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FIFA World Cup

2014 World Cup winners, Germany2014 World Cup winners, GermanyThe FIFA World Cup, often called simply the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). It was the idea of Frenchman Jules Rimet, who served as president of FIFA from 1921 to 1954. The World Cup has been awarded every four years since the first tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the World War II. Just 13 teams participated in the first tournament, which was won by the home team, Uruguay. The current world champions are France, who won their second title at the 2018 tournament in Russia. 

World Cup 2014 final, Germany v ArgentinaWorld Cup 2014 final, Germany v Argentina


The 32 countries are drawn into eight groups of four teams. Each team plays the other, gaining three points for a win, one for a draw. At the end of the group stage, the two teams with the highest number of points from each group advance to the knockout stage. Matches are then played between the 16 surviving teams, with the victorious eight sides advancing to the quarter-finals. The four victors of that round play in the semi-finals, with the two winners contesting the final.

The choice of Uruguay as host for the first World Cup tournament in 1930 meant a long and costly trip across the Atlantic Ocean for European sides. To begin with, no European nation agreed to take part. FIFA's president Jules Rimet eventually persuaded teams from Belgium, France, Romania and Yugoslavia to make the trip.

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