Cristiano Ronaldo's history at the World Cup: 2006 debut, 2014 heartache & record-breaking 2018 | US (2023)

After the Real Madrid star competed in a fourth World Cup, Goal takes a look back at his previous involvement

Without doubt one of the greatest footballers of all time, Cristiano Ronaldo has won nearly everything there is to win in the game.

At club level the Portuguese has amassed four Champions League titles, three Premier Leagues,two La Liga crowns and more during his time with Manchester United and Real Madrid.

He has been integral to the success of those clubs, something that is reflected in the fact that he has scooped five Ballons d'Or, but he has also been a star at international level.

Having made his debut for Portugal in 2003, Ronaldo is nowhis country's record-holder for both goals and appearances, as well as their captain and leader.

They were crowned European champions in 2016, but the World Cup has eluded Ronaldo and the Selecao on the four occasions he has been involved.

The Real Madrid star was denied in another bid for world glory with his country in Russia this summer and it may well have been his last chance.Goal takes a look back at his legacy in the tournament thus far.

Germany 2006

Ronaldo made his World Cup debut in 2006 -at the age of 21 - when the tournament was held in Germany and he formed a crucial part of Luiz Felipe Scolari's team alongside the likes of Luis Figo, Simao, Deco and Pauleta.

By that time, Ronaldo was firmly established as one of the most exciting young players in the world, making his mark in the Premier League with Manchester United, and the 2006 World Cup was another step on his journey to the top of the game. Wearing the number 17 jersey due to the seniority of Portugal's number 7 Figo, Ronaldo played in six games as his country reached the semi-finals, ultimately finishing fourth.

Cristiano Ronaldo's history at the World Cup: 2006 debut, 2014 heartache & record-breaking 2018 | US (1)

His first ever game at a World Cup came in the 1-0 group-stage win over Angola in Cologne and it was an unremarkable display as he picked up a yellow card before being taken off after the hour mark. Ronaldo's first goal at the tournament came in the second game against Iran as he scored a penalty - stepping up to the mark ahead of Figo - in a 2-0 win in Frankfurt.

(Video) Cristiano Ronaldo: All 11 RED CARDS In Career

Scolari opted to rest the Man United forward in the final group game against Mexico, which Portugal won 2-1, but he was back in the starting XI for the last-16 clash against the Netherlands. Unfortunately for Ronaldo, however, his involvement in that game - later dubbed 'The Battle of Nuremburg' -was cut short as he was forced off with an injury after a reckless challenge from Khalid Boulahrouz on the 34th minute. The Selecao held on to win in Ronaldo's absence, beating the Oranje 1-0 to set up a quarter-final clash against England.

The game against the Three Lions was a tempestuous affair and Ronaldo became 'public enemy number one' for his role in the demise of Sven Goran Eriksson's side. Not only was the Man United man to the fore in the events that led to the sending off of his club-mateWayne Rooney, who had stamped Ricardo Carvalho, he then went on to score the winning spot-kick in the penalty shootout.

Cristiano Ronaldo's history at the World Cup: 2006 debut, 2014 heartache & record-breaking 2018 | US (2)Getty Images

"[Rooney]wasn't angry with me," Ronaldo insisted afterwards. "And, moreover, he told me to completely ignore what the English press has said, that all they wanted was to create confusion, but we are already used to that."

After beating England, Portugal were paired with France in the semi-final and that proved to be the end of their World Cup hopes as Zinedine Zidane's penalty in the 33rd minute gave Les Bleus the victory. As losing semi-finalists they were subsequntly penned in for the third-place play-off against tournament hosts Germany, but they were well beaten by Jugen Klinsmann's side, who won 3-1.

Ronaldo was notably jeered by sections of the crowd during the game in Stuttgart, as he had been in the game against France, something he has become accustomed to in the years that have followed.

South Africa 2010

Cristiano Ronaldo's history at the World Cup: 2006 debut, 2014 heartache & record-breaking 2018 | US (3)Getty Images

Four years after his World Cup breakthrough in Germany, a 25-year-old Ronaldo arrived in South Africa in 2010 as the world's most expensive player - having signed for Real Madrid for€94 million - a Ballon d'Or winnerand Portugal's captain. However, despite his success at club level, he was enduring some difficulty on the international stage and had gone through a rare barren spell, failing to score a single goal in qualification for the World Cup.

With stalwarts such as Pauleta, Deco and Figo moving off the stage, Ronaldo assumed much greater responsibility at the head of the Selecao attack, but he was unable to influence things in his side's favour in 2010. Portugal qualified from a group containing Brazil, Ivory Coast and North Korea, but they were only able to score against North Korea, beating the Asian side 7-0, with Ronaldo finding the net once - remarkably his first international goal in 16 months.

Even though they emerged from Group G unbeaten, the performances of Carlos Queiroz's side left much to be desired and the team came in for criticism from their national media. However, things got worse when they were paired with Iberian rivals - and eventual champions - Spain in the round of 16. Vicente del Bosque's La Roja were reigning European champions and among the favourites to win the tournament, so presented a stern task for the Portuguese.

Cristiano Ronaldo's history at the World Cup: 2006 debut, 2014 heartache & record-breaking 2018 | US (4)

Ronaldo started the game on the left flank,finding himself up against team-mate Sergio Ramos, but he was unable to find a way through as Spain dominated possession. The deadlock was eventually broken after the hour mark as Xavi scored and it proved to be the decisive moment of the game. Portugal enjoyed just 39 per cent possession in Cape Town and managed three shots on target compared to Spain's 10, while a red card to Ricardo Costa in the dying moments simply compounded their disappointment.

(Video) Most Iconic World Cup Moments in HISTORY

Afterwards, Ronaldo admitted that the manner of the defeat - and exit from the tournament - left him feeling "an unimaginable sadness". In the aftermath, when asked to explain why Portugal failed the captain suggested that the reporter should ask Queiroz, something that prompted further criticism of the Real Madrid man. The Selecao boss later responded with a pointed comment, telling AFP that."Portugal needs Ronaldo, and Ronaldo needs the national side. But if this shirt [the Portuguese strip] unnerves some players, they have no grounds to be there."

In the end, the 2010 World Cup stood in stark contrast to Ronaldo's experience at his first tournament in 2006. With just one goal - an 87th-minute strike in a 7-0 win over minnows North Korea - in four games and enduring a barrage of criticism, it was arguably thelowest ebb of his international career.

Brazil 2014

Cristiano Ronaldo's history at the World Cup: 2006 debut, 2014 heartache & record-breaking 2018 | US (5)

Portugal's route to the 2014 World Cup involved a play-off against Sweden, in which Ronaldo scored four goals across the two legs, including a hat-trick in the second leg in Solna. Then 29, Ronaldo arrived in Brazil as the reigning Ballon d'Or holder and a Champions League winner with Madrid. He was at the top of his game,but, much to his chagrin,international tournament heart-ache continued.

Ronaldo's fitness was a persistent concern ahead of the tournament and he was forced to sit out training on a number of occasions due to niggling knee injuries. Nevertheless, even though he was clearly not at 100 per cent, he somehow managed to play every minute of their three group stage matches.

When the Real Madrid man was passed fit to play in the opening game against Germany there was an understandable sense of optimism in the Portuguese camp, but the game in Salvador turned out to be a total disaster as Pepe was sent off in the first-half andJoachim Low's men won 4-0 - the worst ever World Cup defeat experienced by Portugal.

Cristiano Ronaldo's history at the World Cup: 2006 debut, 2014 heartache & record-breaking 2018 | US (6)

The next game against the United States gave Portugal a chance to redeem themselves, but they struggled against Klinsmann's men and needed a 95th minute equaliser to clinch a point. Having gone ahead through Nani, the Selecao found themselves trailing in the second half as Jermaine Jones and Clint Dempsey struck to give the USMNT the lead with 10 minutes left to play. It looked like Portugal were on their way home, but Ronaldo's cross in stoppage timefound Silvestre Varela, who scored to keep their hopes alive, if only just.

They needed to win against Ghana in the final game and hope for a favourable result in the Germany - USA match in order to qualify for the knock-out stage. Things were looking good when Portugal went ahead on the half-hour mark, but the Black Stars responded in the second half with Asamoah Gyan heading home.

Ronaldo had been to the fore for his country during the game, hitting the cross-bar beforeseeing a header saved and he eventually found the back of the net with just 10 minutes to go. The goal - which made him the first Portuguese player to score at three World Cups - was not enough to see them through though and they went home from Brazil after just three games.

Russia 2018

Cristiano Ronaldo's history at the World Cup: 2006 debut, 2014 heartache & record-breaking 2018 | US (7)

Ronaldo and Portugal arrived in Russia for the 2018 World Cup as European champions and they were landed in an intriguing group alongside their Iberian rivals Spain, as well as Morocco and Iran.

(Video) Why Does America Suck at World Cups?

Having gone out at the group stage four years earlier, Portugal felt they had something to prove, as did Ronaldo after failing to make much of an impact himself, particularly in terms of goals.

And in the opening game against Spain, the Real Madrid manlived up to his reputation by scoring an incredible hat-trick that secured a valuable point for his country and doubled his overall tally of World Cup goals. The hat-trick itself was particularly spectacular as it included an outrageous late free kick, which clinched the 3-3 draw.

Cristiano Ronaldo's history at the World Cup: 2006 debut, 2014 heartache & record-breaking 2018 | US (8)

In the following game against Morocco, the 33-year-old continued his remarkable scoring exploits within five minutes with a goal that saw him replace Ferenc Puskas as the most prolific European international of all time and moved him second in the list of all-time top international goalscorers.

Ronaldo did not manage to find the net in Portugal's last group outing against Iran, but qualification was secured with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against a side led by Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz.

After finishing second in Group B behind Spain, the Selecao were paired with Uruguay in the last 16 and that proved to be their last involvement in Russia as La Celeste triumphed 2-1 in Sochi.

The Real Madrid man will be 37 by the time of the next World Cup in Qatar, which will be held in the winter of 2022, but he has been urged by his team-mates to remain a part of the team as long as is possible.

Ronaldo's overall World Cup record

Russia 2018 was Ronaldo's fourth time playing at a World Cup and he brought his number of appearances in the tournament to 17in that edition.

He also more than doubled his overall goal tally by scoring four times - including a hat-trick against Spain.

Prior to his fourth tournament he hadscored just three times in 13 appearances- once in 2006, once in 2010 and once in 2014 - which was, in truth, a dismal return for a man who has broken record after record with his goals at club level and indeed for his country.

AppearancesGoalsYellow cardsRed cards

In his 17games, the forward has been on the winning side six times(four of those coming at the 2006 tournament)losing five and drawing six. He has been shown four yellow cards.

(Video) The Top 101 most memorable moments in FIFA World Cup history | FOX Soccer

The 2018 tournament in Russia could well have been Ronaldo's last shot at winning world glory with his country, even though there have been no indications that he is set to retire any time soon.

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What happened during Ronaldo's first World Cup tournament in 2006? ›

Germany 2006

His first ever game at a World Cup came in the 1-0 group-stage win over Angola in Cologne and it was an unremarkable display as he picked up a yellow card before being taken off after the hour mark.

What is the World Cup history of Ronaldo? ›

Cristiano Ronaldo has never won a FIFA World Cup. Throughout his career he has won an incredible number of team and individual honours, but he has yet to get his hands on the game's most famous trophy — and his 2022 campaign has ended in failure again.

How many goals does Cristiano Ronaldo have in World Cup history? ›

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored eight goals in 22 matches at the FIFA World Cup, scoring in every edition he has played in - 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018 and 2022.

Did Cristiano Ronaldo play in 2006 World Cup? ›

Germany 2006

Ronaldo made his World Cup debut in 2006 - at the age of 21 - when the tournament was held in Germany and he formed a crucial part of Luiz Felipe Scolari's team alongside the likes of Luis Figo, Simao, Deco and Pauleta.

What is the farthest Ronaldo has gone in the World Cup? ›

Cristiano Ronaldo's last World Cup

He's also played at four World Cup finals just like Messi but the farthest he's reached with the Selecao is the semi-finals in Germany 2006. Portugal have the confidence of winning Euro 2016 and the Nations League in 2019.

What happened in the 2006 World Cup scandal? ›

Swiss prosecutors have charged three German ex-football officials who helped organise the 2006 Germany World Cup and one former Fifa official with fraud. A payment of €6.7m (£6.1m) made in April 2005 was falsely declared as being for a World Cup opening ceremony. All four men deny any wrongdoing.

Has Ronaldo ever made it to the World Cup final? ›

But that goal was Ronaldo's only one in this tournament and perhaps the final one of his World Cup career. In all, he has scored eight goals in 22 World Cup games, the fifth most World Cup appearances of all time. His best finish in the World Cup was in his first, in 2006, when he was 21 and Portugal finished fourth.

How many times has Ronaldo been in the World Cup? ›

Ronaldo has appeared at five World Cup tournaments, playing eight games in total in the knockout stages of those competitions. During his appearances at the World Cup in 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018 and 2022, he only scored in the group stage.

Has Ronaldo won the Golden Ball in World Cup? ›

Oliver Kahn is to date the only goalkeeper to have won the award, which he did in the FIFA World Cup 2002. At the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Lionel Messi became the first player to win two Golden Balls.
Official winners.
World Cup1998 France
Golden BallRonaldo
Silver BallDavor Šuker
Bronze BallLilian Thuram
10 more columns

Is Ronaldo the highest goal scorer in history? ›

Ronaldo FIFA goals record

Ronaldo beat out previous record holder Josef Bican, who scored an incredible 805 goals in the 24 years between 1931 and 1955. Ronaldo is in the 20th season of his career having played his first season as a pro in 2002/03.

What is ronaldos highest goal scoring year? ›

The most goals in a calendar year by Cristiano Ronaldo is 69 goals, which he achieved in the 2013-14 season in Real Madrid.

Who has the most World Cups Messi or Ronaldo? ›

Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi: Titles
Cristiano RonaldoCompetitionLionel Messi
5Champions League4
4Club World Cup3
4National Cups*7
6 more rows

How many times has Ronaldo scored 4 goals in a match? ›

Ronaldo has now scored four goals or more in a single game for club and country 11 times, with the 38-year-old hitting four goals on nine occasions and twice registering five in a match.

Who was the best player in 2006 World Cup? ›

The 2006 FIFA World Player of the Year prize was awarded to the Italian Fabio Cannavaro for the first time. He finished ahead of retired midfielder Zinédine Zidane, who won the Golden Ball at the World Cup and the winner of the 2005 FIFA World Player of the Year Ronaldinho in the final round of voting.

Who did Ronaldo score against in the 2006 World Cup? ›

Cristiano Ronaldo Goal 80' | Portugal vs IR Iran | 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™

Why did Ronaldo get kicked out of the World Cup? ›

Cristiano Ronaldo was dramatically dropped for Portugal's round of 16 tie against Switzerland at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. It came after his angry reaction to being substituted in the final group game against South Korea and amid suspicions that Portugal are a better team without him.

Who has lost the World Cup the most? ›

Germany lost the finals in 1966, 1982, 1986 and 2002, making them the team with the most number of losses in a World Cup final. Both Argentina and the Netherlands have lost three finals each.

Who got 3 yellow cards to the same player? ›

Fans all over the world closely follow it. With many memorable moments, there have also been some unexpected ones. One of the occurrences occurred in Germany at the FIFA World Cup of 2006, where referee Graham Poll sent three yellow cards to Josip Simunic, a Croatian defender, during a game.

Who found the World Cup when it was stolen? ›

Upon unwrapping the newspaper, Mr. Corbett found that the package was indeed the Jules Rimet Trophy. Fame and fortune ensued for Pickles and David Corbett. They were awarded a 5,000 pound prize, and Pickles was awarded the silver metal of the National Canine Defence League.

What was banned from the World Cup? ›

“Following discussions between host country authorities and FIFA, a decision has been made to focus the sale of alcoholic beverages on the FIFA Fan Festival, other fan destinations and licensed venues, removing sales points of beer from ... stadium perimeters,” FIFA said.

Why did Ronaldo cry in World Cup? ›

After Portugal crashed out of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Ronaldo broke down in tears and cried inconsolably as his last dance on the world stage came to a premature end. In a video that has gone viral on social media platforms, an emotional Ronaldo can be seen walking off the pitch after the final whistle is blown.

How old was Ronaldo when he scored in his first World Cup? ›

At age 17, he was the youngest member of the Brazilian squad that won the 1994 FIFA World Cup. At the 1998 FIFA World Cup, Ronaldo received the Golden Ball as the player of the tournament after he helped Brazil reach the final, where he suffered a convulsive fit hours before kick-off.

Who is No 1 Messi or Ronaldo? ›

At the club level, Messi holds the record for most goals in La Liga with 474. In total, including clubs and country, Messi has scored 793 goals in 1,003 appearances. He also has 350 assists to his name. On the other hand, Ronaldo has scored 819 goals in 1,145 appearances for both club and country.

Who is the best player in the world? ›

Lionel Messi currently seems to be the only top player in the world right now after winning the World Cup. Messi is the most popular candidate thanks to his performances at the FIFA World Cup 2022. The Argentine attacker is frequently recognised as the best player in football history.

Who is the top 10 highest goal scorer? ›

The top 10 goalscorers of all time: Ronaldo, Messi, Pele, Puskas…
  • Ferenc Deak (576+ goals)
  • Gerd Muller (734 goals)
  • Ferenc Puskas (746+ goals)
  • Pele (757 goals)
  • Romario (772 goals)
  • Lionel Messi (798 goals)
  • Josef Bican (805 goals)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (827 goals)
3 days ago

Which player has more goals in World Cup? ›

Miroslav Klose is the player who has the most World Cup goals than anyone else. The four tournaments he has participated in are 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014. His goal-to-game ratio is 0.67 over 24 games. Get Yours Today!

Who has the most golden balls Ronaldo or Messi? ›

Lionel Messi has won the award a record seven times, followed by Cristiano Ronaldo with five. Three players have won the award three times each: Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini, and Marco van Basten.

Which country has only had 1 Golden Ball winner World Cup? ›

The winner has come from Brazil 7 times. Only one player has won the award twice, Lionel Messi in 2014 and 2022.
World Cup Best Players (Golden Ball)
YearGolden Ball WinnerCountry
1994Romário (Romário de Souza Faria)Brazil
1990Salvatore SchillaciItaly
1986Diego MaradonaArgentina
1982Paolo RossiItaly
18 more rows

Who has the most Golden balls in soccer? ›

Messi has won the men's Ballon d'Or award a record seven times, Cristiano Ronaldo has won the award five times.

Who is the No 1 player in football history? ›

Cristiano Ronaldo (Al Nassr & Portugal) (Total Football Goals: 824) 17 Feb. 2023 Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 500 league goal, playing for his club Saudi Arabia club Al Nassr. Ronaldo has the highest football salary in history, worth €200 million per year and has contract till 2025.

Has any footballer scored 1,000 goals? ›

Brazilian soccer great Pelé scores his 1,000th professional goal in a game, against Vasco da Gama in Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium. It was a major milestone in an illustrious career that included three World Cup championships.

Who is the highest assist in football history? ›

Paris Saint-Germain forward Lionel Messi has provided the most assists in football. The Argentina captain has tallied 390 assists in his record-breaking career for club and country.

How many hatrick does Ronaldo have? ›

Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to reach 10 international hat-tricks when he netted three goals for Portugal in a 5–0 win over Luxembourg on 12 October 2021, and overall, he has scored 62 in his career, which is more than any other active player.

Has Ronaldo scored 60 goals in a season? ›

With 46 goals in 2011-12, Cristiano Ronaldo holds Real Madrid's club record for most goals scored in a single La Liga season. In the same year, with 60 goals in total, he also broke the Real record for most goals scored in a season in all competitions.

Why is Ronaldo better than Messi? ›

Ronaldo, who holds the record for most Champions League goals of all time (141), leads Messi by one on that trophy count. Messi, meanwhile, has a greater number of domestic cups and league titles.

Who is the goat of football now? ›

Lionel Messi is widely acknowledged as the GOAT of football in the modern era and is also considered by many to be the greatest player of all time or the GOAT in history.

Who is the goat of soccer all time? ›

Lionel Messi is often considered the GOAT of football, following his exploits with Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Argentina.

Who is the goat Messi or cr7? ›

Messi and Ronaldo have similar enough trophy hauls, but Messi edges things when it comes to league titles, having won La Liga 10 times with Barcelona and Ligue 1 once with PSG.

Did Messi scored 7 goals in one match? ›

Messi has scored five goals in a single game twice in his career with the first being his record-breaking performance for Barcelona against Bayer Leverkusen in 2012 in which the forward became the first man to score five times in a single Champions League match.

Which player scored 7 goals in one match? ›

Known for his scoring feats and clean play, Malone led the NHL in goals and points in 1918 and 1920. He is the only player in the history of the NHL to score seven goals in a single game, accomplishing the feat in 1920. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1950.

Who scored 7 goals in one match World Cup? ›

France 7-3 Paraguay – 8 June 1958

France kicked off their 1958 World Cup campaign with a fantastic 7-3 win over Paraguay in their opening match.

Who is the oldest football player to score in a World Cup? ›

Roger Milla (Cameroon) - 42 years and 39 days vs Russia in FIFA World Cup 1994. Cameroon legend Roger Milla holds the record of being the oldest footballer to score a goal in the men's FIFA World Cup, having netted against Russia in the 1994 World Cup in the USA at the ripe old age of 42 years and 39 days.

Who was the best player in World Cup 2014? ›

With only three players (James Rodriguez, Neymar and Arjen Robben) not competing in the finals, it was clear that this was going to be a competitive award. In the end, the voters decided that Messi was the best of the bunch despite his loss in the final match against Germany.

Who won the Golden Glove in 2006 World Cup? ›

FIFA World Cup 2006 Golden Glove winner: Gianluigi Buffon

Italian goalie Gianluigi Buffon grabbed the Golden Glove award along with the World Cup in 2006.

What happened with Ronaldo at World Cup? ›

Notably, Ronaldo was benched in Portugal's first knockout round 6-1 demolition of Switzerland – the first time since 2008 – after he angrily reacted to being substituted against South Korea in the side's final group match.

Who scored the last penalty in the 2006 World Cup? ›

Fabio Grosso—who scored Italy's first goal in the semi-final against Germany—scored the winning penalty; Italy won by a score of 5–3.

What happened at the 2006 World Cup? ›

Italy won the World Cup after beating France 5–3 in a penalty shoot-out following a 1–1 draw at the conclusion of extra time.

What football tournament happened in 2006? ›

The 2006 FIFA World Cup, also branded as Germany 2006, was the 18th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 9 June to 9 July 2006 in Germany, which had won the right to host the event in July 2000.

What happened in Ronaldo's early life? ›

Cristiano was a proud but troubled boy, the youngest of four children. His mother was a cook and a cleaner. The family was so poor his mother, Dolores Aveiro, considered terminating her pregnancy and tried a homemade recipe, she revealed in her book Mother Courage.

What happened when the World Cup was stolen? ›

As it turned out, not even Brazilian thieves could resist its lure. After the Seleção had won its third World Cup in 1970, the country was permanently given the trophy, which it kept in the offices of its Football Confederation. After the robbery, Brazilian police concluded the cup had been melted into gold bars.

Who is the best player of World Cup 2006? ›

The 2006 FIFA World Player of the Year prize was awarded to the Italian Fabio Cannavaro for the first time. He finished ahead of retired midfielder Zinédine Zidane, who won the Golden Ball at the World Cup and the winner of the 2005 FIFA World Player of the Year Ronaldinho in the final round of voting.

What is the most 0 0s in a World Cup? ›

The record number of 0-0 draws at a World Cup is seven, now shared by five different editions of the tournament. That tally was reached in 1982, 2006, 2010, 2014 and now 2022.

Who was the best college football team in 2006? ›

Ohio State

What is the most famous football tournament? ›

The biggest and the most famous international tournament of Football is The World Cup which is organized by FIFA. This competition takes place once in every four years. There are approximately 190 to 200 national teams competing to qualify in this tournament.

What condition did Ronaldo suffer from? ›

Ronaldo was diagnosed with Tachycardia, which meant his heart would beat irregularly and, even when resting, would be racing. In order to save his career, he had to undergo heart surgery. "They used a sort of laser to cauterise the source of the problem.

What country has lost the most World Cups? ›

Mexico has the most World Cup losses (27), though they do also have 16 wins and 14 draws. While 32 teams will qualify for the 2022 tournament, the number will jump to 48 in 2026.

What country has never failed the World Cup? ›

Brazil is the only team to have appeared in all 22 tournaments to date, with Germany having participated in 20, Italy in 18, Argentina in 18 and Mexico in 17. To date, eight nations have won the tournament. The inaugural winners in 1930 were Uruguay; the current champions are Argentina.

Did a dog find the stolen World Cup? ›

Pickles the dog was considered a hero after sniffing out the stolen World Cup trophy in 1966. The biggest hero of the 1966 World Cup never so much as kicked a soccer ball -- but he did find the stolen World Cup trophy.


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