Soccer is the world's most popular sport, and there is no stage on earth more grand than the FIFA World Cup. Much like the Olympics, every four years the world turns its eyes toward this massive global event that honours a truly international sport and the fans and athletes that are proud to represent their country.
1930: The World Cup is Born
The World Cup also has an interesting and unique history. The first competition was introduced in 1930 in Uruguay
, with that country taking home the grand prize. Since air travel was not commercialised yet, many of the soccer players had to make a long sea journey to get to Uruguay.
1934: The World Cup Comes to Europe
Italy was the next country to host the event, and by 1934, the home country took home the top prize
. Interestingly enough, Uruguay did not make the trip to Italy to defend their title in 1934, and Italy ended up playing against bordering country Czechoslovakia for the title.
1938: Italy Wins Again in France
World War II was just around the corner and tensions were high as the competition took place in Europe. There were several leading teams missing from the lineup, but nonetheless, Italy took home the cup
against an offense-heavy match with Hungary.
1950: Brazil and Uruguay Face Off in a Heated World Cup
This was the first year Brazil hosted the event, so to begin their impressive start in World Cup history, they built the world's largest stadium, the Maracana. There were 200,000 shocked spectators at the final, as Uruguay upset the heavy favorite Brazil
1954: West Germany Brings World Cup Back to Europe
Despite being two goals down against Hungary in the final, West Germany came back in dramatic fashion
to bring home the World Cup title. This matchup was forever called the "Miracle of Berne."
1958: Brazil Wins Its First
Scandinavia had its moment
in the spotlight when Sweden became the runner-up in their final against Brazil. This was also the first World Cup where soccer fans came to know Pele, a 17-year-old Brazilian prodigy who would take home the cup's first Best Young Player Award.
1962: Brazil Strikes Again in Chile
Pele was injured during the final, but it didn't stop Brazil from taking home the cup once again. This was the year where 4-3-3 tactics came into play
, which Brazil championed and used to change the game forever due to the formation's quick internal passing.
1966: England Finally Gets Its First World Cup
Despite being the inventors of soccer, England had failed to take home the sport's top prize - that is, until 1966, when Geoff Hurst's incredible hat trick sent Britain into a frenzy
1970: Brazil Conquers Yet Another World Cup
This was the first World Cup to be broadcast in colour, so millions of fans from across the world got to see Pele in all of his glory
. With his health back in full force, they beat Italy decidedly in the final, while West Germany came in at third place.
1974: West Germany Hosts - and Wins
The Netherlands put up a good fight, and were considered to take the top prize home in 1974, but West Germany had other plans
. Despite being beaten by their border competition East Germany during group play, West Germany roared back to take the title for the second time in history.
1978: Argentina Hosts - and Wins - Its First Title
In 1978, Argentina gave Brazil a run for their money
as the top country in South America for soccer. The Netherlands had to settle for second place yet again.
1982: Spain Hosts the World Cup
The Italian team - known as the Azzurri - took home the prize
after beating West Germany in the final. France and West Germany also battled in a heart-stopping shootout to compete against Italy that year.
1986: Argentina Wins Again
Although Argentinean-West German final was a thrill to watch
, the quarterfinal against England resulted in one of the most famous goals in World Cup history - the "Hand of God."
1990: West Germany Shines Again
In Italy this time, West Germany hoisted the cup and brought back the crown to Europe
. Italy, the host country, came in third but played with dramatic poise that they are still known for today.
1994: USA hosts, and Brazil Wins
This was the most attended World Cup in history, with Brazil taking home the top prize
- after a 24-year drought - against tough Italian and Swedish teams.
1998: France Hosts and Wins
Les Bleus finally took home their first World Cup
, which was a fitting feat, as the tournament was founded by Jules Rimet, a Frenchman.
2002: Brazil Wins for a Fifth Time
Korea and Japan hosted, with Korea placing fourth - however, it couldn't stop powerhouse Brazil
. Landon Donovan, a newcomer from the U.S., took home the Best Young Player Award.
2006: Italy and France Spar in Dramatic Finish
Soccer fans will never forget the shootout of PKs between Italy and France, with Italy taking home the cup, or Zinedine Zidane's infamous head-butting red card
2010: South Africa Hosts, Spain Wins
The first World Cup in Africa allowed Spain to prevail over the Netherlands
in an exciting final with vuvuzelas and plenty of incredible goals.
Where is the next FIFA World Cup
Very next, 20th FIFA World Cup is going to take place in 2014 in Brazil between June 12th and July 13th
. For 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia was selected as a host country. 4 years later Qatar is going to be smallest country in World Cup history to host FIFA World Cup 2022.