The Planet Cup trophy weighs five kilos of 18-karat gold and shows two individuals holding up the world. Winning teams are engraved on the lowest base layer, and after the 2038 World Cup, there will be no more space for inscriptions. The trophy is owned by FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), the governing body of football worldwide.
The actual weight of the cup is 495 grams (17.5 oz). The winners of the tournament are awarded the cup; if there is no winner because of a draw, then the holders receive it.
The trophy was created in 1969 by London jeweler Robert M. McNeil. He based the design on an ancient Greek gold coin called a tetradrachm. The planet symbol was chosen by an international panel appointed by FIFA to select an emblem for all countries participating in the tournament. The only condition was that the symbol should be suitable for engraving on metal.
The first World Cup was held in 1930 in Uruguay. There were only eight nations invited to take part; they were Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, France, Italy, Paraguay, and Uruguay. The tournament was won by Uruguay, who earned their way into the final with two wins from two matches. They beat Argentina 1-0 away from home, before defeating Chile 3-2 at home.
So a new one was required for the 1974 World Cup, and Silvio Gazzaniga's design was picked from among 53 submissions from seven countries. Two human characters hold a globe on their shoulders in the prize. What material is it composed of? It is 36 cm tall, weighs more than 6 kg, and is constructed of 18-carat gold. Each part of the trophy is individually cast in bronze and then attached to the main body of the cup with 24-carat gold pins.
The original Gazzaniga cup was destroyed when it was taken off its base during renovations of the Stadio Delle Alpi in Turin. A replica is now used instead.
The trophy was created by the Italian business Stabilimento Artistico Bertoni. It shows two human beings supporting the Earth. France is the current holder of the trophy, having won the World Cup in 2018. The tournament will be held in Russia from 14 June to 15 July.
The original cup was designed by Giovanni Bertoni and produced by his company, Stabilimento Artistico Bertoni. It was first presented at the 1889 Jubilee Exhibition in London and awarded to Uruguay after they defeated England 2-1 in the final. The design has been changed over time but the general shape and size of the cup have remained the same since it was first made.
Uruguay's second victory came in 1931 when Argentina were defeated 5-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw. That makes three victories out of three finals that have used the current format. Since then, all subsequent winners have been able to defend their title.
In more recent years, the trophy has been redesigned by several artists. The first version was designed by Japanese artist Yuji Sugiyama and introduced in 1995. It showed two sets of footprints facing each other while standing on top of a globe with Earth's major oceans and continents.
The FIFA World Cup is the most costly sporting prize in the world. FIFA's current prize is a gold cup worth $150,000 USD. The original silver cup from 1930 was lost at some point and replaced with an alloy version worth about $750,000 today.
The second most expensive trophy in sports is the PGA Grand Slam. This award is given to the player who wins the Masters Tournament, U.S. Open Championship, British Open Championship, and Australian Open. It is guaranteed that whoever wins all four tournaments will become the first person ever to win the Grand Slam. The PGA Tour awards the slam to its highest-placed player not already holding one of the three major championships. If two or more players are tied, they face off in a playoff session. The winner then becomes the first person to win four majors within a single season.
It is possible to win all four majors in the same year but this is very rare. The last person to do so was Tiger Woods in 2000. He went on to win the sport's biggest event of the season: the Masters Tournament.
Woods also won the U.S. Open and British Open that year but it wasn't enough to claim the Grand Slam because he had finished third at the PGA Championship.
The trophy, unlike its predecessor, cannot now be won altogether, according to FIFA regulations: the tournament winners receive a bronze copy that is gold-plated rather than genuine gold. However, since 1972, when it was first introduced, the award has been gold for all time.
You might think that with a price tag of $500,000 this is a lot of money. But you would be wrong. The record price paid for a sports trophy is $1.6 million - the seller being the famous museum in Seoul, South Korea. This makes the World Cup trophy the most expensive sports trophy in the world.
The original silver trophy took six years to make at a cost of $750,000. Add to this the fact that it takes three years to craft a golden copy worth $500,000 and you can see why these trophies are so expensive.
Each year, after the final match of the World Cup, the winning country chooses either to keep the cup or sell it. If they choose to sell it, then an auction is held to find buyers. The prize for this auction is generally considered to be the highest price that people are willing to pay for it. In 1994, Italy's football federation decided to sell the cup after their national team finished last in the tournament.
FIFA used to have a rule that any side that won the World Cup three times would be the permanent owner of the trophy. Surprisingly, World Cup winners do not get to retain the trophy. The FIFA World Cup Winners' Trophy is a gold-plated duplicate handed to each team. The original is held by FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland.
The first World Cup was played in 1930 and ended with Uruguay beating Argentina 1-0. The second World Cup started four years later and Israel took part for the first time. The tournament finished with Sweden defeating Hungary 5-3 in a play-off for third place. The third World Cup was held in 1954 and Brazil beat England 2-1 at the final match to take the title. The fourth World Cup was held in 1962 and Chile defeated Italy 3-2 in a play-off for third place.
Each country that wins the World Cup gets to keep the cup and use it in official games with other nations. However, they can't sell the cup or give it away; they must maintain its value by not destroying it or losing it. If a country loses the cup, then they get to choose another trophy to take its place.
Here are the current holders of the FIFA World Cup Winners' Trophy:
Brazil - 1958, 1962, 1966
Italy - 1934, 1950, 1954