Just like the Olympics, the FIFA World Cup comes once every four years. The World Cup presents an opportunity for soccer teams (otherwise known as football outside the United States) to compete for a world title.
The World Cup came to be after Jules Rimet proposed an international football tournament after being inspired by the Olympic games. The first World Cup was held in 1930 in Uruguay. The inaugural tournament proved to be a success, but with a few issues, as only 13 teams were invited to play. Since then, teams took part in a qualification process to earn a spot in the World Cup. Nearly 90 years after the first World Cup was held, there are now 32 teams* who go to the World Cup to win the coveted World Cup trophy.
Each World Cup has football fans excited for their favorite teams. The World Cup is seen by billions of people each year, compared to the Super Bowl which is watched by millions. Flags and team jerseys for the countries are purchased, tickets purchased, and viewing parties. Tears of frustration and joy are shed along with shouts of both anger and happiness. The World Cup is more than just a game for many. It’s the event of a lifetime.
Did you know? FIFA stands for Fédération Internationale de Football Association (French for International Federation of Football Association).
Most Successful: Brazil is the most successful team to have won the World Cup trophy five separate times.
Two Nations, One Games: The only World Cup that was held jointly by two separate countries was in 2002 in Japan and South Korea. They were also the first Asian countries to host.
*As of this writing, there is rumor that the number of teams will go up to 48 in 2022, allowing 16 more teams a chance to compete. If this does not take effect in 2022, then it would most likely take effect in 2026, the original scheduled team number increase.