Football World Cup: The Most Wanted Trophy
The World Cup is a small gold trophy representing the hopes and ambitions of every footballing nation on earth. Since the advent of the World Cup in 1930, there have been two trophies awarded to the winners.The Jules Rimet Trophy was the original prize for winning the World Cup. Originally called simply the World Cup or Coupe du Monde, it was renamed in 1946 to honour the FIFA President Jules Rimet who in 1929 passed a vote to initiate the competition. Designed by Abel Lafleur and made of gold plated sterling silver on a blue base of lapis lazuli, it stood 35 cm high and weighed 3.8 kg.
It was in the shape of an octagonal cup, supported by a winged figure representing Nike, the ancient Greek goddess of victory. During World War II, the trophy was held by Italy. Ottorino Barassi, the Italian vice-president of FIFA, hid it from the Germans in a shoe-box under his bed. Just before the 1966 World Cup Final in England the trophy was stolen during a public exhibition at Westminster Central Hall, but was found just seven days later, wrapped in newspaper at the bottom of a suburban garden hedge in Norwood, South London, by a dog named "Pickles". As a security measure, FIFA secretly manufactured a replica of the trophy for use in the post-match celebrations.
The replica was also used on subsequent occasions until 1970. The replica was sold at an auction in 1997 for $425,015.There were many replicas on eBay at that time. The Brazilian team won the trophy for the third time in 1970, and were rewarded by being allowed to keep it in perpetuity. However, the cup was stolen again in 1983 in Rio de Janeiro and never recovered; it may have been melted down. The Brazilian Football Confederation commissioned a replica of their own. The replacement trophy, officially known as the FIFA World Cup Trophy, was first presented at the 1974 World Cup. Designed by Silvio Gazzaniga, it stands 36 cm tall and is made of 5 kg of 18 carat (75%) solid gold with a base containing two layers of malachite, and depicts two human figures holding up the Earth. The name of the country whose national team wins the tournament is engraved, together with the year, in the bottom side of the trophy. It is not known whether FIFA will retire the trophy after all of the name plaques at the base are filled in; this will occur after the 2038 World Cup.
FIFA's regulations now state that the trophy, unlike its predecessor, cannot be won outright: the winners of the tournament receive it on loan for four years and receive a replica to keep.