Can Brazil make Olympic and World Cup history in Qatar?

The 2022 FIFA World Cup has already dished out its fair share of records, surprises and history-makers, including Cristiano Ronaldowho became the first player ever to score in five consecutive World Cups.

But just over a year ago, a major soccer tournament took place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Brazil were crowned men’s soccer champions in Tokyo after accomplishing the same feat four years earlier in Rio 2016. In Japan, they also counted on some of the same players who play for them in Qatar, such as Dani Alves and Richarlison. And the men in yellow and green could make history again in Qatar by joining a select group of countries who have won Olympic gold followed by the World Cup.

Ahead of their Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match, where the world will discover Brazil if they make it to the final knockout stage, looks back at the teams that have found glory at both the Olympics and the World Cup.

Note: As England competes as Great Britain in the Olympics, they are not included in this list.

Nations that won Olympic gold and the FIFA World Cup

Six nations have triumphed at both the Olympic Games and the World Cup throughout history, including three Latin American countries and three from Europe. Not surprisingly, they have all been dominant forces in international football. Each of the nations has also been successful at continental level, winning either the Copa America or the Euros at least once.

  • Uruguay was the first team to make the double, achieving the feat in 1930 when they won the World Cup with Olympic world titles in 1924 and 1928. Years later, in 1950, they won another World Cup title.

  • Italy were the first European nation to win both titles, after their 1934 World Cup triumph was followed by victory at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. In 1938, 1982 and 2006 they became world champions three more times. Of all the nations that have ever had Olympic and world champions, Italy is the only country not to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

  • France also achieved the Olympic/World Cup double over half a century after the last nation did so in 1936. In 1998 they won the World Cup after winning gold at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. They doubled their World Cup record with the win in 2018 and are among the favorites again this year in Qatar.

  • Argentina won Olympic gold in Athens 2004 after winning two World Cup titles in 1978 and 1986, with the great Diego Maradona starring in the latter. They also won their second Olympic title in 2008 with legends of the game including Lionel Messi in the gold-winning squad.

  • Spain are also a nation that has tasted glory on the world and Olympic stages, winning Olympic gold at home in Barcelona in 1992 and the world title in 2010, with the likes of Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique among their ranks.

  • Brazil is the last team to have won both trophies with five World Cup victories (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002). However, they had to wait for their first Olympic title when, buoyed by their talisman Neymar, they won the gold medal in Rio in 2016. Five years later they secured their second consecutive gold medal in Tokyo and if they win in Qatar they have a chance to write another page in the history books.

Qatar 2022: how could Brazil make history?

Brazil are among the favorites to win the World Cup in Qatar, having easily qualified for the round of 16 with thrilling group stage victories.

And if they win the trophy this year, they will make history, not only as the only nation to have ever won six World Cups, but also because they will become the first to win consecutive Olympic gold since Uruguay in 1930, followed from the World Cup. They will also be the first since Italy in 1938 to win Olympic gold followed by a World Championship.

It will be another record in a growing list for Brazil, which is the only country in history to have won consecutive Olympic gold (Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020) and World Cups (1958 and 1962).

Still, not all pages in the history books belong to Brazil.

While the last five Olympic champions have come from Latin America, the last four World Cup winners have all come from Europe.

Can Brazil break the trend at Qatar 2022?

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