World Cup Facts
- Official Name: FIFA World Cup
- Sport: Soccer
- Frequency: Every 4 Years
- Trophy: FIFA World Cup Trophy
- First Tournament: 1930
- Most Wins: Brazil
- Most Appearances: Brazil
- Most Losses: Mexico
- Most Goals: Miroslav Klose
- Player with Most World Cup Wins: Pelé
- Popular Culture: The World Cup Is the World’s Most Popular Event
- Organization: FIFA Runs the World Cup
- History: Brazil Has Played in Every World Cup Final
- Organization: The World Cup Takes Place Every 4 Years
- History: There Was No World Cup in 1942 or 1946
- History: The Original World Cup Trophy Was Named for the FIFA Head
- History: The Jules Rimet Trophy Has Been Missing Since 1983
- Organization: Preparation for the World Cup Begins Years Beforehand
- History: The Women’s World Cup Started in 1991
- History: 2002 World Cup Was the First Held in Asia
- FIFA’s Executive Committee Chooses Host Country
- Brazil Has Won the World Cup 5 Times
- Germany Has Scored the Most World Cup Goals
- 6 Awards Are Given to World Cup Players
- India Bailed on the World Cup Because they Couldn’t Play Barefoot
- An English Dog Once Found the Famed Jules Rimet Trophy
- Only 8 Countries Have Won the World Cup
- Pelé Has the Most World Cup Championship Wins
- Just Fontaine Holds Record for Most Goals in a Single Tournament
- Miroslav Klose Is the World Cup’s Biggest Scorer
The World Cup Is the World’s Most Popular Event
The World Cup is the most watched event on television, even overshadowing the Olympics. According to World Cup facts, approximately one out of every nine people on Earth watched the 2006 World Cup final match. The tournament currently sees 32 teams vying for the top spot. In 2010, 204 teams entered to qualify for the world’s most popular sporting event.
FIFA Runs the World Cup
FIFA stands for the Fédération Internationale de Football Association. FIFA was founded in 1904, and governs international play of soccer. FIFA has 209 member countries and organizes the World Cup and the Women’s World Cup.
Brazil Has Played in Every World Cup Final
World Cup facts tell us that Brazil has the distinction of being the only country to play in every World Cup tournament since the competition’s inception. Brazil has hosted the World Cup twice and has made remarkable contributions to soccer history. Brazil has finished in the top four 11 times.
The World Cup Takes Place Every 4 Years
The World Cup, the hotly anticipated soccer tournament, is played every four years. The first tournament took place in 1930. It was hosted by Uruguay, and won by Uruguay. World Cup facts indicate 13 teams participated in what would become a world famous event.
There Was No World Cup in 1942 or 1946
World War II takes the blame for cancelling what would’ve been the fourth and fifth World Cup Finals. Following the war, Britain rejoined FIFA, after having left the organization in 1920. Uruguay also returned to the Tournament.
The Original World Cup Trophy Was Named for the FIFA Head
Named Victory, and known colloquially as simply “the World Cup”, the World Cup trophy was renamed Jules Rimet in 1946 to honor the FIFA president who set up the first tournament. World Cup facts tell us that in 1970, with their third World Cup win, Brazil won the honor of keeping the Jules Rimet trophy permanently. The new trophy, called the FIFA World Cup Trophy, was unveiled for the 1974 World Cup. The winning team receives a gold-plated replica of the solid gold trophy and each player on the team receives a medal.
The Jules Rimet Trophy Has Been Missing Since 1983
Unfortunately, the famed Jules Rimet trophy has been missing since it was stolen from Brazil in 1983. After their third World Cup win in 1970, Brazil were allowed to keep the Jules Rimet trophy permanently. Thirteen years later, the gold-plated sterling silver trophy was stolen. World Cup facts indicate it is believed to have been melted down as it has never been recovered.
Preparation for the World Cup Begins Years Beforehand
Though the World Cup Finals occur every four years, qualifying matches often occur up to two or three years before. With sometimes over 200 countries vying for 32 spots in the finals, it’s necessary to play numerous qualifying matches to pare down the teams. Qualifying matches are played by continent and FIFA decides how many spots each continent can play for. The host team gets an automatic spot in the tournament, leaving 31 teams to qualify. Until 2006, the defending champion was guaranteed a tournament spot. Defending champions must now qualify for a place, however, along with everyone else.
The Women’s World Cup Started in 1991
World Cup facts tell us that FIFA oversaw the first Women’s World Cup in 1991. China hosted the first Women’s World Cup, which saw the United States take home the trophy. The United States and Germany have each won two Women’s World Cup titles.
2002 World Cup Was the First Held in Asia
In 2002, the World Cup was finally held in Asia. The year also saw the first time the World Cup had two hosts – South Korea and Japan. Eight years later, South Africa became the first African nation to host the World Cup, famously bringing the noisy vuvuzela to the world’s attention.
FIFA’s Executive Committee Chooses Host Country
FIFA’s Executive Committee currently chooses the host country for the World Cup. Interested countries who inquire about the possibility are sent a hosting agreement that details the specifics of being a host country, information about how to make a strong bid and provides the necessary forms. The committee then visits those countries who submit the forms and votes to decide which country will be granted the honor. This decision can take place as many as eight years before the actual tournament. Already, Russia has been chosen as the host country for the 2018 World Cup and Qatar has the honor of hosting the 2022 World Cup.
Brazil Has Won the World Cup 5 Times
A powerhouse of soccer might, and home to both Ronaldo and Pelé, Brazil has won the World Cup a staggering five Times. World Cup facts show the nation’s first win came in 1958 and was quickly followed by another in 1962. Pelé helped bring home another trophy in 1970, and Brazil racked up two more wins in 1994 and 2002. Brazil is one of only two countries to have won consecutive titles. Italy is the other country to hold this sporting honor.
Germany Has Scored the Most World Cup Goals
Germany has shown itself to be an amazing competitor at the World Cup. With four Cup wins under their belt, the Germans have played in the most final and semifinal matches. Not surprisingly, Germany has also played the most World Cup matches in total, with 106 games completed. With all this time on the field, it makes sense that Germany has scored the most World Cup goals to date, getting on the score sheet an astonishing 224 times. The tournament’s highest scorer, Miroslav Klose, hails from Germany.
6 Awards Are Given to World Cup Players
Six awards are handed out to the best soccer players in the World Cup Finals. The best player award is called the Golden Ball. Its recipient is determined by a vote of media members. A Silver and a Bronze Ball are awarded to the second and third place players, respectively.
The Golden Boot is awarded to the top goal scorer of the tournament. The Silver and Bronze Boot go to the second and third scorers respectively.
The FIFA Technical Study Group determines the best goalie of the World Cup and awards them the Golden Glove Award. They also give the Best Young Player Award to the best footballer aged 21 or younger.
Those red cards count against you if you’re aiming to win the FIFA Fair Play Trophy. Awarded by the FIFA Fair Play Committee, the trophy goes to the team with the best record of fair play based on the point system.
Not to be left out, the general public has the opportunity to choose the Most Entertaining Team award recipient.
India Bailed on the World Cup Because they Couldn’t Play Barefoot
World Cup facts tell us that India qualified to play in the 1950 World Cup Finals, but opted out of the tournament. Why on earth would they give up a coveted spot in the world’s greatest sporting event? The answer is that they weren’t allowed to play barefoot, which was only way the team had practiced at that point.
An English Dog Once Found the Famed Jules Rimet Trophy
Pickles, an English dog belonging to David Corbett, came across a suspicious package during a walk with his owner in 1966. The unlikely hero had stumbled upon the Jules Rimet Trophy, which had been stolen six days prior in London. That same year, England won its first (and only) World Cup. Pickles must have been good luck!
Only 8 Countries Have Won the World Cup
To date, only eight countries have ever won the World Cup, though there have been 20 tournaments. These victorious countries are all from Europe or South America: Brazil, Germany, Italy, Argentina, Uruguay, France, England and Spain.
Pelé Has the Most World Cup Championship Wins
Famed soccer player Pelé, voted the 20th century’s best soccer player, has the most World Cup Championship medals hanging around his neck. The Brazilian player was part of the national teams that won the 1958, 1962 and 1970 World Cup Tournaments.
Just Fontaine Holds Record for Most Goals in a Single Tournament
Though he may be the player with the fourth most World Cup goals in history, France’s Just Fontaine has a greater claim to fame. The 13 goals placed him at number four were all scored in one World Cup. Just Fontaine maintains the record for the most goals scored in a single World Cup tournament and has held on to that title since 1958, when he led France to a third place finish in the World Cup.
Miroslav Klose Is the World Cup’s Biggest Scorer
With 16 goals during his World Cup tenure, Miroslav Klose has scored the most goals in World Cup history. Klose played for Germany in the 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 tournaments. He broke Ronaldo’s goal scoring record in 2014, and led his country to a World Cup win. He retired from international play shortly after.
World Cup Facts – Facts about the World Cup Summary
The FIFA World Cup was first played in 1930 in Uruguay. It is the world’s most popular sporting event. The famed soccer tournament, which takes place every four years, features over 200 countries vying to win the World Cup Trophy. Brazil has played in all 20 tournaments, and has won five. Pelé, of Brazil, is the player with the most World Cup wins. Germany has played the most World Cup matches and scored the most goals. Miroslav Klose leads the goal count with 16 goals in his World Cup career. France’s Just Fontaine is the tournament’s highest scorer with 13 goals in one tournament.