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Football World Cup Total Participations 1930-2018

Map No.

198

Topic(s)

Despite having 211 national associations in the Fifa, the map reveals the domination of Europe and South America in the tournament (in participation, as well as in the world cup winners), those regions with football being among the most popular sports. This inequality in the football worldcup can be explained by having a look at how the qualification process is organised: “For each tournament, FIFA decides the number of places awarded to each of the continental zones beforehand, generally based on the relative strength of the confederations’ teams” (see here). The football may be of global significance, but it is far from being a global game. The world map of football looks different than the map of the world.

Brazil has participated in all 20 tournaments, Germany in 18 (in 1934 and 1938 it was Nazi Germany participating), same like Italy, which missed their qualification in the 2018 World Cup. Iceland will participate in 2018 for the first time in a World Cup.

With 224 Germany scored the most goals of the 2374 total goals scored during the World Cup tournaments, followed by Brazil with 221 and Argentina with 138. Five teams didn’t score any goal during all World Cups. Brazil has the best goal balance (+119), followed by Germany (+103). The worst goal balance has South Korea (-36), Mexico (-35) and Bulgaria (-31).

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Technical Notes

This map shows the proportion of all participations in Football World Cups  between 1930 and 2018.

Data sources
This map uses data by Worldfootball.net (last accessed March 2018). We aim to map as complete data as possible and therefore estimate data for missing values. In some cases, missing data for very small territories is not used in the cartogram and that area is therefore omitted in the map.

Further notes on the data, as well as all modifications to the original data source are noted in our data sheets. Data for this map will soon be available as a download.

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