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34 Interesting and Funny Facts About FIFA World Cup

Updated on August 25, 2019

FIFA World Cup is the second most viewed sporting event in the world. It is a game that is full of suspense like a thriller novel and unexpected twist of turns. An example is 2014 FIFA World Cup which saw defender teams, Spain and England out before reaching quarter finals.

However, there is more to World Cup than seeing one’s favorite team scoring an opponent and the possibility of the team winning the World Cup title. This game has interesting facts surrounding it, some unknown and some known.

These interesting and funny facts will make you smile, wonder, surprised and maybe astonished. Read on to get a grip of these fascinating facts.

  • Brazil is the fifth country to hold 2014 FIFA World Cup for the second time as a host nation. The first it held the World Cup was in 1950.
  • The first four countries to have held FIFA World Cup two times are Mexico in 1970 and 1982, followed by Italy in 1934 and 1990, France in 1938 and 1998 and Germany in 1994 and 2006.
  • The last time South America held the World Cup was 36 years ago in 1978, Argentina. The 2014 World Cup will be the fifth time for South America to hold World Cup. The other South American countries to host World Cup are Uruguay in 1930 and Chile in 1962.
  • The 2014 FIFA World Cup is the only World Cup tournament to hold the matches in 12 different cities in Brazil.
  • Brazil has won FIFA World Cup for a record of five times up to 2010.
  • The only host country to never have won World Cup title Is Brazil when it was a host nation in 1950 and in 2014 when it held World Cup for the second time.

  • Is FIFA World Cup the most viewed sports tournament? Well, it is the second most viewed sporting event. Despite this fact, the 2006 FIFA World Cup had an estimated viewership of 115.1 million people during the final match.
  • Scotland is the only country to participate in World Cup 8 times and for the same number of times to be eliminated in the first round. They all occurred in different times.
  • The German goalkeeper, Oliver Khan is the first goalkeeper to win the Most Valuable Player (MVP) during 2012 Final World Cup.
  • The only head coach to have ever led his team country to win FIFA World Cup title for two consecutive World Cupseasons is Vittorio Pozzo who led Italy to victory in 1934 and 1938.
  • Lothar Matthas is the player to have made the most appearances in World Cup history – 25 appearances.
  • Mexico is the only country to hold the record of the most defeats in the World Cup history – 22 matches.
  • There are only two World Cups which were decided on penalties during the finals – 1994 and 2006 where Brazil beat Italy, and Italy beat France respectively.
  • Uruguay, the first country to host World Cup was also the first country to win the World Cup title.
  • Zinedine Zidane is one of the greatest regarded soccer players. However, Zidane ended his last football career in shame after he was given a red card. Why? He head butted Marco Materazzi in the chest during 2006 World Cup when he was playing for France.

  • The only player to have ever played both at FIFA World Cup and World Cup Cricket is Sir Viv Richards.
  • The FIFA World Cup tournament match to have ever witnessed the highest number of attendance was in the year 1950 in Marakara Stadium, Rio de Janerio, Brazil during the final match between Brazil and Uruguay.
  • The only country to have ever appeared in all FIFA World Cup tournaments since 1930 is Brazil.
  • The 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa witnessed for the first time host countries eliminated during the first round.
  • Because of the World War, FIFA World Cup was never held in 1942 and 1946.
  • Uruguay’s player Jose Baptista is the only player to receive the fastest red card. He only lasted for the opening 56 seconds before he was sent off in1986. Uruguay was playing against Scotland.
  • Hakan Sukur of Turkey is the only player to have ever scored the fastest goal against South Korea in 2002. He scored in the eleventh second after the start of the match.
  • Uruguay is the first country to hold FIFA World Cup in 1930 whereby 13 countries participated.
  • The only person to have ever led his team country to winning the World Cup title as a player and coach in the history of World Cup is Franz Beckenbauer, in 1974 as a player and in 1990 as a coach.
  • Now, who is the first player to miss a penalty kick in the history of World Cup? Valdemar de Brito of Brazil in 1930.

  • The first player to ever be sent off in the World Cup with a red card is Chilean player, Carlos Caszley. He was sent off by a straight card.
  • The original Jules Rimet World Cup trophy was stolen from an exhibition in London. Who stole it? It is not yet known. Who found it? A dog called Pickles with its owner on a walk, a week later.
  • The first time for the World Cup to be televised was in Switzerland in 1954. However, by 1970 the world was able to view the matches live.
  • Brazil, a country that has won more than 2 World Cup titles is also the only team to be defeated with the highest number of scores. During the 2014 World Cup, Germany beat Brazil 7-1 in the quarter finals.

  • Roger Milla from Cameroon was not only the oldest player but also the oldest to score a goal in 1994 at the age of 42.
  • It took 44 years before Italy had a chance to win FIFA World Cup for the third time, 1982. The second time they held that title was in 1938.
  • The team country to have ever scored the most goals is Hungary when it beat Elsavador 10-1 in 1982.
  • The only reason India withdrew from FIFA World Cup in 1950 is because they were not allowed to play barefoot.
  • Diego Maradona’s score against England during the match between Argentina and England in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico City, Argentina was referred as Hand of God. Diego scored the goal using his head and hand. As he later said it involved, “…a little with the hand of Maradona and a little with the hand of God.”

FIFA World Cup Best Moments

2006 FIFA World Cup. Germany-Sweden.jpg
2006 FIFA World Cup. Germany-Sweden.jpg | Source

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