World Cup History

History of the Football World Cup

No other sporting event captures the world's imagination like the FIFA Football World Cup. Ever since the first competition in Uruguayin 1930, FIFA's flagship has increasingly grown in popularity and prestige.

A group of visionary French football administrators, led in the 1920s by Jules Rimet(after whom the original gold trophy was named), are credited with the original idea of bringing the world's best national football teams together to compete for the title of World Champions. The competition was contested three times in the 1930s, before the Second World War put a 12-year hiatus to the competition.

When it restarted, the football World Cup rapidly advanced to its undisputed status as the greatest single sporting event of the modern world. Held since 1958 both in Europe and the Americas, the World Cup broke new boundaries with the Executive Committee's decision in May 1996 to run it in Asia and select Korea and Japan as co-hosts for the 2002 edition.

Since 1930, the 16 tournaments have seen only seven different winners. However, the FIFA World Cup has also been punctuated by dramatic upsets that have helped create history - the United States defeating England in 1950, North Korea's defeat of Italy in 1966, Cameroon's emergence in the 1980s and their opening match defeat of the Argentinean cup-holders in 1990....

Today, the FIFA World Cup holds the entire global public under its spell. An accumulated audience of over 37 billion people watched the 1998 tournament in France, including approximately 1.3 billion for the final alone, while over 2.7 million people flocked to watch the 64 matches in the French stadium.

After all these years and so many changes, however, the main focus of the FIFA World Cup remains the same - the glistening golden trophy, which is the embodiment of every footballer's ambition.

World Cup Summaries

Year

Champion

Runner-Up

Result

3rd Place

Host

1930

Uruguay

Argentina

4-2

United States

Uruguay

1934

Italy

Czechoslovakia

2-1 (ot)

Germany

Italy

1938

Italy

Hungary

4-2

Brazil

France

1950

Uruguay

Brazil

2-1

Sweden

Brazil

1954

West Germany

Hungary

3-2

Austria

Switzerland

1958

Brazil

Sweden

5-2

France

Sweden

1962

Brazil

Czechoslovakia

3-1

Chile

Chile

1966

England

West Germany

4-2 (ot)

Portugal

England

1970

Brazil

Italy

4-1

West Germany

Mexico

1974

West Germany

Holland

2-1

Poland

West Germany

1978

Argentina

Holland

3-1 (ot)

Brazil

Argentina

1982

Italy

West Germany

3-1

Poland

Spain

1986

Argentina

West Germany

3-2

France

Mexico

1990

West Germany

Argentina

1-0

Italy

Italy

1994

Brazil

Italy

0-0 (3:2 pk)

Sweden

United States

1998

France

Brazil

3-0

Croatia

France

2002

Brazil

Germany

2-0

Turkey

Korea/ Japan

2006

-

-

-

-

Germany

Team Records


Brazilholds the most World Cup championships with five and Italyand West Germany/Germany are tied with three World Cup titles. Hungaryhas tallied the most goals in a single World Cup when they scored 27 in 195. In the 1954 World Cup Austriabeat Switzerland7-5 for the most goals (12) combined in a World Cup match. Hungarybeat El Salvadorin 1982, 10-1 for the highest goal differential in a World Cup match (Hungaryis also the only team to score 10 or more goals in a World Cup).

Individual Records


Gerard Muller is the top scorer in World Cup history with 14 goals. Salenko of Russia scored 5 goals in a match during the 1994 World Cup. Guillermo Stabile of Argentinawas the first player to ever record a hat trick (1930 World Cup). Hakan Sukur of Turkey scored the fastest goal in World Cup history in 2002 when he scored 11 seconds into the match against South Korea. Lothar Matthaus of Germany/ West Germanyhas the most appearances by a player in the World Cup with 25. Norman Whiteside of Northern Irelandwas the youngest player (17 years old) to ever step on the field in World Cup (1982). Pelé of Brazil was also the youngest player to score in a World Cup (1958) match. Pelé also was the youngest player to ever win a World Cup (1958). Roger Milla of Cameroonwas the oldest (42 years, 39 days) player to play in a World Cup (1994). Milla also scored a goal in that match against Russia. The first player to ever be ejected from a World Cup match was Galindo of Peru in 1930.

World Cup Records


The 1994 World Cup held in the United Stateshad the highest average attendance with over 68,990 for each match. The 1950 World Cup Final (Uruguayvs. Brazil) had over 174,000 spectators for the largest number of spectators to watch a final. The 1954 World Cup held in Switzerlandholds the highest average for goals per game 5.38 (140 goals in 26 matches).