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Top 10 National Teams With The Most Appearances In FIFA World Cup History. Photo khellnow

There is always big excitement when the World Cup comes around every four years. Club rivalries are put aside while conversations during that period are dominated and influenced by World Cup matches. The FIFA World Cup is every country and player’s dream as it is the biggest sporting event on the planet.

It is a thing of massive pride to represent your country on the biggest stage of world football. The FIFA World Cup takes place once every four years and the teams spend the intervening years participating in qualifying matches and continental tournaments. There have been 21 editions of the World Cup so far, with Qatar 2022 set to be the next. The World Cup takes place every summer, but Qatar 2022 will be the first to take place during winter due to Qatar’s intense summer heat.

Let’s find out what national teams attended World Cup the most.

1. Brazil - 22 times

Gabriel Jesus, Richarlison and Antony have all been named in the Brazil squad for the World Cup

Being qualified for 22 World Cup championships in history, Brazil sets a record for the number of attendance times at the largest football festival on Earth. "Selecao" participated in the first World Cup in 1930 which was held in Uruguay. Brazil is also the most successful team in WC history with 5 championships (in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002), 2 times being the runner up and 2 times winning the third place.

Check: Who Are in Brazil World Cup Squad: Final List of 26 Players and Misses Out

1. Brazil were one of the 13 teams in the inaugural World Cup in 1930.

2. Brazil's Valdemar de Brito became the first player to miss a penalty in World Cup finals in 1934. De Brito missed the penalty in Brazil's 3-1 loss to Spain on 27 May 1934. That was Brazil's only match in the 1934 finals, and the only finals in which Brazil did not win any match. He later amended his reputation as he discovered and nurtured Pele.

3. Brazilian player Leonidas, the top scorer of World Cup 1938, had a job as a private eye.

4. At the start of a 1938 finals match against Poland, Brazilian player Leonidas took off his boots because he wanted to play in the muddy pitch barefooted. The referee immediately ordered Leonidas to put his boots back on, and Leonidas went on to score 4 goals in that match, finishing top scorer of the 1938 tournament with 8 goals in 4 matches.

5. Despite winning the FIFA World Cup in 2002, Brazil still had to qualify for the 2006 tournament, as the rules changed from previously where the winner of the World Cup automatically qualified for the next tournament.

6. Brazil hosted the World Cup in 2014.

2. Germany – 20 times

Germany is in the second place with 20 World Cup appearances. "Mannschaft" did not attend the first World Cup in 1930 and was banned from participating in the 1950 World Cup. Germany is also the second best team in World Cup history with 4 championships, 4 times being the runner-up and 4 times at the third place.

Die Mannschaft, who played their maiden World Cup in 1934, won the first of their four titles in 1954. Germany finished champions in 2014 and secured third place in the 2010 edition. They have been one of the most consistent sides in the history of the competition. They also hold the record for most semi-final appearances in the history of the competition with 13.

READ MORE: Best Free Ways to Watch World Cup in Germany Time & Full Schedule

1954: The Maiden World Cup Title

Germany (then West Germany) won their first ever World Cup in the 1954 tournament in Switzerland, defeating Hungary 3-2 in what is widely considered as one of the best finals in World Cup history.

1974: Winning on Home Soil

Hosting the World Cup for the very first time, Germany (then West Germany) became the fourth tournament hosts to win the competition, after Uruguay in 1930, Italy in 1934 and England in 1966.

1990: Revenge for 1986

West Germany won the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy. Unlike 1982 and 1986, the Germans didn’t finish runners-up and became the first team to reach the World Cup final in three successive tournaments, and following in Brazil and Italy’s footsteps as the nations to win the trophy on three occasions.

2014: Winning in Style

Germany’s fourth men’s FIFA World Cup title came in Brazil in 2014. Arguably one of the most impressive World Cup wins in the modern era, Joachim Löw’s team started their campaign with a 4-0 win over Portugal – who exited at the group stage – before knocking out Algeria, France and Brazil before beating Argentina in the final.

3. Italy – 18 times

Photo AP
Photo AP

Italy has attended WC in 18 times. "Azzurri" did not participate in the first World Cup in 1930. They failed in the third qualifying round of the 1958, 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Italy is the 3rd best team in World Cup history with 4 championships, 2 times runner up and 1 time winning the 3rd place. However, for the first time in the history, Italy was absent in two consecutive World Cups of 2018 and 2022.

Is Italy qualified for World Cup 2022?

Italy won't be travelling to the Persian Gulf in November. The defending European champions were left without a ticket to the World Cup in Qatar in a repeat of the drama they suffered trying to qualify for the 2018 finals in Russia. For the first time in history, Italy will have missed two consecutive World Cup finals. Roberto Mancini's team were sensationally knocked out by North Macedonia at the play-off stage but in a way, the damage had already been done in the earlier rounds.

Italy ended as runners-up their their qualifying group, finishing just two points behind Switzerland. Had things worled out a little differently, they might have avoided going to the play-offs. After getting off to a winning start, Italy went on to draw four of their 10 qualifying matches - being held by Bulgaria, Northern Ireland and twice by the Swiss. Taking four points from a possible 12 was the reason why they ended second in Group C - despite not losing a single match. Italy remain in sixth-place in the FIFA world Men's ranking and are the only team out of the top 10 seeds who wont be going to Qatar.

How many World Cups have Italy missed?

It won't be the first time that Italy have not made it to the World Cup finals. The Italian national team have missed three previous editions and the Qatar 2022 tournament will be the fourth time they have been asbsent. In the last edition, in Russia 2018, they failed to qualify after being eliminated by Sweden in the second round play-offs - in doing so, they became the first former world champion to fail to qualify for the finals in history.

Italy have taken part in the World Cup finals on 18 occasions, only two nations have appeared more - Germany (20) and Brazil (22). Curiously, Italy have won the tournament as many times as Germany have - four, just behind the record holders Brazil, who have lifted the trophy five times.

Italy were not at the first edition of the World Cup in Uruguay in 1930 because they declined an invitation to take part. They hosted the second edition of the finals in 1934, were crowned champions on home soil and successfully defended the trophy four years layer in France. However, they missed out on a place at Sweden 1958 after ending second in their group to Northern Ireland.

4. Argentina – 18 times

Argentina World Cup 2022 Final Squad
Photo World Cup

Argentina is a two-time World Cup champion and has featured in 12 successive editions since 1974. The Albicelestes reached the World Cup final in its inaugural edition in 1930 before losing to Uruguay. They lost to Germany in the final in 2014, the closest they have come to lifting the trophy in recent years. They only failed to qualify for the competition in 1938, 1950, 1954, and 1970.

Check: Who Are in Argentina World Cup Final Squad: List of 28 Players and Missing Out

Argentina FIFA World Cup record






First Round


Withdrew due to hosting disagreement



Withdrew due to political tension


Group stage


Group stage




Did not qualify


Second group stage




Second group stage






Round of 16




Group stage








Round of 16

5. Mexico – 17 times

Mexico has 17 World Cup appearances. The North American team failed to qualify for the 1938, 1974 and 1982 World Cups. Mexican football refused to attend the 1934 World Cup in France. Mexico was banned from the 1990 World Cup for cheating in the use of players in the previous youth tournament.

READ MORE: Best Free Ways to Watch World Cup 2022 In Mexico Time & Date - Full Schedule

Mexico and World Cup Memories

1st Victory

After two consecutive defeats in Chile 1962, in front of Brazil and Spain, El Tri had nothing left to lose in the tournament.

In their last compromise, they faced Czechoslovakia, who were fighting with the "Selecao" for the first spot of Group 3.

Both teams were tied with four points, and the last matchday was decisive.

Vaclav Masek surprised Mexico in Czechoslovakia's first attack by leaving the defenders behind easily and bagging the first goal of the game.

However, El Tri fought hard and won the match with goals from Isidoro Diaz, Alfredo del Aguila and Hector Hernandez.

This was the first time Mexico notched three points in a World Cup.

Best Performance

The only time Mexico have won more than twice in a World Cup was at the 1986 edition, which they hosted.

They defeated all their rivals in Group B, as well as Bulgaria in the round of 16 and lost to Germany in penalty kicks in the quarter-finals; in regular time the match ended in a scoreless draw.

El Tri finished the tournament in sixth place, which means they surpassed teams such as Italy, England and Spain.

1st Player Ever to Appear in 5 Consecutive World Cups

Antonio Carbajal became the first player ever to appear in five World Cups, which earned him the "Cinco Copas" nickname (five cups); Lothar Matthaus equaled the record in France 1998.

The Mexican goalkeeper played from Brazil 1950 to England 1966, for a total of 11 games.

He has been one of the most emblematic players in the country’s history. Locally, Carbajal had over 400 appearances with Club Espana and Leon.

6. Spain – 16 times

After featuring in just four World Cups between 1930 and 1977, Spain has gone on to play in 11 consecutive tournaments since 1978. La Roja won the 2010 edition when their golden generation thrived between 2006 and 2012 and won back-to-back UEFA Euro titles in 2008 and 2012.

Between 2008 and 2012, the team played a style of football dubbed ‘tiki-taka‘ – a systemic-approach to football founded upon the ideal of team unity and a comprehensive understanding of the geometry of space on a football field. Spain achieved 35 consecutive undefeated matches, a feat which they share with Brazil, and a sports record at the time.

7. France – 16 times

Photo SB Nation
Photo SB Nation

France is colloquially known as Les Bleus (The Blues).

The France national team was officially founded in 1904, shortly before FIFA’s foundation in the same year (they had, however, participated in the 1900 Olympic Games and won a silver medal). They played their first official match against Belgium in Brussels, securing a 3-3 draw. The following year, they played their first home match at the famous Parc des Princes, defeating Switzerland in front of close to 500 fans. This was followed by a couple of heavy losses, including a memorable 0-15 defeat to England in 1906.

They are the reigning world champions, having won the most recent World Cup Final in 2018. France was one of the four European teams that participated in the inaugural world cup in1930. The France team won their first title in 1998. The tournament was played on home soil and France defeated Brazil 3-0 in the final. They are considered as one of the favourites for FIFA World Cup 2022 as well.

Check: Who Are in France World Cup Squad: Final List of 25 Players

8. England – 16 times

Photo football talk UK
Photo football talk UK

England is one of eight nations to have won the World Cup. It won the 1966 edition, a tournament it also hosted. England finished fourth in both 1990 and 2018. The England football team is the joint-oldest in the world; it was formed at the same time as Scotland. The Three Lions failed to qualify for the World Cup in 1974, 1978 and 1994.

How many times have England been in the World Cup Finals?

England first entered the FIFA World Cup in 1950 and have participated in the World Cup Finals tournament 15 times, including 2018 World Cup in Russia. England won the World Cup once in 1966 World Cup on home soil. England’s second best performance was in 1996 World Cup in Italy and 2018 World Cup in Russia when they reached the tournament’s semi-final.

Do you know...?

1. England is the world’s joint oldest national team

The first ever international football match was played in Scotland on 30th November 1872, when England played Scotland. The entire Scottish team consisted of players from Queen’s Park, while the English team was chosen from a number of different teams across the country. The match ended in a predictably thrilling 0 – 0 draw. This means that these two nations are the joint oldest national teams in the world.

2. The youngest and the oldest

The youngest player to ever play for England is Theo Walcott who was just 17 years and 75 days old when he appeared in a 3 – 1 win over Hungary in a friendly in 2006. At the other end of spectrum, the oldest player to play for England was Stanley Matthews, who played for England aged 42 years and 103 days in a 4 – 1 win over Denmark in 1957.

3. The shortest and the longest

Stanley Matthews is not only the oldest player to ever play for England, he additionally holds the record for the longest cumulative England career, which lasted 22 years and 228 days. Martin Kelly, on the other hand, is the current record holder for the shortest England career having been substituted on in the dying moments of a friendly in 2012, Kelly’s official England career has lasted just two minutes. Of course, Kelly is still a regular player in the Premier League and may yet have the chance to lengthen his career.

9. Belgium – 14 times

Top 10 National Teams With The Most Appearances In FIFA World Cup History

Belgium is the only national team in the world to top the FIFA ranking without having won the World Cup or a continental trophy. They failed to progress past the first round of their first five World Cup participations. In 1954, they drew with England (4–4 after extra time), and in 1970, they won their first World Cup match, against El Salvador (3–0).

Is World Cup 2022 a last chance for Belgium’s golden generation?

Can Belgium produce one last grand hooray before some of the country’s mainstays retire? Will Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku be fit at all in time for the competition? Does Martinez have what it takes to lead this team on another deep run into a major tournament?

For Belgium, to defeat the best in the world they need their best players to be in top shape – and a quick glance across the team’s squad suggests that this will be problematic in Qatar.

Hazard has become a fringe figure at Real Madrid, never rekindling his dazzling form from his days in West London with Chelsea. With just weeks until the curtain-raiser against Canada in Group F, Lukaku’s match fitness remains uncertain. He faces a race against time, one that looks difficult to win.

10. Uruguay – 14 times

Uruguay has 14 World Cup appearances. They failed 6 times in qualifying for the World Cup.

Uruguayan football also twice refused to participate in the 1934 and 1938 World Cups, as a response to the boycott of the 1930 World Cup by European nations. The Uruguayan team won the World Cup twice in 1930 and 1950, and finished three times at the 4th place in 1954, 1970, 2010.

Who is in Uruguay's provisional World Cup 2022 squad?

Each country’s final World Cup squad of 23-26 players must be submitted to Fifa by November 13. The replacement of injured or Covid-19 positive players is allowed up to 24 hours before a team’s first match.

Uruguay announced their provisional 55-man World Cup squad on Friday October 21.

Uruguay are a side blessed with a combination of youthful exuberance and experience when it comes to their squad of players.

Goalkeepers: Fernando Muslera, Sergio Rochet, Sebastian Sosa, Guillermo de Amores, Santiago Mele, Gaston Olivera.

Defenders: Diego Godin (C), Martin Caceres, Jose Gimenez, Sebastian Coates, Matias Vina, Giovanni Gonzalez, Ronald Araujo, Guillermo Varela, Mathias Olivera, Joaquin Piquerez, Damian Suarez, Sebastian Caceres, Bruno Mendez, Agustin, Rogel, Gaston Alvarez, Santiago Bueno, Leandro Cabrera, Alfonso Espino, Lucas Olaza, Federico Pereira, Jose Luis Rodriguez

Midfielders: Matias Vecino, Rodrigo Bentancur, Federico Valverde, Giorgian de Arrascaeta, Lucas Torreira, Nicolas de la Cruz, Mauro Arambarri, Fernando Gorriaran, Manuel Ugarte, Cesar Araujo, Maximiliano Araujo, Felipe Carballo, Fabricio Diaz

Forwards: Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani, Jonathan Rodriguez, Maxi Gomez, Darwin Nunez, Facundo Torres, Facundo Pellestri, Agustin Alvarez Martinez, Diego Rossi, Agustin Canobbio, David Terans, Brian Ocampo, Martin Satriano, Thiago Borbas, Nicolas Lopez

What team won the trophy as the World Cup host?

In 21 final tournaments, there were six times that the hosts won the World Cup.

The 1930 hosts, Uruguay, were the champions. Italy were the 1934 hosts and winners.

England won the 1966 World Cup for the first time after a 4-2 win against West Germany in London.

In 1974, West Germany won the World Cup title as the tournament's hosts.

A Gerd Muller-led West Germany defeated the Netherlands 2-1 in Munich.

The 1978 World Cup was won by Argentina, which was their first.

Argentina beat the Netherlands 3-1 to be the world champions in Buenos Aires. Argentine star Mario Kempes scored six goals in that tournament to carry his nation to World Cup success.

The 1998 World Cup was staged in France as Les Bleus, who were led by Thierry Henry and Zinedine Zidane in the offense, were crowned the world champions at home.

France stunned 1994 world champions Brazil 3-0 in Saint-Denis to win their first world title.

In 1998, Brazil was a team composed of many special players such as goalkeeper Claudio Taffarel, left-back Roberto Carlos, right-back Cafu, midfielder Leonardo and forwards Rivaldo and Ronaldo but returned home with a silver medal after losing to France.

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