The glittering trophy and a towering stack of prize money aren’t the only rewards that come with World Cup glory.
A gold star is added to the victorious country’s jersey each time they are crowned world champions. Stitched onto the players’ chests above their national team crest, it’s a badge of honour.
The greatest footballing nations can be identified by their collection of stars. Acting as eternal symbols of their history in the game, each one evokes memories of iconic players and special moments.
Sunday’s World Cup final will be the battle for three stars, as Argentina and France aim to become triple winners.
MORE: FIFA World Cup final 2022: Argentina vs France prediction, odds
Why World Cup winners get a star
The star has become a symbol of the World Cup but the tradition began in the domestic club game.
Juventus were the first team to introduce a star to their jersey, celebrating their tenth Serie A title in 1958. The Italian giants have stitched two more onto their kit since, while organisations from the Bundesliga to the MLS have introduced criteria for earning stars.
Brazil were the first international side to mark their triumphs with stars, officially adding three to their iconic yellow shirts after Pele drove the Selecao to glory in 1970.
The trend was slow to catch on. Italy stitched three stars above their tricolour crest after the 1982 tournament but it took Germany joining-in 14 years later to finally see them standardised.
Who has most stars in team logo?
Since the first women’s World Cup in 1991, USA has amassed four stars on their jerseys as the competition’s most successful team.
Germany are the only other women’s squad to have multiple stars (2).
Only eight nations have won the men’s World Cup, and Brazil’s five triumphs are proudly celebrated on their kits.
Brazil had been planning to honour Pele by turning three of their five stars to hearts, paying tribute to the iconic striker’s three World Cups with the Selecao as he battles cancer.
FIFA regulates the use of stars and enforces a specific shape, although there can still be some confusion. Uruguay wear four stars above their chest but have only lifted two World Cups.
Uruguay count their 1924 and 1928 Olympic golds towards their tally, which FIFA has accepted on the grounds that those events (before the inaugural 1930 tournament) are considered equivalent to World Cups.
MORE: List of World Cup winners in men’s FIFA tournament history
France and Argentina logos with stars
The World Cup final on Sunday will add to France or Argentina’s collection of stars, with both nations already two-time winners.
Footy Headlines showed what their kits could look like following victory in Qatar…
🤔 𝑶𝒑𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔… pic.twitter.com/1aSUDqsQFP
— Footy Headlines (@Footy_Headlines) December 15, 2022