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Old 18-06-2018, 12:02 PM
marco 2005 marco 2005 is offline
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Originally Posted by Lee Bushwacker View Post

The original Jules Rimet trophy for the W.C. was class.
I also like the C.L. trophy.


World Cup mystery: what happened to the original Jules Rimet trophy?

It evaded the Nazis, was found by Pickles the dog, and went on to be stolen from Brazil in 1983, presumed melted into gold bars – but could the original World Cup trophy still exist?

Paul Gadsby

Fri 13 Jun 2014 13.00 BST
Last modified on Mon 27 Nov 2017 23.21 GMT

Brazil's captain Carlos Alberto
Brazil's captain Carlos Alberto holds the Jules Rimet trophy aloft after his side beat Italy in the 1970 World Cup final. Photograph: Popperfoto/Getty Images

World Cup hosts Brazil are of course 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 therefore presented to the Brazilian Sports Confederation (CBD), now the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF).

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.

Although they had, according to v-brazil.com, hatched the plan around a table in a bar while drinking cachaça, in a plot that was said to be farcically opportunist rather than meticulously organised by an international syndicate.

After tying up the nightwatchman, the thieves (some sources have quoted there were two of them, others three) prised open the wooden frame of the bulletproof-glassed display box that housed the trophy and swiped it. There was actually a replica in the building too, carefully secured in a coffer (you can’t be too careful) but the thieves left that alone and took off with the real thing.

The crime triggered a desperate search for the perpetrators and the trophy. With several covert foundries in and around the city, fears grew that the trophy would be melted down.

The bullion value was believed to be around £8,000 at the time while the Rio de Janeiro State Bank issued a hefty reward for the trophy’s safe return.

In his book The Theft of the Jules Rimet Trophy, Martin Atherton writes that the CBF president, Giulite Coutinho, made a nationwide appeal asking all Brazilians to help recover the trophy, saying: “The spiritual value of the cup is far greater than its material worth” and that the thieves had “no feeling of patriotism”. The nation hung its head in shame.

The police embarked on an intense investigation, pursuing an “inside job” line of inquiry and condemning the nightwatchman’s evidence as inconsistent. The day after the theft, two men who had previously worked at the CBF offices as janitors were arrested.

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 those arrested suspects – Antonio Carlos Aranha – was found dead having been shot seven times.

And so the glorious trophy – the gilded 30cm-high statuette of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, made by the Parisian sculptor Abel Lafleur in 1929 – vanished for ever …

… Or did it? This is where that splash of intrigue comes in. That December night in Rio was by no means the first time that the security of the Jules Rimet Trophy had been compromised.

According to the Italian documentary The Rimet Trophy, by Lorenzo Garzella, Filippo Macelloni and César Meneghetti, football’s greatest prize first came under threat from the Nazis. And they got very close to swiping it. During the second world war the trophy was held by the 1938 winners, Italy, in a Rome bank. Fearing for its safety, the Italian Football Federation’s president, Ottorino Barassi, smuggled the trophy out of the bank and into his apartment in the city. However, the Nazis had followed the scent and conducted a search of Barassi’s home. But they weren’t thorough enough. They missed the old shoebox stashed underneath Barassi’s bed, the trophy hidden inside.

Following West Germany’s victory in the 1954 finals in Switzerland, the trophy resided in Frankfurt. The photojournalist Joe Coyle has claimed that, having studied certain photographs, the trophy taken to Sweden for the 1958 finals was 5cm taller and had an altered base from the 1954 version, but it has never been verified that the trophy was adapted or exchanged while under German control.

From there we go to England for our next Jules Rimet incident. The trophy was on public display at Westminster Central Hall three months before Alf Ramsey’s men were to kick off the 1966 tournament. Picture a quiet Sunday lunchtime, four security guards on duty covering the two-storey building. A routine check of the trophy at 11am: all fine. The next routine check at 12.10pm: the glass case holding the trophy smashed, the back doors to the building forced open, the trophy gone. No one saw it being taken.

A ransom demand was made to the FA chairman, Joe Mears, but despite a man being convicted of “being concerned in a larceny after the fact” and “demanding money with menaces”, there was no evidence linking him to the raid in Westminster, and the identity of the thieves – just as in Rio in 1983 – never came to light.

Ironically enough, amid the football world’s outrage at this lack of English security, Abrain Tebel of the CBD proclaimed: “It would never have happened in Brazil. Even Brazilian thieves love football and would never commit this sacrilege.” Ahem.

But unlike in Brazil, in 1966 the trophy was recovered. Pickles the dog came to the rescue seven days after the theft, discovering the trophy wrapped in newspaper outside the front garden of a house in Upper Norwood, south London. To this day, no one knows how it got there.

The FA commissioned a replica trophy to be made in time for the tournament, and a policeman on duty at Wembley for the final has recounted swapping the original for the replica with a jubilant Nobby Stiles shortly after the game. This replica was used at that night’s official party at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington and subsequent publicity events.

Rumours have surfaced that the trophy England handed back for the 1970 tournament was in fact the replica (a switch possibly made by mistake as the replica was a convincing one).

The trophy that remained in England was auctioned in 1997 and purchased by Fifa for a staggering £254,500 on the off-chance that maybe, just maybe, the rumours were true and this was the original. They had it examined by an expert jeweller. The result: it was the replica, meaning the real thing had gone to Mexico, and was subsequently taken back home by the victorious Brazil team.

Only one mystery remains: what happened to the trophy after that 1983 theft on Rua da Alfandega? Was it really melted down into gold bars in a Brazilian foundry? The football writer Simon Kuper has voiced his reservations over this theory, pointing out that the original trophy wasn’t actually made of solid gold, but of silver coated with gold.

So if it wasn’t taken to a furnace it could be anywhere; hidden on the outskirts of Rio waiting for a pick-up that never happened, tucked away in some dodgy collector’s pokey basement, hidden in a shoebox under someone’s bed. The search continues, the mystery rolls on.

Rio has now played host to two major World Cup moments, both of which shook Brazil to its core: Uruguay’s highly unexpected 2-1 defeat of the hosts in the decisive match of the 1950 tournament (labelled by many as the greatest tragedy in Brazilian football) and the 1983 theft of the original trophy.

Will 2014 see a hat-trick of calamitous events for Brazil, or will it be third time lucky for the country that has probably made a bigger contribution than any other to the history of the World Cup?

Paul Gadsby is the author of the crime novel Chasing the Game, a fictional depiction of the 1966 theft of the Jules Rimet Trophy in London – Paulgadsbyauthor.co. uk
POL on Ozil joining Arsenal: "lol, its like Higaiun all over again"
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Old 18-06-2018, 12:05 PM
Choice is yours Choice is yours is offline
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Old 20-06-2018, 11:37 PM
BlueMagic BlueMagic is offline
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Originally Posted by Alcatraz View Post
The mighty urn. Wonderful story behind that trophy
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Old 21-06-2018, 10:31 PM
BettyDoesMallow BettyDoesMallow is offline
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Old 02-07-2018, 11:15 AM
BlackpoolTerrier BlackpoolTerrier is offline
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Got up close and personal with this one over the weekend - the trophy for the winner of the Lee Swim. An absolute beauty - 100 years of names engraved on there, a real piece of Cork history.

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Old 04-07-2018, 01:09 AM
Choice is yours Choice is yours is offline
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Originally Posted by bettydoesmallow View Post
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Old 04-07-2018, 07:57 AM
Hawkeye Hawkeye is offline
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Harry Kane hold aloft the Jules Rimet trophy!
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Old 04-07-2018, 08:12 PM
Bandon Langer Bandon Langer is online now
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Originally Posted by The Dagda View Post
Based on the Ardagh chalice.
Disgusted when I saw that IRL as a kid. I expected it to be as big as Sam!
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