Having first hosted the tournament 64 years ago, Brazil, a five-time World Cup champion, is set to present another spectacular game to be remembered for years to come.
Image: Corbis & Inmagine
THE WORLD CUP WORLD
FIFA, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, has evolved estimably since its inception 110 years ago. Back then, it was headquartered in the neutral nation of Switzerland, and very few countries were members of FIFA. In the 1940s, membership opened up to more countries including Latin American nations and the rest of the world. Today, it is a global sporting association with events that attract millions.
From its humble beginnings, football has evolved to serve the greater good through business, education and economic collaborations. As the football frenzy takes hold of fans worldwide during each World Cup season, hosting nations give it their all to welcome the world, as footballers bring their best skills and sportsmanship to the field.
Since its beginnings, the World Cup has been played at many exciting venues. While the 2006 World Cup in Germany saw a return to a familiar European territory, the World Cup was sandwiched between two ground breaking hosting nations: Korea/Japan in 2002 and South Africa in 2010. Two new frontiers have been lined up to host the next two games: Russia in 2018 and Qatar, UAE in 2022.
FIFA WORLD CUP WINNERS
19 World Cup tournaments have been played since 1930, and eight national teams have won the FIFA World Cup.
|Brazil||5 wins (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002)|
|Italy||4 wins (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006)|
|West Germany||3 wins (1954, 1974, 1990)|
|Argentina||2 wins (1978, 1986)|
|Uruguay||2 wins (1930, 1950)|
|England||1 win (1966)|
|France||1 win (1998)|
|Spain||1 win (2010)|
FIFA IN A FLASH
THE BEGINNING OF THE 20TH CENTURY
A single body to oversee European football associations became a real need as more and more international football games were held.
21 MAY 1904
Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was founded and formalised in Paris (hence the French name that is maintained till today) by members of the national football associations.
In 1908, FIFA membership expanded to include South Africa; Argentina and Chile became members in 1912, while Canada and the United States of America joined in 1913.
THE FIRST FIFA WORLD CUP
Held in 1930 in Uruguay to set the stage for the first ever truly international football tournament amongst 13 invited FIFA nation members only.
WORLD WAR IMPACT ON FIFA
Many players were sent off to war and travel for international games was not possible. No World Cup tournaments were held in 1942 and 1946 due to World War II.
FIFA WORLD CUP FORMAT
Almost 200 teams around the world play in various qualifying tournaments for three years preceding the World Cup. FIFA will then select the teams that qualify for the coming World Cup tournament.
FIFA WORLD CUP VIEWERSHIP
An estimated 715.1 million people worldwide will watch the FIFA 2014 World Cup Brazil; this number includes the actual game audience, as well as those who catch televised and online matches.
THE WORLD CUP TROPHY
The Jules Rimet Trophy has become the most coveted and recognised sports prize in the world of sports. But the Cup that is making its rounds among the winning teams now is actually a second generation trophy due to its highly eventful history.
THE ORIGINAL TROPHY
The World Cup or Coupe du Monde trophy awarded in the early years since the first FIFA World Cup in 1930 was called Victory. It stood 35 centimetres tall and weighed 3.8 kilogrammes. The original winged trophy was the creation of French sculptor Abel Lafleur, and was designed to resemble the Greek goddess of victory.
According to FIFA, its Italian Vice President during World War II, Dr Ottorino Barassi, hid the trophy in a shoebox under his bed throughout the war so it wouldn’t fall into the hands of the Nazis.
THE JULES RIMET TROPHY
The golden prize was renamed the Jules Rimet Trophy in 1946, after the then FIFA president, who set up the first World Cup tournament post World War II.
THEFT & RECOVERY
The Jules Rimet Trophy was stolen just months before the 1966 tournament kicked off in England while on exhibition in London. A dog named Pickles was credited with its recovery while out on a walk with his owner in South London; he sniffed out the trophy wrapped in newspapers and hidden in some bushes!
PLAYING FOR KEEPS
The 1970 World Cup tournament saw Brazil become third time champs. Based on FIFA guidelines, a country may keep the trophy once it has won a third World Cup. FIFA then created a second generation Jules Rimet Trophy – one that makes its rounds to the winning nations today. Unfortunately, the trophy awarded to Brazil was stolen in 1983 when it was put up for display at the Brazilian Football Confederation headquarters in Rio. It was never recovered.
JULES RIMET TROPHY, THE SECOND
With the new trophy came a remarkable win as West Germany became champions at the 1974 World Cup tournament. The current trophy stands at 36.8 centimetres and weighs 6.1 kilogrammes. It is made of solid, 18-carat gold and was designed by Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga. With two human figures holding up the Earth, Gazzaniga’s design is meant to depict the rise of world-class athletes reaching out to receive the world, marking their victory.
A DIFFERENT GAME PLAN
Unlike its predecessor, the current World Cup Trophy cannot be won outright for the winning team’s keeping. The winners of the tournament receive it on loan for four years and must return it before the next World Cup, at which point the winners will receive a goldplated replica to keep.
True to the slogan of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Brazil pulsates with its celebratory parties, festivals, sun, sea and play! The birthplace of samba and capoeira wrapped in the infectious beats of Afro-Brazilian drumbeats now opens its arms to the world as the host of FIFA 2014 World Cup, staging matches in over 12 cities across five regions. Six of the stadiums have already been used during the FIFA Confederations Cup last year and six more will be put into play come June 12, 2014, when the current World Cup kicks off.
GIANTS AMONGST MEN!*
Maradona scored what was originally named ‘the hand of God goal’ in Mexico 1986 (the first goal against England). In that same match, he scored what is considered the best goal in the World Cup ever, when he dribbled around five players and the goalkeeper all by himself to make that goal.
This Frenchman made his debut in Manchester United Football Club in 1992. He retired in 1997 and became an actor with supporting roles in films such as Elizabeth and Looking for Eric. A controversial footballer whose fantastic scoring statistics did not match his disciplinary record, Cantona is known as ‘King Eric’ due to his commanding skills and presence on the field.
Keegan was very much the English football icon in the 1970s. Known for his speed, skills and agility, Keegan is said to be especially good at ‘aerial combat’, stealing the ball from the opponent mid-air! His ‘bubble-permed’ hair may have made him recognisable, but it’s his commitment to his country and club that ranks him as one of football’s all-time great players!
A brilliant and fluid forward, Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima became one of international football’s greatest stars of the 1990s and Brazil’s biggest football hero since Pele. Nicknamed ‘The Phenomenon’, the talented player was part of Brazil’s World Cup winning streaks in 1998 and 2002, and was named the tournament’s top scorer at both games.
Known as England’s greatest striker of all time, Lineker is renowned far more for the fact that he was never booked or sent off in any game. His scoring records remain one of England’s best until today.
He is only one of two players to have won the ‘FIFA World Player of the Year’ three times or more alongside Ronaldo. Being a recipient of the prestigious award is reason enough to rank him as one of football’s greatest players.
Messi has been compared to compatriot Diego Maradona, due to their similar playing styles and size – one that gives him a lower centre of gravity than most players, allowing him to be more agile and change direction more quickly to evade tackles. His former Barcelona Football Club manager, Pep Guardiola, once said: “Messi is the only player that runs faster with the ball than he does without it.”
The all-time leading scorer of the Brazil national football team is the only footballer to be part of three World Cup-winning teams! In November 2007, FIFA announced that Pele would be awarded the 1962 medal retroactively, making him the only player in the world to have three World Cup winning medals.
Ronaldo was nicknamed ‘cry-baby’ as a child because he would cry each time he passed a ball to a team mate who didn’t convert it into a goal. He has since cried many tears of joy bringing victory to the teams he plays in. He was also known as ‘Little Bee’ because no player could catch up to him while on the field.
Beckham’s ability to cross a ball, take a free kick and pass flawlessly puts him up there with the best of football greats. While his football skills make him a household name in the sport, his looks and appeal has made him a household name in fashion.
* There are many more football greats but due to space constraints, travel 3Sixty° offers you this list.
FOOTBALL FERVENT NATIONS
BRAZIL The world’s most fabled footballing nation, Brazil, has some of, if not the most, passionate and demanding fans. Five-time World Champions, and five-time Copa America champions (to name their biggest accomplishments), the Samba Stars are just one of the reasons the nation’s football fervour surpasses explosive heights. The Campeonato Brasileiro Série A is one of the world’s greatest platforms for young football talents. They start very young in Brazil!
GERMANY’s fans are fiercely loyal and passionate in defending their national team. They possess two of the world’s most attended leagues: The Bundesliga has an average match attendance of over 45,000, ranking second in the world, and the Bundesliga 2 averages just over 17,000 per match, coming in at 19th in the world.
ARGENTINA is one of the most football decorated nations in the world, and their fan base is known as one of the greatest in South America and the world.
ITALY See the passion Italians have in love, food and wine, and translate that into the game of football 10 times over! You can almost taste their passion for football. Home of the historically acclaimed Italian Serie A, the fans of Italy have a love for football all of their own.
ENGLAND The birthplace of modern football is home to some of the world’s most popular football clubs that vie for the prestigious English Premier League. Having introduced this game to the world, England’s fervour for football is second to none!
FRANCE One of the few nations to have won both World Cup and European titles, France is a nation where football is great domestically, but paramount on the international level. It’s not surprising that the French extend their famous passion into their love of football as well.
SPAIN has been conquering the world of football both domestically and internationally for the last decade. Their fans for both club and country are phenomenal. Their professional league, La Liga BBVA, is one of the top five most attended leagues in the world.
NETHERLANDS Although only making it as two-time World Cup finalists, this nation has consistently been ranked amongst the top teams when it comes to FIFA world rankings, and is considered one of the best teams to have reached the finals.
PORTUGAL The Portuguese are a proud footballing nation. No matter win or lose, the people of this small Iberian nation (through the football club fan base) will follow the national team or domestic clubs wherever they go to show support.
MEXICO According to ESPN, Mexico has the best football fans in all of North America. While they may not have the most popular leagues worldwide, football remains one of the top 10 sports Mexicans attend!
THE GREATEST WORLD CUP MOMENTS
A PERFECT 10
In 1982, Hungary proved that it was possible to hit double digits at a World Cup match! They trounced El Salvador in the biggest margin of victory in the history of the tournament with a 10-1 win.
PAIN FOR SPAIN
Gerry Armstrong scored a shocking, winning goal for Northern Ireland within two minutes into the second half of a game against Spain at the 1982 World Cup. This qualified them for the next playoffs while Spain shamefully carried the label of being the biggest disappointment in the game.
African team Senegal beat defending World Cup and European champions, France, at the 2002 World Cup. The first-time qualifiers in a playoff made World Cup history as the second African team to ever make it that far.
SOUTH KOREA’S SWEEP
“Goal! Golden Goal! Has ever a goal been more golden?” was the call by the ITV announcer after Ahn Jung-Hwan scored a golden goal for South Korea to beat Italy at the 2002 World Cup, winning them a spot in the quarter finals for the first time ever.
WINS FOR WEST GERMANY
The two most dramatic extra-time periods both involved the West Germans. One was the match against the French in 1982, while the other was against Italy in 1970. Due to the excitement of the extra-time period of the match in 1970, it has been hailed as the game of the century by football enthusiasts around the world.
THE GROSSO GLORY
In the 2006 semi-finals, Italy met the host nation, Germany. The match was an incredible affair. Amazingly, the game would stay scoreless until the final moments despite several great chances created by both teams. With only one minute remaining in the game, Fabio Grosso scored the winning goal for Italy!
THE WORLD CUP IN NUMBERS
USD 35 MILLION is what the 2014 World Cup champions can look forward to winning, while runners-up will receive USD25 million!
USD 9 MILLION is what the 2014 World Cup teams that lose in the Roundof-16 matches will get as a token.
USD 70 MILLION is what the 2014 World Cup clubs playing in the tournament will receive as a compensation for insurance costs and expenses to be distributed through their national associations.
USD 576 MILLION is what FIFA has allocated for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil; a new record from the USD420 million allocated in South Africa in 2010.
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