The history of FIFA World Cup
There is nothing in football that can compare with the World Cup. Even though the Champions League may produce games in the same quality it can't overreach the status earned from the long tradition and the fact that one team represent a single country. No other sport event can compete in significance: the latest FIFA World Cup reached 3.2 billion television viewers worldwide and one billion watched the final.
The first World Cup was played in Uruguay and since then the tournament has been held every fourth year (with exceptions for interruption due to the Second World War). Since the first official World Cup in 1930 FIFA had remain the organizer. However, there was unofficial pre-FIFA World Cups already in the late 1800s, in a time then only few national teams existed. Another unofficial "world cup" arranged before 1930 was Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy held in 1909 and 1911. Besides that, the Summer Olympic football competitions would be a mark of which the best national teams were before 1930 - the Olympic tournaments consisted however only of amateur teams due to the regulations, so the World Cup became the real deal.
1974: West Germany
1994: United States
2010: South Africa
Statistics of all national teams that have won or played a final together with numbers of participations in World Cup.
These players have made most goals in a single World Cup.
|Gerd Müller||10||West Germany||1970|
There are many players that have done six goals in one World Cup and these are: Erich Probst (1954), Josef Hügi (1954), Max Morlock (1954), Pelé (1958), Helmut Rahn (1958), Helmut Haller (1966), Mario Kempes (1978), Paolo Rossi (1982), Gary Lineker (1986), Salvatore Schillaci (1990), Hristo Stoichkov (1994), Oleg Salenko (1994), Davor Šuker (1998) and James Rodríguez (2014).
The five players that have made most goals overall are Miroslav Klose (16 goals in 4 tournaments), Ronaldo (15 goals in 3 tournaments), Gerd Müller (14 goals in 2 tournaments), Just Fontaine (13 goals in 1 tournament) and Péle (12 goals in 4 tournaments).
World Cup Awards
In connection to the World Cup several awards are given to some players. The most known is The Golden Ball that is an award that goes to the best player in a FIFA World Cup. Candidates are decided by FIFA which media representatives are voting on. Besides the Golden Ball there is also Silver Ball and Bronze Ball together with Golden Boot (top goalscorer) and Golden Glove (best goalkeeper).
World Cup by continents
A performance comparison by continents (including World Cup 1930-2014).
|Continent||Titles||To reach final||To reach semi-finals|
|Central & North America||0||0||0|
Numbers of participants and games
The following table shows the numbers of participating team in all World Cup tournaments. The numbers in the second column concerns the final stage and the third column all teams that took part in the qualification. In addition, you can see the numbers of games (qualification games excluded) in the fourth column.
* Austria were abolished before the first game of political reasons.
** France and India withdraw after qualification.
The home advantage
One noticeable aspect in the World Cup history is that the home team has been over performing. In six occasions has the home team has won the World Cup. Besides that many teams that normally doesn’t compete with the biggest team had gone far in the tournament then playing at home ground. For example Sweden in 1958, reaching the final, and South Korea in 2006, reaching the Semi-finals.