Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Football World Cup
- This page is about the Men's World Cup. See also: FIFA Women's World Cup.
The Football World Cup (official name: FIFA World Cup) is the most important competition in international football (soccer). Organised by Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's governing body, the World Cup finals tournament is the most widely-viewed and followed sporting event in the world, more so than even the Olympic Games.
The finals tournament is held every four years, but the World Cup competition itself takes place over a two-year period. Over 160 national teams compete in regional qualifying tournaments for a place in the finals. The finals tournament now involves 32 national teams (increased from 24 in 1998) competing over a 4-week period in a previously nominated host nation. A recent innovation has allowed more than one country to act as joint hosts.
The World Cup was not the first international football competition. Amateur football became a part of the official Olympic programme for the first time in 1908 (See: Football at the 1908 Summer Olympics). In Turin in 1909, in what is sometimes described as The First World Cup, Sir Thomas Lipton organised a football tournament to contest the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy . Italy, Germany and Switzerland sent their most prestigious professional club sides to the competition but The Football Association of England refused to be associated with it and declined the offer to send a team. Not wishing to have Britain unrepresented in the competition, Lipton invited West Auckland FC , an amateur side from the north-east of England and mostly made up of coal miners, to take part. West Auckland won the tournament and returned to Italy in 1911 to defend their title. In the second competition West Auckland beat Juventus 6-1 in the final and were awarded the trophy outright.
In 1927 the 1932 Summer Olympic Games were awarded to Los Angeles in the United States; a nation where there was little interest in the game of association football. The lack of interest and a disagreement between FIFA and the IOC over the status of amateur players led to football being dropped from the offical Olympic programme for the 1932 games. As a consequence, Jules Rimet, who had become president of FIFA in 1921, set about organising the inaugural World Cup tournament, to take place in Uruguay in 1930. The national associations of selected nations were invited to send a team but the choice of Uruguay as a venue for the competition meant a long and costly trip across the Atlantic for European sides and up until two months before the start of the competition no team from that continent had promised to send a team. Rimet eventually persueded teams representing Belgium, France, Romania, and Yugoslavia to make the trip. In total, thirteen nations took part - seven from South America, four from Europe and two from North America. Uruguay beat Argentina 4-2 in front of crowd of 93,000 in Montevideo to become the first nation to win the World Cup trophy. In 1946 the World Cup trophy (Coupe du Monde) was renamed the Jules Rimet trophy in his honour.
In 1970, Brazil's third victory in the tournament entitled them to keep the original trophy and a new trophy was then designed. Argentina, Germany (both times as West Germany), and Brazil have all won the second trophy twice. However, the current trophy will not be retired until the name plaque has been entirely filled with the names of winning nations. This will not happen until 2038.
Brazil, by a clear margin, is the most successful World Cup team overall, having won the tournament five times in total and finished as runners-up twice. Germany, three-time winners (as West Germany) and four-time runners-up (three times as West Germany), are next, while Italy have also won three trophies and two-time runners-up. Argentina and Uruguay are both two-time World Champions, although Uruguay's two successes came rather a long time ago, in the early years of the tournament.
The next World Cup finals will be held in Germany, in 2006. As indicated below, the 2010 finals will be held in South Africa. The 2014 finals, which FIFA has earmarked for South America, is expected to be held in Brazil  as CONMEBOL has already backed it as their choice.
Football World Cup tournaments
1 There was no official World Cup Third Place match in 1930.
Final standings: 1st: Uruguay; 2nd: Argentina; 3rd: USA; 4th: Yugoslavia.
2 There was no official World Cup final match in 1950. The tournament was decided in a final group contested by four teams. However, Uruguay's 2-1 defeat of Brazil was the decisive match which put them ahead on points and ensured that they finished top of the group as world champions.
Final group standings: 1st: Uruguay; 2nd: Brazil; 3rd: Sweden; 4th: Spain.
World Cup winners ranking
- Brazil - 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002 (5 titles)
- Germany - 1954, 1974, 1990 (3 titles)
Italy - 1934, 1938, 1982 (3 titles)
- Argentina - 1978, 1986 (2 titles)
Uruguay - 1930, 1950 (2 titles)
- England - 1966 (1 title)
France - 1998 (1 title)
World Cup Awards
At the end of each World Cup final tournament, several awards are attributed to the players and teams which have distinguished from the rest, in different aspects of the game.
There are currently five awards:
- the adidas Golden Boot for top goalscorer;
- the adidas Golden Ball for best player;
- the Yashin Award for best goalkeeper;
- the FIFA Fair Play Award for the team with the best record of fair play;
- the Most Entertaining Team award.
adidas Golden Boot - Top Goalscorers
adidas Golden Ball
The adidas Golden Ball is an award attributed to the most outstanding player of the World Cup final tournament. FIFA announces a shortlist of ten nominees which is then voted by media representatives. The most voted player is elected to win the adidas Golden Ball, the second most voted player wins the adidas Silver Ball and the third most voted player wins the adidas Bronze Ball. Its awarding is shrouded by allegations of being influenced by diplomacy: the three awards have always been won by players from three different nations.
|World Cup||adidas Golden Ball||adidas Silver Ball||adidas Bronze Ball|
|1982 Spain||Paolo Rossi|
|1986 Mexico||Diego Maradona|
|1990 Italy||Salvatore Schillaci|
|2002 Korea/Japan||Oliver Kahn|
The Yashin Award is attributed to the best goalkeeper of the World Cup final tournament. The award is named in honour of the late and legendary Russian goalkeeper, Lev Yashin.
|World Cup||Yashin Award winner|
|1994 USA||Michel Preud'homme (Belgium)|
|1998 France||Fabien Barthez (France)|
|2002 Korea/Japan||Oliver Kahn (Germany)|
FIFA Fair Play Award
The FIFA Fair Play Award is given to the team with the best record of fair play during the World Cup final tournament. Only teams that qualified for the second round are considered.
|World Cup||FIFA Fair Play Award winners|
Most Entertaining Team
The Most Entertaining Team award is attributed to the team that has entertained the public the most, during the World Cup final tournament. It is always decided through public participation in a poll.
|World Cup||Most Entertaining Team|
|2002 Korea/Japan||South Korea|
Overall Top Goalscorers
- Ademir (1)
- Uwe Seeler
- Paolo Rossi
- Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
- Roberto Baggio
- Christian Vieri
(1) There was controversy regarding how many goals Brazilian Ademir Menezes scored in 1950, because of incomplete data concerning the Final Round game Brazil vs. Spain (6:1). The first goal had been credited as an own goal by Spanish defender Parra, and the 5:0 goal had been credited to Jair. However, recently FIFA credited Ademir with both these goals; thus he's the 1950 World Cup striker with 9 goals.
|Hakan Şükür||11"||2002 Korea/Japan|
|Václav Maek||15"||1962 Chile|
|Ernst Lehner||24"||1934 Italy|
|Bryan Robson||27"||1982 Spain|
|Bernard Lacombe||37"||1978 Argentina|
- World Cup Teams
- FIFA Women's World Cup
- Homeless World Cup
- World Cup Golden Boot
- List of sporting events
- FIFA World Cup mascot
- FIFA World Cup official site
- Planet World Cup with information on each men's World Cup finals
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