FIFA World Cup history
- From its humble beginnings in Uruguay in 1930 to a global phenomenon, the FIFA World Cup (WC) has grown as a passion for both foot-ballers and fans. With Uruguay, the football champion in the 1924 and 1928 Olympics, along with celebrating 100 years of Independence in 1930, FIFA decided to give the country the hosting rights for the first World Cup.
- Only 13 nations participated in the first World Cup and Uruguay won. FIFA then asked teams to qualify for the following World Cup, held in Italy. Uruguay did not defend its title, miffed with the non-appearance of European nations on its soil. Italy went on to win in 1934.
- The succeeding edition saw the host nation and defending champion given direct entries into the finals. Italy retained the title while many South American nations boycotted the event because of the finals staying in Europe. The next two tournaments were cancelled because of World War II.
- The 1950 World Cup in Brazil saw England participating for the first time. The competition did away with knockouts and had two group phases.
- A 17-year old Pele, displaying skills beyond his age, became the youngest player to win the WC. With the likes of Garrincha by his side, Pele and Selecao again won the World Cup in 1962.
- England hosted the 1966 event and won, and it would be remembered for many things. The Jules Rimet trophy was lost and found, South Africa was banned for apartheid, the first WC mascot was unveiled, and North Korea became the first Asian nation to enter the last eight.
- In 1970, Brazil coasted to a dominating triumph, with Pele becoming the first and till now only player to win three WCs. The team, which also had the likes of Gerson and Tostao, is widely recognised as the best ever football team.
- Now in its 80th year, the World Cup touches down in Africa. The African nation, riddled with economic strife and racial tensions, has done all the spadework for the quadrennial event.