World Cup 2022: Would France be the first team to win back-to-back World Cups?

Kylian Mbappe kissing the World Cup
(Image credit: Getty)

France are two games away from successfully defending the World Cup title they clinched in such impressive fashion four years ago in Russia.

Les Bleus face tournament sensations Morocco in Wednesday’s semi-final, where a clash with Argentina in the showpiece game is the prize for the winner.

A second consecutive World Cup triumph would be a spectacular success for a French side that bombed out of Euro 2020 at the last 16 stage and lost several key players to injury before travelling to Qatar.

But would a second French World Cup title in a row be a historic occasion?

Has anyone won back-to-back World Cups before?


Garrincha was the star of Brazil's 1962 World Cup triumph (Image credit: Getty)

France would not be the first team to win consecutive World Cup titles, but they would be the first to achieve the feat for 60 years.

The last country to successfully defend their title was Brazil in 1962.

The Selecao triumphed in Chile despite losing star man Pele to injury in the group stage; they topped their group ahead of Czechoslovakia, Mexico and Spain before knocking out England and the hosts to reach the final.

There they faced Czechoslovakia for a second time and won 3-1, with Amarildo, Zito and Vava on the scoresheet, but it was joint-top scorer Garrincha who lit up the tournament for the Brazilians.

The only other time a team has won back-to-back titles was Italy, in 1934 and 1938.

Both tournaments were held in Europe, the first on home soil for the Azzurri before the second was in France.

Vittorio Pozzo’s side successfully reclaimed their crown by beating Norway, France and Brazil in the knockouts and Hungary in the final.

How teams have made back-to-back World Cup finals?

Diego Maradona holds the World Cup trophy after Argentina defeated West Germany 3-2 in the 1986 World Cup final at the Estadio Azteca, Mexico City on 29 June, 1986.

Diego Maradona inspired Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986, but they lost the final four years later in Italy.  (Image credit: Bongarts/Getty Images)

Brazil and Italy may be the only successful defending champions in World Cup history, but other countries have come agonisingly close.

The Netherlands made it to two consecutive World Cup finals in 1974 and 1978 but lost both, the first to West Germany and the second to Argentina in extra time.

West Germany competed in three consecutive World Cup finals, between 1982 and 1990, but only won one of them.

The Germans were beaten by Italy 3-1 in 1982 and Argentina 3-2 in 1986, but finally triumphed in 1990 by edging Argentina 1-0.

The Argentinians, therefore, are another country to make it to back-to-back World Cup finals, those efforts in 1986 and 1990.

Brazil competed in three finals in a row between 1994 and 2002, beating Italy at USA ’94 on penalties and defeating Germany 2-0 eight years later, but losing the 1998 final to France 3-0.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1