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Irish Football > Football Miscellany > World Cup Theory

Who Will Win the World Cup?

There have been a total of 20 World Cup Finals football tournamments. They are held every four years and the inaugural World Cup was held in Uruguay in 1930. We should be up to 22 competitions except that the 1942 and 1946 tournamnets were not staged due to World War II.

World Cup Statistics

Statistical analysis of all World Cup finals results strongly suggests that the only countries that win the World Cup are those that they are the host country or, they have won it before. This rule holds true in 85% of all World Cups to date.

The three exceptions are 1) West Germany in 1954. The Germans won the tournament held in Bern - a German-speaking part of Switzerland.

2) Brazil in 1958. They beat hosts Sweden 5-2 with the help of two goals from the great Pele.

3) In 2010 Spain broke the rule by winning the World Cup in South Africa through an extra-time goal from Andres Iniesta.

World Cup Trophy

World Cup hosts have won the tournament 25% of the time. Strangely, even though Brazil have won the World Cup five times, none of these victories have come on home soil. This is despite the fact that the Brazilians are one of the few countries to host the tournament twice. The famously lost out on a home victory in 2014 when they were beaten by a record score of 7-1 by Germany in the semi-finals stage. This was Brazil's first home defeat for 39 years.

Previous Winners of the World Cup

Year
Host
Winner
Status
1930
Uruguay
Uruguay
Host
1934
Italy
Italy
Host
1938
France
Italy
Previous Winner
1950
Brazil
Uruguay
Previous Winner
1954
Switzerland
West Germany
First Time Winner
1958
Sweden
Brazil
First Time Winner
1962
Chile
Brazil
Previous Winner
1966
England
England
Host
1970
Mexico
Brazil
Previous Winner
1974
West Germany
West Germany
Host
1978
Argentina
Argentina
Host
1982
Spain
Italy
Previous Winner
1986
Mexico
Argentina
Previous Winner
1990
Italy
West Germany
Previous Winner
1994
USA
Brazil
Previous Winner
1998
France
France
Host
2002
Japan & South Korea
Brazil
Previous Winner
2006
Germany
Italy
Previous Winner
2010
South Africa
Spain
First Time Winner
2014
Brazil
Germany
Previous Winner

World Cup Statistics

The record shows that the Brazilians have won the World Cup more often than any other country. Only eight countries have won the World Cup and five of them have won the cup on more than one occasion.

Country
Number
Years Won
Brazil
5
2002, 1994, 1970, 1962, 1958
Italy
4
2006, 1982, 1938, 1934
Germany
4
2014, 1990, 1974, 1954
Argentina
2
1986, 1978
Uruguay
2
1950, 1934
Spain
1
2010
France
1
1998
England
1
1966

World Cup Rule in Detail

Results to date indicate that the winner of the World Cup will be either the host country or will be a previous winner. However the host country will only win if it has a strong footballing tradition. Of the eight countries that have won the World Cup it is highly unlikely that two of these countries will win the tournament again any time soon.

Although Uruguay have won the World Cup twice, in 1930 & 1950 (when the number of teams involved and the format was radically different to today) it is highly unlikely that they can win the tournament again. With a population of less than 3.5m the odds are greatly stacked against this proud country with a great football tradition. Uruguay have not reached a World Cup final since their last victory in 1950.

Similarly, England has not reached a world Cup final since their one and only victory in 1966. Despite their population and football tradition the English simply aren't producing enough players of a quality to take them all of the way. With the massive influx of foreign talent into the Premier League in recent years English players are becoming increasingly marginalised.

So if you are someone that likes to place a bet then the statistics strongly suggest that you should not look beyond the host country or a previous winner for the next winner.

Health Warning: In 2014 this World Cup rule strongly suggested that hosts, and five-time winners, Brazil should have been red-hot favourites to win the tournament. However they were knocked out of the tournament in the semi-finals by Germany, suffering they're heaviest defeat ever!

Football Miscellany - Stephen Coghlan - Patrick O'Connell - Andy McEvoy - World Cup Rule - Conor Shinkins

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