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Who has played the most times in the round of 16 in the history of the World Cup?

Between 1934 and 1978 only 16 teams participated at the World Cup before it was expanded to 24 in 1982 and then 32 teams in 1998.

5 Jul 1982:  Zico (left) of Brazil and Claudio Gentile of Italy mark each other during the World Cup
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As the 2022 World Cup bids farewell to the group stage, 16 nations march on to the knockout round with fans dreaming that this could be the year their team lift the famous trophy on 18 December at the Lusail Iconic Stadium.

Brazil are synonymous with World Cup glory and despite a surprise 1-0 loss to Cameroon in their final Group G game, Tite’s Seleção are still tipped by many as solid favourites to secure the sixth star in the final.

The Canarinho not only hold the record of most successful nation in World Cup history with their five wins but are the country who have played at every one of the 22 tournaments and on 19 occasions have advanced from the first stage, only failing to do so in 1930, 1934 and 1966 (bearing in mind that only 16 or less teams participated through to 1982).

Edson Arantes Do Nascimento Pele of Brazil
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Edson Arantes Do Nascimento Pele of Brazil Alessandro SabattiniDiarioAS

Brazil also hold the record of advancing as group winners the highest amount of times, cementing this record with their 2022 progression having won 16 group stages in their 22 participations at the World Cup and have always finished in the top 16 of every competition.