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The Football World Cup Trophy is one of the most famous and recognisable prizes in international sport, and is presented to the captain of the winning team at the conclusion of the Football World Cup final.
The Jules Rimet Trophy
The original prize awarded to the winners of the Football World Cup was known simple as Coupe du Monde or World Cup. The gold plated trophy, featuring a representation of the goddess Nike, was first awarded at the inaugural Football World Cup in 1930.
In 1946 the trophy was renamed in honour of Jules Rimet, one of the visionaries responsible for setting up the Football World Cup. In a famous incident, the Jules Rimet Trophy was stolen prior to the 1966 World Cup in England and subsequently found in a garden hedge by a dog with the name of Pickles.
Having survived both war and theft, the trophy remained in use until 1970 when Brazil won their third Football World Cup title. In accordance with the wishes of Jules Rimet the trophy was awarded to Brazil in perpetuity. The trophy lived in a bulletproof glass cabinet in Rio de Janeiro for 13 years before being stolen once again. It has never been recovered.
In recent years there has been speculation that the replica trophy cast after the first theft, had been accidentally switched by FIFA at some point in time, implying that the trophy awarded to Brazil and subsequently stolen was, in fact, the replica rather than the original. Support for this hypothesis is provided by the fact that FIFA paid over £200,000 for the ‘replica’ at a 1997 auction.
FIFA World Cup Trophy
A new trophy was commissioned for the 1974 Football World Cup. The new version of the trophy is a solid gold representation of two human figures standing on a malachite base, and lifting the Earth. Names of the various Football World Cup winners are engraved on the underside of the trophy’s plinth.
Unlike the previous Football World Cup trophy, the new trophy cannot be won in perpetuity. Instead winning teams are awarded, and permitted to keep, a gold plated replica of the FIFA World Cup Trophy. Italy is reported to have broken the trophy’s plinth after their victory over France in 2006. It has since been glued back together.