FIFA World Cup: An illustrated history

FIFA World Cup: An illustrated history

1930: Once upon a time…

The first football World Cup took place in Uruguay in 1930. Most teams came from North, Central and South America; only four European teams showed up, making the long journey by steamship. The host country won against its archrival, Argentina, in the final by 4-2. Aczel's illustration shows the teams' captains, Jose Nasazzi (Uruguay, at left) and Manuel Ferreira, lead their teams onto the field.

FIFA World Cup: An illustrated history

1954: Miracle of Bern

The first World Cup after World War II took place in Switzerland. In the preliminary, Germany lost against top team Hungary and its star, Ferenc Puskas, 3-8. But the final was a different story as Germany beat Hungary 3-2, becoming world champions for the very first time. Pictured above are Fritz Walter (left) and trainer Sepp Herberger on the shoulders of enthusiastic fans.

FIFA World Cup: An illustrated history

1966: One and only

England, largely seen as the birthplace of football, has only been World Cup champion once — in 1966, when the tournament took place on British soil. In the final, England won against Germany 4-2. Controversy still surrounds the famous "Wembley goal" that England scored in the 101st minute in extra time. Pictured above is Bobby Moore holding up the cherished cup.

FIFA World Cup: An illustrated history

1970: Three cheers for Pele

This year, Brazil was world champion for the third time. Pele, one of the 20th century's iconic football stars, led his team to victory over Italy 4-1, after the Brazilians had scored 19 sensational goals in only six games. West Germany came in third after beating Uruguay 1-0. 1970 was also the first year that the tournament could be watched on TV in color.

FIFA World Cup: An illustrated history

1974: Beckenbauer vs. Cruyff

The first World Cup to take place in Germany saw some premieres. Germany's top star Franz Beckenbauer played against the equally venerated Johan Cruyff of the Netherlands, and West Germany played against East Germany. It was also the first tournament to feature the new cup. In the final, Germany won against the Netherlands 2-1, with "bomber of the nation" Gerd Müller scoring the decisive goal.

FIFA World Cup: An illustrated history

1986: Hand of God

This year's outing in Mexico is still remembered for the show put on by Argentine superstar Diego Maradona. Thanks to his ingenuity and finesse, Argentina was champion for the second time. Maradona scored breathtaking, but also controversial, goals, including one where he shot the ball into the goal by hand, and the "goal of the century," which saw him dribble past five English players.

FIFA World Cup: An illustrated history

1990: Spit attack

Germany celebrated its third World Cup win in Italy following a 1-0 victory against Argentina. What may be best remembered, however, is when Dutch player Frank Rijkaard (right) spit on Germany's Rudi Völler as they faced off in the in the round of 16. Both players had to leave the field after a scuffle.

FIFA World Cup: An illustrated history

2006: Zidane goes ballistic

This year's World Cup was celebrated throughout host country Germany as its "Sommermärchen," or "summer fairy tale." In the final, Italy won against France in a penalty shootout. The game's worst moment occurred when French captain Zinedine Zidane knocked down Italian player ​Marco Materazzi with a head-butt. The ensuing dismissal ended his extraordinary career.

FIFA World Cup: An illustrated history

2010: Tiki-taka for the win

In South Africa, Spain dominated its rivals with its tiki-taka style, constantly passing the ball. In the final, Spain beat the Netherlands 1-0, celebrating the biggest success in its soccer history. The winning goal was scored by Andres Iniesta (front row, No. 6) during overtime. Germany came in third, after defeating Uruguay 3-2.

FIFA World Cup: An illustrated history

2014: King of dribbling

The hero of the last tournament, which took place in Brazil, was Argentina's star Lionel Messi. Thanks to him, Argentina reached the final to face off against Germany — which had decisively defeated the host nation 7-1 in the semifinals.

FIFA World Cup: An illustrated history

2014: Four-star team

Around 75,000 fans filled the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro for the final between Germany and Argentina. Germany won 1-0 in overtime — and for the very first time, a European team succeeded in taking home the trophy on South American soil.

FIFA World Cup: An illustrated history

2018: Controversial cup

This year's host country is Russia, a controversial choice in the wake of the FIFA corruption scandal and accusations of doping. Russia will face off against Saudi Arabia on opening day in Moscow on June 14. The final will take place just over a month later, on July 15, in the same place — Luzhniki Stadium.

FIFA World Cup: An illustrated history

Comic trip through history

World Cup 1930-2018, an illustrated history, is published by Edel Books. The book chronicles the unforgettable moments of the 88-year history of the tournament, with witty comics and humorous texts. The cover features many stars of the 2018 edition, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Manuel Neuer, Lionel Messi and Neymar.

FIFA World Cup: An illustrated history

Man with the pen

German Aczel, the Argentine artist behind the book, began his career in his hometown Buenos Aires, where he worked for the sports magazine El Grafico. He moved to Germany at age 26, and now lives in Munich. Currently, he works for British soccer magazine FourFourTwo.

Germany has confirmed its final lineup for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Surprisingly, Leroy Sane was left out. Hardly the first surprise in World Cup history, as caricaturist German Aczel highlights in his book.