FIFA History

FIFA History

FIFA History

FIFA is the organization that is responsible for organizing a World Cup since the year 1930. But how did it all this FIFA history start?

Before FIFA existed, the first Football Association (FA) was born in 1862 and was and still is responsible for amateur and professional football in England. This Association was established in order to create universal rules for clubs and schools for playing football.

After the first international match England against Scotland in 1872, it became clear the popularity of the sport was rising, together with organizing international matches. It became apparent a governing body or organization was needed in order to regulate and organize international football.

There existed international football tournaments; but they would only be played during the Olympics organised by the IOC (international Olympics Committee). The first football tournament to be included in the Olympics program was in 1900, but it was merely a demonstration played by club teams. The players were considered amateurs and no medals were awarded yet.

FIFA History

This organization that was established to regulate and organize football, was named FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), and has been established on May 21 1904. FIFA was located in Paris and Robert Guérin from France was elected as the first FIFA president.

FIFA History

Robert Guérin: 1st FIFA president
1904 – 1906

FIFA, including Jules Rimet from France, quickly started to have plans to organize a tournament outside the Olympics program where different countries would participate. Jules Rimet viewed football as a tool that could unite the countries of the world. Football could bring international integration at a time when warfare among different countries was at its peak. But all attempts ended up in failure due to several objections from associations.

With Daniel Burley Woolfall from England as the 2nd FIFA president in 1906, FIFA expanded in federation, respect and influence. Only in 1908, football became an official competition in the Olympics. Instead of club teams, national European teams would now participate and medals were awarded. FIFA supervised this competition for the first time, and it was organised by the Football Association (FA).

FIFA History

Daniel Burley Woolfall: 2nd FIFA president 1908 – 1918

In 1914 FIFA agreed to perceive the Olympics football tournament as a world championship for amateurs and organised the tournament for the 1920 Olympics. The first official competition was won by Belgium, and Uruguay was the tournament winner of both the 1924 and 1928 Olympics.

Daniel Burley Woolfall’s presidency ended with his death in 1918. Although Jules Rimet was involved in establishing FIFA, only in the year 1921 he became the 3rd president of FIFA. He was president for 33 years, FIFA’s longest serving president so far. Although FIFA organized the Olympic football games of 1920, 1924 and 1928 successfully, the desire to stage an independent international football tournament was still there.

FIFA History

Jules Rimet: 3rd FIFA president
1921 – 1954

There was an important reason why Jules Rimet wanted to organize such an event so enthusiastically. FIFA was in dispute with IOC regarding the amateur status the footballers were given. According to FIFA, the sport football deserved more due to the level of professionalism and development football was going through.Therefore FIFA wanted to organize a tournament outside IOC’s rules with more status.

May 28 1928 in Amsterdam was the day where FIFA finally, under Rimet’s leadership, started the plans to organize their own World Championship. 1 year later in 1929 in a Barcelona Congress, it was announced the first World Cup would be held in Uruguay the following year in 1930.

FIFA History

Rodolphe William Seeldrayers: 4th FIFA president 1954 – 1955

2 years after the very first World Cup, FIFA’s headquarters moved in 1932 from Paris to Switzerland, Zürich. There were 3 reasons why the city was chosen: it was in the centre of Europe, Zürich’s neutrality regarding international relations combined with FIFA’s philosophy and it was easily accessible by train.

Jules Rimet who would pass away in 1956, resigned in 1954. Rodolphe William Seeldrayers from Belgium took over the position as the 4th FIFA president. His presidency didn’t last long though since he died in 1955 due to illness. He did witness FIFA’s 50th anniversary celebrations and also helped founding the Belgian Football Association. Arthur Drewry from England took over as the 5th FIFA president, but this lasted only 6 years till his death in 1961.

FIFA History

Arthur Drewry: 5th FIFA president 1955 – 1961

Sir Stanley Rous from England became the 6th president and had already established himself as an impressive contributor to football. He helped  rewriting the Laws of the Game back in 1938 and helped England to rejoin FIFA in 1946. As president he made the World Cup a worldwide television spectacle. The 1970 World Cup was the first World Cup which was broadcast in colour over the world.

In 1974 Sir Stanley Rous wasn’t re-elected since he was defeated by João Havelange from Brazil. Havelange became the 7th FIFA president in 1974 and the first non-European to hold this position since FIFA was founded in 1904. He laid the foundation for the World Cup to become the most lucrative and biggest sport event ever. Havelange arranged for financial support of both Adidas and Coca-Cola as primary sponsors of the FIFA tournaments.

FIFA History

Sir Stanley Rous: 6th FIFA president 1961 – 1974

Adidas is FIFA’s sponsor since 1970 and Coca-Cola officially since 1978. FIFA and Coca-Cola did already have a formal association since 1974. Since 1950 Coca-Cola also have stadium advertising at every World Cup. The revenue from these sponsors was used for new FIFA tournaments, building a new international headquarters in Zürich, appointing a full-time staff with at least 10 times more staff membersthan the then current 12 members, and funding infrastructure development for developing member countries.

Another point on his election program was banning South Africa from FIFA. Havelange was firmly against the apartheid and banned the country as long as this system was implemented. Therefore South Africa was banned from 1976 till June 1992.

FIFA History

João Havelange: 7th FIFA president 1974 – 1998

The sales of television rights increased immensely as well during his presidency. In 1987 the European TV rights for the 1990, 1994 and 1998 World Cups was sold for $440m. This milestone marked a key stage in FIFA’s transformation into a multi-billion dollar global business. The 1990 World Cup was watched by a record 26.69 billion television viewers.

João Havelange was also responsible for launching new tournaments such as the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 1985, the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1991 and the FIFA Confederations Cup in 1992.  Under his presidency the amount of World Cup participants changed from 16 to 24 in the 1982 World Cup and 24 to 32 in the 1998 World Cup.This was to give African and Asian countries a better opportunity to shine on such a huge sport event.  He served this position from 1974 till 1998.

FIFA History

Sepp Blatter: 8th and current FIFA president 1998 -

Joseph “Sepp” Blatter from Switzerland had already served FIFA for 23 years when he was elected as the 8th FIFA president in 1998. He worked closely under his predecessor João Havelange. Blatter has been re-elected twice in 2002 and 2011. He is responsible  for expanding the FIFA tournaments by developing the FIFA Club World Cup in 2000 and  introducing the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in 2005.

FIFA Trophy

The World Cup trophy that was awarded from 1930 till 1970 was initially named ‘Victory’. The trophy however was commonly known as World Cup trophy and has been designed by Frenchman Abel Lafleur. The trophy shows Nike of Samothrace, the ancient winged Greek goddess of victory. She holds a octagonal cup over her head. Every World Cup champion would be in possession of the trophy till the next World Cup would take place.

FIFA HistoryVictory trophy, changed into Jules Rimet trophy in 1946: 35 centimeters (14 in) high, weighed 3.8 kilograms (8.4 lb), and made of gold plated sterling silver on a white/yellow marble base. In 1958 the base has been replaced with a high base made of gemstone lapis lazuli

The champion of the 1938 World Cup was Italy. Therefore they were in possession of the World Cup trophy. After the 3rd World Cup, World War II broke out and someone wanted to make sure the Nazis would never find the trophy in Italy. It was Italian Ottorino Barassi, vice president of both FIFA and Italian Football Federation (FIGC) who kept the trophy. He hid it under his bed in a shoe box after having it secretly transported from a bank in Rome. The Nazis have never found it.

In the year 1946, soon after World War II, the name ‘Victory’ trophy changed into the Jules Rimet trophy. This name change was introduced to honour the FIFA president Jules Rimet.

FIFA History

Pickles the hero

Another World Cup trophy adventure happened 4 months before the 1966 World Cup. On March 20 1966 the trophy was stolen during an exhibition in Central Hall Westminster in London. Only after 7 days the trophy was found, but it wasn’t a human who found it. It was a dog with the name Pickles who found the trophy in front of a wheel of their neigbour’s car in Norwood South London.

His owner David Corbett wanted to make a phone call from a kiosk and brought his dog Pickles with him. When Pickles found the trophy all wrapped up in newspaper, David quickly read the words Uruguay, Brazil and Germany on a statue while unwrapping. He quickly realised as a sports fan it was the missing Jules Rimet trophy. David Corbett received £3,000 as a reward and both he and Pickles were invited for the celebration banquet after England won the Final.

The Jules Rimet trophy was for the last time awarded after the 1970 World Cup Final. Since Brazil was the first country to win a World Cup 3 times, they were allowed to keep the Jules Rimet trophy. For years the trophy was displayed in the Brazilian Football Confederation headquarters, until December 1983 when it was stolen for the 2nd time. Unlike in 1966, there was no dog or person who found it. The trophy was never found. To this day it remains a mystery as to what happened to the original Jules Rimet trophy. Many believe that the trophy was melted to produce gold bars for sale in Rio de Janeiro. The Confederation has now a replica of the trophy with the 1930 -1970 World Cup winners engraved on the bottom.

Since Brazil kept the Jules Rimet in 1970, it was time for a different trophy for the 1974 World Cup. 53 designs were received from different sculptures around the world, but it was Silvio Gazzaniga’s design that won. The new trophy shows 2 men holding planet Earth.The words ‘FIFA WORLD CUP’ are engraved on the foot of the statue.

FIFA History

FIFA World Cup trophy: 36.5 centimeters (14.4 inches) tall, made of 5 kg (11 lb) of 18 carat (75%) gold with a base (13 centimeters [5.1 inches] in diameter) and contains two layers of the mineral malachite

Silvio Gazzaniga stated the following about 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.”

At the bottom of the FIFA World Cup trophy, the team winning a World Cup will be engraved on it. The text states the year in numbers and the country. A total of 17 countries can be engraved at the bottom. 10 World Cups have been organised between 1974 and 2010. This means 10 countries are already engraved underneath the trophy. After the 2038 World Cup there won’t be anymore space left.

Unlike with the Jules Rimet trophy, the FIFA World Cup trophy is FIFA’s property. Therefore the winner of a World Cup can only keep a gold plated replica of the trophy rather than the original solid gold version.

Although the Jules Rimet trophy became permanent property of 3 times World Cup champion Brazil, the FIFA World Cup trophy has no such rule. No rules exist such as for a country to keep the trophy after an X amount of World Cup wins.  We can only speculate when a new trophy is going to be introduced, or how the new World Cup trophy will look like for the 2042 World Cup…(that’s a loooong time from now!).

FIFA Awards

Special FIFA World Cup Awards have been awarded for all World Cups so far. Both teams and players are rewarded for the excellent performance and contribution to the tournament. Not all the current 6 existing awards have been awarded in all tournaments, but even the first World Cup received a few of them retroactively. The awards started to be awarded since 1970 with the exception of the Golden Boot/Shoe. On each World Cup FIFA history page you can see the sections FIFA awards and FIFA All-Star Team. The history pages will state when the award is introduced for the first time. So remember, the awards regarding the older World Cups were only awarded many years later. Let’s go through each one of them.

Golden Ball

FIFA History Awards

The Golden Ball (also called Adidas Golden Ball since 1982) is awarded to the best player of the World Cup. This doesn’t mean he scored the highest amount of goals, this merely means the player showed a fantastic performance. The Silver and Bronze ball winners are the 2nd and 3rd best players of the tournament. It is the FIFA technical committee who creates a shortlist which includes candidates for The Golden Ball Award. The winner is eventually chosen by counting the votes of media members. The award was first awarded in 1982.Retrospectively the award has been awarded to players of all the previous World Cups since 1930.

Golden Boot

FIFA History Awards

The Golden Boot (also called Adidas Golden Shoe/Boot since 1982) is awarded to the player who scored the most goals in the tournament. Before 2010, it was officially called Golden Shoe. Both the Silver and Bronze Boot or Shoe are awarded to the 2nd and 3rd top scorer of the tournament. Unlike the Golden Shoe which was awarded for the first time in 1930, both the Silver and Bronze Shoe were introduced only in the 1994 World Cup. If there were more top scorers who have scored the same amount of goals, given assists will be considered as well. If the amount of assists is hard to analyze, the time played will be considered. It’s the FIFA Technical Study Group who analyzes the assists and playing time when necessary. Although this rule will be implemented when necessary, both 1962 and 1994 World Cups contain more than 1 player to have won the Golden Boot.

Golden Glove Award

FIFA History Awards

FIFA History AwardsThe Golden Glove Award (also calledAdidas Golden Gloveaward) is awarded to the best goalkeeper of the tournament. It was for the first time awarded in USA ’94. Before the 2010 World Cup the award was named the Yashin award, honouring late legendary Soviet keeper Lev Yashin who played in the 1958, 1962, 1966 and 1970 World Cups. It’s the FIFA Technical Study Group that chooses the winner for this award. Although this award is specifically for goalkeepers, they are still able to win the Golden Ball award as well.

Best Young Player Award

FIFA History Awards

The Best Young Player Award is awarded to the best player with the age of 21 and under. This award has been awarded for the first time in the 2006 World Cup. It was then officially called Gillette Best Young Player Award. In the 2010 World Cup, it was officially called the Hyundai Best Young Player Award. In order to be able to win this award, the winner has to be at most 21 years old. The winner is decided by the FIFA Technical Study together with the FIFA website election results. FIFA wanted to ‘award’ this award retroactively to the best young players to have played in previous World Cups. Therefore a survey was launched on FIFA’s official website where the winners of the Best Young Player Award were chosen of the World Cups between 1958 and 2002.

FIFA Fair Play Trophy

FIFA History Awards

The FIFA Fair Play Trophy is awarded to the team who has the best record of fair play. Fair play means few to no yellow or red cards received, following the rules of the game and sportive and honest behavior on the field. Only teams who have at least reached the 2nd round are eligible for this award. The first FIFA Fair Play Trophy has been awarded in 1970. This was however only a certificate. Only in the 1982 World Cup, a gold ‘Sport Billy’ trophy was awarded as well. Sport Billy was a football playing cartoon character from 1980 and became an icon for FIFA Fair play. After 1994, the trophy was replaced by a more simple and elegant trophy (see picture). It’s the FIFA Fair Play Committee which creates a points system and criteria which result in the winner of this award. It is not only a trophy and a diploma that are won, a fair play medal for each player and official are also won. Last but not least, football equipment worth thousands to be used for youth development is also awarded.

Most Entertaining Team

FIFA History Awards

The Most Entertaining Team award isawarded to the team that has entertained the public most during the tournament. A criterion is that the team has a positive contribution to the tournament’s atmosphere. The winner is determined by a poll of the general public and has been awarded since 1994 till 2006. For unknown reasons, this award wasn’t awarded in the 2010 World Cup. Maybe we will see this award again in the 2014 World Cup?

All-Star Team

The FIFA All-Star Team consists of the best players of the tournament. From the 1994 World Cup till the 2006 World Cup it was called MasterCard FIFA All-Star Team. There is the goalkeeper, defenders, midfielders and forwards. Since 2010, a coach is included as well. The All-Star Team players of different World Cups were chosen in different ways. The first All-Star team to be announced by a FIFA technical group was in 1998. Before, there were the journalists and experts who chose the best players of the previous World Cups. In 2010 the All-Star team was chosen by introducing an online voting contest. The All-Star team from 1930 till 1994 contains 11 players(except for 1974 and 1990), which increased to 16 players in 1998. In 2006 there was a total of 23 players, which got reduced immensely to 11 players again in the 2010 All-Star Team.

FIFA Confederations

There are 6 confederations which are recognized by FIFA. Each confederation regulates and oversees the football rules being respected in a particular continent. Both nation competitions and club competitions are regulated for both men and women teams. Each country can be a member of a confederation when a national association is established.  A national association does practically the same as a confederation, but only for the country.

Unlike these confederations, the national associations of each country are a FIFA member, but only when they are a member of a confederation. As a FIFA member, the country is allowed to qualify for a World Cup. FIFA has in total 209 national associations around the world. Of the 209 members, only 32 will participate in the 2014 World Cup Brazil.

FIFA History

The following confederations exist:

UEFA (Union of European Football Associations)


UEFA is the administrative body for association football in Europe and partially Asia (e.g. Israel and Kazakhstan). The confederation is established in 1954 and is located in Nyon, Switzerland. UEFA consists of 54 national association members and only 13 UEFA members will participate in the 2014 World Cup Brazil.

Of the 54 members, only 32 have participated in at least 1 World Cup (including the 2014 World Cup):

World Cups
Germany 1934-1938, 1954-2014 18
Italy 1934-1954, 1962-2014 18
France 1930-1938, 1954-1958, 1966, 1978-1986, 1998-2014 14
Spain 1934, 1950, 1962-1966, 1978-2014 14
England 1950-1970, 1982-1990, 1998-2014 14
Belgium 1930-1938, 1954, 1970, 1982-2002, 2014 12
Serbia 1930, 1950-1962, 1974, 1982, 1990, 1998, 2006-2010 11
Sweden 1934-1950, 1958, 1970-1978, 1990-1994, 2002-2006 11
Netherlands 1934-1938, 1974-1978, 1990-1998, 2006-2014 10
Switzerland 1934-1954, 1962-1966, 1994, 2006-2014 10
Russia 1958-1970, 1982-1994, 2002, 2014 10
Czech Republic 1934-1938, 1954-1962, 1970, 1982, 1990, 2006 9
Hungary 1934-1938, 1954-1966, 1978-1986 9
Scotland 1954-1958, 1974-1990, 1998 8
Romania 1930-1938, 1970, 1990-1998 7
Austria 1934, 1954-1958, 1978-1982, 1990, 1998 7
Poland 1938, 1974-1986, 2002-2006 7
Bulgaria 1962-1974, 1986, 1994-1998 7
Portugal 1966, 1986, 2002-2014 6
Denmark 1986, 1998-2002, 2010 4
Croatia 1998-2006, 2014 4
Norway 1938, 1994-1998 3
Northern Ireland 1958, 1982-1986 3
Ireland 1990-1994, 2002 3
Greece 1994, 2010-2014 3
Turkey 1954, 2002 2
Slovenia 2002, 2010 2
Wales 1958 1
Israel 1970 (as AFC member) 1
Ukraine 2006 1
Slovakia 2010 1
Bosnia and Herzegovina 2014 1

Russia is allocated the Soviet Union team record by FIFA. Russia participated as Soviet Union for the last time in the 1990 World Cup. 4 years later in the 1994 World Cup, Russia participated for the first time as Russia.

Czech Republic is allocated the Czechoslovakia team record by FIFA. Czech Republic participated as Czechoslovakia for the last time in the 1990 World Cup. In the 2006 World Cup, Czech Republic participated for the first time as Czech Republic.

Serbia has a more complicated story! Serbia is allocated the Yugoslavia team record by FIFA. They participated as Yugoslavia for the last time in the 1998 World Cup. In the 2006 World Cup they played as Serbia and Montenegro. Montenegro became a separate country in 2006. Serbia was then allocated the Serbia and Montenegro team record. In the 2010 World Cup, Serbia participated for the first time as Serbia.

CONMEBOL (South American Football Confederation)

FIFA History CONMEBOLCONMEBOL is the administrative body for association football in South America and is located in Luque, Uruguay. The confederation was founded in 1916, making it the oldest confederation in the world. There are only 10 members, which means CONMEBOL has the lowest amount of members of all confederations. Of the 10, only 5 CONMEBOL members including Brazil will participate in the 2014 World cup Brazil and qualified directly. A 6th CONMEBOL country (Uruguay) joined the others since they won the intercontinental play-off against an AFC member (Jordan).

Of the 10 members, only 9 have participated in at least 3 World Cups (including the 2014 World Cup):


World Cups
Brazil 1930 – 2014 20
Argentina 1930 – 1934, 1958 – 1966, 1974 – 2014 16
Uruguay 1930, 1950-1954, 1962-1974, 1986-1990, 2002, 2010-2014 12
Chile 1930, 1950, 1962-1966, 1974, 1982, 1998, 2010-2014 9
Paraguay 1930, 1950, 1958, 1986, 1998-2010 8
Colombia 1962, 1990-1998, 2014 5
Peru 1930, 1970, 1978-1982 4
Bolivia 1930, 1950, 1994 3
Ecuador 2002-2006, 2014 3


Venezuela is the only CONMEBOL country which has never qualified for a World Cup.

CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football)


CONCACAF is the administrative body for association football in North America, Central America and the Caribbean. The confederation was founded in 1961 and is located in Miami, USA. There exist a total of 41 national association members, and only 3 CONCACAF members qualified directly for the 2014 World Cup Brazil. A 4th CONCACAF country (Mexico) joined them since they have won the intercontinental play-off against an OFC member (New Zealand).

CONCACAF is divided in 3 regional federations, each concentrating on 1 part of the continent:

  • North America Zone (NAFU)
  • Central America Zone (UNCAF)
  • Carribean Zone (CFU)

Of the 41 members, only 10 have participated in at least 1 World Cup (including the 2014 World Cup):

World Cups
Mexico 1930,1950 -1970, 1978, 1986,1994 – 2014 15
United States 1930,1934,1950,1990 – 2014 10
Costa Rica 1990,2006,2010-2014 4
Honduras 1982,2010-2014 3
El Salvador 1970,1982 2
Cuba 1938 1
Haiti 1974 1
Canada 1986 1
Jamaica 1998 1
Trinidad and Tobago 2006 1

AFC (Asian Football Confederation)

FIFA History AFCAFC is the administrative body for association football in Asia and is located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. AFC was founded in 1954 and has currently 47 members. Only 4 AFC countries will participate in the 2014 World Cup Brazil. A 5th AFC country (Jordan) could have joined as well if they had won the intercontinental play-off against a CONMEBOL member (Uruguay).

AFC is divided in 4 regional federations, each concentrating on 1 part of the continent:

  • West Asian Football Federation (WAFF)
  • East Asian Football Federation (EAFF)
  • Central and South Asian Football Federation (CSAFF)
  • ASEAN Football Federation (AFF)

ASEAN stands for  Association of South East Asian Nations.

Of the 47 members, only 12 have participated in at least 1 World Cup (including the 2014 World Cup):

World Cups
South Korea 1954, 1986-2014 9
Japan 1998-2014 5
Iran 1978, 1998, 2006, 2014 4
Saudi Arabia 1994-2006 4
Australia 1974, 2006 (as OFC member), 2010, 2014 4
North Korea 1966, 2010 2
Iraq 1986 1
United Arab Emirates 1990 1
China PR 2002 1
Kuwait 1982 1
Indonesia 1938 1
Israel 1970 1

Indonesia participated as Dutch East indies in the 1938 World Cup. Israel participated as an AFC country in 1970, but became an UEFA member in 1994. India did qualify once which was for the 1950 World Cup. Nevertheless they ended up withdrawing before the start of the tournament.

CAF (Confederation of African Football)

FIFA History CAF

CAF is the administrative body for association football in Africa, and is located in Cairo, Egypt. CAF is founded in 1954 and has 56 national association members. Only 5 CAF countries will participate in the 2014 World Cup Brazil.

CAF is divided in 5 regional federations, each concentrating on 1 part of the continent:

  • Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA)
  • Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA)
  • West African Football Union/Union du Football de l’Ouest Afrique (WAFU/UFOA)
  • Union of North African Federations (UNAF)
  • Union des Fédérations du Football de l’Afrique Centrale (UNIFFAC)

Of the 56 members, only 13 have participated in at least 1 World Cup (including the 2014 World Cup):

World Cups
Cameroon 1982, 1990-2002, 2010-2014 7
Nigeria 1994-2002, 2010-2014 5
Algeria 1982-1986, 2010-2014 4
Morocco 1970, 1986, 1994-1998 4
Tunisia 1978, 1998-2006 4
Ghana 2006-2014 3
Ivory Coast 2006-2014 3
South Africa 1998-2002, 2010 3
Egypt 1934, 1990 2
Angola 2006 1
Congo DR 1974 1
Senegal 2002 1
Togo 2006 1

Congo DR participated as Zaïre in the 1974 World Cup.

OFC (Oceania Football Confederation)

FIFA History OFCOFC is the administrative body for association football in Oceania, and is located in Auckland, New Zealand. The confederation was founded in 1966, making it the youngest confederation in the world. There are 14 members which are all islands. The OFC doesn’t have lots of influence due to the size of the countries and the fact that football is not considered as a popular sport. Before 2006, it was Australia which was the most largest and successful federation. However since they joined the AFC in 2006, it is now New Zealand that is the largest. Only 1 OFC country (New Zealand) was allowed to play the intercontinental play-off.This would have resulted in a 2014 World Cup ticket if they had beaten a CONCACAF member (Mexico).

Of the 14 members, only 2 have participated in at least 2 World Cups (including the 2014 World Cup):


World Cups
Australia 1974, 2006, 2010, 2014 (from 2010 as AFC member) 4
New Zealand 1982, 2010 2


FIFA World Cup Dream Team

The World Cup Dream Team was published in 2002 by FIFA. This is the most recent version of an all-time World Cup Dream Team. FIFA conducted an internet  poll for fans to select this Dream Team.Diego Maradona received the most votes. Pelé came in 2nd and Zinedine Zidane came in 3rd of having received the most votes. The table shows for which country and in which World Cups they have left their legacies.

Goalkeeper Defenders Midfielders Forwards
Lev Yashin(Soviet Union)
(1958,1962,1966, 1970)
Paolo Maldini(Italy) (1990,1994, 1998,2002)
Franz Beckenbauer(Germany) (1966,1970,1974)
Roberto Carlos(Brazil) (1998,2002,2006)
Roberto Baggio(Italy) (1990,1994,1998)
Zinedine Zidane (France) (1998,2002,2006)
Michel Platini(France) (1978,1982,1986)
Diego Maradona(Argentina) (1982,1986,1990, 1994)
Romário (Brazil) (1990,1994)
Johan Cruijff(Netherlands) (1974)
Pelé (Brazil) (1958,1962,1966,1970)

FIFA World Cup Facts

The organisation of 19 World Cups means the existence of many interesting facts you definitely need to know! So much FIFA history has been written, and this will continue with each World Cup to come! So here we go, did you know:


  • 8 different countries have won a World Cup
  • 6 of the 8 countries won a World Cup in their homeland
  • Brazil, Spain and Argentina are the only ones to have won a World Cup outside their own continent
  • 76 countries have participated at least once in a World Cup
  • So far only European and South American countries have won a World Cup
  • UEFA countries have won 10 World Cups in total
  • CONMEBOL countries have won 9 World Cups in total
  • CONCACAF’s best performance was USA (1930) reaching the Semi-Final
  • AFC’s best performance was South Korea (2002) reaching the Semi-Final
  • CAF’s best performance are Cameroon (1990), Senegal (2002) and Ghana (2010) reaching the Quarter -Finals
  • OFC’s best performance is Australia (2006) reaching the 2nd round


  • Most appearances: Brazil – 19 (all of them)
  • Most wins: Brazil – 5
  • Most Final losses without having won: The Netherlands – 3
  • Most runners-up: Germany – 4
  • Most appearances: Brazil and Germany – 7
  • Most championships: Pele, Brazil – 3 (1958, 1962, 1970)
  • Most goals scored: Ronaldo – 15 (Brazil 1998–2006)
  • Most goals in 1 tournament: Just Fontaine – 13 (France, 1958)
  • Most goals in a match by player: Oleg Slanko -  (Russia-Cameroon in 1994)
  • Most goals in a match: 12 (Austria-Switzerland 7:5 in 1954)
  • Most wins as a coach: Vittorio Pozzo – 2 (Italy, 1934 and 1938)
  • Most matches won: Brazil – 67
  • Most matches drawn: Italy – 21
  • Most matches lost: Mexico – 24
  • Most goals scored in a tournament: 171 (1998)
  • Most tournaments by a coach: Carlos Alberto Parreira - 6
  • Most tournaments by a coach with different nations: Carlos Alberto Parreira - 6
  • Highest attended match: Uruguay-Brazil, around 205,000 (in 1950 in Maracanã stadium)
  • Quickest goal: Hakan Şükür - 11 seconds (Turkey-South Korea in 2002)
  • Quickets red card: José Batista - 56 seconds (Uruguay-Scotland in 1986)
  • Most yellow cards: Referee Valentin Ivanov - 16 (Portugal-Netherlands in 2006)
  • Youngest player: Norman Whiteside (17 years and 41 days in 1982)
  • Oldest player and goalscorer: Roger Milla (42 in 1994)
  • Youngest goalscorer: Pelé (17 years and 249 days in 1958)
  • Biggest victory: 9:0 (Hungary-Korea Republic, 1954 and Yugoslavia-Zaire, 1974) and 10:1 (Hungary-El Salvador, 1982)
  • Players with 2 World Cup hat-tricks: 4 (Sandor Kocsis, Just Fontaine, Gerd Muller and Gabriel Batistuta)
  • Most tournaments played: 5 - Mexican Antonio Carbajal (1950-1966) and German Lothar Matthäus (1982 – 1998)
  • World Cup won as trainer and coach: Brazilian Mário Zagallo(1958,1962, 1970) and German Franz Beckenbauer (1974, 1990)
  • The 2010 World Cup is the first World Cup where no country made their debut
  • South Africa (2010) was the first host country to have beeneliminated in the first round
  • Longest gap between successive appearances in a World Cup is 56 years: Egypt (1934,1990) and Norway (1938,1994)

FIFA introduced the FIFA World ranking in December 1992. This list contains the ranked FIFA members based on their match results. 7 countries so far managed to hold the top position: Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. Brazil spent the longest time on top. The country currently occupying the number 1 spot is Spain. Check it out! FIFA changes the list on a monthly basis.

FIFA World Cup in Action

FIFA World Cup All Finals (1930-2010)



Fifa World Cup 1930-2002 – 100 Best Goals



Top 50 FIFA World Cup Goals



Greatest World Cup Goals – 1970-2010



50 Most shocking moments in World Cup history



Top 10 World Cup Goal Celebrations



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