Depending on who you believe, the original World Cup trophy hasn’t been seen since Indiana Jones and a team of “top … men” buried it deep in the recesses of the Pentagon some time in the late 1940s. As a journalist, that story always appeared fishy. Now that a piece of the original award has been recovered, we can get to the truth.
The base of the first Jules Rimet Trophy — named after FIFA’s president from 1921 to 1954 — was found in the basement of FIFA headquarters in Zurich. The 10-centimeter chunk of global prestige is engraved with the names of the first four Wold Cup winners — Italy and Uruguay, twice each.
A new base was added to the original trophy in 1954, and the statue changed hands from champion to champion until it was given to Brazil as a gift to commemorate its third world championship in 1970. Some jerk, or team of jerks, stole the trophy in 1983, and it hasn’t been seen since. This base was thought to be a part of that caper.
The original Rimet Trophy was a very art deco affair. It would fit nicely on the credenza of an aging Miami Beach socialite who once doubled as an importer/exporter of exotic house pets. Ocelots and such. Real classy Japanese fighting fish – that kind of thing.
Creative director of the FIFA Museum, David Ausseil — who I assume to be a very tidy, horn-rimmed glasses, cheese plate kind of fellow — seemed very excited to have part of the trophy back. “It’s like finding an Egyptian mummy. You can’t put a price tag on it because it’s family jewels,” he said.
That makes sense. I’ve had my family jewels appraised by BOFA Deez, and I’d be devastated if I couldn’t pass down such a blessing unto future generations.
Right now in Hollywood, an agent is hearing about this story and tripping over furniture running to a phone to tell Nic Cage: Plans are back on for National Treasure 12. “I’m going to steal the original World Cup.”