 Chile Brazil 1960Brazil
3: 1 CzechoslovakiaCzechoslovakia
1-0 Yugoslavia Socialist Federal RepublicYugoslavia
1966 England EnglandEngland
4: 2 a.d. Germany Federal RepublicFederal Republic of Germany
BR Germany
2: 1 Soviet Union 1955Soviet Union
1970 Mexico Brazil 1968Brazil
4: 1 ItalyItaly
Germany Federal RepublicFederal Republic of Germany
BR Germany
1-0 UruguayUruguay
1974 BR Germany Germany Federal RepublicFederal Republic of Germany
BR Germany
2: 1 NetherlandsNetherlands
Poland 1944Poland
1-0 Brazil 1968Brazil
1978 Argentina ArgentinaArgentina
3: 1 a.d. NetherlandsNetherlands
Brazil 1968Brazil
2: 1 ItalyItaly
1982 Spain ItalyItaly
3: 1 Germany Federal RepublicFederal Republic of Germany
BR Germany
Poland 1944Poland
3: 2 FranceFrance
1986 4th Mexico 4 ArgentinaArgentina
3: 2 Germany Federal RepublicFederal Republic of Germany
BR Germany
4: 2 a.d. BelgiumBelgium
1990 Italy Germany Federal RepublicFederal Republic of Germany
BR Germany
1-0 ArgentinaArgentina
2: 1 EnglandEngland
1994 United States BrazilBrazil
0: 0 n.v.
3: 2 i. E.
4-0 BulgariaBulgaria
1998 France FranceFrance
3-0 BrazilBrazil
2: 1 NetherlandsNetherlands
2002 South Korea / Japan BrazilBrazil
2-0 GermanyGermany
3: 2 Korea SouthSouth Korea
South Korea
2006 Germany ItalyItaly
1: 1 n.v.
5: 3 i. E.
3: 1 PortugalPortugal
2010 South Africa SpainSpain
1: 0 a.d. NetherlandsNetherlands
3: 2 UruguayUruguay
2014 Brazil GermanyGermany
1: 0 a.d. ArgentinaArgentina
3-0 BrazilBrazil
2018 Russia FranceFrance
4: 2 CroatiaCroatia
2-0 EnglandEngland
2022 Qatar
2026 Canada / Mexico / USA
2030 not yet taken
2034 not yet taken
1In 1930 the game for 3rd place between the losers in the semi-finals USA and Yugoslavia was not played. However, FIFA leads the USA in third place as the team fared better over the tournament.
2At its congress in 1939, FIFA was unable to come to an agreement between Brazil and Germany to host the 1942 World Cup and postponed the decision. A short time later the Second World War broke out and ruined all plans. Because of the ongoing war, FIFA postponed the next World Cup indefinitely.
3Uruguay ( 2-1 against hosts Brazil ) and Sweden (3-1 against Spain) won the decisive games on the final day of the finals .
4thColombia was originally intended to host the 1986 World Cup. For financial reasons, Colombia finally canceled the tournament on November 5, 1982. On May 20, 1983, Mexico was named substitute host of the 1986 World Cup by FIFA.


by country
rank country title Year (s) 2nd place 3rd place 4th Place final Semifinals
1 BrazilBrazil Brazil 5 1958 , 1962 , 1970 , 1994 , 2002 2 2 2 6 (7 5 ) 8 (11 6 7 8 )
2 GermanyGermany Germany 4th 1954 , 1974 , 1990 , 2014 4th 4th 1 8th 12 (13 7 )
3 ItalyItaly Italy 4th 1934 , 1938 , 1982 , 2006 2 1 1 6th 7 (8 8 )
4th ArgentinaArgentina Argentina 2 1978 , 1986 3 5 4 (5 8 )
5 FranceFrance France 2 1998 , 2018 1 2 1 3 6th
6th UruguayUruguay Uruguay 2 1930 , 1950 3 1 (2 5 ) 4 (5 6 )
7th EnglandEngland England 1 1966 2 1 3
8th SpainSpain Spain 1 2010 1 1 1 (2 6 )
9 NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands 3 1 1 3 3 (5 7 8 )
10 Czech RepublicCzech Republic Czech Republic
2 2 2
HungaryHungary Hungary 2 2 2
12 SwedenSweden Sweden 1 2 1 1 3 (4 6 )
13 CroatiaCroatia Croatia 1 1 1 2
14th PolandPoland Poland 2 1 (2 7 )
15th BelgiumBelgium Belgium 1 1 2
AustriaAustria Austria 1 1 2
PortugalPortugal Portugal 1 1 2
18th ChileChile Chile 1 1
TurkeyTurkey Turkey 1 1
United StatesUnited States United States 9 1 9 1
21st SerbiaSerbia Serbia
9 2 9 2
22nd BulgariaBulgaria Bulgaria 1 1
RussiaRussia Russia
1 1
Korea SouthSouth Korea South Korea 1 1
Respective record
5There was no real final at the 1950 World Cup, but the final game between Brazil and Uruguay decided on the world championship title and is often viewed as a final.
6th At the 1950 World Cup there was no actual semi-final, the round of the last four with Brazil, Sweden, Spain and Uruguay is often viewed as a semi-final.
7th At the 1974 World Cup, there was no actual semi-final, but the final intermediate round matches between Germany and Poland as well as Brazil and the Netherlands decided on the entry into the final and are often viewed as semi-finals.
8thAt the 1978 World Cup, there was no actual semi-final, but the final intermediate round game between Italy and the Netherlands decided on the entry into the final as did the second game of the other intermediate round group between Argentina and Brazil. They are often viewed as semi-finals.
9At the first World Cup in 1930, the game for third place was not played. However, FIFA lead the USA in third place as the team conceded one less goal than Yugoslavia in the course of the tournament.
10 According to FIFA, the Czech Republic is regarded as the successor to Czechoslovakia.
11 According to FIFA, Serbia is the successor of both the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia / Serbia and Montenegro and the socialist federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY).
12 According to FIFA, Russia is considered the successor to the Soviet Union.

For some years now, the number of world championship titles acquired to date has been represented by stars, which are usually placed above the football association's logos on the national team's jerseys. In 1971, Brazil was the first team to wear three stars, today there are five (see also champions star ).

after confederations
rank confederacy title 2. 3. 4th
1 UEFA Logo.png UEFA 12 16 17th 15th
2 Conmebol-Letra.png CONMEBOL 9 5 3 5
3 Concacaf-2018.png CONCACAF 1
4th Afc.svg AFC 1
5 CAF 2009 Logo.svg CAF
Oceania Football Confederation logo.svg OFC

Record player

Most of the World Cup finals

If the number of participants is the same, the order is based on the year in which the last participation took place. Players marked
with * became world champions (the respective year is also marked).
The years of tournaments without stakes are shown in italics .

rank player Participation
(with commitment)
1 Mexico 1934Mexico Antonio Carbajal 5 (5) 1950, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1966
Germany Federal RepublicFederal Republic of Germany Lothar Matthäus * 1982, 1986, 1990 *, 1994, 1998
MexicoMexico Rafael Marquez 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018
4th ItalyItaly Gianluigi Buffon * 5 (4) 1998 , 2002, 2006 *, 2010, 2014
5 Brazil 1960Brazil Djalma Santos * 4 (4) 1954, 1958 *, 1962 *, 1966
Brazil 1968Brazil Pelé * 1958 *, 1962 *, 1966, 1970 *
Germany Federal RepublicFederal Republic of Germany Karl-Heinz Schnellinger 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970
Germany Federal RepublicFederal Republic of Germany Uwe Seeler 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970
ItalyItaly Gianni Rivera 1962, 1966, 1970, 1974
UruguayUruguay Pedro Rocha 1962, 1966, 1970, 1974
PolandPoland Wladyslaw Żmuda 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986
ArgentinaArgentina Diego Maradona * 1982, 1986 *, 1990, 1994
ItalyItaly Giuseppe Bergomi * 1982 *, 1986, 1990, 1998
BelgiumBelgium Enzo Scifo 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998
BelgiumBelgium Franky Van Der Elst 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998
SpainSpain Andoni Zubizarreta 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998
ItalyItaly Paolo Maldini 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002
Brazil 1968Brazil Cafu * 1994 *, 1998, 2002 *, 2006
Brazil 1968Brazil Ronaldo * 1994 * , 1998, 2002 *, 2006
ItalyItaly Fabio Cannavaro * 1998, 2002, 2006 *, 2010
ParaguayParaguay Denis Caniza 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010
FranceFrance Thierry Henry * 1998 *, 2002, 2006, 2010
CameroonCameroon Rigobert Song 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010
United StatesUnited States DaMarcus Beasley 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014
SpainSpain Iker Casillas * 2002, 2006, 2010 *, 2014
CameroonCameroon Samuel Eto'o 1998, 2002, 2010, 2014
GermanyGermany Miroslav Klose * 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 *
SpainSpain Xavi * 2002, 2006, 2010 *, 2014
SwitzerlandSwitzerland Valon Behrami 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018
PortugalPortugal Cristiano Ronaldo 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018
MexicoMexico Andrés Guardado 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018
SpainSpain Andrés Iniesta * 2006, 2010 *, 2014, 2018
ArgentinaArgentina Javier Mascherano 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018
ArgentinaArgentina Lionel Messi 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018
SpainSpain Sergio Ramos * 2006, 2010 *, 2014, 2018
AustraliaAustralia Tim Cahill 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018

Most World Cup finals appearances

This table lists players with at least 18 World Cup finals appearances. It is irrelevant whether a player played less than a minute or the entire game. In the year marked in bold , the players and their teams became world champions.

If the number of games is the same, the order is alphabetical.

rank player Games Tournaments
1 GermanyGermany Lothar Matthäus 25th 1982, 1986, 1990 , 1994, 1998
2 GermanyGermany Miroslav Klose 24 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014
3 ItalyItaly Paolo Maldini 23 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002
4th ArgentinaArgentina Diego Maradona 21st 1982, 1986 , 1990, 1994
Germany Federal RepublicFederal Republic of Germany Uwe Seeler 21st 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970
PolandPoland Wladyslaw Żmuda 21st 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986
7th BrazilBrazil Cafu 20th 1994 , 1998, 2002 , 2006
GermanyGermany Philipp Lahm 20th 2006, 2010, 2014
PolandPoland Grzegorz Lato 20th 1974, 1978, 1982
ArgentinaArgentina Javier Mascherano 20th 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018
GermanyGermany Bastian Schweinsteiger 20th 2006, 2010, 2014

Most World Cup finals goals

Miroslav Klose, the player with the most World Cup goals (2012)

In the year marked in bold , the players and their teams became world champions.

rank player Gates Tournaments
1 GermanyGermany Miroslav Klose 16 2002 (5), 2006 (5), 2010 (4), 2014 (2)
2 BrazilBrazil Ronaldo 15th 1998 (4), 2002 (8), 2006 (3)
3 Germany Federal RepublicFederal Republic of Germany Gerd Müller 14th 1970 (10), 1974 (4)
4th France 1946Fourth French Republic Just Fontaine 13 1958 (13)
5 Brazil 1968Brazil Pelé 12 1958 * (6), 1962 (1), 1966 (1), 1970 (4)
6th Hungary 1949Hungary Sándor Kocsis 11 1954 (11)
Germany Federal RepublicFederal Republic of Germany Jürgen Klinsmann 1990 (3), 1994 (5), 1998 (3)
8th Germany Federal RepublicFederal Republic of Germany Helmut Rahn 10 1954 (4), 1958 (6)
PeruPeru Teófilo Cubillas 1970 (5), 1978 (5)
PolandPoland Grzegorz Lato 1974 (7), 1978 (2), 1982 (1)
EnglandEngland Gary Lineker 1986 (6), 1990 (4)
ArgentinaArgentina Gabriel Batistuta 1994 (4), 1998 (5), 2002 (1)
GermanyGermany Thomas Müller 2010 (5), 2014 (5), 2018 (0)


At the 2018 World Cup, Luka Modrić (left) received the Golden Ball as the best player of the tournament and Kylian Mbappé the trophy as "Best Young Player"

At the end of every soccer world championship, several awards are given to the best players and the fairest team. No official awards were given until the 1966 World Cup. There are currently five different awards:

  • FIFA Fairplay Award for the fairest team
  • adidas golden shoe for the most successful goalscorer
  • adidas Golden Ball for the best player
  • adidas Golden Glove ( Lev Yashin Prize until 2006 ) for the best goalkeeper
  • Hyundai “Best Young Player” for the best player under the age of 21
A nominated player must not be older than 21 years and must play his first World Cup. The assessment criteria of the FIFA Technical Study Group responsible for this are technical skills, but also fair play. The trophy is a 30 cm high and 4.2 kg cup made of a copper-zinc alloy.

The winner will also receive the FIFA Champions Badge . The badge may be worn for four years after winning the World Cup. The badge was introduced for men in September 2008 and for women in April 2009. The badge shows the trophy and is complemented by the words “FIFA World Champions”. A second badge shows the name of the winning country and the year of the victory.

year FIFA Fair Play Award Golden Shoe (Gates) Golden ball Golden Glove
(until 2006 Lev Yashin Prize )
Best young player
1970 PeruPeru Peru not forgiven not forgiven not forgiven not forgiven
1974 Germany Federal RepublicFederal Republic of Germany BR Germany
1978 ArgentinaArgentina Argentina ArgentinaArgentina Mario Kempes (6)
1982 Brazil 1968Brazil Brazil ItalyItaly Paolo Rossi (6) ItalyItaly Paolo Rossi
1986 Brazil 1968Brazil Brazil EnglandEngland Gary Lineker (6) ArgentinaArgentina Diego Maradona
1990 EnglandEngland England ItalyItaly Salvatore Schillaci (6) ItalyItaly Salvatore Schillaci
1994 BrazilBrazil Brazil RussiaRussia Oleg Salenko  / Christo Stoitschkow (6 each)
BrazilBrazil Romario BelgiumBelgium Michel Preud'homme
1998 EnglandEngland England / FranceFranceFrance  CroatiaCroatia Before Šuker (6) BrazilBrazil Ronaldo FranceFrance Fabien Barthez
2002 BelgiumBelgium Belgium BrazilBrazil Ronaldo (8) GermanyGermany Oliver Kahn GermanyGermany Oliver Kahn
2006 BrazilBrazil Brazil / SpainSpainSpain  GermanyGermany Miroslav Klose (5) FranceFrance Zinedine Zidane ItalyItaly Gianluigi Buffon GermanyGermany Lukas Podolski
2010 SpainSpain Spain GermanyGermany Thomas Muller (5) UruguayUruguay Diego Forlan SpainSpain Iker Casillas GermanyGermany Thomas Müller
2014 ColombiaColombia Colombia ColombiaColombia James Rodríguez (6) ArgentinaArgentina Lionel Messi GermanyGermany Manuel Neuer FranceFrance Paul Pogba
2018 SpainSpain Spain EnglandEngland Harry Kane (6) CroatiaCroatia Luka Modrić BelgiumBelgium Thibaut Courtois FranceFrance Kylian Mbappé
  1. 2006 Gillette sponsored award.
  2. Ranking was determined based on the number of assists / minutes of play. In addition to Müller, David Villa ( Spain ), Wesley Sneijder ( Netherlands ) and Diego Forlán ( Uruguay ) also scored five goals.

In addition, the following are elected via internet voting:

  • The most entertaining team
  • Man of the Match for the best player in each final game
year Most entertaining team Man of the Match (Final)
1994 BrazilBrazil Brazil not forgiven
1998 FranceFrance France
2002 Korea SouthSouth Korea South Korea
2006 PortugalPortugal Portugal ItalyItaly Andrea Pirlo
2010 - 1 SpainSpain Andrés Iniesta
2014 - GermanyGermany Mario Götze
2018 - FranceFrance Antoine Griezmann

1 For 2010, FIFA also started an internet vote in which Germany led Uruguay, but which was not officially ended and evaluated.

Best Young Player 1958-2002

FIFA subsequently determined the best young player for the World Cups from 1958 to 2002 using an internet vote.

competition Best Young Player
1958 Sweden Brazil 1889Brazil Pelé
1962 Chile Hungary 1957Hungary Flórián Albert
1966 England Germany Federal RepublicFederal Republic of Germany Franz Beckenbauer
1970 Mexico PeruPeru Teófilo Cubillas
1974 Germany Poland 1944Poland Wladyslaw Żmuda
1978 Argentina ItalyItaly Antonio Cabrini
1982 Spain FranceFrance Manuel Amoros
1986 Mexico BelgiumBelgium Enzo Scifo
1990 Italy Yugoslavia Socialist Federal RepublicYugoslavia Robert Prosinečki
1994 USA NetherlandsNetherlands Marc Overmars
1998 France EnglandEngland Michael Owen
2002 Japan and South Korea United StatesUnited States Landon Donovan


competition places Stages Messages 10 Teams Games Soccerball.svg Soccerball.svg O spectator Audience ø Yellow card.svg Yellow card.svg O Yellow-red card.svg Yellow-red card.svg O Red card.svg Red card.svg O
1930 01 03 013 13 18th 070 3.89 .0000000000590549.0000000000590,549 000000000032808.000000000032,808 01 0.05
1934 08th 08th 032 16 17th 070 4.12 .0000000000363000.0000000000363,000 000000000021353.000000000021,353 01 0.06
1938 10 10 036 15th 18th 084 4.67 .0000000000375700.0000000000375,700 000000000020872.000000000020,872 04th 0.22
1950 06th 06th 034 13 22nd 088 4.00 000000001045246.00000000001,045,246 000000000047511.000000000047,511 00 0.00
1954 06th 06th 038 16 26th 140 5.38 .0000000000768607.0000000000768,607 000000000029562.000000000029,562 03 0.11
1958 12 12 052 16 35 126 3.60 .0000000000819810.0000000000819.810 000000000023423.000000000023,423 03 0.09
1962 04th 04th 054 16 32 089 2.78 .0000000000893172.0000000000893.172 000000000027912.000000000027,912 06th 0.18
1966 07th 08th 071 16 32 089 2.78 000000001563135.00000000001,563,135 000000000048848.000000000048,848 05 0.16
1970 05 05 071 16 32 095 2.97 000000001603975.00000000001,603,975 000000000050124.000000000050,124 033 1.03 00 0.00
1974 09 09 099 16 38 097 2.55 000000001865753.00000000001,865,753 000000000049099.000000000049,099 087 2.29 05 0.13
1978 05 06th 106 16 38 102 2.68 000000001545791.00000000001,545,791 000000000040679.000000000040,679 058 1.53 03 0.08
1982 14th 17th 107 24 52 146 2.81 000000002109723.00000000002,109,723 000000000040572.000000000040,572 098 1.88 05 0.10
1986 09 12 121 24 52 132 2.54 000000002394031.00000000002,394,031 000000000046039.000000000046,039 133 2.55 08th 0.15
1990 12 12 112 24 52 115 2.21 000000002516215.00000000002,516,215 000000000048389.000000000048,389 163 3.75 16 0.31
1994 09 09 143 24 52 141 2.71 000000003587538.00000000003,587,538 000000000068991.000000000068.991 228 4.38 07th 0.13 08th 0.15
1998 10 10 166 32 64 171 2.67 000000002785100.00000000002,785,100 000000000043517.000000000043,517 250 3.91 04th 0.06 18th 0.28
2002 20th 20th 198 32 64 161 2.52 000000002705197.00000000002,705,197 000000000042269.000000000042,269 266 4.16 06th 0.09 11 0.17
2006 12 12 198 32 64 147 2.30 000000003359439.00000000003,359,439 000000000052491.000000000052,491 326 5.09 19th 0.30 09 0.14
2010 09 10 205 32 64 145 2.27 000000003178856.00000000003,178,856 000000000049670.000000000049,670 245 3.83 08th 0.13 09 0.14
2014 12 12 204 32 64 171 2.67 000000003429873.00000000003,429,873 000000000053592.000000000053,592 181 2.83 03 0.05 07th 0.11
2018 11 12 11211 11 32 64 169 2.64 000000003031768.00000000003,031,768 000000000047371.000000000047,371 219 3.42 02 0.03 02 0.03
2022 07th 12 32 64
2026 48 80
Highest value / lowest value in the respective category 
10The reports submitted on time are counted regardless of whether, before the start of the qualification, they may have been withdrawn, not started or an association has been excluded; including defending champions and hosts.
11 Gibraltar and Kosovo were accepted into FIFA after the registration deadline and still eligible for qualification.

Doping cases

The following footballers have been convicted of doping in the context of football World Cups :

So-called world champion curse

The term world champion curse is used in sports journalism in particular to describe the statistical conspicuousness that the reigning soccer world champions in the last two decades were always eliminated at an early stage in the subsequent soccer world championship. The statistics of the last five tournaments are used for this:

year Reigning world champion Time of departure
2002 France Preliminary round
2006 Brazil Quarter finals
2010 Italy Preliminary round
2014 Spain Preliminary round
2018 Germany Preliminary round

Before that, only Italy in 1950 and Brazil in 1966 had been eliminated as reigning world champions in the group stage. A year before the World Cup, however, Italy had lost a large part of the regular team due to the plane crash of Superga and had to compete for the World Cup with a team in which no player had played more than 12 international matches.

The cause of the phenomenon is unknown. A sport-scientific investigation does not exist. Statistical randomness is conceivable . However, it is also possible that with the ever increasing density of performance in top football, minor but systematic psychological factors are causing the phenomenon.

See also

Alternative concepts for the FIFA World Cup include: B .:


  • Winfried Bergmann, Karl-Heinz Huba, Karl-Heinz Mrazek: The History of the Soccer World Cup. Copress-Verlag, 1991, ISBN 3-7679-0311-3 .
  • Bernd M. Beyer, Dietrich Schulze-Marmeling: The golden book of the soccer world championship. Verlag Die Werkstatt, Göttingen 2014, ISBN 978-3-7307-0159-1 .
  • Wolfgang Fuhr: Football World Championships. AGON Sportverlag, Kassel, 2005, ISBN 3-89784-265-3 .
  • Hardy Greens : Football World Cup Encyclopedia. 1930-2006. AGON Sportverlag, Kassel 2002, ISBN 3-89784-205-X .
  • Waldemar Hartmann, Günter Netzer, Robert Kauer: People, goals & sensations. History and stories. WM 1930–2006. Wero Press, 2002, ISBN 3-9806973-7-1 .
  • Dietrich Schulze-Marmeling: The history of the soccer world championship. Verlag Die Werkstatt , Göttingen 2014, ISBN 978-3-7307-0136-2 .

Web links

Commons : Soccer World Cup  - Collection of Pictures, Videos and Audio Files
Wiktionary: Football World Cup  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

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  22. What was the best moment of the tournament for you? In: FIFA, July 11, 2010, accessed November 10, 2010 .
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