World soccer's supreme title
The FIFA World Cup, sometimes called the Football World Cup or the Soccer World Cup, but usually referred to simply as the World Cup, is an international football competition contested by the men's national football teams of the member nations of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the first tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946, due to World War II.
The tournament consists of two parts, the qualification phase and the final phase (officially called the World Cup Finals). The qualification phase, which currently take place over the three years preceding the Finals, is used to determine which teams qualify for the Finals. The current format of the Finals involves 32 teams competing for the title, at venues within the host nation (or nations) over a period of about a month. The World Cup Finals is the most widely-viewed sporting event in the world, with an estimated 715.1 million people watching the 2006 tournament final.
In the eighteen tournaments held, only seven nations have won the title. Brazil is the most successful World Cup team, having won the tournament five times. The current World Champions, Italy, follows with four titles, while Germany holds three. The other former champions are Uruguay (who won the inaugural tournament) and Argentina with two titles each, and England and France with one title each.
The most recent World Cup Finals were held in Germany, where Italy was crowned champions after beating France in the final. The next World Cup Finals will be held in South Africa, from June 11, 2010 to July 11, 2010, and the 2014 Finals will be held in Brazil.
FIFA World Cup™ groups Europe:
|Group 1||Group 2||Group 3||Group 4||Group 5|
|Group 6||Group 7||Group 8||Group 9|
|Ukraine||Serbia||Republic of Ireland||Iceland|