The World Cup is a sporting competition that brings teams from all over the world to compete against each other and determine which country is the best in a particular sport.
World Cups are held across a variety of sports but some of the bigger events include the Football (Soccer) World Cup, the Rugby World Cup, Rugby League World Cup and the Cricket World Cup.
Generally held every four years, the best individuals from each country unite to represent their home nation against others from around the world.
No matter what the sport, the World Cup always attracts global attention and some of attract some of the biggest audiences of any events around the world.
The next World Cup will be the 2015 Cricket World Cup to be held in Australian and New Zealand from February 14 – March 29.
Cricket World Cup
The Cricket World Cup is the biggest One Day International cricket tournament in the world.
The 2015 Cricket World Cup will be hosted by Australia and New Zealand between February 14th and March 29th.
While some test series may be more popular within certain nations, the World Cup is the most popular global cricket event.
The World Cup was first held in 1975 and has taken place every four years since. The current format has 14 teams in the World Cup, made up of the 10 test and One Day International-playing nations as well as four qualifying countries.
The 10 teams who are guaranteed a spot in the World Cup are Australia, England, New Zealand, West Indies, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, South Africa, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Like in other sports, the World Cup host country changes with each tournament.
Australia have won the most World Cups with four while India and the West Indies have won twice. The only other teams to have won the World Cup are Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Cricket World Cup Winners
Football (Soccer) World Cup
The Football World Cup is the biggest of all the World Cups and is one of the most popular sporting events in the world.
The next soccer world cup is the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia which will take place from 14 June – 15 July.
Outside of the Olympics, it is the most watched sporting event in the world and has taken place every four years since it began in 1930 except in 1942 and 1946 due to the Second World War.
Thirty two teams contest the Football World Cup which takes place at a host country that changes each tournament. To gain entry into the World Cup nations must qualify by winning a series of games in the preceding three years.
Nineteen World Cups have been held since the inaugural tournament but only eight nations have tasted success on the biggest stage.
Brazil have won the most titles with five victories while Italy have won four times and Germany three. Other teams to have won the World Cup are Argentina and Uruguay (2 each) and England, France and Spain.
Recent Football World Cup Winners
Rugby Union World Cup
The Rugby Union World Cup is the absolute peak of the sport, testing the very best rugby-playing nations every four years.
The tournament began in 1987 and has been held every four years since. Twenty countries from around the world compete for the “William Webb Ellis Cup”, named after William Web Ellis.
Legend says William Webb Ellis invented the game of Rugby while attending the Rugby School in England and picking up the ball and running during a game of football.
The Rugby World Cup takes place in two stages, a “pool stage” and a “finals stage.” Teams are divided into four pools of five and play each other within their respective pools once. The two highest ranked teams following the pool stage progress to the finals which is a knock out competition that leaves two teams at the end to compete in the World Cup final.
There have been just four winners of the Rugby World Cup, with Australia, New Zealand and South Africa winning two World Cups each and England winning on one occasion.
Rugby Union World Cup Winners
Rugby League World Cup
The Rugby League World Cup tests Rugby League-playing nations from around the world against each other in a tournament that began in 1954.
Unlike other World Cups where the format and timing is fairly consistent, the Rugby League World Cup has changed numerous times throughout history.
The first six World Cups were contested by just four teams – Australia, Britain, France and New Zealand – while the 2013 World Cup hosted 14 teams.
Hosting duties of the World Cup are generally shared between the three major rugby league-playing nations, rotating between Australia, the UK and New Zealand at each tournament. France has also hosted two World Cups.
Australia have been the dominant team throughout World Cup history, winning ten of the 14 events. Great Britain have won three times while New Zealand took out their only World Cup in 2008.
Rugby League World Cup Winners