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FIFA World Cup

The FIFA World Cup, sometimes called the Football World Cup or the Soccer World Cup, but usually referred to simply as the World Cup, is an international football (soccer) competition contested by the men's national football teams of the member nations of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the first tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946, due to World War II.

The tournament's final phase, often called the World Cup Finals, is the most widely-viewed sporting event in the world, with an estimated 1.1 billion people watching the 2002 tournament final. The current format of the Finals involves thirty-two national teams competing at venues within the host nation (or nations) over a period of about a month. To determine the participating teams, qualifying rounds take place over the three years preceding the Finals.

In the eighteen tournaments held, only seven nations have won the title. Brazil is the most successful World Cup team, having won the tournament five times. The current Cup holder, Italy, follows with four titles, while Germany holds three. The other former champions are Uruguay and Argentina with two titles each, and England and France with one title each.

The most recent World Cup Finals were held between June 9 and July 9, 2006 in Germany, where Italy was crowned champions after beating France in the final, winning the penalty shootout 5-3 after the match finished 1-1 after extra time. The next World Cup Finals will be held in 2010 in South Africa

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