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A Brief History of the Fifa World Cup

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The world cup is coming up and if you enjoy the good old hobby of gambling, or better yet, make a living out of it, make sure to open an account at the best betting software to get the best offer with no transfer fees!

And meanwhile how about we learn a little about how this event got started in the first place?


A Brief History of the World Cup


The World Cup is a sporting event held every four years in which the qualified teams compete for the title of best football team in the world. It is the biggest football event on the planet and has an audience of billions of people (the 2010 and 2014 World Cups had 3.2 billion spectators).

The first edition of the World Cup took place in 1930 and was hosted by Uruguay. Since then, the World Cup has been held on almost every continent except Oceania. Because it's a gigantic event that mobilizes billions of people, hosting a World Cup is something that involves a gigantic amount of money.

In the 2014 World Cup, hosted in Brazil, approximately eight billion were spent on the construction of stadiums alone. From a financial standpoint, the big beneficiary is the International Football Federation (Fifa) itself, which records record profits at each edition. In the 2014 World Cup, for example, the profit recorded was over 3 billion Euros.


The First World Cup


The first World Cup took place in Uruguay, in 1930, and was the result of many years of effort by Fifa to create this competition. Fifa, of course, was the institution responsible for the professionalization and popularization of football around the world, and the World Cup played a very relevant role in that. Fifa was founded in the beginning of the 20th century, in 1904, and included the following nations: Belgium, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

The first efforts to have a World Cup edition were made by a Dutchman named Carl Anton Wilhelm Hirschman. However, the main person responsible for making the World Cup possible was the Frenchman Jules Rimet, president of FIFA for over 30 years.

The factor that defined the possibility of organizing the World Cup was the success of the men's football competition during the 1924 and 1928 Olympic Games (both won by Uruguay). The football competition in those Olympics was held through a partnership between FIFA and the IOC (International Olympic Committee).

The decision to organize the World Cup took place in two meetings: one in Amsterdam (Netherlands) and another in Zurich (Switzerland), both in 1928, and the choice of the venue was made in 1929. The Uruguayan bid defeated a number of European candidates mainly due to the fact that the Uruguayans committed themselves to paying the participants' expenses, as well as authorizing the construction of a gigantic stadium for the event.

The first World Cup, however, was severely handicapped because of the Crisis of 1929, also known as the Great Depression. The economic crisis that spread throughout the world discouraged several European teams from participating. Thus, thirteen teams took part in the first Cup:

Europe: Belgium, Romania, Yugoslavia and France

North America: USA and Mexico

South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay

In the 1930 edition, the Uruguayans confirmed their favouritism and won the competition with four wins. They beat Peru, Romania, Yugoslavia and, in the final match, they faced Argentina, winning 4-2.

The participation of the now legendary Brazil was quite modest, mainly due to a rift which caused the players from São Paulo to boycott the National Team. Brazil fell in the First Round, losing 2-1 to the Yugoslavians and beating the Bolivians 4-0.


The Competition Grows


As time went by, the competition grew in importance and this was directly reflected in the number of participating nations. From the initial 13, there were 16 in 1934, 15 in 1938 and 13 in 1950; from 1954 to 1978, there were 16 participants; from 1982 to 1994, 24 teams. From 1998 onwards, the 32-team model was introduced. This model will be used until 2022, since from 2026 onwards, the Cup will be organized with 48 teams.

The current 32-team model is organised as follows: the teams are divided into eight groups of four teams each. From each group, two teams qualify, making a total of 16 teams, which then compete in knockout matches. The 16 qualified teams then compete in the Round of 16. The eight winners of these matches progress to the quarter-finals. The four winning teams go through to the semi-finals, and the winner of each semi-final plays the final. The losers of the semi-finals also play for third place.


World Cup Winners


Currently, eight teams have won at least one edition of the World Cup, three from South America and five from Europe. The winning nations are: Brazil (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002), Germany (1954, 1974, 1990 and 2014), Italy (1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006), Argentina (1978 and 1986) and Uruguay (1930 and 1950), Spain (2010), France (1998) and England (1966). When it comes to runners-up spot, the teams to have lost the most finals are Germany (1966, 1982, 1986 and 2002), Argentina (1930, 1990, 2014) and the Netherlands (1974, 1978 and 2010).

The Netherlands are the only team in the world to have reached three Finals and lost them all. Other teams that have played in finals and never won a World Cup were Hungary (1938 and 1954), Czechoslovakia (1934 and 1962) and Sweden (1958). The only two teams outside South America and Europe to have been in the top four of a World Cup were USA (1930), in 3rd place, and South Korea (2002), in 4th place.


Did you like this little foray in history? Do you and want more information about the world of sports?

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