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Every World Cup winner – ranked

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The World Cup is the pinnacle of football and is the highlight of so many players’ careers. A select few ever get a chance to lift the trophy and there can be no prouder moment within the sport.

Uruguay made history in 1930 when they were the host nation of the inaugural tournament. That was the first of two occasions where the South American country has won the tournament and they are one of eight different countries to ever win the World Cup.

Brazil are the official favourites to win the 2022 World Cup in Qatar although a case can be made for multiple teams such as Argentina, Germany, France, England and Spain.

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90min have taken a look back and ranked all of the past World Cup winners.

Uruguayan forward Juan Alberto Schiaffin

The draw was favourable for Uruguay in 1950 / STAFF/GettyImages

Unfortunately for Uruguay, it cannot be said that they beat the masses to win in 1950. They were put into a two-team group with Bolivia who they beat to reach the second group stage.

They drew with a poor Spain side and needed two late goals to beat Sweden. They did very well to beat Brazil in the final though at the Maracana.

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Brazil ought to have won in 1938 / -/GettyImages

Italy had done well to beat France and Hungary to reach the final in 1938 but they then faced Brazil who seemed to assume they can win without playing a full-strength side.

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They rested top goalscorer Leonidas and the Azzurri ended up winning with the lowest goal difference of any World Cup winner (later matched by Italy 1982 and Spain 2010).

Enrique Ballestrero

The tournament had not exactly taken shape yet / Keystone/GettyImages

It is wonderful to have won the first ever World Cup, but Uruguay were handed an easy group with Peru and Romania. They beat Yugoslavia 6-1 in the semi-final.

They then faced Argentina in a final where the crowd were so involved that the referee only agreed to officiate the game if he had a clear exit plan in place for the full-time whistle. He did not want Uruguay to lose.

West German forward Horst Hrubesch (L) heads the b

Benito Mussolini got his paws on the 1934 tournament / ROBERT DELVAC/GettyImages

The Italians did beat the USA 7-1 in the first round of the tournament in 1934, but apart from that, the Azzurri scraped their way to the final.

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Replays, late wins and one-goal margins were the order of the day. It was also said that Benito Mussolini was picking the refs, so there’s that too.

SWITZERLAND-FOOTBALL-WORLD CUP

West Germany were humbled by Hungary before getting revenge / -/GettyImages

West Germany’s 1954 side are low on this list because they were beaten 8-3 by Hungary in the group stage, so surely they weren’t one of the greatest ever winning sides?

It was predominantly due to an injury in the final for Ferenc Puskas that West Germany got their revenge on Hungary and won the final when they met again.

World Cup - Argentina v The Netherlands

It was a tournament set at a difficult time / VI-Images/GettyImages

This victory for Argentina was one of the early examples of sports washing and that is why they are low on the list. The only reason they’re not lower is that the team was genuinely very good.

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A military junta had taken over the government and reports of match-fixing were rife. The Argentina players were even treated poorly. Johan Cruyff refused to travel and the whole affair left a sour taste.

Geoff Hurst, Karl-Heinz Schnellinger

The final in 1966 was not without controversy / Evening Standard/GettyImages

This was a really superb England side packed with talented stars such as Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton, Gordon Banks and Ray Wilson.

When the winning goal in the final doesn’t cross the line, though, it is difficult to really say that England’s 1966 win can be way up the list.

FOOTBALL-WORLD CUP-GERMANY

East Germany got the better of the West in 1974 / -/GettyImages

The tournament began with embarrassment for West Germany as they were beaten by East Germany in the group stage. They soon got their act together and won the remaining games and the tournament.

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They are not widely celebrated though as people are fonder of the runners-up; Johan Cruyff’s Netherlands side and their incredible style of play.

1994 WORLD CUP FINAL

Brazil dazzled in 1994 to end a drought / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

The standard for Brazil sides is so ridiculously high that one of them had to be at the bottom. The 1994 side had the least flair of their five winning sides but the nation hadn’t won the tournament for the last five editions.

They still outscored their opponents 11-3 which is deeply impressive and they had to beat some good teams along the way.

Valdir Pereira, Djalma Santos, Zozimo, Nilton Santos, Mauro, America, Amarildo, ZITO, VAVA, Zagalo, GARRINCHA, Didi, Gilmar

Brazil had plenty of talent in 1962 even without Pele / AFP/GettyImages

The fact that Brazil lost Pele to injury and still went on to win the tournament says a lot about the collective quality of the team.

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Garrincha and Vava were the stars of the 1962 squad in Pele’s absence and they beat hosts Chile 4-2 in the semi-finals. The Selecao scored four more goals than any other team.

Diego Armando Maradona

Rudi Voller and Diego Maradona clashed at the 1990 final / Franco Origlia/GettyImages

West Germany’s 1990 squad was extremely impressive with players like Jurgen Klinsmann, Lothar Matthaus and Rudi Voller among the stars.

Unfortunately, the final against Italy was a poor spectacle, won by a dodgy penalty that the Argentinians are not over to this day.

Massimo Oddo, Mauro German Camoranes

The 2006 final had plenty of drama / Alessandro Sabattini/GettyImages

This is one for people who enjoy a certain type of football. It wasn’t thrilling and the referees certainly didn’t enjoy it, but Italy came out on top in 2006. They provided the famous ‘gol di Grosso’ moment in the semi-final to beat Germany.

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Fabio Cannavaro and Gianluigi Buffon were imperious at the back and the team is still admired to this day for their defensive displays.

Paolo Rossi, Salvador Salguero

Paolo Rossi showed his class in 1982 / Alessandro Sabattini/GettyImages

Astoundingly, Italy did not win a single game in the first group stage, but still managed to remain confident enough to go and win the tournament – that’s what makes this triumph so special.

The key player was Paolo Rossi who scored six goals as they beat Argentina and Brazil in the second group stage and then Poland and West Germany en route to glory.

Fabio Cannavaro, Zinedine Zidane, Demetrio Albertini

Zinedine Zidane was a key part of France’s 1998 squad / Simon M Bruty/GettyImages

An incredibly multicultural French squad hosted the 1998 tournament during a heated period for the country and its relationship with Les Bleus.

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Featuring stars such as Zinedine Zidane, Patrick Viera, Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, David Trezeguet and many more led France to glory on home soil. They conceded just two goals and beat Brazil 3-0 in the final in Paris.

Mario Goetze

It took an extra-time goal for Germany to beat Argentina / Simon M Bruty/GettyImages

Germany’s 7-1 semi-final demolition of hosts Brazil was enough for them to feature this high up, in truth, but they were also much more than just the onee win.

The likes of Mesut Ozil, Mario Gotze, Sami Khedira, Miroslav Klose and Andre Schurrle were all on song in 2014 and they mechanically dispatched of all who stood in their way before beating Argentina in the final.

Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud, Blaise Matuidi, Kylian Mbappe, Raphael Varane, Paul Pogba

The French team had multiple stars to enjoy / Catherine Steenkeste/GettyImages

The 2018 France squad was star-studded and appeared to just stand taller than all they came across. Kylian Mbappe was relentless and Paul Pogba looked to be at his best.

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They had to beat Argentina, Uruguay and Belgium to reach the final which is a very tough run, before then beating a deeply talented Croatia side 4-2 in the final in Moscow.

Andres Iniesta, Maarten Stekelenburg, Rafael Van Der Vaart

Andres Iniesta got the winner in South Africa / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Spain’s 2010 side is almost remembered with begrudging admiration. Their tika-taka brand of football proved to be highly effective and it was deeply impressive, but it couldn’t be described as thrilling once you’d watched it a few times.

Nonetheless, they came out on top and walked their way to Spain’s first ever World Cup win in supremely comfortable style.

Ronaldinho, Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima

Ronaldo and Ronaldinho dazzled the world in 2002 / Alessandro Sabattini/GettyImages

There are so many examples of wonderful Brazil squads at the World Cup, but the 2002 side featured so many household names that have stood the test of time.

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Ronaldo, Rivaldo, and Ronaldinho got 15 goals between them and the team collectively scored 18 times, which says it all. They beat Germany 2-0 in the final.

Soccer - Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona ran the show in Mexico / Jean-Yves Ruszniewski/GettyImages

It would be remiss not to have Diego Maradona somewhere on the list and he was responsible for so much of the drama and skill at Mexico 86.

Other superb stars helped Argentina string together five straight wins to beat West Germany in the final 3-2. Maradona scored five times, whilst Jorge Valdano got four himself.

Vava, Pele

Pele was just 17 years old at the 1958 tournament / Keystone/GettyImages

This Brazil team will always be remembered because it is when Pele burst onto the scene as a fresh-faced 17-year-old. He scored six goals and two of those were in the final.

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1958 would be Brazil’s maiden World Cup triumph and an incredible one at that; they outscored their semi-final and final opponents by a 10-4 scoreline.

Edson Arantes Do Nascimento Pele

Pele was the star of the show for Brazil again / Alessandro Sabattini/GettyImages

There is a reason why this Brazil is still such a touchstone in football discourse. If a team is looking particularly bad, you’ll hear someone say ‘watch them turn into 1970s Brazil against us’.

Pele netted four goals, Jairzinho got seven, and they became the first team to win all of their games in the tournament.



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Gareth Bale responds to question on Wales international future

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Gareth Bale shut down questions on whether the World Cup match against England would be his last for Wales on Tuesday, issuing a flat “no” when asked the question outright.

The Welsh captain is his country’s most capped men’s international player, though speculation has been surrounding the 33-year-old’s future at both club and international level for a number of months.

Bale moved to LAFC in MLS in order to prepare for the World Cup after leaving Real Madrid, and while he scored an equaliser against the United States in game one of Wales’ tournament in Qatar the team have underperformed on the whole, losing 2-0 to Iran last time out.

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They need a win against England to stand any chance of making it through to the knockout stages, and are dependent on other results. Wales’ position in the group and potential fate has naturally produced questions about what happens beyond the England game if Wales go home, but Bale flat out dismissed the question with a no.

Bale did though go into detail on his side’s campaign in Qatar so far, admitting the mood in the camp was low after conceding twice to Iran.

“We’re disappointed in the results and the performances,” he said a day out from the England match. “But that’s football, it’s not easy, we’re at a World Cup against some very good teams and we’ll always give 100%. We’ve been working hard the last few days to make things better and correct things.

“We don’t need to get anyone going, just need to keep working hard and hopefully things will turn around for us.

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“I don’t feel [added] responsibility because we’re a team. We’re a nation and we work hard for each other. We need to deliver as a team, it’s not one person that needs to do anything. Of course we’d have loved to be winning and doing a lot better but the reality is, football is hard. If it was that easy we’d be favourites to win the World Cup. We need to stick together and we’ll give 100% tomorrow like we always do.

“The one thing I always do is give 100%. I was flying into tackles in the 90th minute the other day. I’ll just try and lead by example.”

Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders and Toby Cudworth to look back on South Korea/Japan ’02 as part of the ‘Our World Cup’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

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The World Cup has seen a number of shock results occur to date, with Argentina losing to Saudi Arabia and Morocco beating Belgium among others. Wales beating England would be a result in a similar bracket, but Bale is confident England have weaknesses to exploit.

“Everyone has weaknesses. We’ve done our homework. We’ve had meetings and I’m sure they’ve done the same with us. We know how difficult it will be. England are a very good team, They’re one of the favourites to win the tournament. We are under no illusions, it will be hard, we’re going to give everything like we always do.

“There’s been a few shocks in the tournament already and there’s no reason why we can’t do the same.”

Wales manager Rob Page hinted during his own press conference that Bale or Aaron Ramsey would not necessarily start the game against England, hinting at a need for fresh blood with Wales struggling for energy at times during their opening matches.

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Bale is one of the leading players in the camp and remains firm that the team remain together and confident of turning things around against England.

“Yeah of course we have our responsibility to help everybody,” he added. “At this current moment we are not in the greatest of positions and we have not had an amazing tournament. But it is football, it is not easy. It is difficult. The main thing for us all is that we have stuck together as a group, like we have always done.

“We will fight again. We will go on the pitch and give everything. You saw our reaction when we conceded against Iran, how devastated we all were, lying on the floor. Heartbroken. After the game everybody was upset. No one can ever question our commitment but we will all stick together through thick and thin, through the ups and downs. We will give everything again tomorrow.”



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Player ratings as Selecao book place in knockout stages

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Brazil made incredibly hard work of their 1-0 victory over Switzerland on Monday evening at Stadium 974.

A thoroughly uninspiring affair came to life five minutes from time as Manchester United midfielder Casemiro popped up with a fizzing half-volley that flew beyond Yann Sommer and sealed Brazil’s place in the knockout stages.

Switzerland made an impressive start, enjoying plenty of possession and pushing numbers forward in an attempt to pin Brazil back.

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Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders and Toby Cudworth to look back on South Korea/Japan ’02 as part of the ‘Our World Cup’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

The first real sight of goal for either team came shortly before the hour mark. Raphinha’s cross found Vinicius Junior at the back post but he can’t connect properly and sends the ball towards goal with his knee, giving Yann Sommer enough time to get over to make the save.

And that was about as good as it got in the first half.

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A slow start to the second half saw ten minutes pass before the next real sight of goal. Vinicius played an excellent cross in towards Richarlison but, yet again, the ball was inches away from being on target.

The first real moment of quality in the match came in the 65th minute as Vinicius slotted home, but the automated offside system clocked Richarlison had strayed earlier in the move and ultimately ruled it out.

There was no ruling out Casemiro’s strike 20 minutes later. The midfielder waltzed into the box and fired home an excellent half-volley which led Brazil through to the next round.

It was nearly two as Rodrygo got a glimpse of goal but an excellent block from Manuel Akanji ensured Brazil had to settle for just the one goal.

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Vinicius Junior

Vinicius thought he had scored / Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

GK: Alisson – 5/10 – Shaky under little pressure but generally didn’t have a lot to do. Has shaved his moustache.

RB: Eder Militao – 7/10 – Did a nice job at right-back but was usually central when Brazil were on the ball. Really composed in possession.

CB: Thiago Silva – 7/10 – Some excellent passes as he looked in control of every situation.

CB: Marquinhos – 7/10 – Had to do a lot of the creating as Brazil’s midfielders struggled to get through.

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LB: Alex Sandro – 6/10 – Some fantastic moments that yielded slow-mo replays, but still needed to do more in attack.

DM: Casemiro – 8/10 – Shielded his defence well and did what he could to try and keep things ticking over in attack. A moment of magic to win the game.

CM: Fred – 5/10 – Not the right skill set for this game. Did a decent enough job defensively but his limited attacking output was a major issue.

CM: Lucas Paqueta – 5/10 – Not on it here. Made a few nice passes but generally couldn’t find the space needed to get through Switzerland’s defence.

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RW: Raphinha – 6/10 – At the centre of nearly everything positive from Brazil, which doesn’t say much.

ST: Richarlison – 5/10 – Starved of service but did manage a few nice passes when he did finaly get the ball.

LW: Vinicius Junior – 6/10 – A few nice runs but sloppy in front of goal. Should have put Brazil ahead in the first half. Came to life after the break.

SUB: Rodrygo (46′ for Paqueta) – 6/10 – Focused on trying to beat Switzerland on the counter. Nice movement.

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SUB: Bruno Guimaraes (59′ for Fred) – 7/10 – Changed the tide of the midfield battle. An impressive showing.

SUB: Antony (73′ for Raphinha) – 6/10 – Had the odd dangerous moment.

SUB: Gabriel Jesus (73′ for Richarlison) – 6/10 – Didn’t have long to strut his stuff but did involve himself in a few nice moves.

SUB: Alex Telles (86′ for Sandro) – N/A

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Manager: Tite – 5/10 – Clearly exploring ways to cope without Neymar but didn’t really find one. A thoroughly uninspiring showing saved by a moment of magic.

Nico Elvedi

Solid from Elvedi / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

GK: Yann Sommer – 6/10 – Made a nice save to deny Vinicius.

RB: Silvan Widmer – 6/10 – Some early fouls on Vinicius set the tone. Made the winger uncomfortable and did a nice job. Saved by the offside flag for the disallowed opener.

CB: Manuel Akanji – 7/10 – Impressive positioning to keep Richarlison at bay.

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CB: Nico Elvedi – 7/10 – Did a very solid job of controlling Brazil’s attackers alongside his mathematician teammate.

LB: Ricardo Rodriguez – 6/10 – Didn’t have a whole lot of defending to do but looked a little too cautious in attack.

DM: Remo Freuler – 6/10 – Good energy and desire to keep closing Brazil’s midfield down. Faded as the game progressed.

DM: Granit Xhaka – 6/10 – Similarly, led by example in midfield as he pressed with real energy and enthusiasm. Unsettled Brazil.

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RM: Fabian Rieder – 6/10 – Handed his first international start in an unfamiliar position and did a solid job, but wasn’t always comfortable. A little too aggressive at times but nothing to really complain about.

AM: Djibril Sow – 5/10 – The odd nice run but couldn’t find any way through Brazil’s experienced defence.

LM: Ruben Vargas – 5/10 – Played a little narrower to try and being Rodriguez into the game but it didn’t always work.

ST: Breel Embolo – 5/10 – Put a shift in but had very little joy against high-level opposition. Can’t fault the effort.

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SUB: Edimilson Fernandes (59′ for Vargas) – 5/10 – Red hot in the minutes after he entered but soon faded away.

SUB: Renato Steffen (59′ for Rieder) – 5/10 – Didn’t offer mich down the right.

SUB: Michel Aebischer (75′ for Sow) – 5/10 – Barely got involved.

SUB: Haris Seferovic (75′ for Embolo) – 5/10 – Chased shadows during his short time on the pitch.

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SUB: Fabian Frei (86′ for Widmer) – N/A

Manager: Murat Yakin – 6/10 – It’s not easy to keep Brazil this quiet but Yakin’s decision to start Rieder over Xherdan Shaqiri helped add more steel. Just a shame about the non-existent attacking threat.

Player of the match – Casemiro



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Rangers appoint Michael Beale as new manager

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Rangers have confirmed the appointment of Michael Beale as the club’s new manager, following Gio van Bronckhorst’s sacking.

The former QPR manager has signed a contract which runs until 2026 at Ibrox, returning to the Gers having previously worked as an assistant manager at the club under Steven Gerrard.

90min revealed on Sunday that Beale’s appointment was imminent, and a club statement has confirmed his return to the club: “Michael Beale is the 18th manager of Rangers with the club delighted to confirm his appointment today.

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Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders and Toby Cudworth to look back on South Korea/Japan ’02 as part of the ‘Our World Cup’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

“Signing a contract to 2026, the 42 year-old joins from his role as manager of Queens’ Park Rangers in West London having previously worked as first-team coach at Ibrox from 2018 to last November. It is an exciting appointment for the club, with Beale undoubtedly one of the most sought-after young managers in British football.”

Speaking about his return to Rangers, Beale said: “It is fantastic to be back and to see everybody this morning, there are some new faces but some people that I know really well so it is great to see everyone. 

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“I am hugely proud, it is a wonderful, wonderful football club, it is an institution. For everyone that works here it is a huge privilege, but to be the manager of this football club, that is extremely special. Some wonderful people have sat in this chair prior to me, and I am hugely proud to be the person sat here now.”



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