FIFA World Cup History

Football is perhaps the most loved sport in the world. It attracts a huge range of supporters around the world and is widely followed.

Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar and so many others are almost worshipped and idolized like Gods. However there's one thing that these legends of the sport admire and wish to possess- The FIFA World Cup. It is no doubt the biggest tournament tournament across all sorts, be it out terms of scale, grandeur or viewership. Players like Messi and Ronaldo might be the standards of the modern game but the world cup still eludes them from being the ultimate legends.

History of the FIFA World Cup

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was founded in Paris on 22 May 1904 . It comprised football associations from France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, with Germany pledging to join.

Football soon began to increase in popularity and was widely followed. It was soon contested as an IOC-recognised Olympic sport staying from the 1900s, and being supervised by FIFA. However the event was organised only for English amateurs.There was an attempt made by FIFA to organize an international football tournament between nations outside of the Olympic framework in 1906 and this took place in Switzerland. However nothing materialized and the event became a failure.

Soon, small tournaments started between other nations around the world. There's a tournament called the Thomas Lipton trophy, which was earlier rumoured to be the first world cup.This led the way for the world's first intercontinental football competition, at the 1920 Summer Olympics, won by Belgium. Uruguay won the tournaments in 1924 and 1928.

The First World Cup (1930)

After long fought internal battles, finally in 1928, FIFA president Jules Rimet finally decided about organizing the inaugural World Cup tournament. With Uruguay now two-time official world champions and due to celebrate their centenary of independence in 1930, FIFA named Uruguay as the host country.

Many European players, afraid their day jobs would not exist when they returned, were either unable or unwilling to attend the tournament due to the depression in Europe. As a result, some of the most accomplished European teams, including three-time Olympic gold medalist England and World Cup champions Italy, Spain, Germany and Holland (now Netherlands, appeared in one world cup final in 2010) did not make an appearance at the first World Cup. However, when Uruguay agreed to help pay traveling expenses, Rimet was able to convince Belgium, France, Romania and Yugoslavia to make the trip. In countries like Romania, King Carol selected the team members himself, gave them a three-month vacation from their jobs and guaranteed the players would be employed when they returned. At the end, 13 teams participated in the tournament. The 13 teams were drawn into four groups, with Group 1 containing four teams, and the others containing three.

1Argentina, Chile, France, Mexico
2Brazil, Bolivia, Yugoslavia
3Uruguay, Peru, Romania
4Belgium, Paraguay, The United States

Going into the tournament, South American giants Uruguay and Argentina were the overwhelming favorites, while France and the United States also fielded competitive sides. All matches were played in the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo, at the Estadio Centenario, which was built for the tournament.The first two World Cup matches took place simultaneously, and were won by France and the United States, who defeated Mexico 4–1 and Belgium 3–0, respectively. Lucien Laurent of France scored the first goal in World Cup history, while US goalkeeper Jimmy Douglas posted the first official "clean sheet" in the tournament.

Argentina, Uruguay, the United States and Yugoslavia each won their respective groups to qualify for the semi-finals. In the final, hosts and pre-tournament favourites Uruguay defeated Argentina 4–2 in front of a crowd of 68,346 people, and became the first nation to win the World Cup.The first semi-final was played between the US and Argentina on a rain-drenched pitch. The United States we badly beaten as the final scoreline read 6-1. The second semifinal between Uruguay and Yugoslavia saw the same scoreline in favor of the hosts, who got a good fight from Yugoslavia.

The final was played at the Estadio Centenario on 30 July. The hosts scored the opening goal. However Argentina soon too the lead 2-1. Uruguay soon equalized and later made it 2-1, becoming the first holders of the Jules Rimet trophy(From 1930 to 1970 the tournament was named as the Jules Timer trophy). Argentine Guillermo Stabile was the leading scorer of the tournament with 8 goals.

Back to History

The 21 World Cup tournaments have been won by eight national teams. Brazil have won five times, and are the only team to have played every tournament. The other World Cup winners are Germany and Italy, with four titles each. Argentina, France and Uruguay have won two titles each and Engkand and Spain have one title each.

World Cup 1934 and 1938

The 1934 World Cup was hosted by Italy and was the first World Cup to include a qualification stage. Sixteen teams qualified for the tournament. Previous titleholders Uruguay boycotted the tournament owing to poor European attendance in the 1930 world cup. Argentina and Brazil also progressed to the finals in Italy without having to play any qualifying matches. Egypt became the first African team to compete, but lost to Hungary in the first round. Italy won the tournament, becoming the first European team to do so.

The 1938 FIFA World Cup was held in France from 4 to 19 June 1938. Italy retained the championship by beating Hungary 4–2 in the final. Italy's 1934 and 1938 teams became the only ones to have won two World Cups under the same coach, Vittorio Pozzo.

World War II

No world Cups took place until 1950 due to political tensions that arrived during the years when the 2nd world War was active.FIFA struggled to keep itself afloat, and it had no financial or personnel resources with which to plan a peacetime tournament for when hostilities ended. When the war ended in 1945, it was clear that FIFA would have no hope in a single year of planning and scheduling a 1946 World Cup.The only major international tournament in 1946 was the 1946 South American Championship.

World Cup 1950

The tournament resumed with the 1950 world cup in 1950 hosted by Brazil. It also included British teams and Uruguay which had boycotted in 1934. Surprisingly, Uruguay beat the hosts 2-1. The final was the most viewed till that date with an audience of more than 200,000.

The 1954 World Cup, held in Switzerland, was the first to be televised. This tournament set a number of all-time goal-scoring records, including highest average goals per game and highest-scoring team (Hungary), and most goals in a single match (Austria's 7–5 quarter-final victory over Switzerland). West Germany were the tournament winners, defeating Olympic champions Hungary 3–2 in the final.

World 1960 and 1970

Brazil beat Czechoslovakia for the second World Cup in a row in 1962 by a scoreline of 3–1 led by Garrincha and Amarildo, in Pelé's absence, and retained the Jules Rimet trophy.

The 1966 world cup was hosted and win by England. In 1970, Brazil became the first nation to win three World Cups, defeating Italy 4-1 and were awarded the Jules Rimet trophy permanently for their achievement.

A new trophy was created for the 1974 edition, held in West Germany. The hosts won the tournament over Netherlands.

The 1978 world cup was held in Argentina and was perhaps the hardest ever tournament with over 95 teams. Argentina won the tournament.

World Cup 1980 - 1998

France won in 1982, Argentina in 1986, West Germany in 1990, Brazil in 1994 and France won back in 1998.

World Cup 2002 and 2006

The 2002 world cup was held in South Korea and Japan and was won by Brazil for a record 5th time.

The 2006 World Cup was held in Germany. It was the first World Cup for which the previous winner had to qualify; the host nation(s) continue to receive an automatic berth. The final comprised the famous headbutt incident between Zinedine Zidane and Marco Materazzi. France eventually won over Italy in the penalties.

World Cup 2010, 2014 and 2018

The 2010 World Cup was held in South Africa. It was the first cup hosted on African soil, and the cup was won by Spain, who beat Netherlands 1-0.

The 2014 World Cup was held in Brazil, marking the second time that Brazil hosted the competition. The cup was won by Germany, who beat Argentina 1-0 in the final.

The 2018 World Cup was held in Russia. It was the first cup to be held in Eastern Europe. The cup was won by France, who beat Croatia 4–2 in the final.

The FIFA World Cup still continues to be the most viewed and enjoyed tournament in the world. Every football playing nation aims to reach the tournament and ultimately hold the prestigious trophy.

Frequently asked questions:

1) When was the first world cup held?

The first World Cup was held in 1930.

2) Who hosted the first world cup?

Uruguay hosted the first world cup.

3) How many countries participated in the first world cup?

13 countries in total took part in the first world cup.

4) Which country won the first world cup?

The first country to win the world cup was Uruguay.

5) Which country has won the most world cups?

Brazil has won the world cup 5 times

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