Les Bleus have appeared in 12 final tournaments, Mexico's achieved their best-ever performances in the
winning on home soil in 1998. Regular actors on the finals as tournament hosts in 1970 and 1986, reaching
greatest stage of all, France also managed third-place the last eight on both occasions.
finishes in 1958 and 1986, as well as fourth spot in South Africa 2010 is their fifth appearance in the finals
1982. in a row. On all four previous occasions they have
bowed out in the Round of 16.
South Africa Uruguay
South Africa have failed to make it beyond the group
stages in either of their two previous FIFA World Cup Uruguay will be appearing in the FIFA World Cup for
appearances. Their first appearance was in France 1998, the 11th time at South Africa 2010.Uruguay hosted the
six years after they had been readmitted to the global inaugural FIFA World Cup finals in 1930 and went on
football family. Despite a 3-0 drubbing to France in to win the tournament after defeating Argentina 4-2 in
their opening game, they went on to put a decent show the Final.
against Denmark and Saudi Arabia, drawing against
Argentina have reached four FIFA World Cup Finals in Greece will be determined to improve on their showing
all. They beat Netherlands in 1978 and Germany in at USA 1994, where they sank to group-stage defeats
1986 but lost to Uruguay in 1930 and to the Germans in against Argentina (4-0), Bulgaria (4-0) and Nigeria
1990 (2-0) and headed for home at the first hurdle
Nigeria South Korea
Korea Republic are the most frequent visitors from Asia
Nigeria’s 3-0 waltz over Bulgaria in their USA 94 to the FIFA World Cup, and are set to make their eighth
debut match was more remarkable given that the appearance this time in South Africa.The best result the
Europeans went on to beat Greece, Argentina, Mexico Taeguk Warriors have achieved so far was at
and Germany in the tournament Korea/Japan 2002, where they swept past European
powerhouses Portugal, Italy, and Spain to reach the last
South Africa will mark Algeria’s third appearance at a
FIFA World Cup finals, and they will be looking to England have appeared at 11 previous editions of the
graduate from the group stage for the first time in their global showpiece, including their debut at Brazil 1950.
history. In 1982, they made history by defeating West Victors on home soil in 1966, their best performance
Germany 2-1 and Chile 3-2, only to lose 2-0 to Austria outside their own shores came under the late Sir Bobby
Robson at Italy 1990 when they lost on penalties to
A nation of just two million people, Slovenia have The United States have taken part at nine FIFA World
already punched above their weight to secure a place at Cups, with Mexico the only CONCACAF team
this FIFA World Cup. When one considers that they involved in more editions of the showpiece event. Their
knocked out Poland, Czech Republic and, finally, best finals performance came at Uruguay 1930, when
Russia - population 142 million – to take their place in they exited at the semi-final stage. South Africa 2010
South Africa, the achievement becomes near- will be the United States' sixth consecutive finals
After a 32-year absence from the world stage, Australia Germany have won the FIFA World Cup three times
made a strong statement at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, (1954, 1974 and 1990), a figure bettered only by Brazil
reaching the knockout stage where it took a last-minute (5) and Italy (4). Apart from the 1930 and 1950
goal from eventual champions Italy to eliminate Guus tournaments, which they did not enter, Germany have
Hiddink's team. contested every FIFA World Cup finals.
Ghana were the youngest team at Germany 2006, with
an average age of just under 24 years. Asamoah Gyan
scored the fastest goal of the 2006 FIFA World Cup
after 68 seconds in their 2-1 win over Czech Republic.
It was also Ghana's first-ever goal in the finals.
Cameroon have played in 17 FIFA World Cup matches, The Scandinavians missed out on both the 2006 FIFA
the most of any national team from Africa. Their 1-0 World Cup in Germany and UEFA EURO 2008 in
defeat of holders Argentina to kick off the 1990 FIFA Austria and Switzerland, but the FIFA founder
World Cup is one of the great upsets in the history of members blazed an impressive trail en route to a berth
the event. in South Africa this summer.
In their eight finals appearances, the Oranje have
reached the showpiece match twice, falling narrowly South Africa 2010 will be Japan's fourth FIFA World
short of the global crown in 1974 and 1978. They also Cup finals, and their fourth in a row. Their best finish
came in fourth at France 1998. came as hosts at Korea/Japan 2002, when they topped
Group H ahead of Belgium, Russia and Tunisia to
advance to the knockout stages for the first and so far
Italy New Zealand
Italy have qualified for 16 of the 18 FIFA World Cup New Zealand have appeared on the world stage just
finals, failing to book themselves a place in 1958 and once, with the qualification for the 1982 FIFA World
having not opted to take part in the first edition in 1930. Cup™ considered one of the country’s most famous
They have won the competition on four occasions, in sporting achievements. The squad attained stunning
1934, 1938, 1982 and four years ago in 2006. results including away wins in Australia, Saudi Arabia
and China over a then-record 15-match qualification
Paraguay will be making their eight FIFA World Cup While this may be Slovakia's first appearance on the
finals appearance this year and their fourth in a row. La global stage, the country's footballing past is naturally
Albirroja have never won two games at the same finals tied up with that of the former Czechoslovakia, who
and have yet to progress beyond the Round of 16. In participated in eight finals overall. Czechoslovakia even
those eight appearances they have won six matches, reached the final in 1934.
drawn seven and lost nine
Brazil Ivory Coast
Brazil are preparing to contest their 19th Côte d'Ivoire were the only nation at Germany 2006
consecutive FIFA World Cup finals. They are the whose squad was made up of players entirely based at
only country to have taken part in every edition of clubs outside their home country.
the global showpiece. They are also the only They are the only team who have never failed to score
country to have won the title five times: amassing a in a FIFA World Cup match.
total of 64 victories, 14 draws and 14 defeats in 92
North Korea Portugal
After spending nearly 30 years in wilderness, the past After failing to progress past the first stage in 1986 and
decade saw the revival of the nation's footballing 2002, Germany 2006 marked a return to FIFA World
fortunes. With their women's football teams running Cup form for the Portuguese. Undefeated during the
riot at all levels on the international scene, the men's group phase, they went on to overcome Netherlands
side came close to qualifying for Germany 2006 before and England en route to the semi-finals, only to lose 1-0
successfully negotiating the road to South Africa 2010 to France and then go down to the hosts in the play-off
for third place.
Coached by the experienced Argentinian Marcelo Honduras return to global football's top table after 28
Bielsa, the Chileans qualified for the finals with some years away. Their only previous appearance at the
ease, atoning for poor performances in the qualifying finals came at Spain 1982. Los Catrachos surprised the
competitions for Korea/Japan 2002 and Germany 2006, world by drawing 1-1 with the hosts and then with
when they finished ninth and seventh respectively Northern Ireland, before exiting the tournament after a
defeat by the former Yugoslavia
Spain have taken part in the finals of 12 FIFA World
Cups and have not missed a single edition since failing In South Africa, Switzerland will be appearing at the
to reach Germany 1974. La Roja's best performance at FIFA World Cup for the ninth time. The Swiss reached
the global showpiece was a fourth-placed finish at the quarter-finals in 1934, 1938 and 1954. They were
Brazil 1950. At senior international level, Spain have knocked out in the Round of 16 at the 2006 finals in
two major titles to their name: the 1964 and 2008 Germany.
Serbia will be appearing at the FIFA World Cup
independently for the first time in South Africa. They
formed part of the Yugoslavia side that appeared at nine
editions of the competition, and the Serbia and
Montenegro team that competed at Germany 2006.