The FIFA World Cup is on in Russia. Did you watch the opening ceremony? It was fascinating, wasn’t it? What was the highlight of the ceremony for you?
What about the World Cup theme song/video. There are two that I’ve seen on YouTube, one that features Will Smith. And another by a Russian lady and a DJ. Have you seen either of them? Which of one do you prefer?
Now, I must confess that I’m not an avid football fan. When it comes to football, I’m a casual fan who would rather play an occasional match of Soap Football, 5-a-Side Football or Table Football than a real competitive game.
But since the World Cup is a global event watched by billions across the globe I can’t help getting caught up in all the excitement and spirit of it.
It’s with that in mind that I went searching for some fun facts about the World Cup. Here is an infographic with 21 World Cup fun facts.
21 World Cup Fun Facts
- The first World Cup ever took place in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1930.
- The competition was created by the Frenchmen Jules Rimet who, inspired by the success of the Olympic Games, had the idea of bringing nations together through soccer.
- Geographically speaking, Russia is the biggest host country in World Cup history.
- Europeans or South Americans teams won all World Cups before 2018.
- Ever since Brazil won its second World Cup in a row in 1962, no other nation in the history of the competition has been able to pull off the mean feat.
- Russia 2018 official mascot is a wolf called Zabivaka, which means ‘the one who scores’.
- The 2018 World Cup tournament will be the 21st World Cup since it started in Uruguay in 1930.
- For the very first time since 1958, Italy will not be part of the FIFA World Cup tournament.
- This World Cup will see the debuts of two new teams: Iceland and Panama.
- The World Cup’s top scorer is the retired German striker Miroslav Klose who, in 24 games over four tournaments scored a total of 16 goals.
- The fastest goal of the competition was in 2002 and took just 11 seconds to be scored by former Turkish international player, Hakan Sukur, in a match between Turkey and South Korea.
- The biggest win in World Cup Qualifying was in 2001, in a game between Australia and American Samoa.
- Brazil has won the competition on five occasions, taking the trophy home in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002.
- The national team with the record of most finals lost is Germany, who have been runners-up four times in 1966, 1982, 1986 and 2002.
- The player who has played on a winning team the most times is Brazilian, Pelé, who has won three World Cups altogether, in 1958, 1962 and 1970.
- He is also the youngest scorer, and winner of the competition, at just 17 years old.
- As well as being the country with the most amount of World Cup trophies, Brazil is also the only team to have ever participated in every edition of the World Cup.
- Brazil and Italy are the only countries to win the competitions back-to-back.
- They all became champions of the world in their own country, meaning the host has won in six of the 20 previous editions.
- Zidane and Cameroon’s Rigobert Song were sent off twice at the World Cup.
- Mexico has qualified without winning the trophy more than any other country.
Over to You
Which of these 21 fun facts did you already know? Which one did you find most interesting? Moreover, which one are you learning for the first time through this infographic/post? I wish Nigeria’s Super Eagles will win the World Cup this year, what about you? Which team do you want to win the World Cup this year?
Drop a comment and let me know.