- 1. a trophy emblematic since 1930 of the world championship in soccer and competed for every four years by finalists who have won qualifying matches among more than 150 national teams.2. the quadrennial championship match for this trophy between the two finalists emergent from 24 qualifying teams, which include regional winners, the defending champion, and the host country team.
* * *The tournament brings together 32 qualifying national teams from around the world, culminating in a match between the two top teams. It has been held every fourth year since 1930 (except during World War II). Followed and watched by billions of people worldwide, it has by far the greatest audience of any single sporting event in the world. Several competitions in other sports also use the name "world cup."
* * *▪ 1999France easily won the 16th World Cup, beating Brazil 3-0 in the final at Saint-Denis, near Paris, on July 12, 1998. The tournament, which had 32 finalists for the first time, was largely disappointing, the overall standard of play being generally of a low-key nature. Although the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) called France 98 a successful World Cup, most independent critics rated it as a tournament of quantity rather than quality. The delay of almost a week between teams' first and second matches unnecessarily prolonged the competition in its initial stage in sharp contrast to the knockout phase in the second round, when the first two matches provided the winners with a respite of another six days compared with only four days rest for those playing on the last day of the round.Statistics revealed that 1,881 shots were taken in the 64 matches, 891 of them on target from which 171 goals were scored. There were 667 corners and 379 offside decisions, as well as 2,135 offenses of one kind or another. Considering that 64 matches were contested, it was not surprising that a record number of yellow (250) and red (22) cards were shown to players. There was an alarming increase in the unlawful use of hands and arms by players in tackling opponents and in attempting to gain unfair advantage at set-pieces.One of the French trio shown red cards was Zinedine Zidane (see BIOGRAPHIES (Zidane, Zinedine )). After being suspended for two games, Zidane returned as the saviour of France in the final, in which he scored the first two goals with rare, headed corner shots—the first in the 27th minute and the second within seconds of the halftime interval. In the dying seconds of the match, Emmanuel Petit added a third goal for France. It was the 1,000th in the country's football history and the 1,755th overall in World Cup finals.The real drama of the final match had occurred before the kickoff, when Brazil's Ronaldo, the FIFA Player of the Year, was rushed to the hospital for tests following a night in which he had suffered a seizure. He was named a late addition to the Brazilian team, but he was clearly not in either the right physical or mental condition for playing in a match of this magnitude. The episode seemed to affect the entire Brazilian team, which gave one of its poorest displays in a final tournament.In a competition devoid of memorable individual accomplishment, outstanding scoring contributions were made by David Beckham with a free kick for England against Colombia, Michael Owen for a breathtaking solo effort for England against Argentina, and, in the finest effort of all, Dennis Bergkamp of The Netherlands. Against Argentina, Bergkamp controlled a lofted 46-m (50-yd) pass from Frank de Boer with one touch, beat his marker with the second, and finished clinically with the third to score the winning goal in the 89th minute. Bergkamp, however, had been fortunate to avoid a red card in the match against Yugoslavia, and Beckham was dismissed for a moment of stupidity against Argentina.Croatia was the surprise team, deservedly finishing in third place, and Croatia's Davor Suker was the tournament's leading scorer with six goals. Fan violence was chiefly restricted to England's followers, though the German fans were involved in some unsavoury incidents. Lothar Matthaus of Germany set a World Cup record by appearing in his 25th match in a final tournament, increasing his overall total of games for his country to 129. Within two months of the final match, 22 of the 32 national coaches involved in the tournament had either been fired or had resigned.JACK ROLLIN
* * *▪ footballformally FIFA World Cupin football (football (soccer)) (soccer), trophy that symbolizes the world championship. The first competition for the cup was organized in 1930 by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and was won by Uruguay. Held every four years since that time, except during World War II, the competition consists of international sectional tournaments leading to a final elimination event made up of 32 national teams. Unlike Olympic football, World Cup teams are not limited to players of a certain age or amateur status, so the competition serves more nearly as a contest between the world's best players. Referees are selected from lists that are submitted by all the national associations.FIFA World Cup-menThe trophy cup awarded from 1930 to 1970 was the Jules Rimet Trophy, named for the Frenchman who proposed the tournament. This cup was permanently awarded in 1970 to then three-time winner Brazil (1958, 1962, and 1970), and a new trophy called the FIFA World Cup was put up for competition. Many other sports have organized “World Cup” competitions. (For a list of World Cup champions, see table (FIFA World Cup-men).)▪ golfformerly (until 1967) Canada Cup,in golf, trophy awarded to the winner of an annual competition for two-man professional teams representing nations. It was initiated in 1953 by the Canadian industrialist John Jay Hopkins. The event involves teams from more than 40 nations in a four-day, 72-hole stroke competition. The team with the lowest final total is the winner. An award is also made to the individual with the lowest score.▪ skiingin skiing, trophy awarded annually since 1967 to the top male and female alpine skiers. In World Cup competition, skiers accumulate points in the three alpine events (downhill, slalom, and giant slalom) at designated meets throughout the winter. The winners are the male and female skiers with the highest point totals. The World Cup competition is supervised by the Fédération Internationale de Ski.
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