The Most Popular FIFA World Cup: A Ranking of Global Enthusiasm

Choose the Championship you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Nov 25, 2023 07:51
Welcome to StrawPoll's ultimate showdown of the world's most popular FIFA World Cup events! We've gathered the most memorable and thrilling editions of this prestigious tournament, and now it's your turn to decide which one reigns supreme. From the unexpected triumphs of underdogs to the mesmerizing performances of iconic legends, our carefully curated list showcases the very best of what the FIFA World Cup has to offer. So, unleash your inner football fan and cast your vote for the ultimate FIFA World Cup, or go the extra mile and suggest a missing gem that deserves to be part of this epic ranking. Ready, set, goal! Let's kick off this exhilarating journey through the history of the beautiful game!

What Is the Most Popular FIFA World Cup?

  1. 1
    The most recent World Cup held in Russia saw an increase in global viewership and record-breaking social media engagement.
    The 2018 FIFA World Cup was the 21st edition of the FIFA World Cup, which is an international soccer tournament that takes place every four years. It was hosted by Russia from June 14 to July 15, 2018. The tournament featured 32 national teams from around the world competing in various cities across Russia.
    • Number of Teams: 32
    • Host Country: Russia
    • Dates: June 14 to July 15, 2018
    • Matches Played: 64
    • Final Venue: Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
  2. 2
    The first World Cup to be held in Asia saw a unique co-hosting by South Korea and Japan, and featured some of the most memorable matches in recent history.
    The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th edition of the FIFA World Cup, which is the most prestigious international soccer tournament. It was held in South Korea and Japan from May 31 to June 30, 2002. This World Cup featured 32 national teams competing in 64 matches across 20 different stadiums.
    • Host Countries: South Korea, Japan
    • Dates: May 31 to June 30, 2002
    • Number of Teams: 32
    • Number of Matches: 64
    • Number of Stadiums: 20
  3. 3
    Hosted by France, this World Cup saw the emergence of a new generation of football superstars such as Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo, and Thierry Henry.
    The 1998 FIFA World Cup was the 16th edition of the FIFA World Cup, held in France from June 10 to July 12, 1998. It was the first World Cup hosted by France and featured 32 teams from around the world.
    • Host Country: France
    • Dates: June 10 - July 12, 1998
    • Number of Teams: 32
    • Winner: France
    • Runners-up: Brazil
  4. 4
    Considered by many to be the greatest World Cup ever held, this tournament in Mexico saw the legendary Brazilian team led by Pelé win their third World Cup.
    The 1970 FIFA World Cup was the ninth edition of the international football tournament, held in Mexico from May 31 to June 21, 1970. It is widely considered one of the greatest World Cups in history, showcasing exceptional footballing skills and significant cultural impact.
    • Host Country: Mexico
    • Number of Teams: 16
    • Matches Played: 32
    • Winning Country: Brazil
    • Winning Captain: Carlos Alberto Torres
  5. 5
    Held in Mexico, this World Cup saw the famous "Hand of God" goal by Diego Maradona, and was won by Argentina.
    The 1986 FIFA World Cup was the 13th edition of the FIFA World Cup, which is the international men's football championship contested by national teams. It took place in Mexico from May 31 to June 29, 1986.
    • Host Country: Mexico
    • Winner: Argentina
    • Runner-up: West Germany
    • Final Score: Argentina 3-2 West Germany
    • Top Scorer: Gary Lineker (England) - 6 goals
  6. 6
    This World Cup held in the United States saw Brazil win their fourth World Cup, and the establishment of Major League Soccer in the U.S.
    The 1994 FIFA World Cup was the 15th edition of the international soccer tournament held every four years. It took place in the United States from June 17 to July 17, 1994. The tournament saw 24 national teams from around the world compete for the prestigious title.
    • Host Country: United States
    • Number of Teams: 24
    • Matches Played: 52
    • Venues: 9
    • Champion: Brazil
  7. 7
    Hosted by Argentina, this World Cup saw the home team win their first World Cup, and featured some controversial matches.
    The 1978 FIFA World Cup was the 11th edition of the tournament, held in Argentina. The competition took place from June 1 to June 25, 1978, and featured teams from 16 nations competing for the prestigious title.
    • Host Country: Argentina
    • Number of Teams: 16
    • Venues: 6
    • Matches Played: 38
    • Champion: Argentina
  8. 8
    Held in Brazil, this World Cup saw the rise of Germany as the dominant football team in the world, winning their fourth World Cup.
    The 2014 FIFA World Cup was the 20th edition of the FIFA World Cup, which is an international men's soccer tournament held every four years. It took place in Brazil from June 12 to July 13, 2014. The tournament attracted massive global attention and was known for its exciting matches and passionate fan support.
    • Host country: Brazil
    • Number of teams: 32
    • Number of matches: 64
    • Winner: Germany
    • Runner-up: Argentina
  9. 9
    1966 FIFA World Cup
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain
    Hosted by England, this World Cup saw the home team win their first and only World Cup, and featured the famous "Wembley Goal" controversy.
    The 1966 FIFA World Cup was the eighth edition of the FIFA World Cup, which is the largest international soccer tournament. It was held in England from July 11 to July 30, 1966. This World Cup is particularly famous for its controversial final match and the emergence of England as the champion.
    • Host Country: England
    • Number of Teams: 16
    • Matches Played: 32
    • Final Match Venue: Wembley Stadium, London
    • Champion: England
  10. 10
    Held in Sweden, this World Cup saw the emergence of a young Pelé, who led Brazil to their first World Cup victory.
    The 1958 FIFA World Cup, also known as the 6th World Cup, was an international football tournament held in Sweden. It is considered one of the most iconic and remarkable World Cups in history, primarily because it launched the career of a young Pele, who went on to become one of the greatest football players of all time. The tournament featured 16 nations competing for the title over the course of three weeks.
    • Host Country: Sweden
    • Dates: 8 June – 29 June 1958
    • Number of Teams: 16
    • Venues: 12
    • Champion: Brazil

Missing your favorite Championship?


Ranking factors for popular FIFA World Cup

  1. Number of spectators
    The total attendance of fans during the tournament is a strong indicator of a popular World Cup, as it shows a high level of engagement and excitement among football fans.
  2. Television viewership
    Global television audience figures are another crucial factor to determine the popularity of a World Cup. High ratings and viewership numbers suggest that the tournament resonated with people worldwide and drew their interest.
  3. Quality of football
    The quality of matches and level of competition are essential aspects of a successful World Cup. Memorable matches, high-scoring games, and thrilling finishes contribute to the overall excitement and draw more attention from fans.
  4. Star performances
    Individual brilliance from top players or the emergence of new talents can make a specific World Cup more memorable and popular among football fans. Fans love to watch iconic players making history on the world stage.
  5. Cultural impact and legacy
    A popular World Cup often transcends the game itself and leaves a lasting cultural impact on the host nation and beyond. This can include aspects such as unique fan experiences, memorable events surrounding the competition, and long-term infrastructure development in the host country.
  6. Storylines and narratives
    Compelling stories, such as underdog successes, historic achievements, and dramatic controversies, can contribute to a memorable and widely-discussed FIFA World Cup. These storylines capture the attention of fans and non-fans alike.
  7. Host country
    The host country's ability to create a festive and welcoming atmosphere for fans, organize well-managed events, and provide suitable infrastructure helps contribute to a popular and successful World Cup.
  8. Marketing and promotion
    Effective marketing campaigns and promotions before and during the World Cup play a significant role in stimulating interest and excitement among fans.
  9. Social media engagement
    In today's digital age, the popularity of a World Cup can be evaluated through social media interactions, trends, and discussions among fans worldwide.
  10. Economic impact
    The financial success of a World Cup, including ticket sales, sponsorship deals, and merchandise sales, can also be an important factor when considering popularity. A World Cup that generates significant revenue is likely more popular than one that doesn't.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular FIFA World Cup. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Championship is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 157 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Championship once every 24 hours. The rank of each Championship is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular fifa world cup

The FIFA World Cup is one of the largest and most prestigious sporting events in the world. Held every four years, this international soccer tournament brings together the best national teams from around the globe to compete for the coveted title of World Cup Champion. Since its inception in 1930, there have been a total of 21 World Cup tournaments, with the most recent being held in 2018 in Russia. Each World Cup is unique, with its own set of iconic moments, legendary players, and unforgettable matches. With so much history and excitement surrounding this event, it's no wonder that fans from all over the world eagerly await the next installment of the FIFA World Cup.