Past World Cup Victors
With so many football fans predicting who their outright tip is to win World Cup 2018, it’s worth considering the previous winners and how many of those have the experience and insight into what it takes to go all the way in sport’s greatest competition.
Sitting as second favourite to win the tournament at odds of 5/1, it’s no surprise to see Brazil estimated so highly by the bookmakers after they’ve won the competition a record five times in past attempts. Germany are favourites at odds of 19/4, which is mostly backed up by the point that they won the 2014 World Cup but is also backed up by them scooping the trophy in four occasions. Italy haven’t even qualified for this tournament, so European Championship runners-up France are seen as third favourites at odds of 13/2.
Five wins – Brazil
Taking their last World Cup win in 2002, Brazil entertained a fantastic squad of world-beaters such as Cafu, Lucio, Roberto Carlos, Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and Kaka to name a few. It was no shock they came out on top, defeating Germany in the final by two goals to nil, and even winning the Golden Boot through Ronaldo’s prolific form, where he even scored both goals in the final. Before then, there wasn’t too big a wait since the last time Brazil won it, as they were also crowned world champions in the 1994 edition. Take a look at Brazil’s odds for this years World Cup by following the link to their dedicated page.
Four wins – Germany
Coming as the easiest winners to remember, Germany won their fourth World Cup in the last attempt, where a tense meeting with Argentina was helped by some shortcomings from Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain, paving the way for a crucial extra-time strike from Mario Gotze, doing just enough to guarantee their tally with Italy for tournament wins. It was extra poignant as the previous win for Germany was technically conducted by West Germany in 1990, so winning as the newly-formed version of the national team looked like the start of a new era.
You can keep up to date with the latest goings on in the German team as they prepare for this year’s World Cup by following this link to our dedicated German World Cup page.
Four wins – Italy
Unlike the other two with a hefty record for World Cup wins, Italy not only fell short in their usual standard for qualifying, but they couldn’t make it to the tournament at all, finishing second behind Spain in their massively competitive group before failing to beat Sweden in a crucial play-off. If it was any other edition of the tournament, Italy would be among the favourites, but former boss Gian Piero Ventura couldn’t finish the job as any other Italy national side manager would have.
The Azzurri last won the tournament in 2006 where they had a squad packed full of memorable names including Gianluigi Buffon between the sticks, Fabio Cannavaro, Alessadro Nesta, Marco Materazzi and Gianluca Zambrotta at the back, Daniele De Rossi, Gennaro Gattuso, Andrea Pirlo and Mauro Camoranesi in midfield, as well as Alessandro Del Piero, Luca Toni, Francesco Totti, Alberto Gilardino, Vincenzo Iaquinta and Filippo Inzaghi as some hefty options upfront.
Looking back at the last five winners of the World Cup, we see sides that trigger some truly overwhelming nostalgia of players past and present, with a lot of them being talented enough to be childhood heroes to a lot of people who will now be watching this competition as an adult.
2014 – Germany
The most recent winners of the World Cup are Germany, who were meticulous in their organisation through the last edition of the tournament.
Joachim Low has been in charge since 2006 and his formula has been perfected over time, eventually leading them to a World Cup win in 2014, a third-place finish in 2010 and a Confederation Cup win last year, with it gearing them up for another chance at the biggest prize of all. They’ll be having to play without Bastian Schweinsteiger, Miroslav Klose, Lukas Podolski and Philipp Lahm, who’ve all retired since the World Cup win, but there’s plenty of quality in the new era.
2010 – Spain
With almost as much drama as in the fine margins which won the last World Cup, the 2010 edition also had to be decided into extra-time, where Andres Iniesta scored past Maarten Stekelenburg in the 116th minute to guarantee Spain with their first ever World Cup win.
They’ve had a changing of the guard since and have waved goodbye to Carlos Marchena, Carlos Puyol, Joan Capdevila and Xavi to name a few, but their new selection of players is more than capable of going far here.
For a more insightful look at Spain’s potential in this years World Cup check out the dedicated page here – Spain’s World Cup chances.
2006 – Italy
It’s no surprise that Italy’s 2006 squad were crowned as worthy winners of the World Cup back when they last came out on top, as they were gifted with some truly world class figures throughout their starting eleven. Italy were up against an evenly matched France side, which made sense of the eventual 1-1 scoreline which came from Zinedine Zidane netting for France and Marco Materazzi netting for Italy.
Zinedine Zidane was a notable figure that day but for all the wrong reasons, finding himself sent off after infamously head-butting Marco Materazzi in the chest. Italy were helped by France missing a key man but still deservedly won 5-3 in the eventual penalty shootout.
2002 – Brazil
After a successful season for Brazilian footballers like Philippe Coutinho, Neymar, Ederson, Gabriel Jesus, Willian, Roberto Firmino and Casemiro, there’s a lot of football fans backing Brazil to win the World Cup this time around. It was only back in 2002 where Brazil had their last win in the competition, and it’s clear to see why they were so dominant.
Back then, there were such icons as Cafu, Lucio, Roberto Carlos, Ronaldo, Luizao, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and Kaka in the team and they were unstoppable in the 2002 edition of the tournament, with Ronaldo even winning the Golden Boot, only helped more-so by him sealing a brace in their 2-0 win over Germany in the final.
1998 – France
Hosting the last European Championship only got France as far as the final but they found reason to dominate when the World Cup was played on home soil back in 1998, where they gained their crown as world champions.
It was a golden era for France, entertaining a team made up of Patrick Vieira, Zinedine Zidane, Robert Pires, Theirry Henry, David Trezeguet, Laurent Blanc, Marcel Desailly and current national team manager Didier Deschamps. Taking on Brazil in the final was far from easy but they definitely made it look that way, Zinedine Zidane netting a brace in the first half before Emmanuel Petit scored the third to complete a 3-0 win in stoppage time.