1. It’s probably hollow
According to chemistry professor Martyn Poliakoff, of Nottingham University, a solid gold World Cup trophy would weigh around 70kg, making it too heavy for footballers to lift over their heads. Poliakoff reckons the ball at the top must be hollow, partly to be light enough to lift, and partly because if it wasn’t it would be “a big waste of gold”.
2. You don’t get to keep it
Sure, the winning nation gets to lift the real trophy, but when the celebrations are over they take home a cheaper replica. The ever-parsimonious Fifa keeps the original, possibly because it doesn’t trust anyone else to look after it.
3. The replica is just gold-plated
The gold-plated Fifa World Cup winners’ trophies are even less impressive than the (probably) hollow real thing.
4. It’s not the original
The Jules Rimet World Cup trophy. Photograph: Fox Photos/Getty Images
The original trophy – the Jules Rimet Cup – was awarded permanently to Brazil, the first nation to win three World Cups, in 1970.
5. The original has been nicked
In 1983, it was stolen from its display case in Rio de Janiero and is believed to have been melted down and sold. It was also pilfered once before – in 1966 – from an exhibition in Westminster, although it was eventually found wrapped in newspaper under a hedge. Which goes some way to explaining why Fifa doesn’t trust anyone with the real thing.
6. It’s running out of space
It’s estimated there is only enough space for – at most – four more winning teams’ names to be engraved on the base of the trophy. This means it will need to be replaced again after the tournament’s 100-year anniversary in 2030. If it doesn’t get nicked before that.
7. It’s not a real cup
You can’t even drink out of it or anything. A cup is supposed to be bowl-shaped. The World Cup trophy’s just a lump. A (probably) hollow lump. And yet Fifa refuses to change the name of the tournament accordingly.