Uruguay hosted 1st cup in 1930
SOCCER was introduced as an Olympic sport in 1900, but in 1928 Fifa, the sport’s governing body, decided to turn it into an international tournament.
Uruguay, then reigning Olympic champions, hosted the first World Cup in 1930, with 13 nations taking part.
The championship has been awarded every four years since then, except in 1942 and 1946, due to World War II.
In all, 76 nations have played in at least one World Cup. Brazil and Germany have both made seven appearances in the final – the most of any other nation in the world. Germany has made the most appear- ances in the top four, with 11 appearances.
Two players share the record for playing in the most World Cups – Mexico’s Antonio Carbajal and Germany’s Lothar Matthäus. Both played in five tournaments. Matthäus has played the most World Cup matches overall, with 25 appearances.
Russia’s Oleg Salenko holds the record for the highest number of goals scored in a World Cup match – five goals against Cameroon in 1994.
Brazil’s Pelé is the only player to have won two World Cup medals, while fellow countryman Ronaldo is the overall top goal scorer in World Cups, having scored 15 goals in three tournaments. – Thanda Mhlanga