Skip main navigation

World Champions at a Glance

During this week we consider three different competitions, the Men’s World Cup, the Women’s World Cup and the Homeless World Cup.

The stories of triumph and loss are both exhilarating and heartbreaking, but all of the competitions help to illustrate what a great game football is and why it is still called the people’s game despite many changes.

The FIFA World Cup was first won by Uruguay in 1930 and the Women’s World Cup was first won by the United States of America in 1991.

Football facts:

  • Brazil have won the World Cup more than any other country so far.

  • According to FIFA there are 29 million women and girls playing football world-wide.

  • France hosted the 2019 Women’s World Cup and Russia hosted the 2018 Men’s World Cup

  • Five African teams qualified for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil the 2018 World Cup in Russia.( Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia)

  • The Homeless World Cup was first played for in 2003 in Austria.

  • The Homeless World Cup was held in Glasgow in 2016, Oslo in 2017, Mexico in 2018, and Cardiff in 2019. Mexico won both men and women’s trophies in 2018 and 2019.

Not every country can host a men’s or women’s World Cup and it is interesting to consider why this is. Undoubtedly one of the most successful World Cup winning teams has been the USA’s women’s team, but where else is women’s football likely to grow? What are the barriers to growth in some countries and how can they be removed?

The power of football to make a difference to people’s lives is talked about a lot in terms of the high salaries and lifestyles that some footballers enjoy. However, one World Cup competition makes a concerted effort to help the poor – indeed, that is its reason for existing and its impact since it started in 2003 has been impressive.

This week, you will hear from the founder of the Homeless World Cup but also someone who played in World Cup matches who has some interesting things to say about the depth of young talent playing football on the beaches of Brazil.

This article is from the free online

Football: More than a Game

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education