5 facts you did not know about the FIFA World Cup Trophy

5 facts you did not know about the FIFA World Cup Trophy
Photo: Collected

The FIFA World Cup is undoubtedly one of the biggest sporting events in history and is currently the talk of the town. With so much glory surrounding this magnificent tournament, the iconic trophy that is football's biggest mark of honour has a host of interesting stories captivated within it — most of which you probably never heard of.

This is not the original one

The world cup trophy that we see now is not the original one, rather the second edition. When the FIFA World Cup started in 1930, the original trophy, the Jules Rimet Trophy, was a sculpture of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, and showed her holding an octagonal cup over her head.

After Brazil won the FIFA World Cup for the third time in 1970, it was handed over to them in perpetuity, which led to the making of a brand-new trophy for the 1974 World Cup.

Security measures taken for the original trophy

During the period of World War II, the trophy had to be hidden away, and apparently the safest place on earth during that time was a shoe box under the bed of the then FIFA's Italian Vice President — Ottorino Barassi, who removed it from the vault of a bank in Rome.

Believe it or not – the Jules Rimet Trophy was stolen twice! It was first stolen in England in 1966 during a public exhibition, which was found a week later by a dog. The second time it was stolen was 13 years after Brazil was handed the original trophy, from the Brazilian Football Confederation, which was never again recovered.

Winners no longer get to keep the trophy

Prior to 2006, the world cup winners would get to keep the trophy until the forthcoming world cup, but now, the winners are simply presented with a gold-plated bronze replica of the current trophy, which is known as the FIFA World Cup Winner's Trophy.

5 facts you did not know about the FIFA World Cup Trophy
Photo: Collected

The real trophy is safely kept in the FIFA World Football Museum in Zurich, Switzerland, being taken out only for tours, during the time when draws are made for the tournament and during the tournament itself.  

Design of the trophy

With the Jules Rimet Trophy having been handed over permanently to Brazil, the need for a new trophy arose for the 1974 World Cup. Fifty-three submissions from sculptors across seven different countries were collected before an Italian sculptor named Silvio Gazzaniga was chosen.

It portrays lines stemming out from the base stretching out to receive the world. The figures of two athletes rise from the tension of the compact body of the trophy, celebrating the glorious moment of victory.     

The time for another replacement is nearing

The current FIFA World Cup trophy that has been in use since 1974 has the names of the winners along with the year inscribed on the base of the original trophy. However, there now remains space for only five more winners at its base.

This means the base of the trophy must be full with names by the year 2038 and FIFA should be looking to replace it by the 2042 FIFA World Cup. Although that is 20 years from now, no reason to not feel excited about it already!