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FIFA World Cup
Founded 1906
Region International (FIFA)
Number of teams 16 (finals)
Current champions Flag of Hungary (1949-1956) Hungary (1st title)
Most successful team Flag of Uruguay Uruguay
Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned Italy (2 titles)
33px Current

The FIFA World Cup is a football tournament held every four years since 1906 except for 1914 and 1918 because of World War I, 1942 and 1946 because of the Second World War. The current champion of the World Cup is Hungary who won at Chile in 1954.

History

Early times

In the first two World Cups, the World Cup was an invitational tournament in which most of the nations coming from Europe with only Argentina and Uruguay being the two teams to initially come to South America. Everyone thought that the British teams would be strong in the competition as it was the birthplace of modern football. But in 1906 only England qualified through to the Semi-Final before getting knocked out by Uruguay who would later win the first World Cup.

But when Uruguay went into Civil War in 1907, it was a wide-open draw with England taking home the 1910 crown after defeating Belgium 2-1 in the final. The other British nations though struggled with only one making it through to the Quarter Finals. The third World Cup was the first to have qualifiers with Wrexham being the venue for the Scotland-Wales qualifier. Scotland, Norway, Chile and Italy would go through to the World Cup where Denmark shocked the world by defeating England in extra time while for Italy they would take the first third-place playoff defeating Belgium.

WC between the wars

After World War I, the World Cup was effected with the only suitable host for the 1922 FIFA World Cup. In December 1920, the Netherlands became the host of the fourth World Cup as they neutral during the war. For the hosts, they would make it all the way to the final where they would lose to Belgium 2-1. In 1926, Uruguay would create history by being the first multiple champions after defeating the Netherlands 3-2 in extra time. Then in the first World Cup held in South America, the Netherlands took home the trophy after two previous final attempts. They defeated first time finalists, Argentina. While for Czechoslovakia they finished in 3rd place with wins over Uruguay in the quarter finals being a shock upset.

Heading into 1934, everyone was predicting that the Netherlands could hold off the competition but after struggling in the WEFF Championship, an elimination in the group stage prove the difference with Italy taking the trophy at home. This also meant that they created history by being the first home team to lift the trophy as they defeated France 3-1. Italy then retook the trophy in Argentina with Portugal being the surprise packet after they defeated Switzerland and Brazil to finish in fourth place after losing to the United States in the third place play-off.

Brief extension to 20 teams

After the Second World War, FIFA was trying to encourage the national teams to head back into football. In 1946, FIFA decided to expand to a twenty team World Cup with the groups having five teams in each group. Despite some people thinking that this was a bad idea, FIFA kept with the plan. During the congress, it was also decided to have the World Cup been held at Sweden. Before the tournament, two-time defending champions Italy was struck with the Superga Air Disaster which forced the nation to go by bus. The final would see Sweden take out the first title in a shock result against fellow first-time finalists Great Britain by a score of 2-1.

The competition would fall back down to a sixteen team competition in the next edition and much like the previous edition saw two different teams competing in the final with Sándor Kocsis becoming the first player to score a hat-trick in the final as he would lead Hungary to the title as they defeated Romania 5-1 at Santiago.

Results

Year Host Winner Score Runner-up Third place Score Fourth place Number of teams
1906
Details
Flag of France France Flag of Uruguay
Uruguay
3–0 Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy
Austria
Flag of Argentina
Argentina
[note 1] Flag of England
England
12
1910
Details
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy Austria Flag of England
England
2-0 Flag of Belgium
Belgium
Flag of Argentina
Argentina
[note 1] Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy
Austria
15
1914
Details
Flag of England England Flag of Denmark
Denmark
4-2 (a.e.t) Flag of England
England
Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned
Italy
1-0 Flag of Belgium
Belgium
16
1922
Details
Flag of the Netherlands Netherlands Flag of Belgium
Belgium
2-1 Flag of the Netherlands
Netherlands
Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned
Italy
1-0 Flag of Switzerland
Switzerland
10
1926
Details
Flag of Spain (1785-1873 and 1875-1931) Spain Flag of Uruguay
Uruguay
3-2 (a.e.t) Flag of the Netherlands
Netherlands
Flag of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
2-1 Flag of Austria
Austria
16
1930
Details
Flag of Uruguay Uruguay Flag of the Netherlands
Netherlands
2-0 Flag of Argentina
Argentina
Flag of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
2-0 Flag of Switzerland
Switzerland
16
1934
Details
Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned Italy Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned
Italy
1-0 Flag of France
France
Flag of Brazil (1889-1960)
Brazil
2-1 (a.e.t) Flag of Wales
Wales
16
1938
Details
Flag of Argentina Argentina Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned
Italy
2-0 Flag of the Netherlands
Netherlands
US flag 49 stars
United States
2-1 Flag of Portugal
Portugal
16
1950
Details
Flag of Sweden Sweden Flag of Sweden
Sweden
2-1 Flag of the United Kingdom
Great Britain
Flag of Norway
Norway
1-0 Flag of France
France
20
1954
Details
Flag of Chile Chile Flag of Hungary (1949-1956)
Hungary
5-1 Flag of Romania (1952-1965)
Romania
Flag of SFR Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
3-0 Flag of Austria
Austria
16
1958
Details
- - 16
Notes
  1. 1.0 1.1 There was no official World Cup Third Place match in 1906 or 1910

External Links

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