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The history of the FIFA World Cup

MOSCOW, Russia.- Billions of fans and spectators worldwide. One billion viewers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final alone. It goes without saying that soccer and the FIFA World Cup are here to stay, but when did it all begin?

Despite having been around for many decades prior, it wasn’t until the turn of the 20th century that soccer as sport began to take off into the worldwide sensation that it is now. 

FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) wasn’t founded until 1904 and by 1908 soccer had already become an Olympic sport, right on time for the 1908 Summer Olympics hosted in London.

It wasn’t until 1920, when Jules Rimet became president of FIFA, that the proposal to create an international teams tournament came to fruition. Ten years later, the FIFA World Cup was born.

Uruguay hosted the very first FIFA World Cup in 1930, consisting of four European and nine Latin-American countries. France beat Mexico 4-1 during their inaugural match, with the Frenchman Lucien Laurent going down in history as the first ever FIFA World Cup goalscorer at the 19th minute mark.

That final was disputed between Argentina and Uruguay, one of soccer’s fiercest rivals even to this day, with the hosts going on to become the first World Cup champions after beating Argentina 4-2.

Since then, we’ve witnessed as many as 20 FIFA World Cup tournaments consisting of 83 different countries with 2,379 goals scored during that period.

Just as impressive is the fact that despite so many countries participating in soccer’s greatest ever tournament, only 8 countries have managed to win the World Cup: Brazil (5), Germany (4), Italy (4), Argentina (2), Uruguay (2), France (1), England (1) and Spain (1).

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