The need for international football events for the world’s top football nations was largely due to the Olympic restrictions on professional athletes. In 1930, the International Football Federation (FIFA) hosted the first football World Cup tournament in Montevideo, Uruguay.
After these two events in 1934 (Italy) and 1938 (France), there was a 12-year break due to World War II, before resuming in Brazil in 1950. Since then, the World Cup has been held every four years.
In 1930, 13 teams took part in the first World Cup. Further, it consisted of 16 teams until 1978, increased to 24 teams in 1982, and from 1998 to the current 32 teams participated. In 2017, it was decided to expand the World Cup to 48 teams from 2026 onwards. This format will consist of 16 groups of 3 teams each. (see format)
Brazil is the only country to have participated in every World Cup and is also the most successful country with five wins.