World Cup Winners and Records

Out of the nineteen World Cup tournaments that have taken place since 1930, only eight nations have earned the champion title. Brazil has won the most, as the only team that has appeared in every one of the nineteen World Cup championships that have ever taken place, with five wins total; Italy has had four wins; Germany has had three wins; Argentina has had two wins; Uruguay (the tournament's first champions in its history, in 1930) has had two wins; and England, France, and Spain have each had one World Cup win.

Six of these champion nations (Italy, Germany, Argentina, Uruguay, England, and France) acquired one of their championship titles in a year when their respective nations were hosting the WC. For England and France, titles won during their host years have been their only titles won in the history of their participation in the WC. Brazil and Spain have proved the only exceptions thus far. When Brazil hosted the WC in 1950, its team only finished as runners-up; and when Spain hosted in 1982, its team only made it to the second round of the championship. However, given its proper context, Spain's advancement was still fairly notable - before, 1982, the only four teams from countries outside of Europe or South America to have even made it beyond the first round of the WCwere the United States in 1930, Cuba in 1938, Korea in 1966, and Mexico in 1970.

To follow are several notable record achievements from the WC. Germany holds the record for the nation having participated in the most WC matches, with 99 total. The country scoring the most goals over the history of the World Cup is Brazil, with 210 over the nineteen total WC championships it has played in. The record for the most individual appearances in World Cup championships over the years is tied between Antonio Carbajal from Mexico and Lothar Matthaus from Germany, both of whom played in a total of five tournaments. If there was a sports award for having played in the most World Cup matches, it would go exclusively to Matthaus, however, who has competed in a total of twenty-five.

The record for the most individual WC medal wins belongs to Edison Arantes do Nascimento, otherwise known as Pele, from Brazil, who has won three - one in 1958, 1962, and 1970 - while there are twenty soccer players around the world who have won two WC medals. The player to score the most goals in World Cup tournaments has been Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima, from Brazil, who has scored 15 goals throughout his time in the championships from 1998-2006. Following closely behind his record are Miroslav Klose from Germany and Gerd Muller from West Germany with 14 goals each.

The record for the most goals scored by a single player in one World Cup tournament belongs to the player with the fourth greatest number of goals scored overall in a World Cup by a single player - Just Fontaine from France, scored thirteen goals in the 1958 World Cup championship alone.


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