The FIFA World Cup is an international association football competition established in 1930. It is contested by the men's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's global governing body. The tournament has taken place every four years, except in 1942 and 1946, when the competition was cancelled due to World War II.

The World Cup opening match is the first of the competition. Opening match regulations have changed many times.[1] Between 1974 and 2002, the defending champions were involved in the opening match. Since 2006, as the defending champions no longer qualify automatically, the opening matches involve the host nations.

List of opening matches

Early years (1930–1970)

Year Team 1 Final score Team 2 Venue Location Attendance References Notes
1930 France  4–1  Mexico Estadio Pocitos Montevideo, Uruguay 4,444 Report 2 matches on the first day were
all played at the same time
United States  3–0  Belgium Estadio Parque Central Montevideo, Uruguay 18,346 Report
1934 Italy  7–1  United States Stadio Nazionale PNF Rome, Italy 25,000 Report 8 matches on the first day were
all played at the same time
Spain  3–1  Brazil Stadio Luigi Ferraris Genoa, Italy 21,000 Report
Austria  3–2  France Stadio Benito Mussolini Turin, Italy 16,000 Report
Hungary  4–2  Egypt Stadio Giorgio Ascarelli Naples, Italy 9,000 Report
Czechoslovakia  2–1  Romania Stadio Littorio Trieste, Italy 9,000 Report
Switzerland  3–2  Netherlands Stadio San Siro Milan, Italy 33,000 Report
Germany  5–2  Belgium Stadio Giovanni Berta Florence, Italy 8,000 Report
Sweden  3–2  Argentina Stadio Littoriale Bologna, Italy 14,000 Report
1938 Switzerland  1–1  Germany Parc des Princes Paris, France 27,152 Report It was the first opening match
that was a tie game in FIFA world cup history
1950 Brazil  4–0  Mexico Maracanã Stadium Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 81,649 Report Brazil is host country
1954 Brazil  5–0  Mexico Charmilles Stadium Geneva, Switzerland 13,470 Report 4 matches on the first day were
all played at the same time
Yugoslavia  1–0  France Stade Olympique de la Pontaise Lausanne, Switzerland 16,000 Report
Uruguay  2–0  Czechoslovakia Wankdorf Stadium Bern, Switzerland 20,500 Report
Austria  1–0  Scotland Hardturm Stadium Zürich, Switzerland 25,000 Report
1958 Sweden  3–0  Mexico Råsunda Stadium Solna, Sweden 34,107 Report Sweden is host country
1962 Uruguay  2–1  Colombia Estadio Carlos Dittborn Arica, Chile 7,908 Report 4 matches on the first day were
all played at the same time
Chile  3–1  Switzerland Estadio Nacional Santiago, Chile 65,006 Report
Brazil  2–0  Mexico Estadio Sausalito Viña del Mar, Chile 10,484 Report
Argentina  1–0  Bulgaria Estadio El Teniente Rancagua, Chile 7,134 Report
1966 England  0–0  Uruguay Wembley Stadium London, England 87,148 Report England is host country
1970 Mexico  0–0  Soviet Union Estadio Azteca Mexico City, Mexico 107,160 Report Mexico is host country

Defending champion era (1974–2002)

Year Defending
Final score Opponent Venue Location Attendance References Notes
1974 Brazil  0–0  Yugoslavia Waldstadion Frankfurt, West Germany 62,000 Report
1978 West Germany  0–0  Poland Estadio Monumental Buenos Aires, Argentina 67,579 Report
1982 Argentina  0–1  Belgium Camp Nou Barcelona, Spain 95,000 Report
1986 Italy  1–1  Bulgaria Estadio Azteca Mexico City, Mexico 96,000 Report
1990 Argentina  0–1  Cameroon San Siro Milan, Italy 73,780 Report
1994 Germany  1–0  Bolivia Soldier Field Chicago, United States 63,117 Report
1998 Brazil  2–1  Scotland Stade de France Saint-Denis, France 80,000 Report
2002 France  0–1  Senegal Seoul World Cup Stadium Seoul, South Korea 62,561 Report

Host country era (2006–)

Year Host
Final score Opponent Venue Location Attendance References Notes
2006 Germany  4–2  Costa Rica FIFA WM Stadion München Munich, Germany 66,000 Report
2010 South Africa  1–1  Mexico Soccer City Johannesburg, South Africa 84,490 Report
2014 Brazil  3–1  Croatia Arena de São Paulo São Paulo, Brazil 62,103 Report
2018 Russia  5–0  Saudi Arabia Luzhniki Stadium Moscow, Russia 78,011 Report
2022 Qatar  0–2  Ecuador Al Bayt Stadium Al Khor, Qatar 67,372 Report

See also