World Cup Trivia

  • The first world cup soccer match kicked off on July 13th, 1930 with France beating Mexico 4 to 1 (more on Uruguay 1930)
  • There were a total of 13 teams in the first World Cup. Besides the host Uruguay, there were Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, France, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, the United States and Yugoslavia.
  • Did you know that South American and European countries have won the World Cup 9 times and 9 times respectively. There has been no other continent which has produced a World Cup Champion.
  • World Cup Winners (total number by country) – Brazil 5 – Italy 4 – Germany (West) 3 – Uruguay 2 – Argentina 2 – England 1 – France
  • Who says there is no such thing as home advantage? Out of the 19 World Cups so far, six have been won by the host country.
  • Bora Milutinovic coached in every tournament between 1986 and 2002 – but for different teams: Mexico, Costa Rica, USA, Nigeria and China.
  • No European team has won a World Cup played outside of Europe.
  • Five teams have been unbeaten but not the champions in the same finals. Those unbeaten teams are: Scotland in 1974 (1 win, 2 draws), Brazil in 1978 (4 wins, 3 draws), England in 1982 (3 wins, 2 draws), Cameroon in 1982 (3 draws), Belgium in 1998 (3 draws).
  • The only person to have played both World Cup Football and World Cup Cricket is Viv Richards – playing for Antigua in football and West Indies in cricket.
  • Cameroon’s Roger Milla is the oldest player at the World Cup – he was 42 years and 39 days old when he played his last match against Russia in 1994. Northern Ireland’s Norman Whiteside is the youngest ever finals player, being just 17 years and 41 days when he took the field against Yugoslavia in 1982.
  • Shirt swapping was once officially prohibited in 1986 because FIFA did not want players to ‘bare their chests’ on the field.
  • The highest attendance at a World Cup match was 199,854 at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janerio for the 1950 decider between Uraguay and Brazil.
  • The most common surname of World Cup players is Gonzalez or Gonzales. The most common score in a World Cup finals match is 1-0.
  • Brazil are the only country to have appeared in every finals, 19 finals tournaments from 1930 to 2010. And they have automatically qualified for the 2016 tournament as hosts.
  • The 2010 World Cup is the first with no debutant associations, although two of the qualifiers (Slovakia and Serbia) have previously appeared only as parts of former competing nations.
  • No host country has ever been eliminated in the first round – is 2010 the first time?

Take a World Cup Quiz here

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Missing Andy – Dave