A different ball game! The FIFA World Cup, then and now

Jun 11, 2014, 08:22 IST | Amit Kamath

The 2014 edition of the FIFA World Cup will be the 20th edition of the event. We look at how the tournament today is different from the original tournament that was held in 1930...

1930: The 1930 World Cup was held entirely in one city — Uruguay's capital Montevideo. Three stadiums from the city hosted the event: the Estadio Centenario, the Pocitos and Parque Central stadiums.
2014: The 2014 World Cup will be held in 12 Brazilian cities: Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Sao Paulo, Recife, Fortaleza, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre, Salvador, Cuiaba, Manaus, Curitiba and Natal

Unfinished Stadiums
1930: Montevideo's showcase stadium, the Estadio Centenario, was not ready when the World Cup started and hosted its first match only five days into the tournament. The Pocitos and Parque Central stadiums were the other stadiums which played host to a few matches.
2014: While most of the World Cup stadiums were ready on time, some stadiums like Sao Paulo's Corinthians Arena where Brazil will take on Croatia on Thursday are still undergoing finishing touches. As of mid-May, two other stadiums — in Cuiaba and Curitiba — were still under construction.

Players' Earnings
1930: England's Ernie Blenkinsop (26 full England caps, 420 appearances for Sheffield Wednesday) earned around £8 per week — the maximum wage payable to footballers back then. He also received just £6 for each England appearance.
2014: Lionel Messi earns around £313,000 per week. And while figures are not available for the amount footballers will earn for Brazil 2014, England's Euro 2012 players reportedly got £1,500 for a win, £1,000 for a draw and £750 for a loss.

Referees' Clothes
1930: In the 1930 World Cup, referees and linesmen wore shirts, jackets and sometimes even full length trousers which were tucked in their socks
2014: Refs at the 2014 World Cup will sport kits designed by Adidas, and headsets to help them talk to linesmen. They will also carry vanishing spray cans holstered to their trousers.

Players' Clothes
1930: Some of the players at the 1930 World Cup, such as Uruguay's Pablo Dorado and Yugoslavian goalkeeper Milovan Jaksic wore berets on their heads. Players' kits back in the day consisted of plain jerseys devoid of numbers, sponsor logos or national association's emblems.
2014: The advanced jerseys that players will wear in Brazil will aid players with moisture and sweat management besides being anti-microbial and lighter than previous World Cup jerseys.

Match ball
1930: In the 1930 final, both Argentina and Uruguay brought their own ball. Eventually, the first half was played with Argentina’s ball — the Tiento — and the second with Uruguay’s — T. Both balls had 12 panels but ‘T’ was larger and firmer.

The ball used in the 1930 World Cup 

Games played
1930: 18

Participating nations
1930: 13

Match ball
2014: The 2014 World Cup will be played with Adidas’ Brazuca which has been designed in such a way that it will retain its shape and weight even if it rains. The multi-coloured ball has six panels and has a water absorption rate of 0.2%.

The Brazuca  

Participating nations
2014: 32

Games played
2014: 64 

All you need to know about the World Cup trophy

> The World Cup trophy that we see today came into being in the 1970s. The original trophy, 30cm high and weighing 4kg, was called the Goddess of Victory trophy until 1946 when it was rechristened as the Jules Rimet Cup. That trophy depicted Nike, the goddess of victory, holding an octagonal vessel above her. The gold trophy had a base of semi-precious stones — which explains why it was stolen not once, but twice.


> In 1966, the trophy was stolen for the first time while it was being displayed in England. Luckily, the trophy was soon found by a dog named Pickles in a suburban garden. For this discovery, the dog's owner was rewarded £3000 — three times more money than the English players received individually for winning the World Cup that year.

> The trophy is believed to have been melted by thieves after it was stolen for the second time in Brazil in 1983.

> In order to keep the Jules Rimet Trophy away from the hands of the invading troops during World War II, Italy's Dr Ottarino Barassi, then the Vice President of FIFA, hid the trophy under his bed in a shoe box.

> In the 1934 World Cup that was held in Italy, dictator Benito Mussolini was so keen to showcase his country's strengths that he had an additional trophy commissioned — the Coppa Del Duce. The dimensions of the Coppa Del Duce dwarfed the real trophy

> The current World Cup trophy is 36.8cm high, 6kg heavy, and is made of 18-carat gold. The base contains two layers of semi-precious malachite.

> The bottom of the World Cup trophy bears the engraved year and name of each FIFA World Cup winner since 1974. It is estimated that the current trophy will run out of space to engrave names of the winners by 2030.

> Earlier, FIFA regulations stated that any nation that won the World Cup three times would become permanent owners of the Jules Rimet Trophy — a feat achieved by Brazil in 1970. FIFA changed that regulation soon. Winners of the World Cup now are only awarded gold-plated replicas called the FIFA World Cup Winners' Trophies while FIFA keeps the original trophy.

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