Brazil, Canada in top-10 best and worst nations at World Cup before Qatar

Kyle Archer

The 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar is just around the corner, so HITC Sport has taken a look at which countries have the best and worst tournament records across all 21 past editions.

Qatar hosts the 22nd edition of the quadrennial tournament this November and December with the first World Cup played in the Middle East. It is also the first of such competition to occur over the European winter period due to the scorching hot conditions the region gets.

France will travel to Qatar as the defending champions after lifting their second title during 2018. They were the fourth-straight European nation to win the World Cup after Germany in 2014, Spain in 2010 and Italy in 2006, with Brazil the last non-European winner in 2002.

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Success in Japan and South Korea returned Brazil’s record fifth title as the most successful nation in the history of the World Cup. Germany and Italy are the second-most decorated countries on four ahead of Argentina, Uruguay and France (2), plus England and Spain (1).

Brazil are also the only country to have played at all 21 past World Cups, and will maintain their 100% appearance record in Qatar. Germany will contend their 20th edition in Qatar, while Argentina will draw level with Italy on 18 after the Azzurri failed to qualify for 2022.

Yet despite Germany playing at two fewer World Cups than Brazil, Die Mannschaft and the Selecao have played the same number of total matches at the finals with 109 to date. They are the only nations to have featured in a triple-digit total of games, ahead of Italy with 83.

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Brazil are the most successful country at the World Cup ahead of Qatar 2022

Along with being the most decorated nation with five titles, Brazil are the most successful country at the World Cup finals with 73 wins from their 109 total games. The Selecao have avoided drawing and defeats during regular or extra-time over 67% of their fixtures so far.

Brazil have also been level after 90 or 120 minutes on 18 occasions and have lost 18 times to date. Penalty shoot-out results do not count as wins or losses, but draws as the ties were level at the end of extra-time, while matches decided during the bonus half hour do count.

Germany, meanwhile, have recorded the second-most wins over their 19 World Cup finals appearances with 67 from 109 so far. Die Mannschaft have also registered 20 draws and 22 defeats, yet their 226 goals scored are just three fewer than Brazil have offered to date.

Brazil (229) and Germany (226) are by far and away the most prolific nations at World Cup finals. Argentina rank fourth for wins (43) behind Italy (45), yet rank third for goals scored with 137 over 81 games above the Azzurri’s 128 in 83 and France on 120 from 66 matches.

France also rank fifth for their total number of matches won on 34 through 15 World Cup finals before the Qatar edition. Les Bleus have a 51.5% win rate following 13 draws and 19 defeats, while Italy have lost 17 to 21 draws and Argentina have lost 23 times to 15 draws.

Spain have taken the sixth-most wins at World Cup finals with 30 from 63 games across 15 editions. England rank seventh with 29 from 69, the Netherlands are eighth with 27 during 50 games, Uruguay are ninth on 24 from 56 games and Belgium are tenth with 20 from 48.

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Honduras are the worst country to have played at the finals stage

Honduras, on the other hand, boasts the worst record at the finals stage of the World Cup over the past 21 editions. Los Catrachos – who failed to qualify for the 2022 tournament in Qatar – have never won a match over three appearances for nine first-round games so far.

They first featured at a World Cup finals at Spain 1982, but drew two and lost one of their first-round fixtures. Honduras would not qualify for another tournament until South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014, but took just one draw and five defeats across the two group stages.

Honduras are one of 19 countries to have never won a single game at a World Cup finals to date. Bolivia (0/6 for one draw) and Egypt (0/7 for two draws) are the only other nations to have failed to take a single win yet from those to have featured at three World Cups so far.

New Zealand and El Salvador have yet taken a single win over two appearances at a finals. Angola, Israel, Iceland, Kuwait, Trinidad and Tobago, Iraq, Togo, Canada, Panama, United Arab Emirates, China, Haiti and DR Congo have lost their three games at one finals so far.

Indonesia, meanwhile, have only played one match at a World Cup finals back at France in 1938. They competed as Dutch East Indies at the time, and lost their only fixture against Hungary 6-0 with the tournament starting in the last 16 with only 15 nations competing.

Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup to make their first appearance at a finals yet. They had failed to qualify for all editions between 1978 and 2018 while attempting to reach the Fifa tournament, and withdrew their qualification effort for the 1974 tournament in Germany.

Qatar will now hope to avoid joining the current 19 winless nations and become one of the worst countries in Fifa World Cup history. While Canada will hope to register their first win in Group F with Belgium, Morocco and Croatia ahead of joint-hosting the 2026 World Cup.

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