Jun 28

The History of the World Cup

Posted By:Brett Haynes - Greenville, SC  Tags: world cup, soccer

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It is funny how nations around the world tend to look at America as if we are the newbies to soccer. The international community finds our "football" to be the wrong name, and folks around the globe just refuse to see the USA as a futbol nation. It is as if these countries believe that their ancestors have been heading goals and half-vollying shots since the dawn of time. Wrong. I did some research on the World Cup, and what I found is that soccer itself is not nearly as old as people think, and the USA actually won the first World Cup game ever played!

I'll tell you what, leave it to those in England and Scotland to invent sport! From what I've been told, that is where golf originated. Now, from what I have found in research tonight, that is also where soccer (ok, futbol) started. 

It turns out that in 1872, England and Scotland held the first ever "international" match. So really, soccer wasn't truly a sport at all until the 1850's or 1860's. Yeah, that's old for sure. But talk to most Europeans and they will make it seem as if King Edward, Julius Ceasar and Napolean Bonaparte were juggling soccer balls as they conquested Europe. It just isn't true, the sport just isn't that old. Hell, Napolean was alive in the 1820's, and the sports still wasn't around.

However, once it came about, futbol spread quickly. Moving from the British Island to mainland Europe, it gained popularity and grew. The sport then slowly spread worldwide, to all corners of the globe. The early days of the World Cup were actually games played at the Olympics in 1920 and 1924 as "exhibition games."

FIFA - which was formed in 1904 - had strongly become recognized as the authority in international futbol, and organized the first World Cup in 1930. The first event was in Uruguay, with 13 countries competing - including the USA.

So while baseball and football have won the hearts of Americans for the past century or more, futbol has certainly been here, as well. Americans simply enjoy a buffet of good sport, and since futbol isn't our number one, we catch grief in foreign lands. But know this world: futbol has been around in America just about as long as anywhere else on Earth. And just because we love our NFL, college football, NBA, MLB, NASCAR, NHL and other sports, that doesn't mean we don't enjoy soccer, too.

The US will eventually quiet folks with a strong World Cup performance. But until the team reaches the finals or wins a Cup, the truth is that the world will not take the US seriously in soccer - and that is weird to me. Only eight countries have ever won the event, anyway! So foreigners, if your country is not listed below: Shut it!

Past Champions (host):

1930 (played in Uruguay) - Uruguay

1934 (Italy) - Italy

1938 (France) - Italy

1942 (no event) - WWII

1946 (no event) - WWII

1950 (Brazil) - Uruguay

1954 (Switzerland) - West Germany

1958 (Sweden) - Brazil

1962 (Chile) - Brazil

1966 (England) - England

1970 (Mexico ) - Brazil

1974 (West Germany) - West Germany

1978 (Argentina) - Argentina

1982 (Spain) - Italy

1986 (Mexico) - Argentina

1990 (Italy) - West Germany

1994 (USA) - Brazil

1998 (France) - France

2002 (S Korea/Japan) - Brazil

2006 (Germany) - Italy

2010 (South Africa) - ?

2014 (Brazil) - ?

* NOTE: Germany has four runners up finishes, while Italy, Brazil, Netherlands, Hungary and Argentina each have finished second twice... 

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