by Jordan Adams - 02/13/2006
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Originally known as the Jules Rimit Cup, FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) decided to commission a new trophy after the 1970 FIFA World Cup. After Brazil had won its third FIFA title in Mexico, they were permanently given the Jules Rimit Cup for being the first-ever team to win three World Cups and, therefore, a new design would be voted on for the upcoming tournament in 1974.
A total of 53 designs were submitted to FIFA from seven different countries. However, in the end it was Italian artist Silvio Gazzaniga that would be asked to create the new World Cup Trophy. After finishing his piece, he described it as so: "The lines spring out from the base, rising in spirals, stretching out to receive the world. From the remarkable dynamic tensions of the compact body of the sculpture rise the figures of two athletes at the stirring moment of victory."
The new World Cup Trophy is 36 cm high and made of solid 18-carat gold. It weighs 4,970 grams. The base of the trophy contains two layers of malachite and extra room for 17 small plaques to represent the names of the tournament winners. In fact, the trophy was created so that the winners' names can be listed up to the year 2038.
Gorgeously crafted, one would be thrilled to have this trophy after claiming victory in the tournament. However, the current FIFA World Cup Trophy cannot be won outright. FIFA regulations mandate that the original trophy designed by Gazzaniga will remain with FIFA at all times. The winners would retain the trophy until the next tournament and would then be awarded with a replica that is gold-platted, not made of solid gold!
Before coming to the decision that FIFA would search for an artist to design a new trophy, the original trophy was designed by a French sculptor by the name of Abel LaFleur, and was also made in gold. The image was created of the Lady of Victory, stretching both arms out to support an eight-angled cup on a support base. Named the Jules Rimit Cup after the founder of the FIFA World Cup event, the tournament switched to just 'World Cup' during the three events from 1930-1938 prior to World War II. During its time as the original World Cup Trophy, it created such a stir that it carried some storied history along with its beautiful image.
During the Second World War, it was hidden from the Germans in an Italian home. After evading the wrong hands during the war, the Cup was stolen during a public showing before the 1966 tournament held in England, and a second time in 1983 in Brazil. It was recovered in England, but never found the second time in Brazil. It is assumed that the thieves melted the trophy. The Brazilian Football Association was given a duplicate trophy since the thievery.
Since the creation of the more recent World Cup Trophy, such legendary players to have carried the Trophy after their team captured the FIFA title include: Germany's Franz Beckenbauer in 1974, Argentina's Daniel Pasarella in 1978, Italy's Dino Zoff in 1982, Brazil's Dunga in 1994, and France's Didier Deschamps in 1998.