November 09, 2022 6:19 PM
Last modified date: November 14, 2022 12:20 PM
Alex Sarwar

History of newcomers' performances at the FIFA World Cup

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The 2022 World Cup will see just one country make their first ever appearance in the tournament, that being Qatar, who qualified automatically by virtue of being hosts. This competition boasts a rich history of newcomers who have gone on to become regular features in future World Cups for many years to come.

Certain teams perform better than others come their World Cup debut and we’re putting this under the spotlight in our latest analysis feature. We’ve compiled a full list of countries to have made their first World Cup appearance in each tournament. Not only that, we’ve assessed the best-performing newcomer at each World Cup, highlighting which stage they managed to reach before exciting the competition.

* The former Czechoslovakia played in eight FIFA World Cups and were runners-up in 1934 and 1962 before Slovakia made their FIFA World Cup debut in 2010

Aside from the inaugural World Cup in 1930, the best performance from any country in their first appearance at the tournament is Italy in 1934, who lifted the Jules Rimet Trophy after beating fellow debutants Czechoslovakia in the final. They remain the only country aside from Uruguay in 1930 to win the World Cup at the first attempt.

Since then, no newcomer to the World Cup has reached further than the quarter-finals in their opening tournament appearance. However, since the turn of the millennium, three of the five World Cups to have taken place have seen at least one newcomer make it to the knockout stage. It remains to be seen if Qatar can achieve the same feat in 2022.

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