The FIFA World Cup, also referred to as the Football World Cup or Soccer World Cup, is an international competition, wherein soccer playing nations from all over the world compete for the prized world Championship.
History of Soccer World Cup
Even though the International Federation of Association Football (also known as Fédération Internationale de Football Association or FIFA) came into existence in 1904, it took another 25 years for the first Soccer World Cup take place. The idea of hosting an independent international competition was conceptualized on May 28, 1928, in Amsterdam, by the FIFA Congress under the leadership of Jules Rimet. Uruguay, who had won the Olympic football tournament in 1924 and 1928, was chosen to be the host nation for the first installment of the tournament.
First Soccer World Championship
Uruguay was celebrating the centenary of its first constitution in 1930, which was yet another reason why it was chosen to host the first FIFA World Cup. The tournament was held between July 13 and July 30 that year. A total of thirteen soccer playing nations from South America (7), Europe (4), and North America (2) participated in this edition. The tournament started with two matches being played simultaneously; the first between France (4) and Mexico (1) and second between USA (3) and Belgium (0). The goal scored by Lucien Laurent for France became the first goal in the history of the tournament.
Eventually, four teams made it to the semi-finals: USA, Argentina, Uruguay, and Yugoslavia. The first semi-final saw Argentina defeat USA (6 - 1) to book a berth in the finals. In the second semi-final, Uruguay defeated Yugoslavia (2 - 1) and set up the first ever title clash for the World Cup. Eventually, Uruguay defeated Argentina 4 - 2 in the final and became the first ever Soccer World Champions.
The next two World Cups were hosted by Italy (1934) and France (1938) respectively. During this period, traveling across the continents was a major hindrance and that resulted in poor participation by South American nations in these editions. Brazil was the only Latin-American nation that participated on both the occasions. World championships scheduled for 1942 and 1946 were scrapped as a result of the World War II. The fourth World Cup was finally held in 1950 in Brazil. Since 1950, FIFA has successfully organized the tournament every four years; the last one being held in South Africa in 2010. The FIFA World Cup Trophy, which is being awarded to the winners even today, was designed in 1970. Before that, the winner was awarded the Jules Rimet Trophy, which was also called the World Cup.
(S. Korea and Japan)
*In 2002, Japan and South Korea were co-hosts.
As of today, Brazil has won 5 of the 19 World Cups since 1930. In fact, Brazil is the only nation to have participated in each of the 19 editions. Coming a close second is Italy, with 4 Cup wins to their credit. While Germany has won the Cup thrice, Uruguay and Argentina have won it twice each, and England, Germany, and Spain have won it once each. Throughout the history, South America and Europe were tied with 9 World Cup wins each, but a win for Spain in 2010 gave Europe a lead of 10 - 9. Brazil also holds the distinction of scoring the most number of goals in the history; 210 as of today.
All throughout the history of soccer, there has never been a tournament as interesting as the World Cup; the viewership of 700 million across the world speaks volumes about the craze.