An Idiot’s Guide to the History of the World Cup

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The FIFA World Cup is by far the most popular sports event in the world; attracting billions of fans and viewers every four years. The global championship has been around for so long and has a rich history every football fan should know about.

The World Cup as we know it started in 1930 and hosted only 13 participating countries invited by FIFA; before that it wasn’t recognized nor organized by the organization. Since then, however, the rules have changed and now the championship is preceded by two years of qualifications that qualify 32 teams.

The first World Cup was organized in Uruguay and the host country ended up winning the title after beating Argentina 4-2. Since its kick off there have been 20 World Cups, with the 21st currently being held in Russia. The only time it was canceled was during the Second World War.

The final match from 1930 Image from FIFA.com

What makes the World Cup special is that any player submitted by the national team can play; there is no criteria for age or race, which has continually resulted in a diverse and entertaining event for all.

Until the 1970’s, the winning team was given the Jules Rimet Trophy until Brazil made history and got to keep it forever after winning it three times. Unfortunately, it was stolen afterwards and has never been found. The new trophy was made by Italian artist Silvio Gazzaniga and it still travels the world until today. There’s a lot of fun trivia about the significance of the trophy; it is actually made of solid gold and can only be touched by a select group of people.

The Jules Rimet Cup Image from Wikipedia

Until today, Brazil holds the highest record of World Cup wins; it has won it five times so far, with the first win in 1958 in and the last win in 2002, which is why it was surprising when the team was knocked out by Belgium last weekend. Growing stronger and more popular over the years, the World Cup is now a billion-dollar event that feeds the ever-growing frenzy of the football craze.

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