We are going back in time and diving into the history of the FIFA World Cup as we explore the most successful national team together with the best goalscorers of the competition.
INITIAL STAGES OF THE TOURNAMENT
First held in 1930, when FIFA decided to stage an international men’s football tournament. The first tournament was contested between 13 teams invited by the governing body. Since then, the World Cup has expanded and remodelled the format, currently a 32-team final tournament preceded by a two-year qualifying process, involving more than 200 teams all over the world.
Uruguay was selected as the host country for the inaugural World Cup tournament, meaning that European teams had to undergo long and expensive trips to make it to the competition. In the end, France, Belgium, Romania, Hungary and Yugoslavia made the trip.
The first goal to ever be scored was by Lucien Laurent of France, who won against Mexico with a score of 4-1. A few days later, Bert Patenaude of the U.S scored the first hat-trick as his side was victorious against Paraguay. The eventual winners were Uruguay who defeated Argentina 4-2 in front of a staggering 93,000 crowd in Montevideo.
In the FIFA World Cup 2014 which was hosted in Brazil, goal-line technology was introduced in order to avoid phantom goals, which would give a definitive decision in doubtful situations whether the ball crossed the goal line or not.
In the next edition in the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia, another technology was introduced to help officials with their decisions. The Video-assistant referee (VAR) is a system that employs off-field officials who are able to playback footage from the game and communicate the outcome to the on-field referee so the correct decision can be taken. This will only be used in a few occasions to avoid lengthy delays, for example, if a goal is offside or not, reviewing penalties and checking for a possible serious foul play.
By adopting such technologies, referees have been given a lot of help and are able to reach the ultimate correct decision that might decide the faith of the game or the team in such a tournament.
MOST WIN BY A NATIONAL TEAM
Brazil – 5 (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002)
Germany – 4 (1954, 1974, 1990 and 2014)
Italy – 4 (1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006)
Uruguay – 2 (1930 and 1950)
Argentina – 2 (1978 and 1986)
France – 2 (1998 and 2018)
England – 1 (1966)
Spain – 1 (2010)
Didier Deschamps is the only player to have won a World Cup as a Captain (1998) and as a manager which he did in 2018.
Vittorio Pozzo is the only manager to have led his national team to successive World Cup victories and remain as the coach (1934 and 1938)
MOST GOALS SCORED
Miroslav Klose is the top goalscorer with 16 goals for the German national team taking part in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 with an average of 0.67 goals per match. You can watch all the goals scored by Klose, here.
Ronaldo ranking up second in the all-time standings with 15 goals to his name for Brazil taking part in 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006 with an average of 0.79 goals per game. You can watch all the goals scored by Ronaldo, here.
Gerd Muller ranks third with 14 goals in his involvement in the 1970 and 1974 World Cups playing 13 games and averaging an impressive 1.08 goal per game. You can watch the goals scored by Muller, here.
Gustav Wetterstrom from Sweden has the record for the quickest hat-trick in World Cup history when he completed this in just 12 minutes in a Quarter-Final tie against Cuba