Jules Rimet Cup
© AFP

Two years before the inaugural FIFA World Cup™ in 1930, the newly drafted regulations stipulated that the winners should be rewarded with a new trophy, with French sculptor Abel Lafleur being assigned this prestigious task.

The little trophy had a hazardous existence. The Italian Vice-President of FIFA, Dr.Ottorino Barassi, hid it in a shoe-box under his bed throughout the Second World War and thus saved it from falling into the hands of occupying troops.

Then in 1966, the cup disappeared while on display as part of the build-up to the World Cup in England and was only recovered, buried under a tree, by a little dog called Pickles.

Finally, in 1983, it was stolen again, this time in Rio de Janeiro, and apparently melted down by the thieves. The Brazilian Football Association, who had earned the right to keep the trophy after having won it three times, ordered a replica to be made.

The original trophy was 35cm high and weighed approximately 3.8 kg. The statuette was made of sterling silver and gold plated, with a blue base made of semi-precious stone (lapis lazuli).

There was a gold plate on each of the four sides of the base, on which were engraved the name of the trophy as well as the names of the nine winners between 1930 and 1970.