France Aims to Join Select Group of World Cup Champions

World Cup champion

After four weeks of incredible action, seemingly impossible upsets, Hollywood-like storylines and dramatic penalty shootouts – the World Cup final is upon us. There is no greater feat in sport than reigning supreme in football’s quadrennial event – and with Argentina and France now on the precipice of hoisting the most coveted trophy in the world – each player on either team has the rare chance to etch their name in the history books at Lusail Stadium on Sunday night.

The final will be historic for the Argentina vs France odds slight favourites Les Bleus in particular, as they have the opportunity to become just the third nation to win back-to-back World Cup titles since the tournament’s inception in 1930. If they are successful in doing so, the Didier Deschamps-managed side will have established themselves as one of the most accomplished teams in recent memory. With that in mind, read on as we take a look at the select group of back-to-back World Cup champions throughout history that France will join if they’re victorious this weekend.

Italy – 1934 & 1938

The first nation to achieve consecutive World Cup gongs was Italy in the 1930s. In what was just the second edition of the tournament and to this day one of the most politically charged, the Blue Azzurri kicked off their 1934 campaign on home soil with a dominant 7-1 victory over the United States. Given there were only 16 teams competing in the tournament, their second fixture was in the quarter-final against Spain – in which they drew 1-1. As a result, both teams had to take part in a replay – with Italy getting the better of their European opponents 1-0.

After a 1-0 victory over Austria in the semi-final, Italy booked their spot in their maiden final against Czechoslovakia. The Vittorio Pozzo-managed outfit would go on to win the decider 2-1 – becoming the first European nation to hoist the then Jules Rimet Trophy.

Taking plenty of confidence from their campaign four years prior, Pozzo’s men were near flawless in their defence of their title. With a 2-1 win over Norway in their first-round match-up, they continued their rich vein of form with a 3-1 thumping of hosts France in the quarter-final followed by a 2-1 triumph over South American heavyweights Brazil.

That set up a final with Hungary, in which they reigned supreme 4-2 courtesy of doubles to Gino Colaussi and Silvio Piola.

Brazil – 1958 & 1962

Arguably the most famous and respected team in international football history, the 1958 & 1962 Brazil squads introduced a level of flair, creativity and fun into the sport that hadn’t been seen before. Those four years were particularly momentous given it announced Brazil’s Pele to the world – a player who is now considered one of the top three players in the history of the sport.  

In 1958, it wasn’t just Pele’s skill, knack for goal and speed that had fans and pundits in awe – it was the fact he was doing it at just 17 years of age. He would ultimately lead his nation to their first World Cup victory after the Selecao dominated their Swedish opponents 5-2 in the decider. Pele and company would repeat their successes four years later in Chile, cruising through the group and knockout stages en route to a 3-1 over Czechoslovakia in the final.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.