As the most successful team in FIFA World Cup history, Brazil are considered among the most powerful footballing nations across the globe.
Ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Brazil have been tipped by many to win the tournament, boasting one of the most star-studded squads in recent memory.
Coached by Tite since 2016, Brazil won the 2019 Copa America and are looking to parlay that continental success into a World Cup title.
Brazil have won the most World Cup trophies of any nation, one more than European giants Germany and Italy. This alone places them among the contenders in any tournament, but this year especially they have a squad jam packed with talent.
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How many World Cups has Brazil won?
Brazil has won five FIFA World Cup titles in the country’s illustrious footballing history, more than any other nation. This is denoted by five stars above the national team crest on their jerseys.
The Selecao won their first World Cup in 1958, defeating hosts Sweden in the final 5-2 behind a brace from Pele.
They won their most recent World Cup title in 2002, downing Germany behind a double from superstar Ronaldo.
1958 FIFA World Cup
While the early days of the World Cup were not kind to Brazil, the South American nation grew to prominence by reaching the final in 1950, only to fall just short. They would not be denied eight years later.
A brace by Pele in the final saw Brazil hoist the trophy for the first time in Sweden. The Selecao won five of their six matches in the tournament, only held to a scoreless draw in their group stage matchup against England.
At just 17 years old, Pele would announce himself to the world in the knockout stage, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 quarterfinal win over Wales, a hat-trick in the semifinal victory over France, and a brace in the final against Sweden.
1962 FIFA World Cup
After Italy became the first nation to successfully defend the World Cup title in 1938, Brazil would be the second country to do it as they hoisted the 1962 trophy. No team has achieved this feat since.
Pele was injured early in the group stage and could not compete the rest of the tournament, but his nation would soldier on without him. Garrincha and Vava would take over, scoring a combined eight goals in the knockout stage to push Brazil to a second triumph, topping Czechoslovakia in the final by a 3-1 scoreline.
1970 FIFA World Cup
Due to a lack of seeding procedures, Brazil were drawn into a group with defending champions England. The two met early in the tournament, and the match featured a save by Gordon Banks that Pele considers the greatest against him of his career, but Brazil won 1-0 to top the group. They would down Peru and Uruguay en route to the final, where they would face Italy.
Pele would open the scoring in the final at Estadio Azteca, and he would get three more from his teammates to rout Italy 4-1 and win the nation’s third World Cup.
1994 FIFA World Cup
Looking for their fourth title, Brazil found life difficult in the United States, but would prove victorious by slim margins on a number of occasions. A 1-1 draw with Sweden was the only blemish of an otherwise perfect group stage showing against Russia and Cameroon, and a path to the knockout stage was set.
Brazil defeated the US hosts 1-0 in the Round of 16 before downing the Netherlands and Sweden each by a one-goal margin. The final against Italy at the Rose Bowl was the first, and to this point only, World Cup final to end scoreless, and Brazil would triumph on penalties 3-2 to lift the trophy. Dunga scored the third penalty for Brazil before Italian legend Roberto Baggio skied his spot-kick over the bar to seal the result.
2002 FIFA World Cup
In the first-ever jointly hosted World Cup, top contenders France and Argentina were both eliminated in the group stage, allowing Brazil to take control after winning Group C atop Turkey, Costa Rica, and China.
The Selecao downed Belgium and England in the knockout round before winning a rematch with Turkey in the semifinals. They met Germany in the final, and after a scoreless first half, Ronaldo struck twice and Palmeiras legend Marcos stood tall in goal to give Brazil a 2-0 victory in Yokohama, Japan. It is, to this date, the last World Cup won not just by Brazil, but by a South American nation.
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How many World Cup finals has Brazil lost?
1950 FIFA World Cup final
Prior to winning their first World Cup title, Brazil tasted defeat in the final of the fourth-ever tournament. Returning from a 12-year gap thanks to World War II, Brazil’s best previous finish at a World Cup was third, achieved at the 1938 tournament.
Brazil played hosts in the only World Cup not technically decided by a final match, but instead using a four-team table to determine the winner. Still, the tournament ended on a de facto final as the last match between Uruguay and Brazil determined the winner. Brazil simply needed a draw to lift the trophy, but after the hosts went ahead 1-0 early in the second half, goals from Pepe Schiaffino and Alcides Ghiggia put Uruguay through to victory.
Brazil would wait eight more years before lifting the trophy themselves, spurred on by the finals defeat just two tournaments earlier.
1998 FIFA World Cup Final
After winning the 1994 World Cup, Brazil looked to defend their title for the second time in history. A loss to Norway in the group stage was a harbinger of things to come, but still saw Brazil finish atop Group A. They advanced past Denmark in the quarterfinals by a one-goal margin and squeaked by the Netherlands in the semifinals on penalties to match up against France in the final.
It would all come apart there as Zinedine Zidane would cement his legendary status with a World Cup final brace in a 3-0 victory for France. A not fully fit Ronaldo was powerless to stop it, despite eventually earning the tournament’s Golden Ball as best player.
Has Neymar won a World Cup?
Since making his national team debut in 2010, Neymar has never won a FIFA World Cup.
The last World Cup that Brazil won was eight years prior to the start of his senior international career. In fact, Neymar was just 10 years old the last time Brazil won the World Cup in 2002.
His first World Cup was in 2014 when he scored four goals to help Brazil into the semifinals, but he was forced out of action with a fractured vertebra after being kneed in the back by Colombia defender Juan Camilo Zuniga.
He would return to football’s biggest stage in 2018, he scored two goals and assisted two more to help Brazil into the quarterfinals, but the Selecao would lose there to Belgium’s “golden generation” squad 2-1 with Neymar holding off the scoresheet. He came close to equalizing in stoppage time but was turned away by a massive save from Thibaut Courtois.
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Brazil history at the World Cup
Backed by their seven final appearances and five World Cup titles, Brazil are the most successful nation in FIFA World Cup history, ahead of Germany and Italy who have both lifted the trophy four times.
They won their first title in 1958, and are the only South American team with more than two World Cup championships, with more than double the titles of Uruguay and Argentina.
Brazil have also hosted the World Cup twice, first in 1950 and again in 2014. They did not win the title in either of those years, falling a goal short in 1950 and knocked out in the semifinals in 2014.
|Year||Host||Stage Reached||Eliminated by||Top goalscorer|
|1930||Uruguay||Group Stage||—||Preguinho (3)|
|in 1934||Italy||Round of 16||Spain (3-1)||Leonidas (1)|
|in 1938||France||Third Place||Italy (2-1)||Leonidas (7)*|
|1950||Brazil||The final||Uruguay (2-1)||Ademir (9)*|
|in 1954||Switzerland||Quarterfinals||Hungary (4-2)||Didi, Julinho, Pinga (2)|
|in 1958||Sweden||Won||—||Pele (6)|
|in 1962||Chile||Won||—||Garrincha, Vava (4)|
|in 1966||England||Group Stage||—||4 tied w/ 1 goal each|
|in 1974||West Germany||Third Place||Poland (1-0)||Rivellino (3)|
|in 1978||Argentina||Third Place||—||Dirceu, Dynamite (3)|
|in 1982||Spain||2nd Group Stage||Italy (3-2)||Zico (4)|
|in 1986||Mexico||Quarterfinals||France (Pence)||Emperor (5)|
|1990||Italy||Round of 16||Argentina (1-0)||Careca, Muller (2)|
|in 1994||United States||Won||—||Romario (5)|
|in 1998||France||The final||France (3-0)||Ronaldo (4)|
|in 2002||Japan/South Korea||Won||—||Ronaldo (8)*|
|in 2006||Germany||Quarterfinals||France (1-0)||Ronaldo (3)|
|2010||South Africa||Quarterfinals||Netherlands (2-1)||Luis Fabiano (3)|
|in 2014||Brazil||Third Place||Netherlands (3-0)||Neymar (4)|
|2018||Russia||Quarterfinals||Belgium (2-1)||Neymar, Coutinho (2)|
* Top goalscorer of that year’s World Cup