History of World Football

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as 'Pele', led the Brazilian team that won three World Cups in 1958, 1962 and 1970. (files)

The World Cup is the most wanted international trophy by all players

Temas relacionados The World Cup is the most important international men’s soccer competition in the world. It is organized by FIFA (International Federation of Football Association), an organization that brings together all national football teams.

The first World Cup was played in 1930 and since then it has been held every four years, with the exception of the years 1942 and 1946 because of the World Ward II. The 2018 World Cup will be the tournament’s 21st edition.

Only 24 countries have managed to be within the world’s best in any of its editions.

Out of those teams, only 8 have proclaimed themselves as world champions: Brazil (5times), Germany(4), Italy (4), Argentina (2), Uruguay (2), France, England and Spain (all once).

Every title becomes a star engraved on the federation shield.

In addition to the Men’s World Cup, FIFA also organizes a Women’s World Cup, which was played for the first time in 1991. The next edition will be played in France in 2019.

Hard beginnings

After almost 90 years of history, there have been many memorable moments.

The first World Cup was held in Uruguay in 1930. The majority of European teams did not participate because they wanted the competition to be played in the EU. In the end, the local team beat Argentina in the final and Uruguay became the first country to win a World Cup.

In 1934, the World Cup moved to Italy where the South American countries did not play in response to the European boycott four years ago.

Dictator Benito Mussolini then ruled Italy and wanted to win at all costs to give the country prestige: Italy won, although they played with many Argentinean players and the referee decisions were highly questioned.

During the 1930s and 1940s, wars marked the competition. The Spanish Civil War, the war between China and Japan and the World War II forced many countries to withdraw their participation because they could not send their teams.

World Cup memorable moments

In 1950 one of the most remembered episodes of the competition took place: the Maracanazo. The World Cup was played in Brazil and the Brazilian team was the favorite, having beaten the rest of the teams.

Against all odds, Uruguay beat Brazil in the final at the legendary Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro, before more than 170,000 spectators. The Brazilian newspapers at the time considered it a «national tragedy».

However, after this dark chapter in the history of Brazilian football, the golden age of Canarinha began. The Brazilian team led by Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as ‘Pele’, won the World Cups in Sweden 1958, Chile 1962 and Mexico 1970.

Thanks to technological advances, the 1970 World Cup was the first to be broadcast in color. That made the tournament gain much more audience and became very popular around the world: more and more national teams were signing up to the qualifying stages with the hope of competing in the official competition.

“The Hand of God” and “The Goal of the Century”

1986 World Cup is another one of the most remembered by fans. The star in that edition was the Argentinean Diego Armando Maradona, who made a memorable performance.

In the quarterfinals, Argentina was facing England. Rivalry was not only on the field: the English government and the Argentinean were faced by the Falklands War.

Maradona led his team to victory thanks to a very controversial first goal, known as The Hand of God, and another score known as The Goal of the Century. Argentina got its second World Cup that year … and continues to pursue their third one since then.

From the 90s, the competition was modernized even more. France was the host country in 1998 and the French fans were lucky to see their national team win at home: Les Bleus, led by Zinedine Zidane, managed to beat Brazil.

The 2002 World Cup was the first to be played in the Asian continent. South Korea and Japan organized the joint tournament, which the Canarinha won again with Ronaldo as the star.

In the Yokohama International Stadium (Japan), Brazil became the five-time champion, something Germany will try to match this year in Russia.

Translated by Chaplin’s Languages | Find out more in Junior Report



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