The countdown to the Qatar World Cup has already begun and football fans can’t wait to watch the next FIFA World Cup. Read on to find out more World Cup facts.
Football is the world's most popular sport, and the most important event of football is the FIFA World Cup. Moreover, it is the most widely viewed and followed sporting event in the globe, standing above the Olympics games.
Senior Men's national teams are the contestants of this tournament which is held every 4 years. The most glorious title a football player can ever reach in his professional career is most definitely the honor to lift the World Cup.
While for many countries, only reaching its group stages are considered as an exquisite achievement, some other countries will not be satisfied unless they reach World Cup's semi-finals each time.
The tournament's current format requires national teams to contest in qualification games from the preceding 3 years to each World Cup, and sure enough, the qualification phase is not an easy one even for the big teams.
Jules Rimet was posthumously made a member of the FIFA Order of Merit, which was collected by his grandson Yves Rimet. He is credited with being the inventor of the World Cup. The original World Cup trophy was named the Jules Rimet Trophy in his honour.
Some of the greatest national teams have not been able to reach recent World Cups. In the following article, we provide some of the most interesting facts about the World Cup.
The first ever World Cup was held in 1930 asUruguay
was chosen to be the host of the inaugural World Cup tournament. A total of 13 teams took part in it.
The first two games of World Cups started simultaneously on July 30, 1930, whereFrance
4 -1, and the United States won 3 – 0 againstBelgium
One of the best
World Cup facts
that many desire to know is the answer to the question "Who has scored World Cup's first ever goal?" The answer is Lucien Laurent, France national team's player.
The first two finalists of World Cups were Argentina and the host country Uruguay. The final match between the two nations was held in front of 93,000 fans in the Capital of Uruguay-Montevideo- where Uruguay national team defeatArgentina
4 – 2 and was named World Cup's first ever champion.
Until 2 months before the first World Cup, no European country had agreed to send a team due to the long and costly trip across the Atlantic Ocean which was necessary to get to South America. Eventually, four teams from Europe agreed to participate in the tournament: Belgium, France,Romania
, and Yugoslavia.
The 1934 World Cup was the first World Cup that the teams had to play in qualifying matches in order to reach it. The reigning champions, Uruguay, boycotted playing in the 1934 World Cup because only 4 European countries had agreed to play in the previous World Cup and the 1934 tournament was being held in Italy.
In 1934, again the host country won the title. Italy beatCzechoslovakia
2 – 1 in the final match to be named the first European Country who has ever won the Cup.
The issues of the long-distance intercontinental traveling as well as war were the reason why onlyEgypt
took part in the 1934 World Cup. This was the first appearance of An African country in the history of World Cup tournaments. All North and South American nations boycotted 1938 World Cup exceptBrazil
Many people would get confused when they try to figure out how the 2018 World Cup was the 21st one, while the inaugural tournament was in 1930 and it has been held every 4 years.
The answer is here as one of the best World Cup facts: The 1942 and 1946 World Cups were cancelled because of the Second World War and its aftermath. Germany and Brazil were the countries that were attempting to be the host of the mentioned World Cups.
In the 21 tournaments that have been held to this day, only 8 countries have experienced winning the World Cup.
Brazil is the most decorated national team in the world by winning the World Cup trophy on 5 occasions. Germany and Italy stand in the second place with 4 titles each. Argentina, Uruguay, and France have won the World Cup twice, andEngland
has achieved the most prestigious award in the world of football once.
Brazil is the only country which has taken part in every 21 World Cups that have been held from its inaugural tournament in 1930.
This is one of the most remarkable achievements in the world of football and one of the incredible
World Cup facts
, since every World Cup tournament, beside the first one in 1930, has involved a qualification face which required countries to earn their presence in the most viewed sporting event of the world. However, the host of each of the tournament would not have to play in the qualification games.
Twenty one countries have hosted the World Cup throughout history. Mexico, Germany, France, Italy, and Brazil have each was the host on 2 occasions. Whereas South Africa, Sweden,Chile
, England, Russia, South Korea and Japan (jointly), Uruguay, Switzerland, Argentina, and the United States have each hosted the tournament once.
The 2022 World Cup will be hosted by Qatar, and will be the first time the tournament is being held in a Middle East country. Moreover, after the 2002 World Cup whereSouth Korea
jointly hosted the tournament, this will be the second time that FIFA World Cup, as the greatest sporting games in the world, is going to be held in Asia.
Germany has reached the final match more than every other team in the world with 8 times. They have won half of these final matches.
With finishing second on 4 occasions,Germany
is the record holder of finishing the tournament as runner-ups.
To state some random
World Cup facts
, South Korea and Scotland have been eliminated in the World Cups' first rounds more than any other country with 8 times.
The longest gap between 2 successive championships record belongs to Italy with 44 years. They won their second title in 1938 and waited 44 years to win their third in 1982.
In 6 tournaments of the total of 21 World Cups to this day, 6 hosts have managed to win the trophy.
Netherlands has reached the final match without ever being champion 3 times.
Argentina has reached the semi-finals 5 times, and has never lost a match in the semi-finals. In other words, every time they have reached the top 4 teams, they also reached the final.
The most repetitive final matches have happened between Germany and Argentina. The final matches of 1986, 1990, and 2014 were between these two teams. Argentina won the first won while Germany beat Argentina the next 2 times.
"Pele" is the only player in the history who has won 3 World Cups, making him one of the most special players that have ever existed. He has achieved the trophy in 1958, 1962, and 1970.
The youngest player that has ever appeared in a World Cup match is Norman Whiteside who played for Northern Ireland against Yugoslavia in 1982 at the age of 17 years and 41 days.
Having played in the 1958 World Cup final match againstSweden
at the age of 17 years and 249 days, Pele is the youngest player that has ever appeared in a World Cup final.
There are only 3 players that have taken part in 5 World Cup tournaments: Antonio Carbajal from Mexico (1950 – 1966), Lothar Matthaus from Germany (1982 – 1988), Rafael Marquez from Mexico (2002 – 2018)
To continue with our list of
FIFA World Cup facts
, the player with the most appearances in the history of World Cups is the German Lothar Matthaus by playing in 25 matches. However, Paolo Maldini holds the record of playing for the most minutes with 2,217 minutes.
As one of the least heard World Cup facts, Miroslave Klose holds another record besides being the best scorer in the history of the tournament, that is, he is the player who has won 17 matches in different World Cups, which is also a record.
Everyone seek a sign of top scorers among the FIFA World Cup facts. So here it is: The German Miroslave Klose is World Cup's all-time top scorer with 16 goals. Ronaldo Lima with 15 goals stands in the second place, and another German legend, Gerd Muller netted 14. The French Just Fontaine has scored 13 while Pele, as one of the best players in the history of World Cup stands 5th with 12 goals.
With 10 assists, Pele is World Cup's top assist provider of all-time. Furthermore, the record of providing the most assists in a single tournament also belongs to the Brazilian legend, who provided 6 assists in the 1970 World Cup.
The French Just Fontaine holds the bright record of scoring the most goals in a single tournament with 13 goals in 1958 World Cup.
The record of scoring the most goals in a single match belongs to the Russian Oleg Salenko who scored 5 goals against Cameroon in 1994.
Cafu, the Brazilian legendary right-back who is regarded as one of the best defenders of all time, is the only player to have appeared in 3 different World Cup finals, by playing in 1994, 1998, and 2002 final matches.
As one of the most
incredible World Cup facts
, it is good to mention that there have been 2 players that have played for 2 different nations in different World Cups! Luis Monti Played for Argentina in the first World Cup in 1930, and wore Italian national team's shirt in the next one.
In addition, Robert Prosinecki played for Yugoslavia in 1990 World Cup, but took part as a member of Croatian national team in 1998 and 2002 World Cup.
Geoff Hurst is the only player who has scored a hat-trick in a World Cup final match by scoring three goals against West Germany in 1966 World Cup for England, which led to first and- to this day- last World Cup championship of the Three Lions.
Another item in the list of Pele's World Cup individual records is that he is the youngest goal scorer in the history of the tournament, by scoring against Wales at the age of 17 years and 239 days in 1958. Moreover, he is also the youngest hat-trick scorer of World Cups by scoring a treble against France at the age of 17 years and 244 years in 1958 World Cup.
is the oldest player who has scored a hat-trick in a World Cup match. He achieved the feat in a group stage match against Spain in 2018 World Cup while he was 33 years and 110 days old.
The name of the original World Cup trophy is the Jules Rimet Trophy, which was named after the FIFA President of that time, Jules Rimet, who was the driving force that convinced Football Confederations to develop an international football tournament.
Roger Milla is the oldest goal scorer in World Cup history. He scored for Cameroon against Russia at the age of 42 years and 39 days in 1994.
All of the World Cup trophies have been won by either European or South American nations. European clubs have won 12 titles while South Americans have achieved 9.
One of the most
interesting facts about the World Cup
is that from the beginning, every champion team has been coached by a manager with the same nationality.
The 2026 World Cup is going to be jointly hosted by Canada, the United States, and Mexico. This means that Mexico will be the only country that has hosted the World Cup three times.
The country with the least population that has taken part in a World Cup tournament was Iceland which played in 2018 World Cup. The country has only 334,000 residents.
Nearly half of the World's population, that was around 3.2 billion people, watched 2014 World Cup games.
world cup fun facts
is that the Egyptian Essam El-Hadary became the oldest player in the history of the World Cup when he played for his national team in 2018 World Cup at the age of 45 years and 161 days. Furthermore, the goalkeeper saved a Penalty in the last game againstSaudi Arabia
Let's check a "fastest" record among these World Cup facts. The fastest goal that has ever been scored in a World Cup match was scored by Hakan Sukur from Turkey against South Korea in 2002 World Cup. The goal was scored only 10.89 seconds after the starting whistle!
England's legendary goal keeper, Peter Shilton, holds the record for most clean sheets with 10 clean shits. With 27 defeats, Mexico has lost the most matches in the history of the World Cup.
On the other hand, Brazil is the country with the most victories in World Cup history with 73 matches won. Germany has won 67 matches and is the second successful country in terms of the number of victories.
England and Italy are the countries with the most draws in World Cup history with 21 draws.
In 2002, where Brazil won the trophy, they won all of their 7 matches in the tournament, and became the only team that has ever managed to do so.
Brazil and Italy are the only teams who have defended their championship, meaning they have won the cup 2 times in a row.
Indonesia has only played 1 match in World Cups, which is the least amount among the participant teams in the history of the tournament.
Lionel Messi holds 2 luminous yet mostly unheard records which can fit in World Cup facts list: he is the only player that has scored in his teens (2006), in his twenties (2014), and his thirties (2018). Moreover, he is the only player who has provided at least on assist in 4 different World Cup tournaments, and all of the 4 have been consecutive (2006- 2018).
At least one European Country has featured in 19 of the last 21 World Cup finals. The record of the most goals scored by a team in a single match belongs toHungary
by beating El Salvador 10 – 1 in a 1982 World Cup match.
beat Switzerland 7- 5. The match has remained the game with the most goals to this day.
After these statistics-based World Cup facts, let's enter the section of some of the most surprising and interesting facts about the World Cup:
As it may sound far-fetched, it is a factual reality that World Cup causes pregnancies! After Germany hosted the World Cup in 2006, the birth rate in the country increased by 10%, while it does not change by more than 0.7% in Germany.
There are lots of joy and letting loose associated with the World Cup, thus it resulted in more than three billion bottles of beer being sold around various stadia within 2010 World Cup in South Arica.
Croatia which was one of the 2018 finalists, decided to give the $28 million to charity, which was their award for reaching the final.
In 1966, the World Cup trophy "Jules Rimet Trophy" was stolen before the tournament and was missing for 7 days until it was found by a dog named Pickles.
In 1950, it was rumored that India had refused to take part in the competition because they were denied the right to play barefooted. The claim has since been refuted, but the exact reason for their withdrawal has remained unknown to this day. The above-mentioned were some of the World Cup fun facts which you may have not known before.
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