FIFA World Cup

The FIFA World Cup, usually referred to simply as the World Cup, is a soccer tournament between international teams from all over the world. Beginning in 1930, the World Cup has been held every four years (except in 1942 and 1946 due to World War II). The World Cup is the most watched sporting event in the world.

Not all international teams make it however. In order to compete, teams must qualify. These qualification tournaments are held within the FIFA continental zones (Africa, Asia, North, Central and South America, Caribbean, Oceania, and Europe). With each of these qualifying tournaments, FIFA decides the number of places awarded to each continental zone.

The host country automatically qualifies for the tournament. In the past, the defending champion was also granted automatic qualification,. However, this is no longer allowed and it started with the 2006 World Cup. In the end, only 32 teams actually make it to the final tournament.

The winner of the World Cup is given the FIFA World Cup Trophy, which is made of solid 18 carat gold. The winning team is not allowed to keep the trophy however. They are awarded a gold plate replica rather than the actual solid gold trophy.