From 1930 to 1970, the Jules Rimet Trophy (designed by French sculptor Abel Lafleur) was awarded to the Soccer World Cup winner; it was 35cm high, weighed 3.8 kg, was made of sterling silver and gold plated, with a blue base made of semi-precious stone (lapis lazuli). There was a gold plate on each of the four sides of the base, on which were engraved the name of the trophy as well as the names of the nine winners between 1930 and 1970. The trophy was in the shape of an octagonal cup, supported by a winged figure representing Nike, the ancient Greek goddess of victory. Originally, the Jules Rimet Trophy was called "Victory" but referred to as the World Cup (or Coupe du Monde), but in 1946 it was renamed after Jules Rimet (the FIFA president who set up the first tournament).
During the Second World War, the Italian Vice-President of FIFA, Dr.Ottorino Barassi, hid the Jules Rimet Trophy in a shoe-box under his bed thus saving it from falling into the hands of occupying troops.
On the 20th March 1966, the trophy disappeared while on display as part of the build-up to the World Cup in England (in a public exhibition at Westminister Central Hall) and was found 7 days later, buried under a tree at the bottom of a suburban garden hedge in South Norwood (South London), by a little dog called Pickles. Lady luck showed her face once again and the trophy had such good fortune that if it were around today you might kiss it for luck before playing at the online casino. Unfortunately, that is where the trophy's luck ran out. The story continues...
The trophy was won outright by Brazil when they became world champions for the third time in 1970. The trophy was stolen on 19 December 1983 in Rio de Janeiro, and has never been recovered (it is suspected to have been melted down by the thieves). The trophy had a couple of narrow escapes before: - -
The current (July 2006) Soccer World Cup trophy was first presented to the 1974 World Cup winning captain, Franz Beckenbauer of West Germany. It was chosen as the best of 53 designs which were submitted to FIFA by experts from seven countries. The trophy is 36.8cm high, made of solid 18-carat gold, weighs 4,970 grams and the base contains two layers of semi-precious malachite . The trophy was designed by Silvio Gazzaniga, an Italian artist.
According to FIFA rules, the new trophy cannot be won outright, as the regulations state that it shall remain FIFA's own possession. The winners keep it until the next Soccer World Cup and receive a gold-plated replica (rather than the solid gold original).
Only 5 countries have won the World Cup since the new trophy was introduced. The name of each winning team and the year they won is engraved, in English, on the base of the Trophy. There are enough spaces to last until the Soccer World Cup 2038.
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