|FIFA World Cup|
|Current champions||France (2nd title)|
|Number of teams||32 (finals)|
209 (eligible to enter qualification)
|Most successful club||Brazil (5 titles)|
The FIFA World Cup (also called the Football World Cup, the Soccer World Cup, or simply the World Cup) is an international football competition contested by members of the International Federation of Association Football, better known as FIFA. It has been awarded every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was canceled due to the Second World War.
The current format of the tournament involves 32 teams competing for the title. A qualification phase, which currently takes place over the preceding three years, is used to determine which teams qualify for the tournament. The hosts of the tournament qualify automatically.
For the final tournament the qualified 32 teams are split into eight groups, this is known as the Group Stage. Points are used to rank the teams within a group. Since 1994, three points have been awarded for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss. Each group plays a round-robin tournament, in which each team is scheduled for three matches against other teams in the same group. The last round of matches of each group is scheduled at the same time to preserve fairness among all four teams. The top two teams from each group advance to the knockout stage. The knockout stage is a single-elimination tournament in which teams play each other in one-off matches, with extra time and penalty shootouts used to decide the winner if necessary. The table below shows how the knockout stage works.
|Round of 16||Quarter-finals||Semi-finals||Final|
|Winner Group A|
|Runner-up Group B|
|Winner of R16 1|
|Winner of R16 2|
|Winner Group C|
|Runner-up Group D|
|Winner of QF 1|
|Winner of QF 2|
|Winner Group E|
|Runner-up Group F|
|Winner of R16 3|
|Winner of R16 4|
|Winner Group G|
|Runner-up Group H|
|Winner of SF 1|
|Winner of SF 2|
|Winner Group B|
|Runner-up Group A|
|Winner of R16 5|
|Winner of R16 6|
|Winner Group D|
|Runner-up Group C|
|Winner of QF 3|
|Winner of QF 4||Third place|
|Winner Group F|
|Runner-up Group E|
|Winner of R16 7||Loser of SF 1|
|Winner of R16 8||Loser of SF 2|
|Winner Group H|
|Runner-up Group G|
The World Cup is a gold trophy that is awarded to the winners of the FIFA World Cup. Since the advent of the World Cup in 1930, two trophies have represented victory. The Jules Rimet Trophy from 1930 to 1970, and the FIFA World Cup Trophy from 1974 to the present day.
Below is a table containing all eight winners of the World Cup and awarded trophies.
|Country||Jules Rimet Trophy||FIFA World Cup||Total|
The Golden Ball award is presented to the best player of each World Cup. Those who finish as runners-up in the vote receive the Silver Ball and Bronze Ball awards as the second and third most outstanding players in the tournament respectively.
Future World Cups
2022 FIFA World Cup
The 2022 World Cup will be hosted by Qatar and will be the first World Cup to take place in the Middle East.
2026 FIFA World Cup
The 2026 World Cup will be hosted by Canada, Mexico and United States. It will be the first World Cup hosted by three nations.
|FIFA World Player of the Year winners|
1991: Matthäus · 1992: van Basten · 1993: Baggio · 1994: Romário · 1995: Weah · 1996: Ronaldo · 1997: Ronaldo · 1998: Zidane · 1999: Rivaldo · 2000: Zidane · 2001: Figo · 2002: Ronaldo · 2003: Zidane · 2004: Ronaldinho · 2005: Ronaldinho · 2006: Cannavaro · 2007: Kaká · 2008: C. Ronaldo · 2009: Messi