- Golden Shoe: Guillermo STABILE (ARG)
FIFA President Jules Rimet's dream was realised as Uruguay hosted the inaugural FIFA World Cup in its centenary year. Only four European teams made the long sea journey and the Final was an all-South American affair, with Uruguay beating neighbours Argentina just as they had done in the 1928 Olympic final. Trailing at half-time, the hosts triumphed 4-2 in the newly built Estadio Centenario to become football's first world champions.
- Golden Shoe: Oldrich NEJEDLY (TCH)
Italy delighted their passionate home support by coming from behind to beat Czechoslovakia in the first FIFA World Cup Final played on European soil. Angelo Schiavio scored the winning goal for the Azzurri, who had overcome the highly-rated Austrian Wunderteam in the semi-finals. It was a tournament missing holders Uruguay, whose refusal to take part made them the first and only champions not to defend their crown.
- Golden Shoe: LEONIDAS (BRA)
Italy trainer Vittorio Pozzo made history by capturing a second successive title with a rebuilt team. With Silvio Piola's goals and Giuseppe Meazza's leadership, Italy beat Hungary in the Final having overcome in the semi-final a Brazil side missing top scorer Leonidas. Three of his strikes came in a 6-5 victory over Poland – the best match of a tournament notable for political tensions and the absence of some leading teams.
- Golden Shoe: ADEMIR (BRA)
Brazil's determination to put on a show meant they built the world's biggest football stadium, the Maracana, for the 1950 FIFA World Cup™. Yet their dream of becoming the world's best died in that huge bowl, Uruguay capturing their second crown by beating the hosts in front of some 200,000 stunned spectators. It was not the only shock of a tournament where debutants England were humbled by the United States.
- Golden Shoe: Sandor KOCSIS (HUN)
West Germany were surprise winners of the 1954 FIFA World Cup™, coming from two goals down to defeat Hungary in a Final forever remembered as the 'Miracle of Berne'. Hungary were unbeaten in 31 matches and scored 25 goals en route to the Final – eight of them against the Germans in the first round. Yet it was Fritz Walter, not Ferenc Puskas who picked up the Jules Rimet Cup.
- Golden Shoe: Just FONTAINE (FRA)
- Best Young Player Award: PELÉ (Edson Arantes do Nascimento) (BRA)
Brazil's love affair with the FIFA World Cup™ began in earnest as they won the world title for the first time. A 17-year-old Pele introduced his prodigious skills to the world in Sweden, epitomising the Brazilians' attacking flair and scoring six goals – two of them in the Final against the hosts. Third-placed France caught the eye too with Just Fontaine striking a record 13 goals.
- Golden Shoe: Florian ALBERT (HUN),
- Valentin IVANOV (URS),
- Drazen JERKOVIC (YUG),
- Leonel SANCHEZ (CHI),
- VAVA (BRA),
- GARRINCHA (BRA)
- Best Young Player Award: Florian ALBERT (HUN)
Brazil were worthy winners, beating Czechoslovakia in the Final to retain their crown in a tournament that showcased the sublime skills of Garrincha. With Pele injured, Garrincha ensured his colleague's absence was not felt, inspiring the Seleção to victory and finishing joint-top scorer in the process. This FIFA World Cup featured plenty else, including new 4-3-3 tactics and the infamous 'Battle of Santiago' between hosts Chile and Italy.
- Golden Shoe: EUSEBIO (Eusebio da Silva Ferreira) (POR)
- Best Young Player Award: Franz BECKENBAUER (GER)
The country that invented football, England, finally found a formula for success on the world stage. Alf Ramsey's 'Wingless wonders' overcame Final opponents West Germany thanks to Geoff Hurst's historic hat-trick, though the debate over whether his middle strike crossed the line continues to this day. Eusebio was another scoring hero, his nine goals – four of them against Italy's surprise conquerors, Korea DPR – taking Portugal to third place.
- Golden Shoe: Gerd MUELLER (GER)
- Best Young Player Award: Teofilo CUBILLAS (PER)
For the first time the FIFA World Cup™ was broadcast in colour and nothing could match the brilliance of Brazil's yellow shirts. With Pele rejuvenated and Jairzinho scoring in every game, Mario Zagallo's men were unstoppable – they beat Italy handsomely in the Final and, with this third triumph, retained the Jules Rimet Cup. If Brazil's tournament, others brought plenty to the party – not least ten-goal German marksman Gerd Muller.
- Golden Shoe: Grzegorz LATO (POL)
- Best Young Player Award: Wladyslaw ZMUDA (POL)
West Germany were champions on home soil - and as in 1954 their victory came at the expense of a team widely considered the world's finest. Johan Cruyff's Netherlands were favourites before the Final but the hosts, beaten earlier in their competition by their East German neighbours, recovered from a first-minute Dutch goal to win. It was also a memorable tournament for Poland whom Gregorz Lato fired to third place.
- Golden Shoe: Mario KEMPES (ARG)
- Best Young Player Award: Antonio CABRINI (ITA)
- FIFA Fair Play award: Argentina
Hosts Argentina captured their first world title as the Netherlands suffered Final heartache for the second tournament running. Mario Kempes sealed Cesar Luis Menotti's side's triumph, scoring twice against the Dutch in the confetti-strewn cauldron of the Estadio Monumental to earn himself additional acclaim as top scorer. Brazil, denied a Final place by Argentina's 6-0 win over Peru, took third place from an enterprising Italy side.
- adidas Golden Ball: Paolo ROSSI (ITA)
- adidas Golden Shoe: Paolo ROSSI (ITA)
- Best Young Player Award: Manuel AMOROS (FRA)
- FIFA Fair Play award: Brazil
Paolo Rossi was the hero in Spain, his six goals propelling Italy to a third world crown. The Azzurri ran out 3-1 Final winners against a German team who had survived the competition's first penalty shoot-out in a dramatic semi-final against France. If Italy won gold, Brazil took a share of the glory for some scintillating football before succumbing to Rossi's hat-trick in the best game of this first 24-team finals.
- adidas Golden Ball: Diego MARADONA (ARG)
- adidas Golden Shoe: Gary LINEKER (ENG)
- Best Young Player Award: Enzo SCIFO (BEL)
- FIFA Fair Play award: Brazil
The FIFA World Cup™ returned to Mexico for a tournament marked by the mastery of Diego Maradona. Argentina overcame West Germany in an exciting Final but the defining match was a quarter-final against England featuring two of history's most famous goals: the 'Hand of God' followed by the dribble of a genius. Michel Platini's France again lost out in the semi-finals before beating surprise package Belgium to third place.
- adidas Golden Ball: Salvatore SCHILLACI (ITA)
- adidas Golden Shoe: Salvatore SCHILLACI (ITA)
- Best Young Player Award: Robert PROSINECKI (CRO)
- FIFA Fair Play award: England
When Lothar Matthaus lifted the FIFA World Cup for Germany, it was an undoubted triumph for Franz Beckenbauer, who became only the second winner of the trophy as both player and coach. If low on goals, Italy 1990 was certainly high on drama – from the feats of Italy's top scorer Toto Schillaci via the tears of England's Paul Gascoigne to the historic run of Roger Milla's Cameroon to the quarter-finals.
- adidas Golden Ball: ROMÁRIO (Romário de Souza Faria) (BRA)
- adidas Golden Shoe: Oleg SALENKO (RUS),
- Hristo STOICHKOV (BUL)
- Yashin Award for the Best Goalkeeper: Michel PREUDHOMME (BEL)
- Best Young Player Award: Marc OVERMARS (NED)
- FIFA Fair Play award: Brazil
- FIFA Award for the Most Entertaining Team:Brazil
The United States staged a hugely successful 15th FIFA World Cup that became the best attended in history and ended with Brazil celebrating their first world title since 1970. Forwards Romario and Bebeto were the Brazilians' star performers while Roberto Baggio shone equally brightly for Italy despite his penalty miss that concluded the first ever Final shoot-out. While Sweden finished third, the undoubted surprise package were their fellow semi-finalists Bulgaria.
- adidas Golden Ball: RONALDO (BRA)
- adidas Golden Shoe: Davor SUKER (CRO)
- Yashin Award for the Best Goalkeeper:Fabien BARTHEZ (FRA)
- Best Young Player Award: Michael OWEN (ENG)
- FIFA Fair Play award: England,
- FIFA Award for the Most Entertaining Team:France
The home of tournament founder Jules Rimet, France enjoyed an unforgettable summer as its footballers finally tasted FIFA World Cup glory, Zinedine Zidane leading Les Bleus to victory over Brazil in the Final. France 98 was the first finals with an enlarged cast of 32 teams and among the newcomers were a Croatia side who, fired by the goals of top scorer Davor Suker, confounded expectations by finishing third.
- adidas Golden Ball: Oliver KAHN (GER)
- adidas Golden Shoe: RONALDO (BRA)
- Yashin Award for the Best Goalkeeper: Oliver KAHN (GER)
- Best Young Player Award: Landon DONOVAN (USA)
- FIFA Fair Play award: Belgium
- FIFA Award for the Most Entertaining Team:Korea Republic
Brazil became champions for the fifth time as top scorer Ronaldo exorcised the ghosts of 1998, scoring both goals in the Final against Germany. This was Asia's first FIFA World Cup™ and both host nations made history by reaching the knockout rounds – Korea Republic going as far as the last four. A tournament of surprises, it opened with France losing to Senegal and closed with Turkey third in the world.
- adidas Golden Ball: Zinedine ZIDANE (FRA)
- adidas Golden Shoe: Miroslav KLOSE (GER)
- Yashin Award for the Best Goalkeeper:Gianluigi BUFFON (ITA)
- Best Young Player Award: Lukas PODOLSKI (GER)
- FIFA Fair Play award: Spain,
- FIFA Award for the Most Entertaining Team:Portugal
Italy won their fourth world crown in Germany, beating France on penalties in Berlin. If Zinedine Zidane's red card was the Final's defining image, Italy's triumph would be remembered as a team effort with ten different Azzurriplayers finding the net. It was also a special month for Germany, the goals of Miroslav Klose helping secure third place in a tournament memorable for the festival mood across the host country.