The History of the Jules Rimet Trophy

The FIFA World Cup is the most prestigious and recognized sporting event in the world. It’s also the biggest footballing show on Earth, with an estimated 3.2 billion people tuning in to watch the final of this year’s tournament alone. The World Cup is held every four years, with the next one scheduled for June and July of 2022. The 20th iteration of this illustrious competition will be hosted by its traditional home of Europe: specifically, Belgium, England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales. In June of 2014 almost exactly 100 years after its first-ever presentation a new home for the famous gold trophy was found in its permanent residence at the New York Football Museum.

Who was Jules Rimet?

Jules Rimet was the third president of FIFA, the world governing body for football, from 1921 to 1954 - an incredible 41 years! Rimet was also the president of the French Football Association from 1911 to 1939 and a member of the French Olympic Committee from 1908 to 1954, overseeing the country’s sporting achievements in the two Olympic Games that featured football. Football’s governing body was previously known as the International Football Federation (IFF). During the 1930s, Rimet helped the organization get through some tough times with the Great Depression, and he helped instigate the first FIFA World Cup in 1930.

The story of the missing trophy

Unfortunately, no trophy has ever remained in the possession of its winning team. It’s an unfortunate, but necessary fact of life. The first trophy, the Jules Rimet Trophy, was given to Brazil in recognition of the team’s third World Cup win in 1970. When Brazil won the competition again in 2002, a brand new trophy was commissioned, with the original remaining in the possession of FIFA. The original Rimet Trophy was stolen in March of that year, and despite many attempts to recover it, it remains missing to this day.

What happened to the Jules Rimet Trophy?

In March of 2002, the Rimet Trophy was stolen from the Brazilian Football Confederation. It was assumed the trophy was melted down for its gold content, although FIFA never confirmed this. The trophy was given a full security overhaul after the theft, with a new system of alarms, cameras, and security personnel. Despite all of this, the trophy was stolen again and has not been recovered since. The gold trophy has been valued at around $100,000, while the silver base it sits on is worth around $32,000. The trophy itself is thought to be worth $30,000 if sold as a souvenir piece. The trophy was last seen at a public event in 1970, at which point it was handed over to the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF). FIFA has made multiple attempts to find the missing trophy, but the trail has gone cold. Several theories exist as to what happened to the trophy, including the possibility that it was melted down for its gold content. Another theory is that the trophy was sold to a private collector.

Replicas of the FIFA World Cup Trophy

In the absence of the original trophy, FIFA commissioned replicas of the Jules Rimet Trophy for the winning teams. The trophy is made of 18-carat gold, weighs 6.2 pounds, and is 10 inches high. It is the only trophy that was awarded to the winning team at the end of every World Cup tournament from 1930 to 1970. In 1970, the Brazilian team was awarded the original trophy, while replicas were made for other winners. The trophy awarded to Brazil in 1970 was stolen in March 2014 and has not been recovered. The replica trophies are valued at $150,000, while the original trophy is worth $400,000. The replicas were originally made for the winning teams of the FIFA World Cups from 1930 to 1970, including Brazil’s.

Reintroduction of the original FIFA World Cup Trophy

Despite FIFA’s efforts to find a way to give Brazil a trophy for their 2002 win, the governing body decided to go back to the original. The original Jules Rimet Trophy was found in a Swiss bank vault, where it had been kept since 1970. The trophy was missing a base after the thieves melted down the original. However, the trophy was restored and Brazil was awarded it as the winner of the 2002 World Cup. The trophy was also displayed at the Brazilian Football Confederation in Rio de Janeiro. It was later sent to a Swiss bank in Zurich, where it was kept until 2014.


The FIFA World Cup is the biggest sporting event on the planet, and it all started with the Jules Rimet Trophy. Unfortunately, the trophy has been missing since 2002, although FIFA has since reintroduced the original trophy. This year’s tournament will see the winning team awarded the original trophy, and it will be interesting to see if the trophy stays in the possession of the winning team. As the trophy has been missing for 18 years, it will likely be returned to FIFA. Hopefully, the trophy will be kept secure in its new home at the New York Football Museum to prevent a similar situation this time around.