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Picking up points isn’t exactly what comes to most people’s minds when it comes to the World Cup, with supporters more preoccupied with their teams simply winning games.
Many groups at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar went right down to the wire, with several nations wishing they had just one extra point from their three matches.
WorldFootball has recorded the all time points takers in the history of the competition, in this case counting three points for a win and one point for a draw, regardless of the stage of the tournament. Moreover, extra-time victories are counted as wins and losses, and penalty shoot-out victories are counted as draws.
The 10 nations with the most World Cup points of all time
10 Belgium – 73 points
Belgium have taken part in 14 World Cups to date, with their best finish coming in the last tournament in 2018, with the Red Devils clinching third spot overall. Other than that, it has largely been disappointing group stage or round of 16 finishes for the Belgians, who have 73 World Cup points to their name. They even failed to qualify for the 2006 and 2010 editions.
But the 2022 event in Qatar has perhaps highlighted just how out of touch the current squad is. The ageing team crashed out of the tournament with just one win to their name, finishing third in Group F. A total of eight of their top 10 appearance makers of all time are still playing for the Red Devils, highlighting just how long this group has been around.
9 Uruguay – 88 points
Undoubtedly another ageing team due to the likes of Diego Godin, Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, Uruguay also struggled in Qatar, and were handed the same fate as Belgium, picking up four points and being sent home early.
The South Americans have picked up 88 points from their 14 World Cup appearances, winning the famous competition twice. Those two successes, in 1930 and 1950, have helped the side clinch a spot in the top 10 for points, mainly due to the fact that they have only gone as far as the quarter-finals in the years since then.
8 Netherlands – 103 points
One of the most unfortunate teams in World Cup history, the Netherlands have amassed a total of 103 points, seven of which have come in Qatar thanks to their two wins and one draw in Group A.
The Netherlands have never won the competition, finishing as runners-up on three different occasions, and leaving Brazil in 2014 as the third-best team. The time to pick up points has now passed in Qatar, but winning games will still be at the forefront of the minds of this exciting team, with the Netherlands already booking a place in the quarter-finals after defeating the USA.
7 Spain – 109 points
Spain are always a real threat on the big stage, but have just about managed to squeeze into the knockout stages of the 2022 edition with their four points in Group E. They now have 109 World Cup points to their name.
Spain lifted their one and only World Cup trophy in 2010, but could only follow that with group stage and round of 16 exits in 2014 and 2018 respectively. Again, as is the case with the Netherlands, they will be licking their lips at the fact that no nation is seemingly showing a real hunger to lift the trophy in Qatar.
6 England – 118 points
Like Spain, England also have one World Cup title to their name, but are indeed among the few nations that look like mounting a challenge for success this time around. The English have only managed to secure two fourth-place finishes since that 1966 win, going no further.
Current boss Gareth Southgate is responsible for one of those fourth-place finishes in 2018, and will be hoping his side can go that tiny bit further this time around. They picked up seven points in Group B in Qatar with two wins and a draw, and now sit on 118 total World Cup points. The Three Lions are also in the last eight after easing past Senegal.
The top 5 World Cup points takers of all time
5 France – 121 points
Six points ahead of England on 121 are France, who have won the prestigious competition on two occasions. One of those was in Russia in 2018, and the defending champions are looking fierce once again four years later. But losing out to Tunisia on matchday three meant Didier Deschamps’ side could only manage six points in the group stages.
Les Bleus did, however, still clinch top spot in Group D, and will now be fully focused on blowing away all those who stand in their way thanks to a certain Kylian Mbappe. He netted a double against Poland to help land France a place in the last eight in Qatar.
4 Argentina – 153 points
Well ahead of the French are South American giants Argentina, who have 153 points from their 18 World Cup appearances. After a shaky start in 2022, they picked up six points from their group, and are now looking dangerous, having already qualified for the quarter-finals.
Argentina have won the famous competition twice, finishing as runners-up on three occasions, with their World Cup goals courtesy of the likes of legendary figures Diego Maradona, Gabriel Batistuta and Lionel Messi among many others.
3 Italy – 156 points
Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, with their total of 156 points showing just how strong they have been during their other appearances in the competition. They’ve taken part in 18 World Cups, winning it on four occasions.
While several group stage exits have let them down over the years, they sit third in the top 10 all time World Cup points scorers, largely down to their strong showings throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
2 Germany – 225 points
There have already been plenty of shocks at the 2022 World Cup, but 225-point Germany leaving the tournament at the group stages is undoubtedly one of the most major. It’s an outcome that has shocked the world, with Hansi Flick’s side finishing third in Group E due to their one win, one draw and one loss in Qatar.
The shock comes due to the fact that Germany have always been a major threat on the big stage, with the likes of Miroslav Klose, Gerd Muller and Jurgen Klinsmann banging in the goals in the group stages over the years. That said, it is now two World Cups in a row where the four-time winners have failed to make it past the opening stage of the competition.
1 Brazil – 243 points
Standing top of the pile for World Cup participations and titles, Brazil unsurprisingly also top the list for points won. The South American stars have won a total of 243 points, helped of course by the fact they have participated in all 22 World Cups to date. They have shown their prowess once more in 2022, finishing top of Group G despite a late slip-up against Cameroon.
Due to injuries, the likes of Neymar and Gabriel Jesus haven’t been able to follow in the footsteps of the likes of the legendary Pele or Ronaldo, but Tottenham Hotspur forward Richarlison is doing his best, helped of course by fellow stars Vinicius Jr and Raphinha among many others.
- 1 The 10 nations with the most World Cup points of all time
- 2 10 Belgium – 73 points
- 3 9 Uruguay – 88 points
- 4 8 Netherlands – 103 points
- 5 7 Spain – 109 points
- 6 6 England – 118 points
- 7 The top 5 World Cup points takers of all time
- 8 5 France – 121 points
- 9 4 Argentina – 153 points
- 10 3 Italy – 156 points
- 11 2 Germany – 225 points
- 12 1 Brazil – 243 points
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