International football is an amazing sport that sees the best players in the entire world culminate into a single tournament. As football has been around for a long time, plenty of teams have claimed titles over the years, some more surprisingly than others. The most successful national football teams have earned their achievements over a long period of time. It’s extremely difficult to win a title, a large number of national teams will field world-class players so winning a single title is a feat in itself. Here’s a list of the most successful national teams in world football!
(Major honors only)
The Black Stars are one of the most successful national teams in Africa, with a total of 4 title wins. All 4 of these wins are via the Africa Cup of Nations, a special competition which is held every 2 years. Their last win came in 1982, where they won on penalties against Libya. However, they did reach the final in 2010 and 2015, so they could well win it in the near future.
Probably the biggest surprise of the list, Spain have been a major footballing power for almost all of its history. Despite this, Spain didn’t see much success in terms of title wins until 2008, when they won back to back European Championships as well as a World Cup in-between. They also came second in the Fifa Confederations Cup in 2013, where they conceded 3 goals and Gerard Pique was sent off. That period of dominance has been hailed as one of the greatest football sides ever.
All of The Untameable Lions’ titles are from the Africa Cup of Nations, they are the second highest winners of the competition. They’ve qualified for the World Cup more than any other African side at 7 times, they were also the first African side to reach the Quarter-Finals before being knocked out by England. They’re still going strong, ranked 32nd in the Fifa Rankings, their highest was 11th in 2006 and 2009.
Another surprise, France have only won 5 major titles in their history!
They had only the 1 title (Euros) before their World Cup triumph in 1998, this cemented their talent as they went on to win the Euros in 2000, as well as the Confederations Cup in 2001 and 2003. The Euros and the World Cup are arguably the most difficult competitions to win, both in club level and international level, so France’s achievements cannot be understated.
Similar to France, the Gli Azzuri have won just 5 titles in their history, but the titles they have won is quite incredible. With 4 World Cups under their belt, Italy are clearly a superpower as they have the joint second most World Cups on the planet. Their other title came from their sole European Championship win in 1968. With such a massive amount of talent in the past few decades, you’d think Italy would have been more successful but it just shows how hard it is to win the Euros and World Cup.
Egypt are the most successful African team and hold the most wins of the African Cup of Nations, at 7. It can be argued that Cameroon deserve this spot more, as they have gone much further in World Cups while Egypt have never made it past the Group Stage. In terms of raw titles won, Egypt deserve this spot.
The greatest European powerhouse is Germany, who have been a force to be feared for generations. With 4 World Cups to their name and 3 European Championships, it’s not hard to be intimidated when you face a Germany side. They’ve also lost 4 World Cup Finals and 3 European Championships, as well as reaching the semi-finals 7 times between the two competitions. This insane record means they’re way up high on the list!
Although their glory days are well gone, Uruguay are still a force to be reckoned with on the international stage. The majority of their titles have come from the Copa America, as they’ve won it a staggering 15 times out of 21 finals. They’ve won two World Cups as well, their first triumph being as the host nation for the first ever World Cup. They’re currently ranked 15th in the Fifa rankings so they’ve gone down hill in recent years as they used to be 2nd back in 2011.
Argentina have the same amount of titles as Uruguay, but they are higher because of one reason. The Argentinians have 2 World Cups, 14 Copa Americas and a single Confederations Cup. They’ve also finished second in 10 Copa America finals, taking part in a total of 24 out of 29. Currently ranked 2nd in the Fifa Rankings, Argentina have never fell below 24.
Which other country could it be? Brazil is the golden jewel of international football, giving fans highlight clips for years as their prolific talent just keeps coming. With 5 World Cups to their name, Brazil are the most successful in the competition. Holding 8 Copa Americas and 4 Confederation Cups means they have the same amount of titles as the previous two on the list, but their titles are more impressive. Currently ranked number 1 in the Fifa Rankings, it doesn’t look like they’ll stop any time soon!