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Last World Cup winner as a non-host? Anybody? Anybody?

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The blue-blooded, highly exclusive club of World Cup champions is about to get a new member. We all know that.

But here’s a little additional perspective on how particularly restrictive admittance to the club has been lately (as discussed yesterday with the encyclopedic World Cup Expert over a selection of cold ones from noted soccer nations in and around yesterday’s semifinal. Who knew Brazil had such a good beer, by the way?)

Riddle yourself this: who were the most recent first-time champions? That one’s not such a toughie. Many of you good and clean supporters of the game can identify France in 1998, Argentina in 1978 and England in 1966 as the most recent nations to lose their Jules Rimet virginity.

But what if we dig just a little further into this Coupe du Monde dirt? What if we exclude first-time winners who exploited and enjoyed the significant edge of home cooking? What if we look for the last first-time champion who did not win as a host country?


And your winner: Brazil in 1958.

Think about that. Something is about to happen at a World Cup that hasn’t occurred in 52 years. We’re about to have a first-time champ, either Spain or the Netherlands, who wins their firstie beyond their own home land.

I think that’s great for the World Cup. It will make South Africa 2010 that much more memorable.

I’ll have my World Cup Best 11 later today. And we’ll keep the Best 11 theme (and begin transitioning back into some MLS material) later today or first thing tomorrow with my media vote for the MLS All-Star selections – so you might want to leave your entire Friday free to really give that one a nice, long study.