World Cup 2014 will mark the 20th edition of the international football tournament. The 2014 FIFA World Cup will take place from June 12th-July 13th in Brazil, which is poised to become the fifth country to have hosted the event twice. South America last hosted the World Cup in 1978. Future sites for the World Cup include Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022. More people worldwide watch the World Cup than any other sporting event. It’s believed that more than 700-million people watched the final match in 2006.
World Cup 2014: History
The first-ever World Cup was held in Uruguay in 1930. That year, the host nation knocked off Argentina, 4-2, in the inaugural final match. The United States finished in third place, while Yugoslavia came in fourth. The first tournament included 13 teams. The field was expanded to 16 in 1934, 24 in 1982 and eventually the current 32-team format in 1998.
No nation has had more overall success than Brazil, which has won the tournament an all-time high five times. Brazil has also finished second twice and third two more times. Brazil has finished inside the top four a total of 10 times. Brazil is also currently the only country that has played in every single World Cup.
Italy has the second-most overall titles with four, the last of which came in 2006. Italy and Brazil are the only nations to have ever won back-to-back titles. Germany sits alone in third place with three overall championships. In 2010, Spain blanked the Netherlands, 1-0, to capture its first title.
The United States has had very little success in World Cups past. The Americans’ best finish was the aforementioned third-place finish in 1930. In fact, that was also the only top-4 finish for the Americans in history.
A variety of awards are handed out for performance at the World Cup, including:
- The Golden Ball – Best Player
- The Golden Boot – Top Scorer
- Golden Glove – Best Goalkeeper
- Best Young Player Award
- FIFA Fair Play Trophy
- Most Entertaining Team
- All-Star Team (announced since 1998)
More than 800 qualifying matches will take place before the start of the 2014 World Cup tournament.
Download: World Cup 2014 Knockout Stage Bracket