FIFA World Cup

The History of Football World Cup Trophy with some Interesting Facts

Usually, a trophy is defined as a prize given during a competition to whosoever wins. It is tangible, durable and serves as a reminder for specific achievement on which it is provided, as well as evidence or recognition of merit. Derived from the Greek word tropaion, trophy referred to arms, standards and other property which are captured during a war or in battle and they serve to memorialize the victories won by an army or individuals.

Similarly, in football, during football tournaments that take place in the world is a cup or trophy made of gold and awarded to the winners of the FIFA World Cup association. The original name of this cup was called Victory but was later renamed after the former FIFA president Jules Rimet as an honor to him after the Second World War based on his long and hard negotiation with top government officials, football federations and national teams after his appointment in 1921 to ensure a world tournament of football.

The world cup is known to be the most significant achievement regarding competition in football all over the world. After the acceptance for the international game, the first team to win the title was Uruguay team in 1930, making them the first world cup winner in history which was awarded by the then FIFA President, Jules Rimet. Other football teams that participated in the tournament that year included those from France, Romania, and Belgium.


Football Trophy History

The first trophy which was designed by sculptor Abel Lafleur was made of gold plated sterling silver with its base being white/yellow marble which was later replaced in 1954 with high support made of lapis lazuli, and it was made in such a way that it depicted Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. Because of this, it was nicknamed the Golden Goddess. In height, it stood 35 centimeters (14 in), and regarding weight, it was 3.8 kilograms. The winged figure depicting Nike was made to be decagonal in shape.

As part of its uniqueness, the football tournament takes place every four years. There have been twenty world cups so far, and based on history, Brazil is known to be the only team that has won five world cups which made them create the record as the team to win the most titles in football history.


Since the mega event began in history, there have only been two trophies used so far which are the Jules Rimet Trophy from 1930 to 1970, and the FIFA World Cup Trophy from 1974 to the present day.

A reason for this is because, in 1970, Brazil won the title outrightly being their third time of winning the trophy. Their outright winning was based on what Jules Rimet stipulated in 1930. Consequently, this prompted the commissioning of a replacement.

As against the popularly known Jules Rimet Trophy, when a new trophy has been commissioned, it was called the “FIFA World Cup Trophy” in 1974, and that is the name it has maintained up to date.

The original Jules Rimet Trophy is known to have “suffered” at various times. An example of such was when the Italian Vice-President and president of FIGC, Ottorino Barassi had to secretly transport it from a bank in Rome to hide it during the World War II after the it was held by Italy being the champion in 1938 to prevent Adolf Hitler and the Nazis from taking it.


It was later recorded that four months before the FIFA World event in England in 1966, the golden trophy got stolen. This was precisely on 20 March in 1966, during a public exhibition at Westminster Central Hall. However, seven days later, it was found wrapped in newspaper at the bottom of a suburban garden hedge on Beulah Hill, Upper Norwood, South London, by a dog named Pickles.

Moreover, after the trophy was put on display at the Brazilian Football Confederation headquarters in Rio de Janeiro in a cabinet with a front of the bullet-proof glass, some set of people pried open the wooden rear of the cabinet with a crowbar and then made away with the cup the second time. This was on 19 December 1983.

Unfortunately, after this time, they never found the cup again. The only part of which could be accounted for is the original base of the FIFA cup which had been kept in a basement of the federation’s Zürich headquarters. But then, there are speculations that the trophy must have been melted down and sold which is why they could not find it.

Furthermore, the tradition of lifting the cup in the air was started by the Brazilian captain Hilderaldo Bellini who was said to raise the cup in the air for a better view of the Jules Rimet Trophy based on photographers’ requests; hence, every Cup-winning captain has been repeating the gesture.

The new trophy which was introduced in 1974, called the “FIFA World Cup Trophy,” is made of 18-carat gold with a malachite base. It was built by Stabilimen to Artistico Bertoni Company in Italy depicts figures of two humans who are holding up the Earth. In height, it is 36.8 centimeters and talking about its weight, and it is 6.1 kilograms.

This new trophy has the engraving “FIFA World Cup” on its base. After the 1994 FIFA World event held, an additional plate was placed on the bottom side of the cup, and the essence of this is to engrave the names of every winning country. The inscription states the name of the winning nation in their national language and the year it is won in figures. As a result of this, the plate is usually replaced after the winner is declared during each World Cup to rearrange the names of the title winners in a spiral format to accommodate future winners.


As against what was obtainable in the past, the new FIFA’s regulations do not permit an outright winning of the cup; what the winners of each tournament receive now is a bronze replica which is gold-plated as against solid gold.

The list of the winners of the trophies since its inception in 1930 include the following:

Jules Rimet Trophy

Brazil – 1958, 1962, 1970
Uruguay – 1930, 1950
Italy – 1934, 1938
West Germany – 1954
England – 1966

FIFA World Cup Trophy

West Germany – 1974, 1990
Argentina – 1978, 1986
Italy – 1982, 2006
Brazil – 1994, 2002
France – 1998
Spain – 2010
Germany – 2014

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