The FIFA World Cup, which is known as football world cup or mainly just world cup, is a worldwide football competition. Only the men’s national teams take place in this world cup which is held every four years since it started at the year 1930 except in 1942 and 1946 because of the World War II.
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32 teams participate in the current format of the world cup tournament in a certain nation which is chosen by votes. The tournament lasts for about a months and this stage is called the world cup finals. Teams begin to compete to book a place in the tournament for like three years before it starts. This stage is called qualification stage. The World Cup is the most widely-viewed sporting event in the world, with an estimated 715.1 million people watching the 2006 final.
Only seven nations won the World Cup title of the last 18 tournaments. Brazil who won the title five times are the only team to have participated in all the tournaments held so far. Italy won the World Cup title four times and are the current holder of the title. Germany won this title three times, Argentina twice and one title for each of Uruguay France and England.
The last World Cup tournament was held in Germany in 2006. The next World Cup will be held in South Africa, between 11 June and 11 July 2010, and the 2014 World Cup will be held in Brazil.
1990 FIFA World Cup Italy
West Germany won FIFA World Cup title for the third time in 1990 as they defeated Argentina in the final 1-0 in Rome. This win made them revenge their defeat by Argentina in the final 4 years later. This victory was really important for Franz Beckenbauer as he won this title as a player and later on he won it as a coach. He was the second person to do this.
The 1990 tournament finals set a first of its type record with only 2.21 goals per match, but definitely there was so much color and drama. The first match of the tournament witnessed a huge unexpected surprise which was a dramatic one, with Cameroon beating Argentina at a magnificently revamped San Siro. Roger Milla the Cameroonian player enjoyed his finest moments. This made people believe that Cameroon might actually do something memorable in this tournament.
This was the second time for Italy to host the FIFA World Cup. 56 years after their 1934 triumph on its lands, they hosted a successful tournament on its own soil. 10 stadiums around the peninsula were repaired to host the finals while two vast new arenas were built in Turin and Bari.
1994 FIFA World Cup USA
The USA hosted the FIFA World Cup 1994 which was one of the very successful tournaments ever which ended with Brazil celebrating their first title after 24 years since they last won it in the year 1970. The final was disappointing for many fans as it was a draw with no goals and it was settled with penalties as Brazil defeated Italy, but that didn’t affect the previous entertainment in the previous matches.
141 goals were scored in this tournament which was the highest number since 1982. The first surprise was Bulgaria surprising the whole world by beating Germany on the way to the semi-finals. Diego Maradona tested positive for drugs and was expelled from the tournament, his team, Argentina, following suit soon after by losing a five-goal thriller to Gheorghe Hagi’s Romania.
There was some drama also in this tournament. Colombia defender Andres Escobar scored an own goal against the US that eliminated Colombia from the tournament was then murdered for what he did. That match guaranteed for the Americans a place in the second round where they lost to Brazil 1-0.
1998 FIFA World Cup France
France where Jules Rimet who is the father of FIFA World Cup was born finally won the title for itself on its own lands in the summer of 1998. It was a memorable summer for the champions of the world as they won the title after suffering semi-final defeats ten years ago. Not only that, but this tournament was the biggest ever.
The 16th FIFA World Cup expanded the number of teams from 24 to 32. Expansion of the number of teams meant that more teams from Africa, Asia and Northern America will take places in the tournaments. South Africa, Jamaica and Japan qualified for the first time ever this year. The 32 teams were divided into 8 groups each containing 4 teams and the 8 groups were spread all over but the starting match and the final were played in le Stade de France. In this stadium Brazil the holders of the 1994 World Cup played the opening match against Scotland where they won 2-1.
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France won the title in a dramatic final against Brazil where they won with three goals where two of them were scored by the legendary Zein El-Din Zidane and the match ended 3-0 for France.
2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan
The 2002 FIFA World Cup which was hosted by a new continent was played in Korea/Japan. This tournament was full of surprise from the beginning till the end where strong teams unexpectedly lost to weaker teams. But the final match was of no surprises as it included two of the strongest teams, Brazil and Germany. Brazil conceded their 5th title and won 2-0 against Germany.
Ronaldo who didn’t participate in the final of 1998 against France was the hero for Brazilians as he scored the two goals that earned Brazil their title in Yokohama against Germany. He scored eight goals in this tournament which was the highest number of scored goals in one tournament after Gerd Muller’s ten goals in Mexico 1970.
After thirty days of drama where Strong teams lost to weaker ones and un-predicted victories and losses, the final was somehow familiar as the Yellow-shirted South Americans lifted the World Cup high in the sky for the fifth time. It was the first time for Asia to host a World Cup final and by Brazil achieving their fifth title they set a record of capturing a title from every continent that hosted the finals.
2006 FIFA World Cup Germany
Italy won the FIFA World Cup title in 2006 after their amazing teamwork. With the final witnessing some drama as the magnificent Zidane was shown a red card after hitting Marco Materazzi with his head, Italy was rewarded the title after a 1-1 draw in the full time and extra time, then beating France in the penalty shoot-outs.
The thirty days of amazing football in Germany was not only witnessed by 3,359,439 spectators who attended the matches in 12 amazing stadiums but also approximately 30 billion viewers from all over the world. They all witnessed an amazing 64-match, 147-goal marathon.
Zidane’s return to his amazing form with France helped his team to beat Spain and Brazil on the way to Berlin where the final was hosted. At the age of 33 he earned the Adidas Golden ball as the best player in this tournament and scored in the final against Italy after 8 years of scoring twice in the final against Brazil. But there was no happy ending for him as he was dismissed in the final for the famous fight with Materazzi.
Germany 2006 had the lowest goals average since 1990.
The FIFA World Cup is the most important sports tournament after the Olympics. It is viewed by all sexes and all ages where children, men and women watch it with pleasure. Some feel happy and amazed at the end as some feel depressed but it’s of no second thinking that all the viewers all over the world enjoy it and are amazed by the magnificent football played in the World Cup by the best players of the world. Either it is teamwork or self-skills, it is wonderful.
It is the kind of sport and tournaments that gathers all the people under one aim which is enjoying football.