Every 4 years, players from all around the world come together to compete for one particular trophy, the World Cup Trophy.
More than half of the world blips to watch football stars donning their country’s colors compete for this trophy. But how much do we really know about that golden prize?
Here are some interesting facts about the pristine award:
1. French sculptor
The first World Cup trophy was designed by a French sculptor named Abel Lafleur, and at first, it was referred to as Coupe de Monde. The trophy was basically 14-inch-high sculpting of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, standing on a lapis lazuli base and holding up an octagonal cup over her head.
2. Jules Rimet Trophy
The trophy was then renamed the Jules Rimet Trophy between 1930 and 1970. But who is Jules Rimet?
Jules Rimet is FIFA’s longest-serving president who lived between 1873 and 1956. His record is still held to date.
He was the third president of FIFA. The World Cup competition was his idea, and it was under his reign that the first match of the competition was played.
3. 18 Karat Gold
The trophy is produced using strong 18 Karat Gold with a malachite base. It’s a standout amongst the most esteemed trophies on the planet. It is the handwork of the Italian organization called Stabilimento Artistico Berton. The trophy has a stature of 36.8cm and a weight of 6.1 kg.
4. Stolen and recovered by dog named Pickles
In 1966, the world cup known as the Jules Rimet Trophy made its way to England ahead of the tournament scheduled in the UK.
When the tournament was four months away, and while the trophy was making a public exhibition at Westminster Central Hall, it was stolen. Reports say that the thieves asked for a 15,000-pound Ransome for them to release the trophy.
A week after the heist, the trophy was found by a White and Black Mongrel dog named Pickles. Pickles found it at the bottom of a suburban garden hedge on Beulah Hill, Upper Norwood, South London.
The trophy was wrapped in a newspaper when the dog found it. in the company of its owner, Dave Corbett. Dave was rewarded with 6000 pounds and Pickles was given a lifetime supply of food.
From then on, the English FA reportedly stopped using the original trophy for exhibitions. They made a replica for this purpose, but FIFA denied giving them permission for that.
Because of that, the replica was hidden for years. It later resurfaced in 1997 when it was auctioned out to, guess who, FIFA! not a replica, but the actual trophy FIFA was buying back.
5. Brazil kept the original trophy
In 1970, the Brazilian national team won the World Cup for the third time. And per Jules Rimet’s stipulations in 1930, they were to be handed the trophy permanently for that achievement.
The Jules Rimet trophy was stored in a cabinet that had a bullet-proof glass front at the Brazil Football Confederation headquarters in Rio de Janeiro.
6. Stolen again in Brazil
13 years after Brazil was handed the Jules Rimet trophy, it was stolen yet again. The back of the cabinet it was stored in which was made of wood was forced open using a crowbar, and the thieves carted away with the trophy.
4 men were tried and convicted for the heist, but the trophy was never recovered. Rumor has it that the trophy was immediately melted and sold off after it was stolen.
The only piece of the Jules Rimet trophy that was found was the lapis lazuli base which was stored in FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich.
Anyway, the Brazilian Football Confederation made a replica of their own in 1984 and presented it to the president of the country at the time, Joao Figueiredo.
7. New Model of World Cup Trophy
With the Jules Rimet trophy having been permanently handed to Brazil, FIFA had to make another trophy for the 1974 World Cup, and they just decided to go for a completely new design this time around.
They collected 53 submissions from sculptors across 7 different countries, and eventually, Silvio Gazzaniga, an Italian sculptor, was picked. The new trophy, which is the same one being used to date, is 14.4 inches tall and it was made of 30,875 Carats of 18 karat gold.
The base is about 5.1 inches in diameter, and it contains two layers of malachite.
8. Nobody keeps the real Trophy
Traditional rules stipulated that winners get to keep the original trophy. However, this is not what happens; the rules were changed.
Winners of the World Cup no longer get to keep the trophy. They are instead presented with a bronze replica which is called the FIFA World Cup Winners’ trophy. This replica is only gold-plated, not made of solid gold.
The original trophy sits permanently at the FIFA World Football Museum in Zurich, Switzerland. The only times it leaves there are when the trophy is on tour when it is time for the draws for the next tournament, and of course, during the tournament, both on an opening day and on the final day.
9. Hollow ball at the top
You must have noticed that there’s a ball at the top of the World Cup trophy. According to Martin Poliakoff, a chemistry professor at Nottingham University, England, the ball is hollow.
If not, then the world cup would weigh more than 70 kgs which would be too heavy for the players to lift effortlessly in triumph. In addition to that, it would have been a waste of real gold.
10. World Cup Trophy winners list
Since its presentation, just 8 nations have ever won the trophy. The most recent country was Germany in the 2014 world cup competition.
These nations incorporate Uruguay, Brazil, Italy, Germany, Argentina, Spain, France and England.
Be that as it may, the trophy is coming up short on space. It is evaluated that it might just have the capacity to hold at most four names of the champ teams inscribed at its base. This implies it might soon be replaced after the 100-year commemoration competition in 2030.
And if a nation’s team like Bosnia &Herzegovina miraculously won the trophy, the base of the trophy would be full sooner than expected prompting a change.