Top 10 World Cup winners

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The World Cup has been showcasing the best teams in the world on the biggest stage for the best part of a century.

But what is the greatest event in the history of the World Cup?

Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Micah Richards discuss the topic in the latest Match of the Day: Top 10 podcast.

Could you Listen to the podcast on BBC Sounds Have your say by ranking your choices at the bottom of this page.

Argentina – 1978 (Richards: 9, Shearer: 10)

Argentina’s first World Cup title came in 1978, when they beat the Netherlands 3-1 after extra time. At 1-1 after 90 minutes, goals from Mario Kempes and Daniele Bertone sealed the victory.

Lineker: I loved this team, I remember Kempes winning the Golden Boot and Cheer all goals against Peru Because I went with the host country. It was a good final because the Dutch team was very strong.

France – 2018 (Richards: 10, Shearer: 9)

France celebrates winning the 2018 World Cup

current owners. The French national team, led by Didier Deschamps, beat Croatia 4-2 in the final in Moscow to leave their second title. They went unbeaten throughout the tournament and beat Argentina 4-3 in the round of 16 in one of the greatest matches of the World Cup.

mower: A strong team and a great finale. Totally deserved but when you look at the others this is a solid list.

Richards: It was a very strong one-to-10 roster. There were better teams on the roster. They had Stephen Nzonzi, a good player in the team, who was at Stoke.

Lineker: One of the great finals and one of the most amazing World Cups.

Italy – 1982 (Richards: 8, Shearer: 8)

Italy celebrates winning the 1982 World Cup

Italy won their third World Cup title in 1982 tying with Brazil as the most successful country. They beat West Germany 3-1 in Madrid to lift the title, with 40-year-old goalkeeper and captain Dino Zoff becoming the oldest player to win the World Cup. Paolo Rossi won the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top scorer, and the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player.

mower: They drew their first three matches, then beat Argentina and Brazil.

Lineker: A lot of people got angry when Rossi was on the team, because he was suspended for match-fixing for almost two years. There has been much debate as to whether it should be there. The team crawled out, then came back to life and won the Golden Boot and the World Cup. What a transformation.

Spain – 2010 (Richards: 7, Shearer: 6)

Spain celebrates winning the 2010 World Cup

The tika-taka Spain side of 2010 was a joy to watch and provided the country with its first success. They lost their opening group match against Switzerland before going all out, eventually beating the Netherlands 1-0 after extra time in the final, courtesy of an Andres Iniesta goal.

Richards: In the World Cup you want to see goals and flair. They went on to win 1-0.

mower: They were beaten in the opening game but after that, they weren’t stopped.

Lineker: They played beautiful football and you couldn’t have taken the ball away from them, I would have made them higher.

West Germany – 1990 (Richards: 5, Shearer: 5)

West Germany’s third and final World Cup success, with reunification in October 1990. The final against Argentina, which West Germany won 1-0 thanks to an Andreas Brehme penalty, is often referred to as one of the most pessimistic and low-key matches. Quality Finals. They were unbeaten throughout the tournament, but needed a penalty shootout to beat England in the semi-final.

Lineker: They beat us all the way and I can’t help but think we would have won the title if we had won on penalties. They were a very good team, they beat everyone up until they got to us. Lots of good players. The final was awful, dirty and chaotic against a tired Argentina. Nobody gave England a chance, but there was nothing in it.

France – 1998 (Richards: 3, Shearer: 6)

France celebrates winning the 1998 World Cup

France’s first home success came in 1998. Aime Jacquet’s side won 3-0, Zinedine Zidane scored a first-half brace, before Emmanuel Petit sealed the scoring in injury time. They were unbeaten in the tournament but needed extra time in the round of 16 and a penalty shootout in the quarter-finals.

Lineker: I did the final as presenter and got the job of sponsoring David Ginola. He was controversially left out of the World Cup squad. The poor fellow had to pretend to be really happy, but it was too painful for him. It was brutal. Leaving a player with this quality shows how good he is.

Argentina – 1986 (Richards: 2, Shearer: 7)

Argentina celebrates winning the 1986 World Cup

Argentina won their second World Cup in 1986, defeating West Germany 3-2 in the final in Mexico City. Perhaps the best memory of the tournament is Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” goal against England in the quarter-finals. Gary Lineker finished top scorer, also with six goals.

Lineker: Maradona team. I don’t think it’s fair to say he carried them though, they had some very good players. At the World Cup he was unbelievable, like no player has played in any World Cup in history. What a personality as well.

Brazil – 2002 (Richards: 3, Shearer: 4)

Brazil celebrates winning the 2002 World Cup

Trophy number five for Brazil and it was another where they won all their matches – seven in total this time. Under the leadership of Luiz Felipe Scolari and the captaincy of Cafu, they beat Germany 2-0 in the final in Japan to lift the trophy. They also beat England 2-1 in the quarter-finals.

mower: Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho. Brilliant team, they also had Carlos and Cafu. Ronaldinho’s goal against England was a fluke though.

Lineker: I don’t think Ronaldinho can get a free kick wrong like that, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

England – 1966 (Richards: 4, Shearer: 2)

England celebrate winning the 1996 World Cup

The year football returned home, it remains England’s only World Cup success. Under the captaincy of Alf Ramsey and captained by Bobby Moore, they beat West Germany 4-2 after extra time at Wembley to win the title.

mower: It’s just a story about being at Wembley. It is the immortality of everything and the players.

Lineker: Maybe not the best but this story is England. England played really measuredly but it worked. Jimmy Greaves was the story of that World Cup. He was probably the greatest England striker ever and he got injured first, Geoff Hurst came on, Greaves got fit again but they stuck with Hurst and there were no subs in those days so he was just out.

Brazil – 1970 (Richards: 1, Shearer: 1)

Brazil celebrates winning the 1970 World Cup

Brazil won their third World Cup in 1970, which meant they were allowed to retain the title and a new trophy was introduced in the following tournament. The team captained by Carlos Alberto also included Pelé, Gerson, Jairzinho, Rivelino and Tostao and is often referred to as the greatest football team of all time. They won all six of their matches, beating Italy 4-1 in the final.

mower: One of the easiest decisions even though I’ve never seen them. The way people praise them and the names they have, it must be them.

Richards: My dad told me about this team and he said they were unbelievable.

Lineker: There was that famous match against England when they won 1-0. The two famous moments are the save by Gordon Banks and the tackle by Bobby Moore on Pele.

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