Goal! Explore Over 80 Years Of World Cup History With These 5 Sites

Philip Bates 13-06-2014

Soccer, football, that game where opposing sides hit a ball into a net: it doesn’t matter what you call it — World Cup Fever has hit. Keeping score is simple Soccer Mad? How To Follow The World Cup The following are some cool ways to keep up-to-date with the goings-on in Brazil. You can also use these methods during the regular soccer season to follow your favorite teams. Read More .


It’s enough to make adults cry in joy or anger, sport one of those big foamy hands, explore the streets of Brazil Enjoy The Soccer World Cup On Google Street View's Brazil Journey Not everyone will manage to travel to Brazil and watch the best of football. Google Street View brings you up, close, and personal with the locations that will host the matches. Read More via Google, shout at the TV, and collect trading cards and stickers until they’ve finally found that missing one of Benoit Assou-Ekotto.

For many, the history of the World Cup is littered with bitter disappointments, but if you want to indulge in over 80 years of the World Cup, there’s never been a better time.

The obvious first step on your journey into the past.

World Cup History

It’s not a master of design, but there’s a shed load of information here for both the hardcore and the occasional-but-curious fans, taking you through every Cup since the tournament debuted in 1930 in Uruguay. The raw statistics are especially interesting; not just for the sports fanatic but also anyone intrigued by societies past.


Thanks to their basic but pleasing graphs, it’s simple to see how total attendance has swelled over the years — as has the number of own goals!

You could even take part in their poll on who will win this year’s World Cup, and, if you’re feeling churlish, vote for England. Yes, we’ll even accept the sympathy vote.

Time: A Brief History of the World Cup

Time Mag - World Cup

Of course, history isn’t made with statistics; it’s about people.


More specifically, the World Cup is about its players and its fans. Time Magazine‘s wonderful illustrated history takes you on a beautiful trip through the highs and lows: goal victories, tears of joy, holding the trophy aloft; the Nazi salute, rivalries and fouls, even suicides.

It really showcases what a simple sport, played by countless generations, means to so many.

Sports Logos.Net

Sports Logos

It’s strange how one image can immediately take you back decades. Logos, too, have that power.


Some are plain; some are boring; others are just plain boring. But then there are some surprisingly memorable ones. I’m really not sure why I remember the France 1998 one so well. It’s nice to compare a poster from 1950 (the last time Brazil hosted the ‘Futebol’ games) – a benchmark for clever olde-worlde style – with today’s glaring, we-really-love-photoshop efforts.

And the great thing about this site is, once you’ve scrutinised World Cup logos, you can explore ones from various sports and teams.

Planet World Cup

World Cup Mascots

As well as analyses of this year’s games, including “A Glimpse of the Favourites” (looking at teams like Brazil, The Netherlands and Spain) and match schedule, Planet World Cup has a nice list of mascots. As a Brit, I’m proud to say the tradition started in 1966 – which was a pretty good year for us, y’know – with “World Cup Willie” (no sniggering at the back), appropriately a shaggy-looking lion playing football.


Naturally without bias, I have to say that the original remains the best, but the mascots are an… interesting bunch. West Germany (1974) and Argentina (1978) certainly can’t be commended on their originality. Mexico’s “Pique” is obviously the hottie of the lot. Who knows what Korea and Japan were thinking in 2002?

And when it comes to Italy in 1990… Well, as Planet World Cup notes, “Not easy to see what this is. It must be some kind of sculpture.” They might as well have put, “We don’t know either.”

In addition, the site also boasts a nice little overview of the World Cup’s history by guest columnist, Pierre Boisrond.


Speaking of an odd bunch, here’s a playlist of World Cup anthems. Rarely would you see Shakira alongside Ricky Martin.

You can’t escape the dross vying for this year’s top anthem, but interspersed with them are some technicolour ‘treats’ of the past, including the melodic “The Time of Our Lives” by Il Devo, Nessun Dorma by Pavarotti, and 1986’s quirky “Aztec Gold.”

Or like me, you might just want to settle for this:

All together now. “Football crazy; chocolate mad…”

Extra Time

The World Cup is every four years and is the only way of seeing countries battle it out without the declaration of war.

And it’s so easy to keep up with. Just check out these awesome Android apps Follow the Brazil World Cup From Anywhere With These Six Android Apps if you're one of the 3.2 billion expected viewers and you also own an Android phone, what apps do you have available to keep abreast of the latest news and scores from the 64-game event? Read More !

Now, to close in style… some people are on the pitch. They think it’s all over. It is now.

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  1. Alan W
    June 14, 2014 at 8:08 am

    I think the statement: "The World Cup is every four years and is the only way of seeing countries battle it out without the declaration of war." is somewhat wrong!
    Ever heard of the Summer Olympics, Winter Olympics, various boating/sailing races, rugby, etc etc etc.

    • Philip Bates
      June 29, 2014 at 6:08 pm

      Never heard of them. ;)