Qatar 2022: Top five teams with the most appearances in FIFA World Cup

From Brazil to Spain, here is a look at the top five teams that have the most appearances in World Cups.

Brazil players celebrate after clinching the World Cup in 2002.

Brazil players celebrate after clinching the World Cup in 2002. | Photo Credit: AFP

From Brazil to Spain, here is a look at the top five teams that have the most appearances in World Cups.

The FIFA world cup is all set to be kicked off on November 20, 2022 in Qatar with 32 teams battling for the highest honour in international football. 

From Brazil to Spain, here is a look at the top five teams that have the most appearances in World Cups:

Brazil - 21 appearances 

First up, it’s Brazil and this is not a surprise as it is one of the most dominant sides in world football. With 21 consecutive WC appearances and 109 matches played, the yellow and blue brigade sits at the top of the list.

It also boasts a staggering 73 wins with just 18 losses and 18 draws. Brazil has also produced some of the most celebrated players like Pele, Ronaldo, Romario, Ronaldinho, Cafu and the list goes on.

It also holds the unique record of appearing in all the World Cups so far, without the need for playoffs. But the ‘champion’ tag has eluded the  side for the past couple of decades as it is stranded without a World Cup since 2002. 

Germany - 19 appearances 

Mario Gotze’s goal in the dying minutues of extra time helped Germany beat Argentina to clinch 2014 FIFA World Cup title.

Mario Gotze’s goal in the dying minutues of extra time helped Germany beat Argentina to clinch 2014 FIFA World Cup title. | Photo Credit: AFP

Another powerhouse of an international side is Germany and it is second on the list with 19 appearances. With 67 wins, 22 losses and 20 draws – ‘Die Mannschaft’ are a force to reckon with. Its most recent World Cup trophy came in a dramatic fashion with Mario Gotze finding the back of the net in the 113th minute of the match.

But in 2018, managed by Joachim Low, it faltered and crashed out in the group stage with just three points in its kitty. The World Cup juggernaut missed two world cups – once in the inaugural 1930 World Cup when it refused to travel and once in 1950 when the country suffered the aftermath of World War II. 

Italy - 18 appearances 

Third in the list- is a team that has missed out on World Cup qualification for the second straight time - is Italy. The Blues have featured in 18 World Cups with 45 wins, 17 losses and 21 draws towards them.

Italy failed to make it to the FIFA World Cup for the second time in a row after a shock loss to North Macedonia in the playoff semifinal.

It has failed to make the cut on two other appearances – in 1930 when it decided not to participate and in 1958 when it failed to qualify. 

Argentina - 17 appearances 

Argentina, nicknamed La Albiceleste, has participated in 17 World Cups and has missed the tournament on four occasions during the course of 21 editions.

Out of the 81 matches it has played, Argentina has won on 43 outings and has suffered 23 losses. It pulled out of  World Cups in 1938, 1950 and 1954 due to disagreements with hosting rights and political reasons.

Argentina will hope to go all the way this edition and guide its golden boy Lionel Messi, sign off with the ever elusive trophy. 

Argentina will hope to go all the way this edition and guide its golden boy Lionel Messi, sign off with the ever elusive trophy.  | Photo Credit: AFP

Despite being a hub for top football talents, Argentina has been unlucky in the past, as the last time a World Cup went into its trophy cabinet was way back in 1978.

It will hope to go all the way this edition and guide its golden boy Lionel Messi, sign off with the ever elusive trophy. 

Spain - 15 appearances 

Commonly known by fans as La Furia Roja (the Red Fury), Spain’s World Cup debut was in 1934 when it lost to Italy in the quarter-finals in a replayed match as the original fixture was marred with on-field fights.

It has 30 wins and 18 losses in the 63 matches that it has played.

John Heitinga’s red card followed by Andres Iniesta’s last gasp close-range goal ensured Spain of the win against Netherlands and eventually its first and only World Cup trophy in 2010.

Spain celebrates with its maiden FIFA World Cup, after beating the Netherlands at extra-time.

Spain celebrates with its maiden FIFA World Cup, after beating the Netherlands at extra-time. | Photo Credit: AP

The last time La Roja didn’t participate in the quadrennial event was back in 1974 when Germany was split into East and West. 

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