There have been two FIFA World Cup trophies
Brazil hold the Jules Rimet Trophy permanently
France are the current holders of the FIFA World Cup trophy, after defeating Croatia in the 2018 final
The World Cup odds are surveyed even when the competition is years away.
Lifting the World Cup trophy is the pinnacle for any footballer. It might only come round every four years, but the World Cup is an ever-present topic of discussion among football fans.
It’s an epic live betting event, one of the few sporting occasions which grasps the attention of fans worldwide.
Football fans live and breathe the World Cup, and timezone allowing, can commit a solid month of their lives to glued to their screens with matches played back-to-back.
As the best young football players ascend the ranks, journalists and football obsessives alike plot out their nation’s path to glory in years to come.
Predicting the next golden generation is a constant hobby of football fanatics, living in the hope of producing a team which can rival the majestic champions of years past like Brazil’s wonderful 1970 side or the tiki-taka mastery of Spain in 2010.
It might not be seen as often as other trophies, but the FIFA World Cup trophy is among the most recognisable in sport.
It brings joy to a nation in a way few other sporting achievements can – here’s everything you need to know about football’s greatest prize.
First of all, it’s important to acknowledge that there have been two World Cup trophies.
The first of which was the Jules Rimet, which was awarded to the World Cup winners from the first tournament in 1930 through to Brazil’s third triumph in 1970.
Originally named Victory, the trophy was named after Jules Rimet, the third president of FIFA. Rimet was head of the world’s football governing body from 1921 until 1954, and the first World Cup plans were laid out under his leadership.
Although he wasn’t always a popular figure, Rimet’s efforts with the World Cup earned him a Nobel Peace Prize nomination in 1956.
The trophy which later carried his name was referred to simply as the World Cup or Coupe du Monde in the early years. Only in 1946, with three World Cups played, did the trophy get renamed.
Jules Rimet Trophy Design & Controversy
Designed by Abel Lafleur, the Jules Rimet trophy was made of gold-plated sterling silver. It sported a lapis lazuli base. For the 1954 competition, however, this base was replaced with a larger alternative to fit in more winners.
Standing at 14 inches high and weighing under four kilograms, the Jules Rimet trophy was delicate compared to many other pieces of major sporting silverware. For reference, the Champions League trophy is double the height.
The trophy itself featured a decagonal cup, held aloft by Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. It was not only historic for its involvement in various World Cups, either.
The Jules Rimet trophy was infamously stolen ahead of the 1966 World Cup, a story which shook the football-following world.
In the hands of Brazilian defender Hilderaldo Bellini in 1958, the trophy was held high in the air to allow photographers a better look – this move has been repeated by every Cup-winning captain since.
Rimet himself wanted any team which won the trophy three times to keep it permanently. Brazil achieved this feat in 1970.
Kept in a cabinet with bulletproof glass, the trophy was in Rio de Janeiro until December 1983, when it was stolen. Four men were convicted of the crime, though the trophy was never recovered.
The Jules Rimet trophy has never been seen again – the Brazilian Football Confederation commissioned their own replica in the 1980s.
New World Cup Trophy:
With a new trophy required for the 1974 World Cup, FIFA received 53 submissions. Silvio Gazzaniga won the gig, and he didn’t disappoint.
The trophy which football fans are now familiar with is 14.4 inches tall and weighs over six kilograms. It’s immensely valuable, of course, having been made of 18 carat gold and standing on a two-layer base of malachite.
Gazzaniga’s design represents two humans holding up the earth, fitting for a World Cup.
The designer of sport’s Holy Grail described his creation: "The lines spring out from the base, rising in spirals, stretching out to receive the world. From the remarkable dynamic tensions of the compact body of the sculpture rise the figures of two athletes at the stirring moment of victory."
Following the 1994 World Cup, a plate was added to engrave previous winners of the tournament. This plate is replaced after every World Cup to rearrange the layout of the previous world champions.
Unlike the Jules Rimet, FIFA has tweaked its regulations so the new trophy cannot be won permanently. The World Cup winners are given a bronze, gold-plated replica.
Jules Rimet Trophy Winners:
1930 – Uruguay
1934 – Italy
1938 – Italy
1950 – Uruguay
1954 – West Germany
1958 – Brazil
1962 – Brazil
1966 – England
1970 – Brazil
FIFA World Cup Trophy Winners:
1974 – West Germany
1978 – Argentina
1982 – Italy
1986 – Argentina
1990 – West Germany
1994 – Brazil
1998 – France
2002 – Brazil
2006 – Italy
2010 – Spain
2014 – Germany
2018 – France
World Cup Betting:
The best players, world-beating stadia, elite managers and the best football pundits gather for the World Cup every four years.
Just like any knockout competition, it’s difficult from a betting perspective. Poor refereeing decisions or a freak performance can change the course of World Cup history.
While shocks are common, though, it’s rare that an outsider has lifted the World Cup, and many of the dominant footballing nations have never lifted the trophy.
Portugal and the Netherlands have not lifted either trophy. England have been crowned world champions only once.
The 2022 World Cup is wide open. France are among the favourites after their glory in 2018. England, the Netherlands and Germany are all stacked with talent. Argentina and Brazil will, as always, be competitive.
*Credit for the main photo belongs to Pavel Golovkin / AP Photo*