The History of the FIFA World Cup Football Trophy

There are many trophies presented for various sporting endeavours today, however one of the most famous of these is the FIFA World Cup. Yet what many people do not realize is that the FIFA World Cup Trophy awarded today has only been in existence since 1974. Prior to this date those nations that were winners of this particular sporting event were presented with the Jules Rimet Trophy instead.

The main reason why a new FIFA trophy was introduced was in 1970 Brazil were awarded the Jules Rimet Trophy outright as they had won this competition three times. As they were presented with this trophy so the FIFA had to arrange for a new trophy to be made to replace it.

The new FIFA World Cup trophy was then presented to the winning Nation in 1974 and this was West Germany who at the time were captained by Franz Beckenbauer. The trophy that they were presented with was designed by Silvio Gazzaniga and produced by Bertoni Milano.

This trophy just like the Jules Rimet one before is very elaborate in design. On the body there are two figures shown holding up the Earth and on its based are engraved «FIFA World Cup» in out pouring letters. The actual trophy is made from 18 carat solid gold and weighs a total of 11lb and measures to a height of 14.4 inches. To ensure that the cup stands correctly the base which measures a width of 5.1 inches has been made from a strong carbonate mineral known as Malachite.

To be able to view the names of the winning nations on this particular trophy it needs to be turned upside down. This is because the names and dates when the trophy was won are engraved on plaques in English on the bottom of the base.

Today there are still enough plaques available to allow a further 9 nations to have their winning details placed on this trophy. It is only after the FIFA World Cup Competition in 2038 will a decision need to be made as to whether this particular trophy should be retired and replaced with a new one.

The biggest difference with this particular FIFA World Cup Trophy is that it is not one that can be won outright as Brazil did with the Jules Rimet Trophy. Today although the winning team are presented with this trophy on the day of their victory they don’t actually get to keep it and instead of provided with a replica.

The main reason for this is that following Italy winning the competition in 2006 after the FIFA World Cup Trophy had been restored it was damaged. A number of days after the trophy had been presented to Italy pictures appeared in newspapers showing a small piece of the Malachite base had broken off. The damage to the trophy was repaired but in order to prevent such a situation in the future the FIFA decided no longer to allow the winning nation to retain the trophy until the next tournament.

The FIFA World Cup Trophy replica that the winning nation now receive is the same size as the original. However, unlike the original these are not made from solid gold but rather they use gold plating instead.

Why France Football Team Lost In The World Cup 2010 – Lessons Learnt From Sport Psychology Points

Before the South Africa World Cup, nobody could ever imagine that the runner up of World Cup2006 would fall down that badly with two defeats, one draw, foul-mouthed squabbles in the dressing room and a team strike. So what happened with the French players psychologically?

The start of all things came with the bad words by Nicholas Anelka to his coach Domenech during half time game with Mexico. Put aside his inappropriate saying, the worse thing was that somebody leaked that information to the media. In sport psychology terms, a norm in a team was broken. Norms are the standards for behavior that is expected of team members. Norms are not formally adopted by the team but result from a gradual change in behavior until a consensus is reached. Norms are different from rules in the fact that rules are formal for everyone and there are normally some punishments for breaking the rule. Because norms are unobtrusive, they are sometimes taken for granted and only become important when violated. In the case of France team, for some reasons, the norm of keeping team issues inside the locker room was violated. And the result was really destructive.

Worst of all, the team represented by Patrick Evra boycotted training and some players showed the intention of avoiding playing the last game. In this case the whole team was united under the same cause: to protest against the decision to send Anelka back from the French Football Federation. In sport psychology terms, the team displayed very high cohesion. Team cohesion is defined as: «the resistance of the group to disruptive forces«. When a team is highly cohesive like French team, it would be able to tolerate a great deal of negativity arising from the occurrence of unfavorable events, such as losing games, or receiving criticism in the media… Team cohesion is also divided into 2 type: task cohesion (regarding team goals and performance) and social cohesion (regarding relationship outside the task). In France team, the players showed very high social cohesion that led to the boycott and protest to support their teammate.

So what could have been fixed in that case? Obviously, there are many issues that had to be solved (from behavior of players to coach, setting up norms for communication with each other and to the media…). However, there is one main issue I believe should have been tackled. By interacting with players in an informal approach, a sport psychologist could help players restore and re-affirm their team goal. Obviously, they came to World Cup to represent their country and to make French people proud. As a national team, they carried the image of the whole nation and should behave accordingly, especially in front of foreign media. By reacting aggressively to coaches, they were successful in showing their team cohesion, yet failed to show their responsibilities for their nation and their fans. By re-aligning the team value and team goal to the players, a sport psychologist could help players redefine their priority and their purpose. This could potentially have led to different behaviors and performance by French players.

Although France team issues were rather extreme, it gives a very clear picture of many sport psychology issues that should have been addressed before and during the tournament. By being aware of norms and cohesion level in your team, you can prevent and address problems as well as improve team performance.