A Brief History of World Cup Football

A Brief History of World Cup Football

One of the most popular events in football is the FIFA World Cup tournament. This event is held every four years in a different location, much like the Olympics. In fact, there is some research that contends that the World Cup is just as meaningful and creates just as much worldwide interest as the Olympics do. Teams from around the world compete through special games that determine who will qualify for the tournament.

The World Cup has created such a sense of national pride that there have even been wars between countries held off until the teams knew whether or not they qualified for the tournament. For fans, football represents far more than a simple game. It is a way to show their national pride - and prove their country's dominance through sport.
The Golden Nike

In the early 1930s, the football World Cup was run by Jules Rimet from France. These pre-FIFA games awarded a magnificent statue to the winners of the tournament, the Golden Nike. The sculpture featured Nike of Samothrace, also known as Winged Victory, and was a visual indication that the winners were the world champions of football. Each winning team was allowed to keep the Golden Nike for four years - and if a team ever won three times they would be allowed to keep the statue forever. In 1970 Brazil was able to achieve this coveted goal, thought the award was stolen in 1983 and has yet to be recovered.

FIFA Steps In
In 1971 FIFA, the Federation Internationale de Football Association, took over the operation of the World Cup tournament. With the new organizers, a new award was created - the FIFA Cup. This trophy depicts winning players holding a golden globe above their heads in victory. Each team that wins the World Cup has the privilege of keeping the statue for four years, after which they have to pass it on to the next world championship team. Replica World Cups are made for each winning country to keep forever, though the original is passed from team to team. Winners of the FIFA World Cup also benefit financially, taking home large cash awards as well as the more symbolic trophy.

Truly a Worldwide Phenomenon
The World Cup is one of the most international tournaments played in the world today. It truly is a collection of football teams that represent several diverse nations, from Korea to England to Uruguay. The same country rarely wins the tournament two years in a row. In fact, the chances of a single country dominating the World Cup tournament for any length of time are very slim. In the nine tournaments played between 1930 and 1970, the winners were Uruguay, Italy, France, Brazil, Switzerland, Sweden, Chile, England, and Mexico.

The World Cup has always been a symbol of pride for the competing nations, and fans can become a little outrageous about the games. The popularity of football hasn't waned over the decades, and the game is probably more now than it ever has been.

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