On 14 June in Russia, thirty-two national teams will be involved in the competition, with the ultimate goal of lifting the football World Cup. Let’s have a look at the history of football’s Holy Grail.
The first team to have won the World Cup is Uruguay.
The very first edition of the World cup was held in 1930, in Uruguay. That same year, the country became the first country to lift the trophy.
A first French version existed
The World Cup as we know it today is not the original version. The first was created by the sculptor Abel Lafleur and had the name of the French footballer and former FIFA President Jules Rimet engraved on it. This trophy, with a height of 35 centimeters, weighed 6175 grams and was made of gold plated fine silver. It represented Niké, the Greek goddess of victory. The Jules Rimet Cup was given to the winners from 1930 to 1970.
The Jules Rimet cup was hidden in a shoe box during World War Two
The story of the trophy looks like a Tarantino movie: confusing, erratic, absurd but heroic.
The last country to win the cup before the Second World War was Italy, in 1938. While the war was in full swing, Ottorino Barassi, the Italian FIFA vice President, had secretly withdrew the trophy from the bank were it was kept. He hid it in a shoe box, under his bed, to prevent it from being stolen by the Nazis.
The first World Cup was stolen twice
During the four decades it was awarded, the Jules Rimet Cup was stolen twice. It disappeared the first time in 1966, four months after the competition was held in England. The cup was then in display at the Westminster Central Hall. It was discovered seven days later by a dog, wrapped in a sheet of newspaper and concealed in the bush in a garden in South London.
In 1970, after three victories, Brazil got the right to keep it, in accordance to the wishes of the footballer Jules Rimet. But it was stolen again on the 19 December 1983, during a display at the Brazil Football Federation headquarters in Rio de Janeiro. The cup was never found.
The new trophy was created by an Italian
To replace the Jules Rimet Cup, FIFA ordered a new cup in 1970. Twenty-three propositions, tendered by seven countries, were studied. The Italian artist Silvio Gazzaniga was chosen.
The new trophy, without its base, measures 36.8 centimeters and weighs 6175 grams, like the first version. It represents two sportsmen carrying the planet Earth, and carries the inscription FIFA World Cup. The Cup was presented for the first time during the 1974 World Cup in Germany.
It is made of 75% pure gold
The trophy is made of noble elements. It also contains 18 carat 75% pure gold. As for the base of 13 centimeters of diameter, it is composed of malachite, a stone believed to boost positive energies.
The cup is unique
There exists only one and unique trophy. It is put back in play every year, and the winning country only keeps a gold plated replica.
The names of countries are engraved on the base of the trophy is English. To this day, there are eleven. The trophy will probably be retired by FIFA when it is filled up. Some rumors reported that the current trophy may change before the 2026 competition.
Only winners have the right to touch it.
The World Cup is an exceptional prize that the common man cannot touch, even with the tip of the fingers. Only the winners of the competition have this privilege, so when it goes on tour, the Cup is closely monitored: it is hidden in a black cloth during its travels, and is always displayed under glass. Sign of it’s unbeatable value: all bookies, including Bet365, offers odds to know who will hold the precious trophy aloft.