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 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.
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 which wasn't consistent with the Olympic spirit. Therefore, the government body, FIFA, made plans to organize a World Cup. The decisions of arranging the first edition was officially declared on May 26, 1928.
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). Ever since the first official World Cup in 1930, FIFA had remained the organizer. There was, however, 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 participation in World Cup, concerning the period 1930-2018.
All finals including winners of World Cup 1930-2018.
|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 World Cup. And besides that, 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 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 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 (including World Cup 1930-2018).
|Continent||Titles||To reach final||To reach semi-finals|
|Central and 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.