Let the SAMBA begin!
Samba reminds me of one song in particular Brazil la la la la la la Brazil. Don’t know about other people but the Soccer fans are desperately waiting for the World Cup 2014 to begin in Brazil. Come June and we will have pleasure of watching the most expensive sporting tournament being organized in the land of the Great SAMBA music- Brazil.
The FIFA world cup has given us great moments to remember in its history of the modern football game. Well, of course we don’t need much of an introduction for the greatest game on mother earth but still we could use some of our time by looking back at what the game has given us. The Brazilian Flair, German Resilience and Spanish Tiki-Taka always make people happy while watching the game.
The world’s first international football competition was staged at the 1920 Summer Olympics, held in and won by, Belgium. The competition continued within the Olympics during 1924 and 1928, and due to it’s success FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association), decided to stage its own international football competition outside of the Olympics. Uruguay were currently two-time world champions having won the Olympic competition in 1924 and 1928, and to celebrate their centenary of independence, FIFA named Uruguay as the host for the first inaugural World Cup tournament in 1930. In the final match, Uruguay defeated Argentina 4-2 in front of a crowd of 93,000 people in Montevideo, becoming the first nation to win the FIFA World Cup.
The most successful country in World Cup history is Brazil, having claimed the trophy five times in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002. Brazil is widely held as the greatest nation to ever play the game, and as the saying goes, “England invented it, Brazil perfected it.” Italy has won the second highest number of World Cup titles with four, in 1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006, the most of any European country. Next is Germany with three titles, in 1954, 1974 and 1990. Uruguay (1930 and 1950) and Argentina (1978 and 1986) have won two each. Traditionally competitive at football on a world stage England (1966), France (1998) and Spain (2010) have all claimed only one each. Countries who have won the FIFA World Cup display their success with a gold star for each World Cup title, placed proudly above their nations badge on their international football shirt.
World Cup football is big business, according to records, teams in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa had a little more than just their countries to play for. Total prize money on offer was $420 million and the winner took home $30 million. FIFA also made a $40 million payment to domestic clubs and each of the 32 entrants received $1 million for preparation costs.
Over the years, World Cups have attracted their share of controversies, so as I was taking a closer look at it’s history, I uncovered many interesting facts. Did you know that the highest attendance for a single match was in the 1950 final? The official attendance was 199,854 for the match between Brazil and Uruguay at Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Unfortunately, there will be no new attendance records set this time around as the Estadio do Maracana current capacity stands at 76,935.
FIFA WORLD CUP THROUGH THE YEARS
Because of a dispute, a different ball was used in each half, one chosen by each team. Argentina’s ball was used for the first half, and Uruguay’s ball was used for the second half.
The group stage used in the first World Cup was discarded in favour of a straight knockout tournament. If the score was tied after extra time, the match would be replayed the next day.
Because of anger over the decision to hold a second successive World Cup in Europe, neither Uruguay nor Argentina entered the competition, while Spain became the first country to be prevented from competing by war.
World Cup did not take place due to World War II.
In the aftermath of the war, much of Europe lay in ruins. As a result, FIFA had some difficulties finding a country interested in hosting the event, since many governments believed that their scarce resources should to be devoted to more urgent priorities.
The tournament used a unique format. The 16 qualifying teams were divided into four groups of four teams each. Each group contained two seeded teams and two unseeded teams. Only 4 matches were scheduled for each group, each pitting a seeded team against an unseeded team.
This World Cup saw the entry and qualification of the Soviet Union for the first time, and the qualification of all the United Kingdom’s home nations: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
The average goals per match dropped to 2.78, under 3 for the first time in the history of the competition (the average has never been above 3 since).
World Cup Willie, the mascot for the 1966 competition, was the first World Cup mascot, and one of the first mascots to be associated with a major sporting competition. To this date it is the only major championship England has won.
The tournament was won by Brazil, who claimed their third World Cup title by defeating another two-time former champion, Italy, 4–1 in the final, thereby winning the right to permanently keep the Jules Rimet Trophy.
1974, West Germany:
The tournament marked the first time that the current trophy, the FIFA World Cup Trophy, created by the Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga, was awarded
More controversy surrounded the host, Argentina, as all of their games in the first round kicked off at night, giving the Argentines the advantage of knowing where they stood in the group. This issue would arise again in Spain 1982, which prompted FIFA to change the rules so that the final two group games in subsequent World Cups would be played simultaneously.
For the first time, the World Cup finals expanded from 16 to 24 teams. This allowed more teams, especially from Africa and Asia, to participate. This was the first World Cup in which teams from all six continental confederations participated in the finals, something that would not happen again until 2006.
Colombia had been originally chosen to host the competition by FIFA, but largely due to economic reasons, was not able to do so and officially resigned in 1982. Mexico was selected as the new host in May 1983.
It generated a record low goals-per-game average of just 2.21- a record that still stands to date – and a then-record 16 red cards were handed out, including the first ever dismissal in a final. Following the 1990 World Cup, the back-pass rule was introduced in 1992 to discourage time-wasting and overly defensive play, and wins were awarded three points in the group stage of the 1994 World Cup to encourage more attack-minded tactics and discourage the strategy of playing for a draw.
The 1994 World Cup was the best attended in history, with average attendance of nearly 69,000. The total attendance of nearly 3.6 million for the final tournament remains the highest in World Cup history, despite the expansion of the competition from 24 to 32 teams. The finals were also the first time that players had their shirt numbers printed on the centre front of the shirt, as well as their names printed in the back of their jerseys in a World Cup, just like other American sports did, to make their identification easier for sportscasters. This custom followed from Euro 92, and has followed ever since.
For the first time in the competition, the group stage was expanded from 24 teams to 32, with eight groups of four. A total of 64 matches were played in 10 stadiums located across 10 different host cities.
2002, Japan and South Korea:
Initially, South Korea, Japan, and Mexico presented three rival bids. However, the two Asian countries agreed to unite their bids shortly before the decision was made, and they were chosen unanimously in preference to Mexico. This was the first (and so far the only) World Cup to be hosted by two countries.
The 2006 World Cup stands as one of the most watched events in television history, garnering an estimated 26.29 billion non-unique viewers, compiled over the course of the tournament. The final attracted an estimated audience of 715.1 million people. The tournament also saw English referee Graham Poll mistakenly hand out three yellow cards to Croatia’s Josip Simunic in their match against Australia.
2010, South Africa:
It was the first time that the hosts were eliminated in the first round. The English, German and Italian squads were made up of entirely home based players, while only Nigeria had no players from clubs in their own league. In all, players from 52 national leagues entered the tournament.
Tournament prize money:
$8 million – group stage exit (16 teams)
$9 million – round of 16 exit (8 teams)
$14 million – quarter finals exit (4 teams)
$18 million – fourth placed team
$20 million – third placed team
$24 million – runner up
$30 million – World Cup winner
It’s the first time two consecutive World Cups are staged outside Europe and the first time two consecutive World Cups are staged in the Southern Hemisphere. It will also be the first World Cup to use goal-line technology.
Definitely it has to be the greatest, craziest, astonishing and beautiful game on the globe. Waiting eagerly for the 2014 world cup.