The history of FIFA World Cup
There is nothing in football that can compare with the World Cup. Even though the UEFA Champions League may produce games of the same quality, it can't overreach the status earned from the long tradition and the fact that one team represent a whole country. No other sport event can compete in significance: the latest FIFA World Cup reached over three billion television viewers worldwide and one billion watched the final.
Before the World Cup was inaugurated, the football tournament arranged as part of the Summer Olympics was given the most prestige. But in the 1920s, the game was facing a transition to professionalism that wasn't consistent with the Olympic spirit. Therefore, the government body, FIFA, made plans to organize a World Cup. The decision of arranging the first edition was officially declared on May 26, 1928.
All World Cup tournaments
The first official World Cup was played in Uruguay 1930, and since when the tournament has been held every fourth year (with exceptions for interruption due to the Second World War). There were, however, unofficial pre-FIFA World Cups already in the late 1800s, in a time when 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 – the World Cup became the "real deal".
The FIFA World Cup 1930 was played in Uruguay 3 July-30 July, with 13 nations.
The FIFA World Cup 1934 was played in Italy 27 May-10 June, with 16 nations.
The FIFA World Cup 1938 was played in France 4-19 June, with 16 nations.
The FIFA World Cup 1950 was played in Brazil 24 June-16 July, with 15 nations.
The FIFA World Cup 1954 was played in Switzerland 16 June-4 July, with 16 nations.
The FIFA World Cup 1958 was played in Sweden 8-29 June, with 16 nations.
The FIFA World Cup 1962 was played in Chile 30 May-17 June, with 16 nations.
The FIFA World Cup 1966 was played in England 11-30 July, with 16 nations.
The FIFA World Cup 1970 was played in Mexico 31 May-21 June, with 16 nations.
1974: West Germany
The FIFA World Cup 1974 was played in West Germany 13 June-7 July, with 16 nations.
The FIFA World Cup 1978 was played in Argentina 1-25 June, with 16 nations.
The FIFA World Cup 1982 was played in Spain 13 June-11 July, with 24 nations.
The FIFA World Cup 1986 was played in Mexico 31 May-29 June, with 24 nations.
The FIFA World Cup 1990 was played in Italy 8 June-8 July, with 24 nations.
1994: United States
The FIFA World Cup 1994 was played in United States 17 June-17 July, with 24 nations.
The FIFA World Cup 1998 was played in France 10 June-12 July, with 32 nations.
The FIFA World Cup 2002 was played in Korea/Japan 31 May-30 June, with 32 nations.
The FIFA World Cup 2006 was played in Germany 9 June-9 July, with 32 nations.
2010: South Africa
The FIFA World Cup 2010 was played in South Africa 11 June-11 July, with 32 nations.
The FIFA World Cup 2014 was played in Brazil 12 June-13 July, with 32 nations.
The FIFA World Cup 2018 was played in Russia 14 June-15 July, with 32 nations.
The FIFA World Cup 2022 was played in Qatar 20 November-18 December with 32 nations.
Teams with most titles and finals
Statistics of all national teams that have won or played a final together with numbers of participation in World Cup, concerning the period 1930-2022.
World Cup finals
All finals including winners of World Cup tournaments 1930-2022.
|Year||Home team*||Away team*||Result|
|1966||England||West Germany||4-2 (a.e.t.)|
The home advantage
One noticeable aspect in the World Cup history is that the home team has been over performing. On six occasions have the home team won the competition. Besides, many teams that normally doesn’t compete with the greatest teams have gone far in the tournament then playing on home ground. For example, Sweden in 1958, reaching the final, and South Korea in 2006, reaching the semi-finals.
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), James Rodríguez (2014) and Harry Kane (2018).
The five players that have made most goals overall are Ronaldo (18 goals in 4 tournaments), Miroslav Klose (16 goals in 4 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 awarded to the best player in a FIFA World Cup. Candidates are decided by FIFA which media representatives votes on. Besides the Golden Ball there are also the Silver Ball and the Bronze Ball together with the Golden Boot (top goalscorer) and the Golden Glove (best goalkeeper).
World Cup by continents
A performance comparison by continents (World Cup tournaments 1930-2022).
|Continent||Titles||To reach final||To reach semi-finals|
|Central and North America||0||0||0|
Numbers of participants and games
Table 5 shows the numbers of participating team in per World Cup tournament. The numbers in the second column concern the final stage and the third column all teams that took part in the qualification. In addition, the numbers of games played (qualification games excluded) is shown in the fourth column.
The prize money for the tournament has increased massively during the years. The total prize money for the FIFA World Cup 2022 was $440 million (the winners received $42 million), which can be compared to $20 million for the FIFA World Cup 1982.
World Cup statistics
Goal average and other tendences trough the group round and play-off matches.