How the FIFA World Cup Started
The 22nd World Cup just concluded in Qatar. Argentina was the winner. What is now the world’s most watched sporting event didn’t even exist a century ago, which may come as a surprise to you. Uruguay hosted the first world cup in 1930.
To make this tournament more significant and impactful, FIFA invited all the nations, and there was no qualification round for entry. But the strange thing was that only 13 teams participated.
There were numerous reasons for this much lower attendance at the world cup of 1930; one of the biggest reasons was the Great Depression of the 1930s. At that time, most nations were recovering from the aftereffects of the war.
During this World Cup of the 1930s, Uruguay won after battling with their arch-rival, Argentina. The USA team also played in this tournament.
The FIFA World Cup takes place after every four years, but only a few exceptions happen. During World War 2, the World Cup tournament stopped for a few years. Two World Cups got canceled in 1942 and 1946.
After the war ended, the World Cup resumed in 1950. After the war, the World Cup got more global attention. In 1954, FIFA started World Cup Broadcasting on TV.
More people tuned into the FIFA World Cup and watched the whole thing. The 1950s were considered the years in which countries’ economies were booming and buying power of people started to grow.
In 1958, when Pele made history as the youngest player to score a goal in a world cup game, the FIFA World Cup had already begun to produce great players.
Pele became more famous when he scored a winning goal against Wales in the quarterfinals. Pele helped Brazil win the World Cup of 1958. The young champion’s contributions were crucial to Brazil’s World Cup victory.
Gradually but surely, the World Cup’s audience grew, and the tournament gained renown all over the globe. The teams and players started getting some attention.
In 1962, 52 teams participated in the game. Brazil won the World Cup, and Chile’s host nation stood at number 3. Albert from Hungary was the top goal scorer in this tournament. Pele was able to score only one goal in this World Cup.
England hosted the World Cup of 1966, and they won this World Cup as well. The leading goal scorer of this tournament was Eusebio, a Portuguese player who scored nine goals. The runner–up team in this tournament was West Germany.
In 1970, Mexico hosted the World Cup. But this time, Brazil presented itself as a strong contender for the world cup, and their hard work proved that they finally won the world cup.
The leading goal scorer of this tournament was Gerd Muller, with ten goals. The Brazilian legend helped the team to win the World Cup with four goals.
Germany hosted the 1974 World Cup. The winner of the 1974 World Cup was West Germany, and the runner-up was the Netherlands. Polish forward Lato scored seven times in this competition, making him the tournament’s top scorer.
Argentina both hosted and won the 1978 World Cup. During this world cup in 1978, the runner-up team was the Netherlands. In this World Cup, Mario of Argentina scored the most goals.
Spain hosted the World Cup of 1982. The winner of the World Cup was Italy, and the runner-up nation was West Germany. The leading goal scorer of the tournament was Paolo from Italy.
The total number of people who watched this world cup in stadiums was 2.1 million.
Mexico hoisted the 1986 World Cup again, and this time Argentina won. The runner-up team was West Germany. The leading goal scorer was a Gray Liner from England.
The total number of people who watched the tournament in stadiums was 2.4 million.
Italy hosted the World Cup of 1990, and the winning team was Germany; this was their third title. The team they beat to win was Argentina. The leading goal scorer of the tournament was Schillaci from Italy.
With this year’s increase to 2.5 million, it’s clear that the event is gaining popularity.
The United States, the strongest country in North America, hosted the 1994 World Cup. The World Cup trophy was awarded to Brazil. Italy came in second place. The leading goal scorer was Oleg, with six goals.
In 1994, there was a sudden surge in the number of people who watched the Cup, around 3.6 million.
In 1998, the world cup was hosted by France and even won by them. The runner-up nation was Brazil. The total number of matches played during this World Cup was 64. Davor scored six goals and became the top goal scorer of 1998.
Over 2.8 million people watched the World Cup in France.
In 2002, South Korea and Japan hosted the World Cup together. The winner of this Cup was Brazil, and this was the fifth time Brazil had won the FIFA World Cup. The leading goal scorer was Ronaldo of Brazil. He scored eight goals.
Germany hosted the 18th FIFA World Cup in 2006. A total of 64 matches were played during this event. Italy won this World Cup, and this was their fourth title. The runner-up nation was France. The leading goal scorer was from Germany, Miroslav Klose, with five goals.
South Africa hosted their first world cup in 2010, and the winner of this world cup was Spain, and the runner-up nation was the Netherlands. David Villa from Spain was the leading goal scorer of the world cup with five goals.
Brazil hosted the World Cup of 2014, and Germany won, and this was the 4th FIFA World Cup title. The leading goal-scorer was James Rodriguez from Colombia, with six goals.
The number grew drastically to 3.4 million people who watched the World Cup in stadiums.
In 2018, the World Cup was hosted by Russia. France was the winner of the World Cup. Harry Kane of England was the leading goal-scorer with six goals.
Russia has a lot of tourist attractions, and this year, 3 million people watched the World Cup.
Qatar hosted the 22nd World Cup in 2022. The world cup winner was Argentina, under the captaincy of Lionel Messi. This was the Argentina team’s third FIFA World Cup title. The runner-up team was France. The leading goal scorer was Kylian Mbappe.
Qatar spent $230 billion on world cup infrastructure, which is one of the main reasons this Cup attracted a lot of football fans; 3.4 million people came to Qatar to watch the world cup.