How many teams have retained the World Cup? This is a topic of great interest because the World Cup is the pinnacle of international football, competing the greatest teams from every continent and confederation against one another. Winning it is the pinnacle of most players’ careers, so it’s no surprise that the various teams prepare to compete at their best each time it comes around. The tournament’s complexity also implies that winning it once, much alone numerous times in a row, is incredibly tough.
Defending Champions at the World Cup
The FIFA World Cup, usually referred to as the FIFA World Cup, is a football competition held every four years for all national men’s football teams of FIFA member nations.
The first tournament was held in 1930. Due to the harshness of World War II, it has only been broken up twice up until this point, in 1942 and 1946. To win, a team must eliminate its rivals and win the honorable World Cup soccer cup that anyone can covet.
Currently, the world championship tournament allows the 32 best teams to participate in the final round. Qualifiers will be held during the three years preceding the official competition year.
This qualifying round will be held on a continent-by-continent basis. That is, countries on the same continent will play against each other. From there, select the best teams to participate in the final round. There are different types of qualifiers such as: Asian Regional Qualifiers, European Qualifiers, Africa, South America,…
To qualify for the final round, all teams must compete in the qualifying round. The only exception was the squad that year that hosted the tournament. Currently, around the world there are more than 200 countries participating in the qualifying round.
List of World Cup winners from 1930 to 2022
|Year||Winner||Runners-up||Host Country||Total Teams||Matches|
|2002||Brazil||Germany||South Korea, Japan||32||64|
How many teams have retained the World Cup?
Only two countries—Italy in 1934 and 1938 and Brazil in 1958 and 1962—won consecutive FIFA World Cups between 1930 and 2022.
West Germany was beaten by Argentina in the 1986 World Cup Final, but the Germans reversed the tables when the two teams faced off in the Italia ’90 final. After winning the World Cup in 1994 and finishing as runners-up in 1998, Brazil went on to win the World Cup once again in 2002.
Italy – 1934 and 1938
In the second and third stagings of the competition, in 1934 and 1938, Italy became the first country to win back-to-back World Cups.
The 1934 World Cup began with elimination contests and Vittorio Pozzo served as Italy’s captain in both competitions.
The formula was established by Pozzo’s hosts’ 7-1 thrashing of the USA, followed by close wins over Spain and Austria and a victory over Czechoslovakia in the final after extra time due to Angelo Schiavio’s game-winning goal.
Four years later, in France, the task of defending their title came under intense pressure, but a semifinal victory over the hosts served as a spark, and Gino Colaussi’s goals helped the Azzurri defeat Brazil and a strong Hungary team to claim the championship.
#OnThisDay in 1979, the world said goodbye to one of the greatest Italian footballers of all time.
Giuseppe Meazza won the #WorldCup twice, scoring ten goals in the process 🇮🇹🏆🏆
— FIFA Museum (@FIFAMuseum) August 21, 2018
Brazil – 1958 and 1962
During the Samba Boys’ powerful era in World Cup history, Brazil won the first of its five World Cups in 1958 and successfully retained it in 1962.
Brazil easily advanced to the knockout rounds of the 16-team competition in Sweden in 1958 despite playing England to a scoreless stalemate in their second group encounter.
From that point on, a 17-year-old Pele took over the World Cup, scoring the game-winning goal in their 1-0 triumph over Wales to set a new record for the youngest World Cup scorer.
— The Antique Football (@AntiqueFootball) June 19, 2016
The world stood up and took note of the extraordinary teenager when, in the quarterfinals, he broke yet another record by becoming the youngest World Cup hat trick scorer in a 5-2 victory over France.
Chile was the host nation for the 1962 World Cup. Given that Chile’s infrastructure had been harmed by an earthquake in 1960, some people argued that the country wasn’t prepared to hold such a competition.
Stadiums and the county’s facilities were rebuilt in record time, and the tournament was still held there. In the end, the tournament had no organizational issues.
Brazil defeated Czechoslovakia 3-1 in the championship despite Pelé’s illness.
Related: How many teams are left in the FA Cup? and teams remaining
Retaining the World Cup is a difficult feat that only a handful of teams have accomplished. Since the inception of the tournament, only two nations, Brazil and Italy have been able to defend their title successfully. These teams have shown great skill, determination, and consistency in their performances, which has allowed them to lift the trophy twice in a row. However, winning the World Cup is not just about retaining it; many other factors come into play, including team chemistry, individual talent, tactical acumen, and luck. As we look ahead to the next edition of the tournament, it will be interesting to see if any team can join the exclusive club of repeat champions or if a new contender will rise to the occasion and claim the coveted trophy.