Over the course of four weeks, thirty soccer teams, featuring some of the world's highest paid athletes, have been knocked out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Sunday, France and Croatia go up against each other in the final match.
Specially created by Italian artist Silvio Gazzaniga, the 18-carat-gold trophy they're competing for is worth an estimated $20 million, according to USA Today.
First designed and crafted by Gazzaniga in 1974, the same trophy is awarded to the FIFA World Cup winning team every four years. It stands about 14.5 inches tall and weighs about 13.5 pounds, and it shows two athletes raising their arms up in victory while holding up the world. At the end of the final World Cup match, the trophy is presented to the winning team, which gets its country's name engraved on the base.
FIFA first awarded the Jules Rimet Cup, named for the founder of the tournament, in 1946. But following a series of tumultuous events, in which the trophy was hidden during World War II, stolen in England, permanently given to Brazil and stolen again in 1983, FIFA commissioned a new trophy — the one that exists today.
The Italian company GDE Bertoni restores the trophy before it is returned to FIFA for the next World Cup. At that point, members of the previous winning team receive a gold-plated replica.
With five championship wins, Brazil is currently the team with the most FIFA World Cup victories. Italy and Germany each have four victories to their names.
Croatia is fighting to win for the first time ever, while France aims to win for the second time.
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