With the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar getting closer and closer, we’ve all started to let our minds drift toward images of our national heroes lifting the famous gold trophy on the sands of the desert come December.
The winners of the competition will lift the World Cup trophy, but who gets to keep the trophy after this?
It is something that I’ve always wondered about and I’m guessing you may have too, so let’s find out.
The World Cup trophy is awarded but not kept by the winning team, it’s instead remained in FIFA’s possession at the FIFA World Football Museum in Zurich, Switzerland. Instead of the original trophy, the winning nation gets a gold-plated bronze replica.
This replica is usually kept in the winning nation’s national football museum.
But, it wasn’t always like this. To understand why nations no longer can keep the World Cup trophy – here’s everything you need to know.
The Jules Rimet Trophy
Some of you may not be aware, but the World Cup trophy did not always look the way it does now. Up until the 1974 World Cup in West Germany, the trophy used was called the Jules Rimet Trophy (it was named after the former FIFA President that created the World Cup).
When a team won the tournament, they simply got to keep the trophy as it was believed that the team had earned the right to keep in their possession until somebody took it from them four years later.
The trophy was highly prized by people around the world and during WW2 it had to be hidden from the Nazi’s that wanted to take it from the Italian federation that currently had it in their hands. The president of the federation actually hid the trophy in a shoe box after he transported it from Rome to his house.
This is just one of the wild adventures that Jules Rimet went on during its usage period.
Why Nations Can’t Keep The Original World Cup Trophy
Speaking of adventures, they don’t get any more crazy than the now legendary story of the 1966 World Cup and Pickles the dog. The 1966 was of course won by England, after it was hosted in the country (it remains the countries only International triumph to date).
Following the teams victory, the Jules Rimet trophy was taken from the Football Association in order for it to go on display as a celebration of the teams success. This is regular practice these days, but back then it presented an opportunity for the trophy to be stolen and this is exactly what happened.
To this day nobody knows who took the trophy but following a week of searching the country it was eventually found in a South London bin by a dog named Pickles. The trophy was wrapped in newspaper and simply left in the bin; it was a miracle that it wasn’t lost forever.
Following this event, it was decided that the original trophy could no longer go on display and a replica was created by the FA. This replica was not actually meant to be created, as FIFA believed the Jules Rimet should be a ‘one-off’ and it also disappeared for many years as a result.
More recently though, a replica of Jules Rimet has resurfaced after being hidden under the makers bed for a long time. This replica is now on display at the National Football Museum in Manchester if you ever get the chance to go and see it.
The real Jules Rimet trophy is now in Brazil. After the country won the tournament for a third time in 1970 it was declared that they would be allowed to keep the trophy forever and that a new one would be used from 1974 onwards.
The New World Cup Trophy
The World Cup trophy that we know, and love was what they created for the 1974 World Cup. The trophy features two people lifting up the World in unison and is arguably the most beautiful trophy available in the whole of global sport.
Following the retirement of the Jules Rimet trophy and the misadventures that had occurred over the years, FIFA was more cautious as to who could be in possession of the trophy at any time. This has meant that the winners of the competition no longer get to keep the original trophy for four years.
Nowadays the winners of the World Cup receive a bronze replica of the trophy that is theirs to keep forever, this of course means that each replica is individual and special to the country that has won it. Despite this, you can’t help but feel the original holds far more importance.
Every time a country wins the World Cup, the name of their country (in their language) is inscribed onto the base of the trophy.
The original World Cup trophy is now kept at FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich (Switzerland) and only leaves for certain occasions that FIFA deem worthy. These events include the draw for the Finals, the first and last games of the tournament, and the FIFA World Cup trophy tour.
The Tour is the only chance that most fans will ever get to see the original trophy for real. The Tour visits every country that has qualified for the tournament and is often supported by legends of the game. With the US having made it to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the trophy will make it’s way to us on its way back to the desert.
According to FIFA, the objective of the tour is to bring fans closer to the World Cup and attempt to unite the globe in a love for soccer. It is the first time ever that the trophy will visit all 32 qualified nations and the aim is for it to visit every FIFA member state by the year 2030.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup kicks off on November 20th and the US look stronger than ever in their bid to bring the famous trophy home with them for the first time ever. The US men will take on Iran, Wales, and of course England in the group stages of the competition in what promise to be three exhilarating games. Who else can’t wait?
Now that you know all about where the FIFA World Cup trophy is kept and the history of where it has been housed over the years, you’ll be the envy of all your friends with this newfound knowledge. It really has been on a wild ride, and you can be sure it will again one-day.