The original trophy awarded to the winner of the FIFA World Cup depicts Nike, the Goddess of Victory, holding an octagonal vessel in her outstretched hands. The trophy was created in gold with a base in semi-precious stones, designed by a French sculptor, Abel Lafleur.
From 1930 to 1970, this cup was awarded to the winner of the World Cup of Football. Originally called "Victory", the trophy was more commonly known as the 'World Cup' or 'Coupe du Monde', though it was renamed the Jules Rimet Trophy in 1946 to honor the FIFA president Jules Rimet who organized the first tournament.
Protecting the Cup in the 1940s
To prevent the Nazis from confiscating the golden Jules Rimet Trophy, Dr. Ottorino Barassi, an Italian sports official, smuggled the trophy from the bank in Rome, and hid it under his bed for most of the war before emerging for the 1950 World Cup.
Stolen in 1966
The Jules Rimet World Cup trophy was stolen while on exhibition in London just before kick-off of the 1966 finals. The name of the mongrel dog who sniffed out the stolen trophy from its hiding place under a garden hedge in Norwood in South London was called 'Pickles'. His owner David Corbett collected a GBP6,000 reward, and the man who had demanded a GBP15,000 ransom for the return of the trophy was jailed for two years.
After the Jules Rimet trophy was paraded by the Brazilian players after the 1970 Final match, the top of the trophy disappeared. Brazilian reserve Davio retrieved the valuable gold top from a young spectator at the stadium exit. As a result, the new trophy was designed to have no top!
Brazil's trophy stolen in 1983
The Jules Rimet trophy was always awarded to but not kept by the winning team. The trophy was only permanently awarded if the team became 3-time champions. In 1970, Brazil's third victory in the tournament entitled them to keep the trophy permanently. This particular trophy, however, was stolen in 1983, and the current location of the trophy is unknown. The trophy was stolen from a display box in the headquarters of the Brazilian Football Association in Rio on 20 December 1983, and was probably melted down afterwards. A copy, made by a German goldsmith, was donated to the Brazilian Football Association by Kodak of Brazil.
A New Design
After 1970, a new trophy, known as the FIFA World Cup Trophy, was designed. Constructed in 18-karat solid gold, the trophy is 36 centimeters (14 inches) tall, has two rings in malachite inlaid in the base, and weighs a total of 4,970 grams (11 pounds).
The new trophy was designed by Silvio Gazzaniga (and submitted by Bertoni of Milan, Italy). Gazzaniga's design was chosen by FIFA from 53 other trophy models presented. Gazzaniga described his work by saying, "The lines spring out of the base, rising in spirals, stretching out to receive the world. From the remarkable dynamic tensions of the compact body of the sculpture rise the figures of two athletes at the stirring moment of victory."
The new trophy is not awarded to the winning nation permanently, no matter how many World Cups they win. The original trophy remains in FIFA's possession, while the winning National Association receives a gold-plated replica.
A new World Cup trophy will be required for 2042, as the name plaque at the base of the current trophy is designed to be filled up with the names of the 17 champions from 1974 to 2038. Therefore in 2042, a new trophy will be used, and the old trophy will then be kept at the FIFA headquarters permanently.
- List of FIFA World Cup Awards
- Winning Prizes for the World Cup
- List of Winners — all the World Cup Final winners.
- World Cup History