The tournament of upsets is almost over, with Argentina and France facing off in the final.
The two football giants – led by PSG teammates Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé – suffered upsets in the group stage, but navigated through the knockout rounds to reach Sunday’s match. They are each looking to win their country’s third World Cup.
France is very familiar with the trophy process, having won the tournament in 2018. But for Argentina, a lot has changed since they last won the World Cup in 1986.
Here’s a look at what each team can expect after Sunday’s final:
Do World Cup winners keep the trophy?
Not only do the players not keep the trophy, but neither does the winning country.
This is in stark contrast to North American leagues such as the NHL, which have an unofficial tradition of giving every member of the winning team – staff included – a personal day with the Cup. While the NHL takes trophy sharing to the next level, most championship trophies are held by the winning team at least for their reign, if not permanently.
However, the winning country gets a bronze replica – plated in gold – to keep.
Why does the winning country not keep the World Cup trophy?
FIFA’s decision to deny the winning nations ownership of the World Cup trophy comes down to security… and if history is any indication, that concern is vindicated. Ninety-two years and two trophies later, the world’s most valuable trophy remains a favorite of thieves.
The first major scare came in 1938 when Mussolini and the growing threat of a Nazi invasion prompted Italian vice-president of FIFA, Ottorino Barassi, to remove the then Jules Rimet trophy from an Italian bank and store it in a shoe box under his bed. forced .
In 1966, the first robbery took place in London before the 1966 World Cup. The trophy disappeared from a display cabinet before being found in a garden hedge seven days later, courtesy of a dog named Pickle.
While Pickles’ heroics were celebrated in England, the botched offense drew the ire of nations around the world, with Abrian Table – an official at the Brazilian Sports Confederation – calling it an “insult” to be committed in Brazil. Never would have been done because Brazilians also thieves respected football and the World Cup. Meanwhile, the Football Association ordered a replica trophy to be used on display.
In many ways, the outcome of the 1966 incident proved to be a harbinger of misfortune to come.
In 1970, Brazil won its third World Cup, earning the right to own the actual trophy as defined by FIFA president Jules Rimet in 1930. FIFA then introduced an alternative trophy before the 1974 World Cup that is still in use today, but unfortunately the story doesn’t stop there.
The table and Brazil had to swallow their words 13 years later when the Jules Rimet trophy was stolen from the Brazilian Football Confederation in Rio de Janeiro. The original stone base was located in the basement of FIFA headquarters in 2015, but otherwise no part of the trophy has ever been found and it is widely believed to have been melted down and sold for parts.
Where is the World Cup trophy kept between tournaments?
The World Cup trophy is kept at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.
Security around the trophy is so tight that there are only a few situations where FIFA deems it worthy of being removed from its headquarters. These include the traditional World Cup trophy tour in the lead-up to the tournament, the opening match of the tournament and of course the final match to reward the winning team.
What does the winning country and its players get for winning the World Cup?
Don’t be fooled, the World Cup is more than just pride.
In addition to the gold-plated replica trophy, FIFA will distribute prize money from a pool of $440 million to each country. The winning country will receive $42 million, followed by the runner-up with $30 million, the third-place team with $27 million and the fourth-place team with $25 million.
Even the US left Qatar and 13 million dollars were deposited into its bank account.
The name of each winning country – in its native language – is also inscribed on the base of the World Cup trophy, preserved in Zurich.
Players don’t go home empty-handed. Members of the top three teams are awarded medals for their performance.