FIFA World Cup 2022 Countdown: From Jules Rimet to FIFA World Cup trophy

From World Cup to Jules Rimet trophy to FIFA World Cup, the trophy for football’s greatest spectacle has gone through multiple mysterious incidents in the last 92 years to come into its present form.

Published : Nov 08, 2022 22:09 IST

The FIFA World Cup is the most popular event in football. Its universal appeal makes it the most global of all sports events, with the Olympic Games being the only real comparable competition.

In accordance with the name of the event, the winner is presented with a World Cup trophy and the history of the trophy is as old as the marquee event.

From the inaugural edition in 1930 to 1938, the winners received the ‘World Cup’ trophy. The trophy was designed by Abel Lafleur, a French sculptor. Made of gold-plated sterling silver, the trophy shows Nike, the Greek Goddess of victory, holding a cup.

Nicknamed ‘the Golden Goddess’, the cup was renamed as ‘Jules Rimet’ trophy after the third FIFA president, Jules Rimet, post the second World War. The winners of the next four editions - 1950 (Uruguay), 1954 (West Germany), 1958 (Brazil) and 1962 (Brazil) - received the Jules Rimet trophy. The Frenchman had propagated the idea of the World Cup in 1929.

However, just four months before the 1966 World Cup in England, the Jules Rimet trophy was stolen from a public exhibition at Westminster Central Hall. The perpetrators demanded a ransom of £15,000. A replica was made just in case it was not recovered. Although a dog called Pickles eventually found the trophy, FIFA- the governing body of world football - would then buy the replica for over £250,000.

Another episode of theft followed in 1970 when the original Jules Rimet cup was moved to Brazil. The cup was never recovered. The replica was presented to the winner Brazil.

New design, new Cup

The FIFA World Cup, as it is known today, was designed for the 1974 West Germany edition.

Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga designed the new trophy. Portraying two people holding the World Cup, the trophy weighs five kilograms and is made of 18-carat gold. 75 per cent of the trophy is covered with gold, while its base, 13 centimeters in diameter, contains two layers of malachite.

The winning team will continue to receive the existing ‘FIFA World Cup’ till the 2038 edition. After that, the cup may need a new design as there will be no space for engravings to adjust the winning team.

Though initially, the winning team could carry the cup home, the practice is shunned by FIFA and the winner receives a golden-plated bronze replica instead.

Also Read | Qatar 2022 countdown: FIFA World Cup controversies II - From the headbutt of Zidane to Suarez’s Hand of God

The original ‘FIFA World Cup’ is permanently housed in the FIFA World Football Museum in Zurich. It is taken out only on special occasions: during the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour, the final draw for the next edition, and the World Cup Final.

The value of the gold in the World Cup trophy is worth $250,000, as per the current gold rates. During the 2018 Russia World Cup, the original FIFA World Cup trophy was said to be worth $20 million, making it easily the most valuable trophy in sport.

The new Cup had its share of trouble when a fan invaded the pitch and came close to the trophy before Spain vs the Netherlands final in Johannesburg, South Africa. But he was wrestled down by the security guards.

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