World Cup Trophy Mysteries: Who Really Keeps It

Discover the secrets behind the ownership of the World Cup Trophy! Uncover the truth about who truly keeps this symbol of soccer supremacy.

Imagine the great honor of hoisting the coveted World Cup trophy above your head, feeling the weight of victory settling in your hands. But have you ever wondered, as the festivities die down and the confetti is swept away, who gets to keep this symbol of soccer supremacy? The World Cup Trophy has had a long and mysterious journey, passing through the hands of countless champions. This article uncovers the hidden secrets behind the trophy’s ownership, revealing the surprising truth about who truly gets to hold onto the most prestigious prize in the world of sports.

The Origin of the World Cup Trophy

Every four years, football fans all over the world eagerly anticipate the FIFA World Cup, the most prestigious tournament in the sport. Alongside the thrilling matches and memorable moments, the World Cup trophy holds a special place in the hearts of players and supporters alike. But how did this iconic trophy come into existence? Let’s delve into the fascinating history of the World Cup trophy, starting with its predecessor, the Jules Rimet Trophy.

The Jules Rimet Trophy

Introduction to the Trophy

Named after the FIFA president Jules Rimet, the Jules Rimet Trophy was the original prize awarded to the winners of the World Cup. Crafted by French sculptor Abel Lafleur, this striking trophy was first introduced in 1930, when Uruguay emerged triumphant as the inaugural champions.

Prolonged Ownership by Brazil

During its early years, the Jules Rimet Trophy had a seemingly permanent residence in Brazil. Winning the World Cup three times (in 1958, 1962, and 1970), Brazil earned the privilege of keeping the trophy indefinitely. It was a testament to their dominance on the international stage and their contribution to the growth of the beautiful game.

The Mysterious Case of the Stolen Trophy

However, the fate of the Jules Rimet Trophy took an unexpected turn in 1983 when it was stolen from the Brazilian Football Confederation’s headquarters in Rio de Janeiro. This daring heist left the football community in shock, sparking one of the most famous trophy-related mysteries in history.

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The Final Fate of the Trophy

After a long and winding journey, the stolen Jules Rimet Trophy was miraculously recovered in 1984. Nevertheless, FIFA decided to retire the trophy and replace it with a new design after the 1970 winners, Brazil, reached their third victory.

The FIFA World Cup Trophy

Introduction to the Trophy

The current incarnation of the World Cup trophy, known simply as the FIFA World Cup Trophy, was introduced in 1974. Created by Italian artist Silvio Gazzaniga, this elegant and iconic trophy has since become the symbol of football excellence worldwide.

Replica Trophies

While there is only one authentic FIFA World Cup Trophy, FIFA also produces replica trophies for various purposes. These replicas are presented to winning teams for their celebrations and promotional events, allowing players and fans to experience the joy of lifting the coveted trophy.

Custodian Responsibilities

The custody of the FIFA World Cup Trophy is an esteemed responsibility entrusted to both FIFA and the winning national team. FIFA ensures the trophy’s safekeeping during the tournament, while the winning team assumes the role of its custodian until the next World Cup. This arrangement reflects the shared ownership and commitment to preserving the legacy of the tournament.

Trophy Presentation and Replica Handouts

The moment when the World Cup trophy is presented to the winning team is a highlight of every tournament. As the confetti rains down and jubilant cheers fill the stadium, the victorious players gather to lift the trophy aloft, an image etched into football history. Additionally, replica trophies are handed out to sponsors, VIPs, and other dignitaries as a symbol of appreciation for their support towards the tournament.

Controversies Over Trophy Ownership

Over the years, disputes have arisen regarding the rightful ownership of the World Cup trophy. Some argue that the trophy should permanently belong to the country that wins it three times, as was the case with the Jules Rimet Trophy. However, FIFA’s decision to replace the trophy after a country’s third victory prevents any single nation from claiming exclusive ownership, keeping the competition fierce and unpredictable.

Custodian History

Custodians from FIFA

As the governing body of world football, FIFA has shouldered the responsibility of safeguarding the World Cup trophy since its inception. The organization ensures that the trophy is securely transported and maintained during the tournament, upholding the highest standards of care for this priceless symbol of the global game.

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National Team Responsibilities

However, once the tournament concludes, the custodianship shifts to the winning national team. This new custodian has the honor of caring for the trophy until the next World Cup, showcasing it at events and celebrations to inspire future generations of players and fans.

Caretaker Periods

During the caretaker period, the winning team assumes the paramount duty of protecting the trophy from any damage or loss. This responsibility requires utmost diligence and ensures that the trophy remains a lasting symbol of their achievement, as well as a beacon of hope for aspiring athletes around the world.

Journey and Security Measures

Transportation Precautions

The journey of the World Cup trophy from FIFA headquarters to the host country is a tightly controlled operation. To ensure its safety, the trophy is transported in a specially designed and heavily guarded case, equipped with cutting-edge security features. This guarantees that the trophy arrives at its destination intact, ready to inspire players and ignite the passion of football fans.

Accompanying Security Measures

Throughout the tournament, the World Cup trophy is under constant surveillance by a team of security specialists. These experts employ various measures to protect the trophy, including tightly controlled access, CCTV surveillance, and advanced alarm systems. These stringent security protocols leave no room for compromise when it comes to the safety of this revered symbol of football supremacy.

Tracking Technology

To provide an additional layer of security, GPS tracking technology is discreetly installed within the trophy case. This innovative feature allows authorities to monitor the trophy’s location in real-time, ensuring a rapid response in the event of any unforeseen circumstances or attempted theft.

Exceptions and Alternatives

In exceptional circumstances, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, logistical challenges may arise, necessitating alternative arrangements for the transportation and care of the trophy. FIFA and the custodian work closely together to implement suitable solutions, ensuring that the spirit of the tournament and the significance of the trophy endure, even in the face of adversity.

Recent Trophy Controversies

Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona, one of the greatest footballers of all time, found himself embroiled in a World Cup trophy controversy. After winning the tournament with Argentina in 1986, Maradona was accused of damaging the trophy during the post-match celebrations. While the extent of the damage remains disputed, it serves as a reminder of the intense emotions and fervor that the World Cup evokes.


In 1994, Brazilian striker Romario stunned the football world by publicly stating that the original Jules Rimet Trophy was a replica, while the “real” trophy was safely stored away. Despite the controversy surrounding his claim, it adds an intriguing layer to the history of the World Cup trophy and fuels speculation about the existence of hidden secrets regarding this iconic prize.

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Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi, Argentina’s talismanic forward and one of the modern-day legends of football, has played in multiple World Cups but has yet to lift the trophy. As Messi’s illustrious career reaches its twilight years, the question remains whether he will ever have the chance to hold the World Cup trophy and etch his name into sporting immortality.

Medals and Trophies for Winners and Runners-Up

Medals for Runners-Up

While the World Cup trophy symbolizes the pinnacle of success, the players who reach the final but fall short are not left empty-handed. Runners-up receive medals as a testament to their exceptional achievements and contribution to the tournament’s legacy. These medals serve as a reminder of their journey and a source of inspiration for future endeavors.

Replicas of the FIFA World Cup Trophy

Replicas of the FIFA World Cup Trophy have become highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts. These replicas, meticulously crafted to resemble the original trophy, allow fans to possess a piece of football history and celebrate the tournament’s magic in their homes. These replicas can be found in various sizes and materials, offering fans a range of options to showcase their passion for the beautiful game.

Retaining the Trophy

The FIFA World Cup Trophy, like its predecessor, exemplifies the spirit of fair competition and shared ownership. To maintain a sense of equality and promote widespread participation, the trophy is not permanently retained by any nation, ensuring that the thrill of the World Cup remains accessible to football nations across the globe.

Mysteries Surrounding the Trophy

Theft, Loss, and Recovery

The theft and subsequent recovery of the Jules Rimet Trophy was one of the most puzzling incidents in football history. Despite the recovery, questions surrounding the motives and individuals involved in the theft remain unanswered, adding an air of mystery to the story of this iconic trophy.

Secret Locations and Hiding Spots

Over the years, rumors have circulated about secret locations where the World Cup trophy might have been hidden during various periods. These theories often emerge during times of political turmoil or instability, raising intriguing possibilities about the trophy’s covert journeys and the lengths to which custodians go to protect their prize possession.

Conspiracy Theories

The allure of the World Cup trophy has given rise to various conspiracy theories. From claims of replicas being presented instead of the original trophy, to speculation about hidden compartments within the trophy, these theories captivate the imagination of football fans around the world, adding an element of intrigue to the question of who truly keeps the World Cup trophy.


The World Cup trophy, whether it be the Jules Rimet Trophy or the current FIFA World Cup Trophy, represents the pinnacle of football achievement. From its captivating history to its current custodianship arrangements, the trophy’s journey and significance continue to inspire players and fans alike. As each tournament unfolds, the iconic trophy remains at the center of attention, reminding us all of the power of sport, unity, and the pursuit of glory.