FIFA World Cup 2022: When was the last time a non-European country won a World Cup?

The FIFA World Cup is the pinnacle of success in world football. 2002 was the year Brazil won it's fifth World Cup title.

Brazil Football Team after winning the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Credit: Twitter/@FIFAWorldCup
By annirudh bhalla | Oct 21, 2022 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us


The FIFA World Cup is the pinnacle of success in world football. The majestic tournament has seen several great players become legends over the years. The greatness of the honour and glory has made several great footballing nations take part in the World Cup over it’s long history which has lasted for more than nine decades. With the 2022 edition in Qatar just round the corner, the excitement is ever growing and the fans are eager as ever.

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Although, a global tournament contested by very strong squads from all over the world, FIFA World Cup has been dominated by the European continent in recent times. The last four editions have seen a European nation being crowned World Champions. The likes of dominant countries like Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and more haven’t been able to produce that extra edge in crucial moments in recent times.

2002: The Last Time a non-European Nation was crowned champions

With the World Cup held every four years, one has to go more than two decades back to have seen a World Cup that was triumphed by a country out of Europe. 2002 was the year Brazil won it’s fifth World Cup title and their last till date. The victory was a sweet and a memorable one with the team consisting of several legends and most remarkably the redemption story of one of the greatest strikers of all time, Ronaldo. Held in Japan and South Korea, Brazil won the 2002 FIFA World Cup by defeating Germany 2-0 in the final.

Brazil’s Run to the Final

Brazil was drawn with Turkey, Costa Rica and China in group C. Brazil were the overwhelming favourites to emerge out of the group and they did so tremendously. The South American giants won all of their three games, scoring eight goals in the process.

Brazil cleared their first hurdle in the knock-out stages with an assuring 2-0 win over Belgium in the round of 16 thanks to goals by Rivaldo and Ronaldo. The quarter finals saw one of the most memorable matches ever between Brazil and England. A splendid free-kick by Ronaldinho from long range saw him earn the winning goal of the match. Ronaldo continued his wonderful campaign with the only goal of the semi-final against Turkey.

The Final against Germany

The closure to the grand tournament was held in Yokohama, Japan. Apart from the two great nations, a major proportion of the focus was on the battle between Brazil’s Ronaldo and Germany’s keeper Oliver Kahn. Both the players had been the best players of their respective teams throughout the tournament. However, as destiny would choose it was Ronaldo’s day as he scored a brace and claimed the Golden Shoe. The whole nation was sent into ecstasy as Brazilian captain, Cafu lifted the most coveted trophy on the planet.



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