Qatar, show us what you’ve got.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be hosted by a Middle Eastern country for the first time in the tournament’s 92-year history.
Although Qatar is unlikely to have much success in 2022, the question remains: how have the host nations fared in World Cup history?
In the 21 World Cups that have taken place since the first event in 1930, only six host nations have won the prestigious trophy on home soil.
Let’s see how all hosts have fared in FIFA World Cup history:
1930: Uruguay – Winner
What a way to celebrate the first ever World Cup. Uruguay hosted and won the 1930 World Cup on home soil after beating rivals Argentina 4-2 in the final. It is also the smallest country to ever win the tournament.
1934: Italy – Winner
Italy kept up the good spirits after Uruguay’s triumph four years earlier by winning the 1934 World Cup. In the final, it defeated Czechoslovakia 2-1.
1938: France – Eliminated in quarter-finals
France failed to extend the hosts’ winning streak to three in 1938. Les Bleus lost 3-1 to defending champions Italy in the quarterfinals. Gli Azzurri would also win the 1938 tournament.
1950: Brazil – Eliminated in final
The 1950 World Cup returned to South America after the 1942 and 1946 tournaments were canceled due to World War II. Brazil beat Sweden 7-1 in the quarterfinals and Spain 6-1 in the semifinals, but lost 2-1 to Uruguay in the final.
1954: Switzerland – Eliminated in quarter-finals
The first and so far only World Cup hosts Switzerland ended in the first round of the knockout stages. After finishing second in Group 4, the Swiss lost to Austria 7-5 in a goal-threatening affair.
1958: Sweden – Eliminated in final
Sweden’s first and only time Sweden hosted a World Cup ended in heartbreak. It made it to the final only to lose Brazil 2-5. That remains the best result of the tournament so far.
1962: Chile – eliminated in semi-finals
Chile also only had one attempt to host a World Cup, which was another heartbreaking ending. It faced rivals Brazil in the semifinals but suffered a 4-2 defeat as the Brazilians lifted the cup. Chile, on the other hand, won the playoff game for third place 1-0 against Yugoslavia.
1966: England – winners
In 1966 it came home. England won the tournament on its first hosting. The Three Lions defeated West Germany 4-2 in the final after a hat-trick by Geoff Hurst.
1970: Mexico – Eliminated in Quarterfinals
Mexico and the Soviet Union fought an extremely close duel in Group 1, but El Tri finished second on goals in the group game. That meant a quarter-final draw against Italy, which was too tough for Mexico. Italy eliminated Mexico after a 4-1 win.
1974: West Germany – Winner
Twenty years after winning the 1954 tournament, West Germany won another on home soil. They went down 1-0 against the Netherlands and won 2-1 in Munich.
1978: Argentina – Winner
Argentina continued the winning streak in their first time as host nation. The Albicelestes defeated the Netherlands 3-1 in the final thanks to two goals in extra time. The Dutch lost to the host countries in two consecutive years. It was Argentina’s first-ever World Cup title, although it has not been held since. However, it is in the running for a joint 2030 bid with Uruguay and Chile.
1982: Spain – Eliminated in the second group stage
The knockout rounds worked differently in this era of tournaments. After six groups of four competed in a round-robin format, the second group stage saw four groups of three compete for a place in the semifinals. Spain finished last in Group B of the second group stage.
1986: Mexico – Eliminated in Quarterfinals
The knockout rounds in 1986 were similar to those of today and some previous tournaments before 1982. Mexico reached the quarter-finals but lost 4-1 to West Germany on penalties.
1990: Italy – eliminated in semi-finals
The second time Italy hosted the tournament ended just short of the final. Italy lost 4-3 on penalties to Argentina in the semi-finals but defeated England 2-1 in the third-place play-off.
1994: USA – Eliminated in round of 16
After narrowly surviving the group stage, the USA lost 1-0 to Brazil in the round of 16. Brazil later became champions, allowing the USA to host the competition for the first time and thus being eliminated early. The US will be back in 2026 to co-host the competition with Mexico and Canada.
1998: France – Winner
France is the sixth and last host country to win the World Cup on home soil. This came through a 3-0 win over Brazil in the final.
2002: Japan, South Korea – Eliminated in the knockout stages
Japan and South Korea had the honor of being the first Asian countries to host the tournament while also being the first joint hosts. Both teams finished first in their respective groups, but Japan lost 1-0 to Turkey in the round of 16.
However, South Korea managed a deep run to the semifinals but eventually lost to Germany in a 1-0 loss. South Korea avenged Japan by beating Turkey 3-2 in the third place match.
2006: Germany – eliminated in semi-finals
In their first host since West and East Germany were merged, Germany reached the semi-finals before losing 2-0 to Italy. They picked up a consolation prize by beating Portugal 3-1 in the third-place play-off.
2010: South Africa – Eliminated in group stage
South Africa made history as the first country in Africa to host the World Cup but failed to make it out of this year’s ‘Group of Death’ which included Uruguay, Mexico and France.
South Africa drew 1-1 with Mexico, lost 3-0 against Uruguay and won 2-1 against France to take third place. France finished an amazing last place in Group A.
2014: Brazil – eliminated in semi-finals
It’s the semi-final game that many fans remember, but for different reasons. Without their best player Neymar, Brazil lost 7-1 to Germany in one of the biggest one-sided games deep in tournament history in recent history. It shocked fans around the world, and Brazil also lost 3-0 to the Netherlands in the third-place play-off.
After a promising start, many Brazilians hope to forget this tournament.
2018: Russia – eliminated in quarterfinals
After beating Spain 4-3 on penalties in the round of 16, Russia’s likely Cinderella run was cut short by the real Cinderella team in Croatia.
Russia fell behind on penalties to Croatia in the quarterfinals by the same score as Croatia would race to the final before falling to France.
Qatar find themselves in a tough Group A with the Netherlands, Senegal and Ecuador in their first-ever World Cup appearance. The first two are the favorites to advance, with Qatar having very little expectation as the FIFA-ranked country ranked No. 48 in the world enter the tournament. Let’s see if there is a colossal excitement.