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FASCINATING FACTS: 30 Goal-tastic Facts About The World Cup


It’s that beautiful time where once every four years the best of the best
in international soccer meet up to throw down at the game’s highest
level. The World Cup is a special tournament, often offering soccer fans
and players the highest highs and the lowest lows.
It’s no understatement to say that the World Cup is truly the pinnacle
of professional soccer. Heartbreak and elation are commonplace at this
tournament, and every year sees shocking defeats and even more
shocking victories, from Germany’s 7 – 1 thrashing of Brazil at the
Brazil hosted 2014 tournament, to England snatching two late winners
at their own hosted 1966 tournament, the World Cup has something
for every soccer fan.
So, if you’re like me and you love soccer and the World Cup, then brush
up on some World Cup knowledge here to wax at your soccer mates
when you’re at the bar during the next big match.

1. The World Cup is held every four years. To date, there have been 20
World Cup tournaments, the first of which took place in 1930.
2. The name of the original World Cup trophy is the Jules Rimet
Trophy, named after the FIFA President Jules Rimet who passed a
vote to start the competition in 1929.
3. Uruguay were the hosts for the first ever World Cup in 1930 and
they also went on to win the tournament.
4. 2018 is the first ever World Cup to be hosted in Russia.
5. England have only ever hosted the tournament once in 1966, which
was also the only time they ever won the tournament, defeating
Germany in a dramatic last-minute 4 – 2 win.
6. Almost half of the world’s population, that’s 3.2 billion people, tuned
in to the 2014 World Cup.


7. The 2002 World Cup, hosted by both South Korea & Japan, was the
first ever World Cup to be hosted by two different nations.
8. Brazil are currently the nation to boast the most World Cup wins,
having won five.
9. However, Germany and France are both close behind them, having
won four tournaments each.
10. Egyptian Goalkeeper, Essam El Hadary, is the oldest player to ever
play in the World Cup at the age of 45, having played at the 2018
Russian World Cup. After saving Saudi Arabia’s Fahad Al Muwallad’s
penalty in his last game he then became the oldest ever goalkeeper
to save a penalty at the World Cup.
11. The oldest person to ever score a goal at a World Cup was
Cameroonian player Roger Milla, who scored against Russia in
1994.
12. In the 2018 Russian hosted World Cup, the distance between
Ekaterinburg and Kaliningrad,

the easternmost host city andwesternmost host city respectively,

is 1,500 miles. That’s the same
distance from Moscow to London.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA – JUNE 12 A Russian tourism shop selling a 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia football with flags of the competing nations on it in Moscow ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia on June 12, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

13. The fastest ever World Cup goal took place only 10.89 seconds after
kick off and was scored by Hakan Sukur of Turkey against South
Korea in 2002.
14. The highest ever scoring in a World Cup match was when Austria
defeated Switzerland 7 – 5 at the Switzerland hosted 1954 World
Cup.
15. In 1966, the World Cup trophy was stolen prior to the tournament
and was missing for 7 days before being found by a dog named
Pickles.
16. English goalkeeper Peter Shilton, the goalkeeper of England’s
winning 1966 squad, holds the highest record for clean sheets,
having earned 10 clean sheets in the World Cup.
17. Mexico is the team with the most losses, having lost 25 different
matches since the World Cup started.
18. The Italians are the team who have had the most World Cup draws
with 21 draws altogether.


19. Brazil is the team with the most World Cup wins, having won 70 of
games at the tournament.
20. Brazil also hold the record for the most wins in one tournament,
winning 7 matches in the 2002 World Cup in France. To put that into
perspective, they won every game in the tournament that year.
That’s all three Group games, their Round of Last 16 game, their
Quarter Final game, Semi Final game, and then the Final match in
order to win their 5
th World Cup title.
21. Germany have only ever failed to make it past the group stages in
the World Cup twice. Once back in 1938, then 80 years later at the
2018 World Cup where they crashed out defending their title in the
groups with a crushing defeat at the hands of South Korea.

22. Italy and Brazil are the only two teams to ever win the tournament
twice in a row.
23. Indonesia is the team to have played the least amount of World Cup
matches, having played only one in 1938.
24. In 2026, the number of teams qualified into a World Cup will jump
up from 32 to 46.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA – JULY 31, 2017; A view of the gladiator monument in front of Otkrytie Arena, the stadium hosting home matches of FC Spartak Moscow. Artyom Korotayev/TASS (Photo by Artyom KorotayevTASS via Getty Images)

25. The most goals ever scored in a single World Cup game is an
impressive 5, which was scored by Oleg Salenko of Russia in 1994.
26. Argentina is the team with the highest amount of red and yellow
cards across all the World Cup tournaments they’ve played in.
27. Retired German striker Miroslav Klose is the World Cup’s highest
total goal scorer, having scored 16 goals in total.
28. As many heartbroken England fans can attest, England are the team
who have lost the most World Cup penalty shootouts, having lost on
penalties in 3 separate World Cups.
29. However, England’s soccer nemesis, Germany, is the team to have
won the most World Cup penalty shootouts, having won 4 in total.
30. At the onset of World War II in 1939, plans for the 1942 World Cup
were cancelled, as was the 1946 World Cup due to FIFA having no
funding for the tournament and still having to rebuild itself
following the devastating conflict.

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