20 Historical World Cup Moments in Pictures

Published June 9, 2014
Updated January 24, 2018

From the first World Cup in 1930 to the 2014 World Cup that will begin in just a handful of days, there’s no denying that the world loves soccer. In the decades that have passed since that inaugural match, fans have been touched by many world cup moments that span from exciting to unbelievable to almost unbearable. For those just now catching on, we’ll cover the basics of this wildly popular sport in the following 20 images, also reminding futbol fans worldwide of the many World Cup moments that it took to get to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

First World Cup in Uruguay
Uruguay beats Argentina 4-2 in the first World Cup, held in 1930. Source: Sporting News

World Cup Moments 1930
A soccer ball from the inaugural World Cup, which took place in 1930 in Uruguay. Source: World Cup Balls

1950 FIFA World Cup
Juan Schiaffino scores for Uruguay in the 1950 World Cup. Source: The Guardian

World Cup Moments 1954
A photo from the 1954 World Cup final. West German underdogs went on to best Hungarian favorites. Source: Who Ate All The Pies

World Cup Pele
Iconic soccer star Pele plays in the 1958 World Cup at the age of 17. Source: Hostelling International

1970 World Cup Moments
Brazilian Carlos Alberto celebrates a legendary goal in the 1970 World Cup. Source: Daily Mail

Marco Tardelli 1982 World Cup
Marco Tardelli of Italy scores against West Germany in the 1982 World Cup in Spain. Source: ESPN

Diego Maradona in World Cup
Diego Maradona shines in the 1986 World Cup, when Argentina beat England in Mexico City. Source: ESPN

Iconic World Cup Moments
Italy striker Roberto Baggio misses a penalty shot in the 1994 World Cup. Source: ESPN

Brandi Chastain in 1999 World Cup
The U.S. Women’s soccer team beats China in the 1999 World Cup. Brandi Chastain, featured here, would later come under fire for shedding her shirt following the win. Source: Sporting News Today

Italy vs. France 2006 World Cup
Italy wins the 2006 World Cup in a penalty shootout after the final. Source: Forza Italian Football

David Beckham Road to World Cup
David Beckham gets kicked out of a second-round 1998 World Cup match. Beckham had kicked Argentine player Diego Simeone. Source: ESPN

Fans in South America for 2010 World Cup
Fans flock to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Spain dominated the Cup that year. Source: NY Daily News

World Cup Moments Spain
Spain wins the 2010 World Cup. Source: Vive Feliz

Spain Wins 2010 World Cup
Spain celebrates after winning the 2010 World Cup. Source: Wikipedia

2014 World Cup Maracana Stadium
Estádio do Maracanã is one of 12 stadiums that will be used during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Many have taken issue with the extravagant spending and relocation of Brazil's poor in preparation for the cup. Source: Wikimedia

FIFA World Cup 2014 Soccer Ball
The design for the 2014 FIFA World Cup soccer ball. According to researchers in Japan, the ball has been found to "follow a reliable trajectory no matter which side meets a foot". This spells bad news for players who rely on the ball to change direction while in the air. Source: Doobybrain.com

2022 World Cup in Qatar
Futuristic designs for the 2022 World Cup, which will be held in Qatar, a sovereign Arab emirate located in Western Asia. Source: Sporteology

World Cup Moments Japan Wins 2011
Japan wins the 2011 Women's World Cup, beating the United States in a nail biter of a shootout. Source: Young Feminist Wire

World Cup Trophy
An Italian player holds the World Cup trophy in 2006. Source: Rainforest Cruises

Kiri Picone
Bay Area transplant Kiri Picone is a writer and marketer who loves bizarre news and the color purple.