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FIFA WORLD CUP 2014

The world’s most popular single-game tournament literally kicks off on Thursday 12 June 2014. On that date, at 5 pm in the Arena de Sao Paolo, Brazil, hosts Brazil will face off against Croatia in the first of 64 matches in 12 stadiums across Brazil involving teams of 32 countries split into eight groups. The total prize money offered is US$576 million of which the winning team gets US$35 million.

The history of the tournament goes back to 1930 when Uruguay was celebrating its centenary of independence from Spanish rule. Since they were already two-time official football world champions, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) – French for the International Federation of Association Football) – deemed it appropriate to hold the first FIFA World Cup in that country.

After Uruguay, this tournament has been held like the Olympics, after every four years in different countries – in Italy, France, Brazil, Switzerland, Sweden, Chile, England, Mexico, West Germany, Argentina, Spain, Mexico (again), Italy (again), the United States of America, France (again), Japan, West Germany and South Africa. To avoid confusion and conflict with the also-quadrennial Olympic Games, the FIFA World Cups have never been held in the same years as the Games.

Yet, in these 84 years, of today’s 203 members of FIFA, only 12 countries have won/been runners-up the trophy even once. They are: Brazil (5/2), Italy (4/2), Germany (3/4),Argentina (2/2), Uruguay (2/0), France (1/1), England (1/0), Spain (1/0), The Netherlands (0/3), Czechoslovakia (0/2), Hungary (0/2) and Sweden (0/1).

TEAMS IN THE 2014 WORLD CUP, BY GROUP:
This year’s 32 teams have reached Brazil through a gruelling tournament that started almost exactly a year ago involving 203 countries – in which India’s current rank is a lowly 154 having fluctuated between 94th in 1996 and 69th September and November 2012. These initial games were played within the countries’ regional confederations of FIFA – the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Confédération Africaine de Football of Africa (CAF), Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football of the Caribbean and Central America (CONCAF), Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol (CONMEBOL), Oceania Football Confederation of Oceania (OFC) and Union des Associations and Européennes de Football covering Europe (UEFA).Those matches across the globe in the past year produced 32 countries that are in the elite final World Cup.

GROUP A: BRAZIL, CROATIA, MEXICO, CAMEROON
GROUP B: SPAIN, NETHERLANDS, CHILE, AUSTRALIA
GROUP C: COLOMBIA GREECE IVORY COAST JAPAN
GROUP D: URUGUAY, COSTA, RICA, ENGLAND, ITALY
GROUP E: SWITZERLAND, ECUADOR, FRANCE, HONDURAS
GROUP F: ARGENTINA, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA, IRAN, NIGERIA
GROUP G: GERMANY, PORTUGAL, GHANA, UNITED STATES
GROUP H: BELGIUM, ALGERIA, RUSSIA ,SOUTH KOREA

History of the trophy

In 1930, when Argentina won the first World Cup in Uruguay, the trophy was simply called “Victory”.  In 1946, it was renamed the Jules Rimet Trophy in honour of the third president of FIFA from 1921 to 1954 who passed the FIFA vote to initiate the global competition. That trophy was shaped like Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, and was made of sterling silver and lapis lazuli which was gold-plated. Brazil won that right to keep that trophy permanently when the country became the first to win its third World Cup in 1970 during which the legendary Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pele) scored his country’s 100th World Cup goal.

The FIFA authorities then commissioned a replacement “to be called “FIFA World Cup Trophy”. Introduced in 1974, the 36.8 cm trophy is made of 18 carat gold, weighs 6.1 kg and shows the Earth held aloft by two men. It was first presented at the 1974 FIFA World Cup.

Who will hold it aloft in 2014?

Sachin Tendulkar’s Cricket Records

Sachin-Tendulkar-India-So-007

 

In Test Matches
• Most runs in Tests – only player to cross 15,000 making exactly 15,921 runs.
• Most Test hundreds (51).
• Only player to represent his country in 200 Tests.
• Most century partnerships and most runs by a pair, both with Rahul Dravid.
• Hitting the most fours in Tests: 2058.
• Making the most runs at a particular batting position (number 4).
• Scored most 50+ scores in Tests: 119.
• Jointly holds the record for most of scores in the nineties (10) along with Steve Waugh and Rahul Dravid.
• Fastest to reach 12,000, 13,000, 14,000 and 15,000 Test runs.

India v South Africa: Group B - 2011 ICC World Cup

In One-Day Internationals
• With 18,426 runs, is the top run-getter with the next best player scoring only 13,704.
• Has 49 ODI hundreds, the last one being his 100th in International Cricket (adding to 51 in Tests).
• Most half centuries: 96.
• Has played the most matches (463) in ODIs as in Tests .
• Holds the record for the highest partnership when he combined with Dravid to put on 331 runs for the second wicket against New Zealand.
• Made the most runs in a calendar year in 1998, a record yet to be broken.
• Scored the most hundreds against a particular team (Australia): nine.
• Dominated almost every World Cup he played in, and made the most runs in the tournament’s history: 2,278.
• Won the most man of the match (62) and man of the series (15) awards in his career, unmatched by any other cricketer.