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Do Soccer Teams Keep The World Cup?

Do Soccer Teams Keep The World Cup?

Men’s national soccer teams compete and put in a lot of effort to win medals every now and then. One of these trophies is the World Cup, the most prestigious international soccer trophy. But, do they return it to the organizers?

Won trophies are traditionally displayed in the trophy cabinet of countries that have won it, making a gleaming display. They also serve as a lovely visual depiction of a team’s success over time.

Trophy rooms and colorful cabinets are popular attractions in successful soccer nations such as Brazil with 18 trophies, including five World Cups, nine Copa Americas, and four Confederations Cups.

It is typical for fans to have photoshoots of the team with the trophy as soon as they win the competition. It’s also common for the players to get regular shots at the trophies in the trophy room.

As a devoted soccer fan, ever wondered if the medals and World Cup are given to the winning countries, or are they offered a replica? Better put, how long do the winning countries have to keep the World Cup before it’s returned?

The article addresses all of these questions and puts to rest any confusion on whether national teams are entitled to keep the world cup trophies they win.

Do soccer teams keep the World Cup?

When it comes to trophy possession, different competitions have their own rules. In some cases, the trophy is awarded to the winning team.

a soccer team holding world cup

In general, a club will either keep a trophy temporarily or be given a replica. It is unusual for a team to keep the original trophy which is mainly made of expensive metal, as is the case of the World Cup trophy.

The FIFA World Cup trophy is made of gold and is awarded to the winners of the soccer tournament. Since its tournament’s inception in 1930, the World Cup trophy has had numerous winners.

It was originally known as Victory, but it was later renamed in honor of FIFA President Jules Rimet. This trophy was made of gold-plated sterling silver and lapis lazuli, a precious metal cherished for its brilliant color.

Given the rule that if a national team wins the trophy for the third time, the nation gets to keep the original cup, the Brazilian team won the trophy for the third time in 1970 and took it home with them. This resulted in creating a replacement trophy, the FIFA World Cup Trophy. This particular trophy has been used since the 1974 tournament and is still used today.

The FIFA World Cup Trophy is 36.8 centimeters high and weighs 6.1 kilograms. It is made of 18-carat gold, which accounts for 75% of the medal, and has bands of malachite on its base.

The Jules Rimet Trophy, which had previously been used, was on display at the Brazilian Football Confederation headquarters in Rio de Janeiro. Unfortunately, despite being locked in a cabinet with bullet-proof glass protecting it, it was stolen and never recovered.

There were convictions, but the trophy was never truly recovered. Instead, there are speculations that the thieves probably melted it down.

The South American soccer confederation created its replica to compensate for the loss. Eastman Kodak used 1.8 kilograms (4.0 lb) of gold to create this replica of the Jules Rimet trophy.

Unlike its predecessor, the FIFA World Cup Trophy, which has the names of the winning countries engraved on the bottom plate of the trophy, cannot be won outright. The rule that states a country could keep the World Cup trophy if they won it three times is no longer in effect.

It’s hard to tell if the eventual theft of the Jules Rimet Trophy was a reason the rule was amended. Whatever it was, as a result of the amended law, no national team has received the trophy permanently. Instead, a replica is presented to the winning nation.

The replica is made of bronze but gold-plated to adorn the trophy cabinets of winners. This is in contrast to the real trophy made entirely of gold with malachite bands at its base.

As a result, soccer teams do not keep the World Cup trophy. Instead, FIFA provides them with this gold-plated replica.

When Germany won the FIFA World Cup trophy for the third time in 2014, they became the first country to be given this replica a third time. What makes the trophy special and highly coveted is that it can only be molded by those authorized by FIFA.

Who keeps the World Cup trophy after winning?

Typically, one would expect the winning country to take home the coveted trophy after working hard to obtain it. But, unfortunately, as earlier discussed, this is not the case.

Since the 1970 World Cup, where Brazil won and took home the trophy, FIFA has stopped issuing the trophy to three-time winners. Its rules were also changed to reflect that all winners would receive a replica instead.

When the tournament’s winner is presented with the cup, their time with it begins to count and ends with the celebrations.

a world cup and soccer ball

This means that the nation’s winning staff and players will only be able to touch and handle the golden trophy as much as they want until the festivities come to an end.

They are given a replica after the celebration is over. It is this replica that is displayed in trophy cabinets of winning teams.

FIFA owns the original World Cup trophy housed in the FIFA World Museum in Zurich, Switzerland.

Along with the replica trophy, World Cup winners receive medals and the right to wear the FIFA Champions Badge until the next competition is decided.

Does FIFA hold the World Cup?

FIFA, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, organizes the World Cup. As the sport’s global governing body, the association oversees all aspects of the game, including the protection of the World Cup trophy.

FIFA, as expected, keeps the World Cup Trophy until the next World Cup tournament.

fifa and a person holding world cup

This is similar to how other soccer organizations operate, such as the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).

For example, from 1969 to 2008, the soccer organization’s rule permitted a team to keep the Champions League trophy if they win it three or five times in a row.

To that end, the trophy could be found in the trophy rooms of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, AC Milan, and Ajax. It is still their property to this day.

However, before the 2008-09 season, that law was repealed. Currently, UEFA keeps the actual trophy while permanently awarding a mockup trophy to Champions League winners.

Even though Barcelona won their fifth Champions League title in 2015, they did not get to keep the original.


The World Cup trophy is a revered and expensive trophy, valued at around $20 million. Teams from all over the world compete to win the trophy. However, since 1974, the winners have not been able to keep the trophy permanently.

The rule that permitted a country to keep the World Cup trophy if they won it three times is no longer in effect, and FIFA now keeps the original in its museum in Zurich, just as UEFA keeps the Champions League cup.

Each World Cup winner receives a gold-plated replica to adorn their trophy rooms to reward their victory.

Read more: How Do Soccer Teams Qualify for The World Cup?