( English : FIFA World Cup ) or simply the World Cup , is an international football competition contested by the senior men’s national teams of members of the International Football Federation ( Fédération Internationale de Football Association , FIFA ), world football’s governing body. . The championship has been held every four years since the 1930 tournament , except in 1942 and 1946, which were not held because of World War II . The current World Cup champions are France , who won the 2018 tournamentin Russia .
The current format of the tournament has 32 teams competing for the title at the sporting arena in the host country in about a month’s time; This round is often referred to as the World Cup Final . The qualifying stage , which is currently being held in the three years leading up to the World Cup, is held to determine which teams will qualify for the tournament, along with the host nation.
Twenty World Cup tournaments have been won by eight different national teams. Brazil has won the World Cup five times, and is the only team that regularly participates in every tournament. Other World Cup winners are Italy and Germany with four titles; [a] Argentina , Uruguay and France with two titles; and England and Spain each with one title.
The World Cup is one of the most watched sporting competitions in the world, surpassing even the Olympics ; an estimated 715.1 million people worldwide watched the 2006 FIFA World Cup final which was held in Germany .  The next two World Cups will be held in Qatar in 2022 and in the United States, Canada and Mexico in 2026 .
Previous international competitions
The world’s first international football match was played in Glasgow in 1872 between Scotland and England ,  which ended in a 0–0 draw. The first international football tournament was the British Home Championship , which was first held in 1884.  After growing and gaining popularity in other parts of the world at the turn of the 20th century, football began to be competed as a medalless demonstration sport in the 1900 Summer Olympics. and 1904 (however, the IOCgradually updating the sport’s status to an official competition), and also at the 1906 Intercalated Olympics . 
After FIFA was founded in 1904, it sought to organize international football tournaments between countries outside the Olympic programme; the tournament was held in Switzerland in 1906. This competition is still very early in the development of international football, and FIFA’s official history explains that this competition was a failure. 
At the 1908 Summer Olympics in London , football was made an official competition. Planned by The Football Association (FA), English football’s governing body, the competition was reserved for amateur players only and at the time was considered more of a show than a match. Great Britain (represented by the England national amateur football team ) won the gold medal . They repeated the feat at the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm .
After being competed at the Olympics with only amateur teams participating, Sir Thomas Lipton initiated the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy tournament in Torino in 1909. The Lipton Tournament is a championship between individual teams (rather than national teams) from different countries, with one team representing one country. The competition is sometimes referred to as the First World Cup ,  which the most prestigious professional clubs from Italy, Germany and Switzerland participate in, but the English FA refuses to be associated with this competition and is unwilling to send a professional team to compete in the Lipton tournament. Meanwhile, Lipton invites West Auckland, an amateur football team from County Durham , to represent England. West Auckland won the tournament, and successfully defended their title after re-entering in 1911.
In 1914, FIFA agreed to recognize the Olympic tournament as “the world soccer championship for amateur teams”, and was responsible for organizing the games.  This paved the way for the holding of the world’s first intercontinental football competition, the 1920 Summer Olympics , which Egypt and thirteen European teams participated in , and won by Belgium .  Uruguay won the next two Olympic tournaments in 1924 and 1928 . The last two events also became the first open world championships, and therefore 1924 was the beginning of the FIFA professional era.
World Cup before World War II
Spurred on by the success of the Olympic football tournaments, FIFA, led by President Jules Rimet , began looking for opportunities to organize international football tournaments apart from the Olympics. On May 28, 1928, the FIFA Congress in Amsterdam decided to hold its own world championship.  Since Uruguay were the two-time holders of the world football championship title at the time, and also to commemorate the centenary of their independence in 1930, FIFA designated Uruguay as the host country for the first World Cup tournament .
The national football associations of selected countries were invited to send teams, but the selection of Uruguay as the host of the competition meant that European teams had to make the long and costly journey across the Atlantic Ocean to reach Uruguay. Therefore, none of the European countries promised to send a team, even two months before the start of the competition. Rimet eventually persuaded the Belgian , French , Romanian , and Yugoslav teams to leave for Uruguay. In the end, thirteen countries participated in this competition; seven from South America , four from Europe , and two from North America .
The first two World Cup matches took place at the same time on 13 July 1930, these matches were won by France and the United States , who beat Mexico 4–1 and Belgium 3–0, respectively. The first goal in World Cup history was scored by Lucien Laurent of France.  In the final , Uruguay defeated Argentina 4–2 in front of a crowd of 93,000 spectators in Montevideo , and thus became the first nation to win the World Cup. 
After the World Cup, the 1932 Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles did not plan to include football as part of the Olympic games due to the sport’s low popularity in the United States, due to the growing popularity of American football (soccer is called soccer in the United States). America). FIFA and the International Olympic Committee also disagreed on the status of amateur players, and as a result, football was removed from the Olympic program.  Football was again contested in the 1936 Summer Olympics, although it was overshadowed by the more prestigious World Cup.
The problems encountered in organizing the early World Cup tournaments were the difficulty of traveling between continents, as well as wars. Several South American teams were unwilling to travel to Europe for the 1934 and 1938 tournaments , and the only South American team to compete in both events was Brazil . The 1942 and 1946 World Cups, which were scheduled to be held in Nazi Germany and Brazil , were canceled due to the outbreak of World War II . 
World Cup after World War II
The 1950 World Cup , held in Brazil , was the first World Cup to be participated in by British countries ( Scotland and England). The United Kingdom left FIFA in 1920, partly because of a reluctance to compete with countries they had fought wars with, and partly as a protest against foreign influence in the sport they created.  Britain finally rejoined in 1946 after a special invitation by FIFA.  The 1950 tournament was also followed by Uruguay which boycotted the previous two World Cups. Uruguay once again won the tournament after beating hosts Brazil in a match dubbed ” Maracanazo” (Portuguese: Maracanaço ).