A Brief History of World Cup Football
The FIFA (Federation Internationale Football Association) World Cup Tournament takes place every four years, and pits the best football teams from participating nations against one another to determine the world champion team.
FIFA qualifying rounds take place over the three years between matches, and competition is fierce for the 32 final positions.
The tournament is the pinnacle of international football, and it brings together fans from all over the world in a different location every four years. With national pride at stake, the matches are generally very intense and fun to watch.
The Early Years
The first World Cup Tournament was held in Uruguay in 1930, with teams from South America, Europe, and North America competing.
Before the second World War, the World Cup struggled to find enough teams who were willing and able to afford an international tournament every four years. L
ogistics made traveling with a team difficult, and the many wars and skirmishes throughout most of Europe and South America dampened the enthusiasm of fans to make the trip to watch their nation compete.
The outbreak of World War II caused it to be canceled in 1942 and 1946.
How the Tournament Has Evolved
After World War II was over, football and the World Cup became more popular than ever. Europe and South America dominated the tournament, and usually had an easy time defeating the few teams who competed from North America and Africa.
In 1982 FIFA expanded the tournament to include 32 teams, which allowed more teams from outside of Europe and South America to participate.
Since the expansion, there have been more and more teams qualifying and competing well from every corner of the globe.
As the event has gained more publicity, and smaller nations have experienced more success, the worldwide popularity has grown exponentially.
What Makes Brazil Special
Brazil is the only nation that has been involved in every single FIFA World Cup Tournament since 1930. The Brazilian team is often one of the best on the field, and they have taken part in some of the most famous matches ever played.
In 1930, Brazil defeated the Uruguay team in a match that is still talked about today, known as the "Maracanazo" match.
Brazil has won the tournament five times, which gives it a narrow lead over the Italian team, which has won four times.
World Cup 2010
This summer the FIFA World Cup Tournament will be hosted by Cape Town, South Africa. The build-up to this year's tournament has been tense, with accusations of poor officiating in several of the qualifying matches.
This tension should lead to some intense games between rival nations during the tournament. Cape Town has built new roads and structures to accommodate the crowds that are expected to descend on the city in early summer.
Tournament matches are televised and broadcasted over the radio to almost every country in the world, and football fans everywhere will be watching every match closely to see who is named the best in the world for the next four years.
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