|Number of teams||16 (finals)|
|Current champions||Brazil (1st title)|
|Most successful team|| Uruguay|
Italy (2 titles)
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 in 1954.
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 being held in 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.
- Main article: List of FIFA World Cup finals
Records and statistics
- Main article: FIFA World Cup records