There are many football competitions played across the globe.
However, there are a few that stand out due to their pedigree, popularity and high level of competitiveness.
These are competitions that the best football players and managers want to compete in and win.
This article will discusses the top 5 football tournaments in the world.
Top 5 Football Tournaments In The World
Below are the top 5 football football tournaments in the world based on popularity, pedigree, and competitiveness. This list is not made up of league-style tournaments.
1. FIFA World Cup
This football fiesta is arguably the biggest and most popular sporting competition on the planet involving various countries’ national teams.
Since its maiden edition in 1930, the tournament has been held every four years and has grown from strength to strength.
From initially having only 6 nations participate, it has now expanded to 32 countries representing each FIFA member confederation drawn from across the globe, and will expand to 48 national teams from 2026.
Over the years, outstanding talents like Diego Maradona, Pele, Lionel Messi, and Zidane have showcased their skills on the biggest world stage. Many countries like Brazil, Germany, and Italy have also shown their soccer prowess, winning the tournament on many occasions.
It is a difficult competition as only eight countries that won the World Cup in history. It is also not easy to qualify for the World Cup because there are many top players who never played in the World Cup. Here is a list of countries that have never qualified for the World Cup.
The World Cup has also transformed into a big business and commercial venture, attracting sponsorships, broadcast, and marketing deals, further making the fiesta even more popular than ever.
2. UEFA Champions League
The Champions League is a yearly continental club competition organized by the European football body called UEFA.
The tournament is the biggest and most popular club competition in the world due to its level of high-quality competition and expert marketing that has captured the imagination of football fans around the world.
The competition began in 1955 and has metamorphosized into various formats over the years. Currently, it consists of 32 club sides drawn from across UEFA member countries who won their respective leagues or finished in the top placings.
The UEFA Champions League is equally a tough competition. Even some Ballon d’Or winners have never won the Champions League.
What makes the competition great is the top-quality football on offer from the players and coaches on various teams. It’s also popular due to lucrative broadcast deals that allow it to be shown to millions of viewers around the world.
3. UEFA European Football Championship
The UEFA European Football Championship is arguably the best continental national team tournament on Earth. This is due to the fact that many of the best players in the world compete for various European countries.
The UEFA-organized tournament first started in 1960 and is typically held every four years. Top European football countries like Spain, France, Germany, and Italy often compete in the tournament showcasing high-level entertaining football.
There are still about 20 countries that have never qualified for the Euros.
4. African Cup of Nations (AFCON)
The AFCON is the premier national team football tournament held on the African continent. The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has organized the competition since its first edition in 1957.
The Biennial tournament initially started with 3 teams but has now expanded to 24 countries drawn from across the African continent.
Many of the greatest African football legends like Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto’o, and Jay-Jay Okocha have displayed their talent in this prestigious competition.
The AFCON is one of the most difficult international football tournaments to win or even qualify for. A lot of African countries have never qualified for the AFCON.
The AFCON is continuing to grow in popularity around the world and has begun attracting commercial sponsorships and marketing deals.
5. Copa America
The South American continental national team competition is the oldest continental tournament in the world. Since its inaugural tournament in 1916, it has been held for over 100 years.
The competition is usually held every four years but sometimes switches to yearly, 2 or even 3 years depending on the organizers, that is, the South American football Confederation CONMEBOL.
The Copa America is the only football international tournament that invites countries from other confederations to make up the number of participants in the tournament.
It is one of the grueling tournaments in football, with many of the top South American players on show. Argentina are the current winners of the Copa America, winning it in 2021 after they won it last in 1993.