History of the Legendary World Cup Trophy | soccerloco

World Cup Trophy, What a Ride

The 2014 FIFA World Cup is coming to Brazil this year, and everyone is excited to see who is going to win that coveted World Cup trophy. The trophy seems to be at the center of attention, so why not learn a little more about it.

The trophy’s 84-year history is certainly one that deserves some attention.

French sculptor Abel Lafleur created the trophy in 1930 for the first FIFA World Cup in Uruguay. The trophy was named after FIFA founder by Jules Rimet. The trophy was a sculpture of the Goddess of Victory, Nike, holding an octagonal vassal above her.

Rimet presents the trophy to Uruguayan FA president Paul Jude

Rimet presents the trophy to Uruguayan FA president Paul Jude

During this time, once a nation won three times, they would become permanent owners of the trophy.

The first of a series of unfortunate events took place during WWII when fascist Italy’s leader Benito Mussolini and his German Nazis tried to steal the World Cup trophy, which had been won by Italy in 1934. Foreseeing this, FIFA vice-president, Ottorino Barassi, took the trophy from a Rome bank, and hid it in a shoebox under his bed for the duration of the war.


The second bump in the Cup’s journey happened in 1966. While on display in England, the Cup was stolen. The thief was arrested but the trophy was nowhere to be found. One week following the theft, a black and white dog named Pickles made an astonishing discovery. Out on his daily walk, Pickles noticed something strange wrapped in a newspaper in his garden. Low and behold, the FIFA World Cup was recovered, and Pickles became a hero.

Pickles the dog posing for the camera

Pickles the dog posing for the camera

Following this trend of theft, in 1983 Brazil’s Rimet trophy was stolen after they won the World Cup three times. It is not confirmed whether or not the real trophy was really ever recovered. Garrincha, or ‘Bird’ as he was known (Brazil’s captain for the 1958 and 1962 FIFA tournaments) and his family put up for auction a “replica” of the Jules Rimet trophy after his death. FIFA purchased this for $414,000 not knowing of its authenticity. This trophy is now on display in the National Football Museum in Preston, England.

The second-generation cup would be designed by Silvio Gazzaniga, an Italian artist, and his trophy is the current one today. Gazzaniga’s trophy was chosen from 53 designs submitted by 7 countries.

World Cup sculpture

FIFA now has regulations about the ownership of the trophy. Because of its past history of being stolen, the original trophy is to be returned in time for the next tournament, and the country is given a bronze replica of the Gazzaniga trophy called the FIFA World Cup Winners’ Trophy.

Mandela with Trophy

The current trophy is 14.5 inches high, 13.61 pounds, made of 18-carat gold, and the base has two layers of semi-precious malachite. The trophy’s tale makes achieving the goal of having won it all the more significant. Not only does it represent the world coming together to celebrate the wonderful sport of soccer, also even through hard times it is possible to achieve greatness.

Who will take home the World Cup this year?

Trophy and brazuca

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