The World Cup is soon to begin in Qatar; with that, there is a lot to remember before the start of the competition.
This is a tournament rich in history, and this time we are going to look back on every single World Cup champion and see how they came to be. Let’s begin.
1930 winners: Uruguay
FIFA wanted to create their own official international football tournament and that is how the World Cup came about in 1930. And due to the fact that Uruguay was celebrating their 100th anniversary of independence, they decided to make the tournament in that country.
The final was between Argentina and Uruguay, and it took place in the now legendary Centenario stadium.
Argentina were leading 2-1 by half time, but thanks to a massive performance by the Uruguayans in the second half, they managed to win the final by a 4-2 score, and the entire competition as a whole.
Manager Alberto Supicci still holds the record of being the youngest manager that ever won the competition as he did it at just 31 years old.
1934 winners: Italy
Taking place on Italian soil, Uruguay actually boycotted the competition due to complains about Europeans not wanting to participate in the tournament four years prior and now they were handed the host position. So the reigning champions were not a part of the competition.
The final eventually took place between Italy and Czechoslovakia, with the match going into extra time (the first World Cup final to do so) and with the Italians winning 2-1 with an Angelo Schiavio goal.
1938 winners: Italy
The last World Cup before World War II broke, the Italians defended their crown against Hungary in Paris, and they came out on top with a 4-2 score.
Italy not only became the first country to win the World Cup twice in a row, but they also became the first non-local team to win the competition.
1950 winners: Uruguay
Highly regarded as one of the most important World Cup finals of all time, this was set in Brazil and the local side managed to make it to the final to face Uruguay.
Considered one of the biggest upsets in the sport’s history, Uruguay beat Brazil by a 2-1 score in the Maracana stadium, which was filled with over two hundred thousand people, thus cementing their legacy in World Cup history.
1954 winners: Germany
What makes this final so exciting when looking back is the fact that Germany was, at the time, a massive underdog in the confrontation.
Not only was Hungary one of the best teams at the time, but the Germans didn’t have a strong football record in that period. And yet, they managed to pull off a big upset by winning 3-2 in Bern, Switzerland.
There was also a lot of sociopolitical context due to the aftermath of World War II, which naturally played a role in the psyche and motivation of these players. It meant a lot for the Germans as the final is called “The miracle of Bern” by them.
1958 winners: Brazil
There is only one name that people think of when discussing about this World Cup in Sweden: Pelé.
The rise of a 17-year-old Pelé was also the rise of Brazil as a football nation, defeating host country Sweden by a 5-2 score and thus becoming the most highest-scoring final to this very day.
Pelé also broke the record of being the youngest goalscorer in the competition’s history.
1962 winners: Brazil
Pelé was all the rage after his exploits in Sweden four years ago, but injuries after the second match in this edition in Chile ruled out for the rest of the tournament.
Having said that, Brazil had no problems dispatching a very competitive Czechoslovakia team by a 3-1 score.
1966 winners: England
The only time in history that England hosted and won a World Cup, they faced off against West Germany in a game that went into extra time and beat the Germans through a 4-2 score.
1970 winners: Brazil
Mexico 1970 was Pelé’s swansong with his national team as that Brazil side, widely regarded as one of the best teams of all time, defeated Italy in a thrilling 4-1 game that is viewed by many as the best World Cup final in history.
This final also turned Brazil into the most successful nation in the competition, having won for a third time in this edition.
1974 winners: Germany
The Germans made a knack of pulling off upsets and the one in 1974 is viewed as one of the most significant.
The Netherlands, led by the great Johan Cruyff, were cruising through the tournament while playing groundbreaking and exciting football, but they didn’t manage to break the Germans and the latter would end up winning the final by a 2-1 score.
1978 winners: Argentina
It was the first time for Argentina to win the World Cup in decades and in home soil. They managed to get a massive 3-1 victory over the Netherlands, now without Johan Cruyff due to personal issues, resulting in the first ever World Cup for the South American nation.
1982 winners: Germany
If Germany was getting used to be the one pulling big upsets, they were the ones to suffer that this time around when they faced Italy in the final of the 1982 World Cup held in Spain.
The Italians won by a 3-1 score in a competition that a lot of people didn’t have them as favorites.
As an interesting fact, Italy goalkeeper and captain Dino Zoff became the oldest player to win the World Cup at 40 years old.
1986 winners: Argentina
This was the victory and tournament of Diego Armando Maradona, who absolutely dominated the competition with the Argentina national team, defeating a very strong Germany side by a 3-2 score in one of the most remembered World Cup finals in history.
1990 winners: Germany
The final of the previous edition happened once again, but this time in Italy. It was a very drab match where both teams didn’t have a lot of opportunities to score, and the deadlock was eventually opened by a controversial penalty call for Germany that Andreas Brehme scored.
1994 winners: Brazil
Widely regarded as one of the most boring and dullest World Cup finals in history, Brazil and Italy played 120 minutes of a 0-0 draw and the Brazilians eventually got the trophy through penalties.
This final has a lot of historical value as both Brazil and Italy had three World Cups each at the time of this match, and it was viewed as a way to settle the dominating nation in the competition.
1998 winners: France
France never lived up to their potential as a national team until they had their chance to host the 1998 edition of the tournament.
Led by a young and still outstanding Zinedine Zidane, France pummeled the reigning champions, Brazil, with a dominating display in Paris by a 3-0 score.
2002 winners: Brazil
Ronaldo came back after a disappointing end to his 1998 run with Brazil due to health issues and the subsequent injuries he had throughout his career.
He led his national team to a 2-0 victory over Germany in the 2002 edition of the tournament which holds the distinction of being the first time that it took place in Asia (South Korea-Japan).
2006 winners: Italy
Italy arrived to the 2006 edition held in Germany after a scandal in their national league, Serie A, involving several clubs in match fixing.
Regardless, the Italians, with a star-studded squad, managed to make it all the way to the final and beat a Zidane-inspired France side in penalties after a 1-1 draw.
Of course, this final is remembered by that time that Zidane headbutted Italian Marco Materazzi in the chest, getting sent off in the process.
2010 winners: Spain
Spain finally broke their bad luck in the World Cup thanks to their golden generation and thanks to a great goal by football legend Andres Iniesta in the dying minutes of extra time against the Netherlands.
This 2010 edition is also fondly remembered for being the first time that the tournament was held in Africa, specifically in South Africa.
2014 winners: Germany
One of the best German sides in recent memory cruised to the tournament and defeated a committed Argentina side in Brazil thanks to a goal by Mario Gotze in extra time.
2018 winners: France
Taking place in Russia in 2018, France were one of the favorites to be win the competition and they were extremely effective at that.
The superiority was reflected in their 4-2 victory in the final against a Croatian team that reached its first ever final in the competition and did so after playing three extra times in the previous rounds.