If you say you haven’t supported a nation be it yours or somebody else’s in the FIFA World Cup you’re probably lying. The FIFA world cup is one of the biggest sporting events ever. World-class talents from around the globe represent their respective nations in hopes to win the World Cup. Nations all across the globe prep their sides with so much dedication to try and clinch this prestigious title. In this article, we shall take a look at everything about the FIFA Football World Cup. We shall dig deep into the history of the Football World Cup, qualification process, format, as well as the winners and results of the FIFA World Cup.
The First FIFA World Cup Ever
A little before the start of the 20th-century football was growing in popularity all over the world. However, there wasn’t any official international tournament for nations to participate in. In 1900 football was played among nations just as exhibition matches during the Olympics. After being found in 1904, FIFA attempted to organize an international football tournament other than what was being played at the Olympics.
However, it was a big failure as international football was just in the initial stages of becoming the next big thing. In the 1908 Olympics football became an official competition and after that, later in the history of the football world cup, in 1914 FIFA assumed responsibility of organizing the Olympic Football tournament as an international tournament for amateurs. The first Olympic tournament was won by Belgium in 1920. After that, Uruguay emerged victorious in the next 2 editions of the Olympic football tournament in 1924 and 1928.
After the success that followed the Olympic tournaments, FIFA decided to host its own World Cup. This world cup was going to be outside the framework of the Olympics and as a result in 1930, the first World Cup came to life and was hosted in Uruguay.
This was one of the major happenings in the history of the Football World Cup. Furthermore, 13 nations took part in the tournament and Uruguay clinched the first-ever World Cup by defeating Argentina in the finals which was the first-ever result of the FIFA World Cup. Following that the Olympic Football tournament was dropped in the 1932 Olympics and returned again in 1936. However, FIFA had overpowered the international football situation and had a much larger fan base for the World Cup than the Olympic Football tournament.
Since the World cup of 1934, FIFA has held qualifying tournaments to reduce cut down the number of teams for the final tournament. 6 FIFA continental zones take part in these qualifying tournaments which are organized by their respective confederations.
Furthermore, the qualification process can start two to three years before the tournament and it can last for a period of over two years. The host nations directly entered into the final tournament since the 1938 world cup and this rule applied to the champions as well. However, in the 2006 World cup, this right was withdrawn and required the winners to play qualifying matches.
Format Of The FIFA World Cup
The format of the final tournament includes 32 national teams that compete in a group stage first and then proceed to the knockouts. Firstly, 8 teams including the host are seeded into 8 groups. After that, the remaining teams are randomly drawn to the 8 different groups. However, some constraints are applied to the selection of groups. Firstly, a group will not contain more than one country from a single confederation and secondly, no group shall contain more than two European nations.
Each team plays every other team in their respective group. Hence, a total of 6 games are played in each group and the top 2 teams of each group proceed to the round of 16. Click here to read the criteria for the points allocation in the group stage.
After the round of 16 comes the quarter-finals, semis, and the finals. All the knockout matches are played with extra time and penalty shootouts in case of a draw.
Selection Of Hosts
Earlier there were a lot of issues that came up while selecting the host nation. Europe and South America had the most strength in Football and it took about 3 weeks by boat to travel between them. Consequently, many teams started backing out and boycotting the earlier world cups. To deal with the issue, FIFA started alternating between the two regions from 1958 and this pattern continued till 1998.
From 2002 host nations were selected in Asia and Africa as well. FIFA’s Council selects the host through a voting process. They vote in an exhaustive ballot format. Any nation that desires to host the world cup receives a “Hosting Agreement” from FIFA. This agreement lays down all the rules, guidelines, and requirements for the nation to host the world cup.
The bidding nation also receives a form and successful submission of the form indicates the confirmation of candidacy. After that, FIFA sends a group of representatives to the country to inspect if it meets all the requirements to host the World Cup and after careful examination, the representatives produce a report of the country. Furthermore, FIFA selects the host nation 6 years in advance.
Silvio Gazzaniga designed the World Cup Trophy. Firstly, the trophy consists of 18-carat solid gold and semi-precious malachite makes two layers of the trophy base. Additionally, the bottom of the trophy has the year and winners of every world cup since 1974 engraved. However, the elegantly designed trophy remains with the winners only for a short period of time. Once the post-match celebrations are over the team receives a gold plated replica of the trophy.
Results Of the FIFA Football World Cup Winners
The table mentioned below includes the names of the winners and the results of the FIFA World cup.
|1930|| Uruguay 🇺🇾 ||Uruguay|
|1934|| Italy 🇮🇹 ||Italy|
|1938||France 🇫🇷 ||Italy|
|1950||Brazil 🇧🇷 ||Uruguay|
|1954||Switzerland 🇨🇭 ||West Germany|
|1974||West Germany 🇩🇪||West Germany|
|1990||Italy 🇮🇹||West Germany|
|1994||United States 🇺🇸||Brazil|
|2002||South Korea 🇰🇷 |
|2010||South Africa 🇿🇦||Spain|
To begin with, there are 6 major awards given to the players and teams in the FIFA World cup. Firstly, the player with the best performance in the tournament is given the Golden Ball. After that comes the Golden Boot, given to the top goalscorer. Then comes the Golden Glove award, awarded to the best goalkeeper.
After that comes the Best Young Player Award, given to the best player under the age of 21 or 21 years of age. Then comes the FIFA Fairplay award and the most entertaining team award, given to the teams having the best Fairplay record and the team that entertained the audience the most, respectively.
Firstly, the FIFA World Cup has seen some of the most gifted players in the world and scoring goals comes naturally to them. The following players have scored more than 10 goals in their world cup careers.
To begin with, we have the former German skipper Miroslav Klose with 16 goals to his record. After that comes the Brazilian legend Ronaldo with 15 goals to his name. Then comes another German legend Gerd Muller who bagged 14 world cup goals during his time with the German national team. Then we have French professional Fontaine having 13 world cup goals to his name and following him is Brazilian All-time legend Pele with 12 goals.
After that, Jurgen Klinsmann from Germany and Hungarian Sandor Kocsis share 6th place with 11 goals to each of their records.
Viewership And Revenue
Firstly, the FIFA World Cup is the World’s most viewed sporting event. Furthermore, in 2006 the world cup had a cumulative viewership of 26.29 billion and around 715 million people viewed the finals that year. Also, the FIFA Football World Cup attracts some of the biggest sponsors in the worldlike Adidas, Mcdonalds, Coca – Cola, etc. The host nations make millions in revenue during the World Cup. In addition, FIFA earned revenue of close to $6.2 billion from the last edition of the FIFA World Cup in 2018.
Undoubtedly the FIFA World Cup is the most viewed and followed sports event in the world. Furthermore, it has greatly promoted unity through the sport of Football. More than millions of people gather together in support of their nations, cheering them on with painted faces. The world cup brings out so many emotions on the pitch and its truly an amazing sight to see.
During the World Cup, you can see houses all around the world displaying their nation’s flag or sometimes even another nation’s flag in support and World Cup season just feels magical altogether. Moreover, its amazing to see people unite in the name of a single sport. Additionally, watching your favorite players play for the nation on the big screen inspires so many youths to want to represent their respective nations. To sum up, the world cup has proven to be more than just a sporting event but an emotion.
Click here to read about which sport is more interesting Cricket or Football.
FAQ’s | FIFA World Cup
Firstly, the qualification process for each world cup takes around two to three years. Secondly, it is very tough for teams to travel every year for the tournament as most of the players are heavily involved in their club duties.
Brazil has the most number of world cups (5) to their record. Furthermore, Brazil is one of the best national sides to have played in the history of the football world cup.
The Brazilian legend Pele is the youngest player ever to win the prestigious cup at just 17 years of age and not only did Pele play in the final but also scored 2 goals in the victory against Sweden.
Former German skipper Klose has scored the most number of world cup goals and during his time with the German national team, he has managed to bag 16 world cup goals.
Brazil has been crowned champions 5 times. Germany and Italy have bagged 4 titles each. Argentina, Uruguay, and France have won the cup twice and England and Spain have won the prestigious cup one time each.
COVID-19 Update | FIFA World Cup
To begin with, football around the world has taken a huge hit due to the pandemic. Firstly the 2022 World Cup qualifiers were postponed due to the virus. Also, the Under-20 2020 Women’s World cup as well has been postponed. Furthermore, the biggest leagues in the world came to a standstill due to the worldwide spread of the virus. Moreover, the Indian Super League Final was played in Goa behind closed doors. The current season of all the major football leagues in the world is also being played behind closed doors as of now. However, hopefully, the pandemic is calmed down to a great extent in the coming months and we can resume cheering our favorites from the stands.