Since it started in 1930, the World Cup has selected some hosts who have a rich history of football that definitely make sense like England, Brazil, and Argentina. There have also been some countries that aren’t quite as well-known for their programs, including South Africa, Russia, and Qatar. It seems that FIFA is more willing to host the World Cup in countries that have never hosted before, and there are some who should be putting in bids.
Out of the many countries that have yet to host the World Cup, which ones are the most deserving and are best suited to host millions of visitors? Here are our picks for the five nations that FIFA needs to look at for future considerations (in no particular order). Note: Canada and Mexico would have been on the list, but were selected for the 2026 World Cup.
The Netherlands has a great track record at the World Cup and has advanced to the finals on three occasions. Unlike many of the other nations who have reached multiple finals, though, the country has never hosted the World Cup. The infrastructure of the Netherlands is more than capable of handling the World Cup, especially since Amsterdam is host to so many global events.
However, there aren’t many large stadiums compared to places like the United States or the United Kingdom. Johan Cruijff ArenA is able to hold 55,600 people, making it the nation’s largest. De Kuip is the only other venue that can hold over 35,000, and two stadiums isn’t enough for a World Cup for now.
You can’t think about Paraguay without thinking about Uruguay, and the latter nation hosted the very first World Cup in 1930. Since then, however, all of the World Cup events in South America have been held in Brazil, Chile, and Argentina. Paraguay would likely have to engage in a joint effort with another nation like Argentina, Uruguay, or Chile to host the World Cup.
Paraguay simply isn’t large enough to host the entire event on its own, especially with the lack of venues. Only two stadiums hold over 24,000 people, and even those are small by FIFA standards. Estadio General Pablo Rojas holds just over 51,000 while Estadio Defensores del Chaco holds over 42,000.
Morocco has shown that they are taking their football program very seriously, and had their best showing at the 2022 World Cup by reaching the semifinals. The nation has also gone all-in on hosting a World Cup, which would put them toward the bottom of the list in terms of overall appearances for a nation that hosted the event.
The country already has more large venues than you might think. Stade Mohamed V, which opened in Casablanca in 1955, holds 67,000 while the much newer Ibn Batouta Stadium in Tanger holds 65,000. A third large stadium is located in Rabat, with Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium holding 60,000 people.
Most people think exclusively of Cristiano Ronaldo when they think about Portuguese football, but the nation has become a major player in football ever since he became a professional. Portugal has yet to host a World Cup despite several strong finishes in competition and the fact that their neighbor Spain has hosted before (1982). Portugal is an obvious tourist destination but would need work to host the World Cup.
The only real drawback for Portugal is that the country doesn’t really have many stadiums for World Cup play. Estadio da Luz is the largest in the country, and even that holds just 64,000 people. No other stadium in Portugal has a capacity higher than 50,000, so there would have to be at least a couple of new venues built for the World Cup.
Australia doesn’t have a long history with the World Cup, and they weren’t even a member of FIFA until the 1960s and qualified just once between 1966 (their first year of eligibility) and 2006. Since 2006, though, the Socceroos have reached the World Cup every time, including a couple of times when they advanced past the group stage. Because of this, Australia has been considered as a potential World Cup host.
Australia has shown that the nation is more than capable of hosting an international event. There is plenty of infrastructure in the nation and space for everyone, as showcased in the 2000 Summer Olympics. Several stadiums are already standing in Australia which would be able to host matches, including Melbourne Cricket Ground which can house 88,000 people, as well as Stadium Australia and Perth Stadium.