Top 5 Winningest teams in Women’s World Cup History
Who are the most successful countries in the women's game? Here are the 5 FIFA Women’s World Cup teams with the most wins in history.
In today’s post we’re looking at the most successful teams in the history of the Women’s World Cup based on how many trophies they’ve won, how many finals they’ve made, and how much progress they’ve made in the knockout stages of the tournament.
The list features four tournament winners, so we’ll be breaking those down, including each of the US Women’s World Cup wins.
The 2023 World Cup is upon us, and if you need a little guidance on the competition, check out this post detailing the 10 Best Women’s World Cup Group Stage games to watch.
What team has won the most FIFA Women’s World Cups?
There have been four winners of the Women’s World Cup, with two countries able to win multiple titles. The U.S. Women’s soccer team is the most successful team in the competition, winning four World Cups out of the eight that have been played so far.
The USA claimed victory in the inaugural tournament in 1991 and continued their success with wins in 1999, 2015, and 2019, achieving back-to-back titles in the two most recent Women's Soccer World Cups.
Top 5 Winningest teams in the Women’s World Cup History
- Sweden Women’s National Soccer Team
World Cup Results: 1991 3rd Place, 1995 Quarter Finals, 1999 Quarter Finals, 2003 Runner Up, 2007 Group Stage, 2011 3rd Place, 2015 R16, 2019 3rd Place.
Sweden are the only team in the top five who are not women’s World Cup winners. They have come so close so many times, making it to the semifinals on four separate occasions.
Their best run came in the 2003 FIFA women’s World Cup when they beat Brazil in the Quarter Finals and then took down Canada with a 2-1 win in the semis. Sweden made their only final in that year, but unfortunately ran into the European powerhouse that was Germany, losing 2-1 via golden goal in a crushing defeat. This was one of the greatest Women's World Cup games in history.
While Sweden are yet to win the tournament, they’re considered to be one of the Women’s World Cup sleepers at the 2023 tournament.
If Sweden can overcome the odds and become the Women’s World Cup 2023 champions, they will join the four other teams on the exclusive cup winner’s list.
- Japan Women’s National Soccer Team
World Cup Results: 1991 Group Stage, 1995 Quarter Finals, 1999 Group Stage, 2003 Group Stage, 2007 Group Stage, 2011 Winners, 2015 Runner Up, 2019 R16.
Japan had a hot streak during the 2010s, reaching the World Cup final twice in consecutive tournaments. In the first four competitions, Japan struggled and failed to make it out of the group stage on three occasions. Then suddenly in 2011, they found their rhythm.
The extraordinary rise of the Japan national team against the odds is one that deserves monumental recognition.
Unlike the USWNT who have built an entire infrastructure that supports the growth of young female soccer players in the US, Japan's ambitions were somewhat suppressed.
The domestic leagues in Japan had sputtered in the late 90s and funding was not being approved to continue to develop the women’s game. The situation in Japan was vastly different from the experience of the USWNT, yet the Japanese team emerged as a strong contender in 2011 and managed to defeat the US giants in the World Cup final.
They came back from a goal down twice, forced a penalty shootout and ultimately overcame the odds to etch their name into Women’s World Cup history.
The 2011 win came just months after a devastating earthquake and tornado hit the nation, and while a World Cup win would never make up for such a tragedy, it was a poetic finish for a country that so badly needed a lift.
- Norway Women’s National Soccer Team
World Cup Results: 1991 Runner Up, 1995 Winners, 1999 4th Place, 2003 Quarter Finals, 2007 4th Place, 2011 Group Stage, 2015 R16, 2019 Quarter Finals.
Norway were one of Europe’s most successful women’s teams in the 1990s, making it all the way to the final in the very first tournament in 1991 where they lost 2-1 to the USA.
Four years later, as the tournament was hosted closer to home in Sweden, Norway showcased one of the most remarkable performances among the past women's World Cup winners.
The Norwegians scored 17 goals in their three group stage games with empathic wins over Nigeria (8-0) and Canada (7-0). Their fine form continued in the knockouts with a 3-1 win over Denmark and a closely contested 1-0 victory over the defending champion USWNT in the semi-final. Making this game the biggest upset in Women's World Cup history.
Shooting themselves all the way to the final of the competition, Norway defeated Germany 2-0 in the final to crown themselves World Champions. Their team dominated in the tournament, highlighted by the fact that the Golden, Silver and Bronze Ball awards for the competition all went to Norwegian players. Hege Riise won the Gold with five goals and five assists, Gro Espeseth won silver and Ann Kristin Aarones won bronze.
Kristin Aarones was the recipient of the Golden Boot with six goals in the competition, Riise had five, and both Marianne Pettersen and Kristin Sandberg managed three each.
- Germany Women’s National Soccer Team
World Cup Results: 1991 4th Place, 1995 Runners Up, 1999 Quarter finals, 2003 Winners, 2007 Winners, 2011 Quarter Finals, 2015 4th Place, 2019 Quarter Finals
Germany’s reign as the champions of Europe is truly sensational. Between 1989 and 2013 they won eight of a possible nine European Cups. They then won six in a row from 1995 to 2013. That should give you an idea of just how impressive the German national team was, and they were chasing a World Cup to complete the trophy case.
Going into the 2003 tournament in the USA, Germany strolled past all three of their group stage opponents to head into the knockouts in poll position. Russia awaited them in the Quarter Finals, and Germany made light work of that matchup with a statement 7-1 win.
The Semi Final created a high-stakes match against the tournament hosts, who faced immense pressure to replicate their 1999 form in front of a home crowd after being assigned to host the tournament at short notice. Germany proved to be the superior team for almost the entire 90 minutes and sealed their mission with a resounding 3-0 victory, knocking the hosts out of the competition.
Germany won the tournament with a Golden Goal over Sweden in the final, making this game one of the biggest comebacks in Women's World Cup history. They returned in 2007 ranked second in the Women’s FIFA rankings to defend their title. It was that 2007 World Cup that led to a final against Brazil and the legendary Marta, who was in the finest form of her career at the time.
Marta might have won the Golden Ball and the Golden Boot, but Germany won the World Cup, defeating Brazil 2-0 in the final. The ‘07 title made them back-to-back champions, writing their name into the women’s World Cup records as the first team to successfully defend their title.
Germany is one of the greatest women’s national soccer teams of all time, and certainly the most successful in Europe. After a few disappointing years in the competition, Germany have strong odds to win the Women’s World Cup once again, and they pose one of the biggest threats to the USWNT three-peat.
- USA Women’s National Soccer Team
World Cup Results: 1991 Winners, 1995 3rd Place, 1999 Winners, 2003 3rd Place, 2007 3rd Place, 2011 Runners Up, 2015 Winners, 2019 Winners
There is no denying that the United States Women’s National Soccer team is the greatest women’s soccer team in history. They have never finished outside of the top three in any of the eight World Cups that have taken place so far, and have won four of them, including back-to-back titles in 2015 and 2019.
Winning the very first tournament was amazing, but it was the 1999 tournament that they hosted in the US that really catapulted women’s soccer in the United States. With more coverage than ever before, the US felt the pressure that year to bring home the trophy, and did so in nail-biting fashion with a penalty shootout against China in the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena.
The USWNT game stats in the World Cup equal 40 wins, six ties and just four losses. Every USWNT World Cup win holds multiple stories of greatness, each standing on its own. From the dominant knockout run in 1991 to Kristine Lilly's goal line clearance and the penalty shootout in 1999, Carli Lloyd's hat trick in the 2015 final, and the goal fest with Megan Rapinoe's contribution in the knockouts in 2019.
Whichever way you slice it, the USA sit on top of the FIFA women’s World Cup winner list. If they win a third straight tournament in 2023 they will write their names into women’s World Cup soccer history once again, and right now they’re the favorite to do so.
Can the USA get the job done a third time? Check out our women’s World Cup Group Stage predictions post for an insight into the first couple of weeks of the 2023 tournament.
Parameters for ranking
These women’s World Cup past winners and competitors have been ranked based on their finishes in the tournament's history combined. Sweden made the list as the highest performing team who have not yet won the tournament, while the other four nations are the only four to have won it at least once.
Women’s World Cup Odds at Betway
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