The World Cup was not the first international football competition. Amateur football became a part of the official Olympic programme for the first time in 1908 (See: Football at the 1908 Summer Olympics). In Turin in 1909, in what is sometimes described as The First World Cup, Sir Thomas Lipton organised a football tournament to contest the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy. Italy, Germany and Switzerland sent their most prestigious professional club sides to the competition but The Football Association of England refused to be associated with it and declined the offer to send a team. Not wishing to have Britain unrepresented in the competition, Lipton invited West Auckland FC, an amateur side from the north-east of England and mostly made up of coal miners, to take part. West Auckland won the tournament and returned to Italy in 1911 to defend their title. In the second competition West Auckland beat Juventus 6-1 in the final and were awarded the trophy outright.
The first FIFA World Cup was held in Uruguay and ran from July 13- 30, 1930. It was organised mainly by Jules Rimet, the FIFA president at the time. Thirteen nations took part - six from South America, five from Europe and two from North America. Uruguay beat Argentina 4-2 in front of crowd of 93,000 in Montevideo to become the first nation to win the trophy.
In 1970, Brazil's third victory in the tournament entitled them to keep the Jules Rimet trophy. A new trophy was then designed. Argentina, Germany (both times as West Germany), and Brazil have all won the second trophy twice. However, the current trophy will not be retired until the name plaque has been entirely filled with the names of winning nations. This will not happen until 2038.
Brazil, by a clear margin, are the most successful World Cup team overall, having won the tournament five times in total and finished as runners-up twice. Germany, three-time winners (as West Germany) and four-time runners-up (three times as West Germany), are next, while Italy have also won three trophies. Argentina and Uruguay are both two-time World Champions, although Uruguay's two successes came rather a long time ago, in the early years of the tournament.
The next World Cup finals will be held in Germany, in 2006. As indicated below, the 2010 finals will be held in South Africa. The 2014 finals, which FIFA has earmarked for South America, is expected to be held in Brazil 
as CONMEBOL has already backed it as their choice.