As the world gears up for a one-month footballing extravaganza in Russia, we take a look back at the history of the Football World Cup.
1. Jules Rimet’s vision
In a world torn apart by war and political differences – Jules Rimet had a vision. Of a football tournament involving nations from across the world. Meant to signal that sport can rise above the struggles of the times, the first-ever World Cup was hosted in Uruguay in the year 1930.
2. The Maracanazo
Perhaps, the most iconic match of all time in football history – the 1950 World Cup final is fondly known as the Maracanazo – so named because hosts and tournament favourites Brazil were defeated by Uruguay in their own backyard. The final score 2-1, but the scars still remain for Brazil fans.
3. 30 Years an Enigma
Created for the first-ever World Cup in 1930 and sculpted by Frenchman Abel Lafleur, the Jules Rimet trophy was awarded to the winners of the tournament. That is, until just months before the 1966 World Cup, when the trophy went ‘missing’. It allegedly showed up, some 30 years later, but it is still unknown whether the trophy is in its original guise or is a replica faithful to the original.
4. To the victor, go the spoils
Record winners Brazil and Italy have both lifted the World Cup on five separate occasions. In 2018, the Selecao will aim to pull clear of the Azzuri and win their sixth title. The Italians failed to qualify for the tournament for the first time in over four decades.
5. Road to Russia
Every one has their favourite player or team that they can get behind. As the days tick down to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, what team are you going to cheer on?