The World Cup trophy: Stolen by robbers, discovered by a canine, weighs the identical as a cat

The World Cup trophy: Stolen by robbers, discovered by a canine, weighs the identical as a cat

What do Franz Beckenbauer, Daniel Passarella, Dino Zoff, Diego Maradona, Lothar Matthaus, Dunga, Didier Deschamps, Cafu, Fabio Cannavaro, Iker Casillas, Philipp Lahm and Hugo Lloris have in widespread?

Granted, as quiz questions go, it’s not essentially the most taxing. The captains to have lifted the World Cup from 1974 are a definite and illustrious group — considered one of a small variety of folks which can be truly permitted to the touch FIFA’s most iconic prize.

The trophy itself is theoretically only a image, a bodily illustration of success and one thing for the winners to carry up and goon about with after their victory. The true prize is the ephemeral notion of being world champions, however ephemeral notions don’t come throughout fairly as properly in images or on TV, so one thing shiny is required.

The present World Cup trophy made its inaugural look in 1974, after Brazil had received the primary cup for the third time in 1970. As decreed by Jules Rimet himself, the primary crew to win the trophy that bore his identify thrice could be allowed to maintain it in perpetuity.

The World Cup trophy: Stolen by robbers, discovered by a canine, weighs the identical as a cat


Jules Rimet (left) presents the unique World Cup trophy to Dr. Paul Jude, the president of the Uruguayan Soccer Affiliation, after his nation win the primary event in 1930 (Picture: Keystone/Getty Pictures)

However that trophy was stolen from Brazil in 1983 and its destiny unsure. Or perhaps it went lacking a while within the Sixties. Maybe it was stolen within the Fifties and the one which all of us thought was the actual factor was truly a duplicate.

No matter its finish, its beginnings got here in 1928. When our outdated good friend Rimet thought {that a} quadrennial world soccer event was a good suggestion, he wanted one thing to award the victors. He employed a Parisian sculptor named Abel Lafleur, who got here up with a design loosely primarily based on the traditional Greek sculpture the ‘Winged Victory of Samothrace’ (which continues to be accessible to view within the Louvre), with Nike the goddess of victory holding an octagonal cup along with her wings.

To briefly defend the outdated boy in opposition to accusations of utmost egotism, the trophy was initially merely referred to as ‘Victory’, and was solely named after Jules Rimet following his passing in 1956. The trophy was comparatively modest in measurement, 35cm tall and comprised of silver, coated with gold: keep in mind that latter piece of data, as it is going to be related in a couple of paragraphs.

The trophy was handed from the Uruguayans, after they received the primary event in 1930, to the Italians earlier than somebody made a concerted try and steal it: these someones have been the Nazis — as much as no good once more — who in the course of the Second World Battle tried to swipe it from Rome, the place it was being held in a financial institution vault.

Reasoning that will be the primary place they might look, head of the Italian Soccer Federation Ottorino Barassi smuggled the trophy out of the financial institution for protected protecting. In his house. These blundering Nazis did consider that, however of their search of his rooms they didn’t examine the shoebox beneath his mattress.

From the shoebox it went again to Uruguay after the 1950 World Cup, then to West Germany in 1954, however that’s the place issues get a bit difficult, and the place some imagine it went walkabout.

In response to an Italian documentary known as “The Rimet Trophy: The Unimaginable Story Of The World Cup”, it could have been stolen by thieves unknown round this time: a photojournalist known as Joe Coyle reckons the trophy that made its approach to Sweden for the 1958 event was 5cm taller and had a distinct base to the one the Germans received.

That does have the whiff of conspiracy idea, however a completely unscientific survey performed by The Athletic (we checked out some photographs) suggests Coyle may need some extent: the bottom does look fairly totally different, however in fact that doesn’t imply the entire trophy was spirited away someplace. Maybe the bottom was changed for some motive. Maybe one other half was added. Briefly, no person seems to know for positive, merely including to the thriller of the trophy.

Then we get to 1966, the trophy stolen in London, Pickles the canine and all that. In the event you don’t know the story, the CliffsNotes model is that the Rimet trophy was on show on the Westminster Central Corridor in London in March 1966 as a part of a stamp exhibition, however on a Sunday lunchtime thieves pressured open the again doorways, undid the small lock on the show case and made off with it, leaving a pair of suitably red-faced safety guards of their wake.


Pickles the canine and his proprietor David Corbett after discovering the stolen Jules Rimet trophy in 1966 (Picture: Keystone/Getty Pictures)

There adopted a barely farcical hunt for the trophy, together with a botched ransom trade, earlier than per week later a person named David Corbett took Pickles out for a stroll in south London, and the hound sniffed it out from beneath a hedge. Corbett acquired a reward of round £6,000 (roughly $7,300), Pickles obtained a yr’s provide of pet food and was formally recognised as a Very Good Boy, however he perished a yr later, strangling himself on his lead as he tried to chase a cat.

That is the place issues get attention-grabbing. In response to the e book “The Theft Of The Jules Rimet Trophy”, by Martin Atherton, the FA secretly obtained a duplicate made, to keep away from chaos just like the Westminster theft. So secret in actual fact that they didn’t even inform FIFA about it till a silversmith known as George Hen had accomplished his process. When England received the event they have been introduced with the actual trophy, however that was shortly taken from them by a police officer tasked with protecting it protected, swapped with the reproduction.


Pickles poses for photographers close to the spot the place he discovered the stolen trophy (Picture: Central Press/Getty Pictures)

So which one made it to Mexico in 1970? The brief reply is: nearly actually the actual one. However even FIFA weren’t positive — when Hen died in 1995, his household auctioned the reproduction, hoping that it could fetch round £20,000-30,000 ($24,500-36,700).

However a thriller bidder in the end paid a unprecedented £254,500 ($311,000), and that bidder turned out to be none apart from FIFA. Why? Nicely, they suspected it was the actual Jules Rimet Trophy, that someplace within the journey to 1970 a mistake had been made and the reproduction took its place, or maybe it was intentionally switched by individuals unknown.

This isn’t idle hypothesis: FIFA confirmed as a lot to Simon Kuper, writing concerning the Rimet within the Monetary Occasions. “Sure,” a FIFA spokesperson informed Kuper in 2012. “FIFA took the choice to purchase this trophy because it was regarded as the unique one.” An examination of the trophy revealed that to be unfaithful, so not for the primary time in soccer, a really rich organisation had purchased an costly dud. That reproduction is now on show on the Nationwide Soccer Museum in Manchester.


Bobby Moore receives the Jules Rimet trophy from Queen Elizabeth II after England win the World Cup at Wembley in 1966 (Picture: Night Customary/Hulton Archive/Getty Pictures)

The true trophy — until you imagine that it was switched in Germany sooner or later in the course of the Fifties, or in England a decade later, which it in all probability wasn’t — was thus introduced to Carlos Alberto in Mexico Metropolis in 1970, after which given to Brazil to maintain following their third success.

It stayed in Brazil till December 1983, when it was stolen by gang of armed robbers from the Brazilian Soccer Confederation’s workplaces in Rio de Janeiro. It was displayed in a bullet-proof glass case however — and spot the error right here — the case had a picket again, which wasn’t particularly tough for the thieves to prise off.

A number of folks have been arrested, however no person was charged and the trophy was by no means recovered. The prevailing idea is it was melted down for gold bars, however as you’ll keep in mind from earlier, the trophy wasn’t made from strong gold, however gold-plated silver, in order that appears unlikely. So the place is it?

Who is aware of? We might by no means know. Both method, after Brazil’s triumph in 1970, FIFA wanted a brand new trophy.


West Germany captain Franz Beckenbauer holds the brand new World Cup trophy aloft in 1974 – the primary event to function the brand new design (Picture: Keystone/Getty Pictures)

And so, in 1971, they did what any giant, enterprising organisation would do: somewhat than immediately fee somebody, they arrange a contest. Designers, sculptors, trophy-makers and nearly anybody who fancied having a go have been invited to provide you with a model new World Cup trophy. 53 designs have been submitted from seven totally different nations, however one stood out.

“Whereas the others simply despatched sketches,” Giorgio Gazzaniga tells The Athletic, “which it’s a must to interpret and picture what the ultimate consequence will likely be like, he despatched a mannequin made from chalk — it was fragile, however it was there on the desk, so the judges might see what it was like to carry, to take an image with.”

The “he” Giorgio references is Silvio Gazzaniga, his father and the person who designed the World Cup trophy we all know at the moment. Giorgio describes his dad as a ‘maniac of artwork’, who studied artwork in Milan, particularly artwork of the Bauhaus custom — primarily the thought of incorporating artwork and aesthetics into on a regular basis, practical objects and buildings.

Within the beneath video, a part of The Athletic’s assembly with Giorgio begins at 3:50.

After the battle Silvio went to work for Bertoni (now referred to as GDE Bertoni), an organization that made medals and trophies, typically for the navy but in addition for spiritual objects, for which he turned very accustomed to classical arts. He additionally labored for the 1960 Rome Olympic committee on the medals for these video games. Briefly, by the point 1971 and the World Cup trophy contest happened, he had primarily been making ready and learning for the gig for a few many years. That have is partly why the trophy seems to be nothing like most different soccer trophies.


Brazil captain Dunga receives the World Cup from U.S. Vice President Al Gore after his nation’s triumph in 1994 (Picture: Mike Hewitt/Getty Pictures)

“He had been engaged on sports activities trophies for 20 years,” says Giorgio, “so he was prepared to strive one thing totally different. The Jules Rimet trophy was an expression of artwork nouveau. He wished to provide a brand new model of the spirit of artwork within the twentieth century.”

Silvio made the preliminary mannequin out of plasticine, helped by the then 14-year-old Giorgio, earlier than making the chalk prototype that was despatched to the judges. That’s nonetheless round: it’s presently being displayed in a museum simply exterior Milan.

Each aspect of the trophy was rigorously thought via. The very first thing is the globe, which serves a few functions, as Silvio defined in 2013: “As that is the World Cup, it’s solely logical that the world ought to type a part of the Trophy. In fact the world is spherical and, as such, similar to a ball. The human figures that emerge from the bottom materials lengthen upwards and assist the world, which I additionally imagined as a ball.”

The globe is held up by two males — and it’s essential that there are two. “It was to point out that soccer is just not one thing for a single particular person,” says Giorgio. “The 2 males characterize the 2 groups that play in a recreation.”

The thought of the characters elevating their arms to the sky is to depict the second of pleasure in victory, actually lifting up the world after profitable the event. And never simply the gamers, both.

“It’s additionally a logo of these folks watching the match: even within the stands folks elevate their arms up into the sky. It’s a imaginative and prescient of victory, in a full of life and difficult method. He was attempting to speak that sport is an effort, even painful whenever you’re going for victory.

“He wished to point out symbols that weren’t summary. He wished to provide a logo that everyone worldwide might learn.”

He additionally didn’t need it to be static: whereas the Rimet depicts a nonetheless determine, there’s motion within the extra fashionable trophy,” Silvio mentioned, “and it’s this ascension that offers it its concord — or extra exactly its highly effective concord, power and dynamism.”

There’s extra. The 2 distinct sections — the globe and the figures holding it — are purported to depict the glory of victory but in addition the graft that goes into reaching that glory. Giorgio explains: “In the event you have a look at the cup, you may see that the continents on the globe are shiny, however the physique is matte. The steel is expressing the hassle of the athletes.”


Philipp Lahm and the Germany crew rejoice with the trophy after profitable in Brazil in 2014 (Picture: Martin Rose/Getty Pictures)

On the base of the trophy are two inexperienced bands, comprised of malachite. It was initially supposed that the trophy would have a restricted shelf life — till the 2030 event — so Silvio rigorously included 20 rectangular areas for the names of every winner to be engraved on it. The names of these winners are additionally now engraved on the underside of the bottom.

Did you suppose it had some kind of secret, cool identify? Sorry, no cube there: it’s formally known as the FIFA World Cup Trophy. It’s comprised of 18-karat gold with these malachite bands on the base, it’s 36 centimetres tall and weighs 6.142kg. For reference, that’s about the identical weight as a home cat, albeit one which in all probability must go on a brief food regimen.

It value about £7,690 ($9,390) to make, which is about £90,000 ($110,000) in at the moment’s cash. Not that Silvio noticed a lot of that: as an worker of the corporate, he was given a small bonus, however the principle reward was seen because the glory and the reputational enhancement of getting made the World Cup trophy. That’s proper — even the man who designed the World Cup was paid in publicity.

And, in equity, it did change Silvio’s life. He went on to turn out to be the go-to man for anybody who wished a soccer trophy. He designed the Europa League trophy, the European Tremendous Cup, the European Below-21s Championship trophy and a number of others. His firm, GDE Bertoni, nonetheless make the official replicas of the Champions League trophy, although that wasn’t their design. He even designed the trophy for the baseball World Cup (not the World Collection), plus for a spread of different sports activities. “He turned ‘The Lord of the Cup’,” says Giorgio.

Silvio handed away in 2016, however not earlier than he was awarded the “Commendatore Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana” — a bit like a knighthood — and a clutch of different honours. Giorgio and the remainder of the household now work to make sure his identify is remembered, not least as a result of he wasn’t a lot of a self-publicist. “Often my father was extraordinarily shy,” Giorgio says. “Tens of millions — billions — of individuals know his work, however nearly no person is aware of his identify. He was a kind of secret designer.”

Giorgio continues to be immensely pleased with his father’s achievements, although each 4 years, as new teams of males get accustomed to the trophy, he has to endure some fraternal ache. “I’m the brother of the World Cup. Sadly everybody kisses my sister — I’m the brother and I’ve to undergo.”

West Germany have been the primary winners of the brand new trophy, and have lifted it twice subsequently, however in contrast to the Jules Rimet they don’t get to maintain the unique. The winners don’t even get to maintain the trophy in any respect lately: till 2006 the winners held the actual factor till the subsequent version, however now it’s swiftly taken off their arms they usually’re given a gold-plated — somewhat than strong gold — reproduction to show. The precise trophy in any other case stays at FIFA HQ in Zurich, and solely a choose few are even allowed to the touch the factor, which incorporates former winners and heads of state. So, for many of you, until you’re studying Lothar/Fabio/Hugo: unfortunate.

The brand new World Cup trophy is stored below tighter safety than its predecessor. In the event you’re a would-be thief bent on getting your arms on it as these did earlier than, good luck. However simply because its destiny isn’t fairly as mysterious because the Jules Rimet, that doesn’t imply its historical past and design isn’t as fascinating.

(Prime photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Pictures))

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