FIFA World Cup Winners: Every Men’s Champion In Tournament History

Who are the champions of the all the World Cups? Where were they held? And did Italian dictator Benito Mussolini potentially rig one of the games? Newsweek
1930: The host country, Uruguay, was the champion in 1930, followed by Argentina as runner-up, the United States in third place, and Yugoslavia in fourth place. A total of 13 countries participated in the games. Uruguay’s Guillermo Stábile made eight goals, achieving the top score that year. Archivo del Centro de Fotografía de Montevideo

Hands down, the World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world. Yes, it’s bigger than the Super Bowl, and the World Series, even the Olympics. Over one billion viewers tuned in to watch the final match of the 2014 World Cup. Just the final match. We’re talking one game. That’s a lot of eyeballs. But interest in the World Cup isn’t anything new—it’s been that way since the first games, way back in 1930.

The very first games were played in Uruguay in July of 1930. Thirteen teams competed in the first games, which drew hundreds of thousands of spectators. Since then, the games have been played every four years, with the exception of 1942 and 1946 due to the Second World War.

The winning team is awarded a trophy made of 18-carat gold, weighing 13 pounds. “The lines spring out from the base, rising in spirals, stretching out to receive the world,” said Silvio Gazzaniga, the Italian designer behind the trophy. “From the remarkable dynamic tensions of the compact body of the sculpture rise the figures of two athletes at the stirring moment of victory."

Fun fact: the winning teams only temporarily get to keep the solid-gold trophy. After the post-match celebration is over (i.e. when the cameras go away), the solid-gold trophy is replaced with a gold-plated replica.

Another surprising fact is that one of the most attended World Cup games ever was the 1994 games in the United States, a country where football (or soccer, as it’s known in the U.S.) isn’t particularly popular. More than 3.5 million people attended the matches, held across the country.

So who are the champions of the all the World Cups? Where were they held? And how did Italian dictator Benito Mussolini potentially rig one of the games? Don’t worry, we got it all covered for you, and then some. Here is every winner of the FIFA World Cup.

1930: Held over 18 days in Uruguay between July 13 to 30. Nearly 600,000 people attended the 18 matches played. Many European teams chose not to participate because of the difficulty of getting to the South American country. FIFA
1934: The host country, Italy, was champion in 1934, followed by Czechoslovakia as runner-up, Germany in third place and Austria in fourth place. Czechoslovakia’s Oldřich Nejedlý was the top scorer with five goals. Unknown
1934: Held over 16 days in Italy between May 27 and June 10. Nearly 400,000 people attended the 16 matches. This World Cup marked the first time teams had to qualify to play. FIFA
1934: The results of the 1934 games were marred by controversy. The role of then Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini, has been questioned, with critics claiming he interfered with the selection of referees for the Italian games. There is, however, no proof to back up this claim. Keystone/Getty Images
1938: Italy were champions once again, becoming the first country to win two World Cup championships. Hungary was the runner-up, followed by Brazil in third place, and Sweden in fourth. Brazil’s Leônidas was the top scorer with 7 goals. Pictured is the winning team with Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. AFP/Getty Images
1938: Held over 16 days in France between June 4 to 19. 375,7000 people attended the 18 matches played. FIFA choosing Europe for the second games in a row outraged many in South America, who thought the games should alternate between Europe and South America.FIFA
1942 and 1946: No games were held in 1942 or 1946 because of the outbreak of the Second World War. Photographed are soldiers playing in the first day of the wartime Regional Football Competitions. Davies/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images
1950: Uruguay won its second title, having won the first World Cup games in 1930. The runner-up was the host country, Brazil, followed by Sweden in third place, and Spain in fourth. Brazil’s Ademir was the top scorer with eight goals. Arquivo Nacional
1950: Held over 23 days in Brazil from June 24 to July 16. Over a million people attended the 13 matches played. Brasil Correio
1954: Germany (then known as West Germany) won their first title. The runner-up was Hungary, followed by Austria in third place, and Uruguay in fourth place. Hungary’s Sándor Kocsis was the top scorer with 11 goals. Edward Miller/Keystone:Hulton Archive/Getty Images
1954: Held over 19 days in Switzerland between June 16 and July 4. Nearly 800,000 people attended the 26 matches played.Werner Friedli
1954: The 1954 World Cup games was iconic, and not just because it was the first of the games to be televised. West Germany’s win is considered one of the greatest upsets in World Cup history. The German team was made up of amateurs—Germany did not have a professional league at the time—while Hungary’s team was considered one of the best in the world. Bongarts/Getty Images

Hands down, the World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world. Yes, it’s bigger than the Super Bowl, and the World Series, even the Olympics. Over one billion viewers tuned in to watch the final match of the 2014 World Cup. Just the final match. We’re talking one game. That’s a lot of eyeballs. But interest in the World Cup isn’t anything new—it’s been that way since the first games, way back in 1930.

The very first games were played in Uruguay in July of 1930. Thirteen teams competed in the first games, which drew hundreds of thousands of spectators. Since then, the games have been played every four years, with the exception of 1942 and 1946 due to the Second World War.

The winning team is awarded a trophy made of 18-carat gold, weighing 13 pounds. “The lines spring out from the base, rising in spirals, stretching out to receive the world,” said Silvio Gazzaniga, the Italian designer behind the trophy. “From the remarkable dynamic tensions of the compact body of the sculpture rise the figures of two athletes at the stirring moment of victory."

Fun fact: the winning teams only temporarily get to keep the solid-gold trophy. After the post-match celebration is over (i.e. when the cameras go away), the solid-gold trophy is replaced with a gold-plated replica.

Another surprising fact is that one of the most attended World Cup games ever was the 1994 games in the United States, a country where football (or soccer, as it’s known in the U.S.) isn’t particularly popular. More than 3.5 million people attended the matches, held across the country.

So who are the champions of the all the World Cups? Where were they held? And how did Italian dictator Benito Mussolini potentially rig one of the games? Don’t worry, we got it all covered for you, and then some. Here is every winner of the FIFA World Cup.