Thursday, 18 Apr 2024

The Mysterious Disappearance of the Jules Rimet Trophy

World Cup hosts Brazil are steeped in glorious football history, but the city staging next month’s final, Rio de Janeiro, is also central to a more sinister World Cup tale – one wrapped in crime, cruelty, shame, and more than a splash of intrigue. It has also resulted in a search for football’s holy grail that is, according to some, still ongoing.

The holy grail in this case is the Jules Rimet Trophy, the original prize awarded to the winners of the World Cup. At the inception of the tournament in 1930, FIFA agreed that, should any nation win three finals, they would be given the trophy for keeps. Following Brazil’s iconic thrashing of Italy in the 1970 final in Mexico, the trophy was presented to the Brazilian Sports Confederation (CBD), now the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF).

Jules Rimet Trophy

The trophy was placed on display on the third floor of the CBF offices in Rio’s Rua da Alfandega. On the evening of 19-20 December 1983, the building’s nightwatchman was overpowered by a group of thieves seemingly in no mood to embrace the Christmas spirit.

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Although they had hatched the plan around a table in a bar while drinking cachaça, the thieves prised open the wooden frame of the bulletproof-glassed display box that housed the trophy and swiped it. The crime triggered a desperate search for the perpetrators and the trophy.

The police embarked on an intense investigation, pursuing an “inside job” line of inquiry. However, no charges were ever made, and the trophy was never discovered, widely believed to have been melted down and sold as bullion. In 1989, one of the arrested suspects was found dead, having been shot seven times.

Jules Rimet Trophy Replica

But did the original trophy really disappear forever? According to an Italian documentary, the trophy first came under threat from the Nazis during World War II when it was held by Italy. It was smuggled out of a bank and hidden under the bed of the Italian Football Federation’s president, Ottorino Barassi, where the Nazis failed to find it.

In 1966, the trophy was stolen in England but was later recovered thanks to a dog named Pickles. However, rumors have surfaced that the trophy England handed back for the 1970 tournament was, in fact, a replica. The original trophy remained in Brazil.

Only one mystery remains: what happened to the trophy after the 1983 theft? Was it really melted down into gold bars in a Brazilian foundry? The search continues, the mystery rolls on.

FAQs

Q: Has the Jules Rimet Trophy ever been recovered?
A: No, the original trophy has never been found. It is widely believed to have been melted down and sold as bullion.

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Q: Was the Jules Rimet Trophy ever stolen before the 1983 incident?
A: Yes, the trophy was stolen in 1966 in England but was later recovered.

Q: Is the trophy that remained in Brazil after the 1983 theft the original one?
A: It is uncertain. There have been rumors that the trophy England gave back for the 1970 tournament was a replica.

Conclusion

The story of the Jules Rimet Trophy is a tale of crime and intrigue that has captured the imagination of football fans around the world. Despite the best efforts of the police and football authorities, the original trophy has never been found. The search continues, and the mystery remains. Will this elusive treasure ever resurface? Only time will tell.

For more information about football and the history of the World Cup, visit Pesstatsdatabase.