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Jules Rimet trophy

The Jules Rimet trophy was the original physical manifestation of the prize for winning the football world cup, a small gold cup representing the hopes and ambitions of every footballing nation on earth. It was named after the FIFA president Jules Rimet who in 1929 passed a vote to initiate the competition. It was designed by Abel Lafleur, standing 35 cm high and weighting 3.8 kg and made of pure gold. It was in the shape of a cup, incorporating a statuette of Nike, the ancient Greek goddess of victory.

During the World War II, the trophy was held by Italy. Ottorino Barassi, an official of the Italian football association, hid it from the Germanss in a shoe-box under his bed.

During a public exhibition just before the 1966 World Cup Final in England the trophy was stolen, but it was later found in a dustbin by a dog named "Pickles." As a security measure, FIFA secretly manufactured a replica of the trophy for use in the post-match celebrations. The replica was also used on subsequent occasions until 1970. The replica was sold at an auction in 1997 for $425,015 (254,500)

The Brazilian team won the trophy in perpetuity in 1970, being rewarded for being the only team ever to have won three World Cups. However the cup was stolen again in 1983 and never recovered: it may have been smelted. The Brazilian Football association commissioned a replica of their own, made of sterling silver with a gold plating and a blue base made of lapis lazuli.

The replacement trophy, officially known as the FIFA World Cup, was designed by Silvio Gazzaniga and is made of 5 kg of solid gold and malachite, depicting two human figures holding up the Earth. FIFA is unlikely to give it away again: the winners of the tournament receive it in loan for four years and receive a replica to keep.