1. FIFA is short form for Fédération Internationale de Football Association (International Federation of Association Football in English). FIFA was founded in 1904 and is governed by Swiss law. Accordingly, the association is head-quartered in Zurich. With 211 member countries, FIFA is often called the “United Nations of Football.”
2. FIFA World Cup is held every 4 years. The first world cup took place in the year 1930. It was hosted by Uruguay. However, due to World War II, the event was not held between 1942 and 1946.
3. The qualifying games for every FIFA World Cup go on all around the world for 3 years preceding the main tournament.
4. Variants of the tournament include the FIFA Women's World Cup, FIFA U-20 World Cup, FIFA U-17 World Cup, FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, and FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup.
5. Each year the FIFA World Cup is commenced, it is hosted in a different country. Another interesting fact about the FIFA World Cup is that the country that hosts the World Cup automatically gets entry to the World Cup.
6. The first games of the first World Cup tournament were both played on July 13th between France and Mexico (France winning 4 -1) and the United States and Belgium (the U.S. winning 3-0). By the end of the tournament measuring the skills of the thirteen competing teams, Uruguay held the trophy for the first ever World Cup victory. Therefore, first country to win the first FIFA World Cup was Uruguay, in 1930. The match was played between Uruguay and Argentina. Uruguay won the match against Argentina by 4-2. Also, Uruguay was the first nation to host the first FIFA World Cup.
7. For the first time in the history of soccer, the 2002 World Cup was held in two different countries: South Korea and Japan.
8. The oldest goal scorer in the World Cup was Roger Milla, who was 42 in 1994 when he scored a goal for Cameroon against Russia.
9. One of the venues for the 2018 World Cup, Fisht Stadium in Sochi, is the same stadium that hosted the opening and closing ceremonies at the 2014 Winter Games.
10. The World Cup trophy went missing for 7 days in 1966, when it was stolen just prior to the tournament.
11. The average attendance per game at the 2014 World Cup was over 53,000 fans.
12. The highest scoring game in World Cup history was in 1954, when Austria defeated Switzerland 7-5.
13. The Italians have had the most number of draws in World Cup history with 21.
14. Of all countries that have appeared in the World Cup, Indonesia has played the least number of matches – just one in 1938.
15. Mexico has the most World Cup losses (25), though they do also have 14 wins and 14 draws.
16. While 32 teams will qualify for the 2018 tournament, the number will jump to 48 in 2026.
17. The most goals ever scored by one player in a World Cup match is an impressive five, by Oleg Salenko of Russia.
18. Almost 3.2 billion people worldwide, roughly 46% of the world’s population, watched more than one minute of the 2010 World Cup. According to FIFA, this makes the tournament “the world’s most widely viewed sporting event.”
19. Over 750,000 liters of beer were sold in stadiums during the 2010 South Africa World Cup. That’s equivalent to 25,360,517 ounces or 3,170,064 beers!
20. The winner of the World Cup 2018 takes home a staggering $38 million dollars. Fifa has budgeted 128 million US Dollars for the Group stage. All group stage participant who fail to qualify for the round of 16 stage will be paid 8 million US Dollars each. All round of 16 participants who fail to qualify for the quarter finals will be paid 12 million US Dollars. 16 million dollars will be paid to each quarter finals participant who fail to qualify for the semi finals. 4th place will be paid 22 million Dollars. Third place will be paid 24 million dollars. Runners-up/2nd place will be paid 28 million Dollars.
21. Brazil spent more than 30 billion reals (or $14.5 billion dollars) to host the Fifa World Cup 2014. In the past, US spent 30 million US Dollars to host US 1994 fifa world cup. France spent 340 million Dollars to host France 1998. Japan/South Korea spent 5 billion US Dollars to host Japan/Korea 2002. Germany spent 6 Billion US Dollars to host Germany 2006. South Africa spent 4 billion US Dollars to host South Africa 2010.
22. Of the 20 FIFA World Cup tournaments held a European team has appeared in all but two of the final matches. There was no European team in Uruguay vs. Argentina 1930. Uruguay won Argentina 4 -2. Also, there was no European team in Uruguay vs. Brazil 1950. Uruguay won Brazil 2 -1. These are the only two cases a European team failed to reach the final match of the fifa world cup.
23. Brazil and Italy have a combined 9 World Cup titles. Brazil has won the most titles with 5 wins. Brazil won the world cup in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002. The Brazilians have appeared in every World Cup since its inception back in 1930.
24. Italy has taken home 4 titles making them the second most winning country. Their victories range from 1934 to 2006.
25. Russian striker Oleg Salenko holds the record for most goals scored in a single World Cup match. In 1994 during a group game versus Cameroon, Salenko knocked in five goals. His 5 goals helped Russia comfortably win the match at 6:1.
26. Hungary takes the prize for most goals scored by a team in single World Cup match. In 1982, they made 10 goals to beat El Salvador in a group game 10:1.
27. In the 2002 World Cup, Turkey’s Hakan Sukur scored a goal in just 11 seconds. The goal helped the Turks defeat South Korea 3:2 and finish the tournament in 3rd place. At an unbelievable 11 seconds, Sukur holds the record for fastest goal scored in a World Cup match.
28. Uruguayan defender Jose Batista holds the proud record of the fastest red card in World Cup History. He was sent off just 56 seconds into the match after he committed a high studded slide tackle to the back of the legs of Scottish midfielder Gordon Strachan. Even with over 89 minutes of playing a man down, Uruguay was able to hold on and tie the match at 0:0.
29. Frenchman Lucien Laurent created history by scoring the first goal in the very first World Cup match held in Uruguay in 1930. However, Lucien was adjudged to be the first scorer, only after the settlement of a dispute which vouched for America's Bart McGee to be the first one.
30. What about the youngest player to play in FIFA World Cup. Only 17 years and 41 days old was the age of this little football player named Norman Whiteside.
31. Hungary is known to have a score of 27 goals in the World Cup of 1954. However, Hungary lost to West Germany 3 - 2.
32. In the quarter finals of the World Cup held in the year 1958, none of the losing teams scored even a single goal.
33. In the year 1950, India qualified for the World Cup in Brazil. However, they could not make it to the big event as they were accustomed to play barefoot, and FIFA required all players to wear shoes during matches.
34. The famous song entitled "Coup de Boule" ("Headbutt"), was inspired from what France's Zinedine Zindane did during the World Cup final in 2006. He hit Italy's Marco Materazzi's chest with his head.
35. 32 teams compete for the coveted trophy, which includes the host nation who automatically qualifies. Until 1978 it was 16 teams, and until 1994 it was 24 teams.
36. The winning country keeps the real cup till the next World Cup, and gets to keep a gold-plated replica permanently.
37. 1950 saw the least number of teams at the finals. Only 13 teams participated, after India, Turkey, and Scotland withdrew.
38. The most goals in a single World Cup are 171. This happened in the 1998 edition in France.
39. The 1994 edition was the first where the surnames of players were featured on the back of their jerseys, and their numbers were put at the front.
40. The 2014 tournament was the first to use goal line technology. Also, for the first time, referees used the vanishing spray to mark free kicks.
41. The tournament was cancelled in 1942 and 1946 because of World War II.
42. The largest crowd to witness a single game live was in the 1950 edition, when 173,850 witnessed the final between Brazil and Uruguay.
43. The 1994 edition in USA was the first time when 3 points was awarded for a win, instead of 2.
44. The 1954 edition in Switzerland was the first to be shown on TV. The 1970 edition in Mexico was the first to be beamed all around the globe, thanks to the technology of satellites.
45. The 2010 World Cup in South Africa was the first to be televised in each and every country around the world. It was even shown in Antarctica and the Arctic Circle.
46. The first penalty shootout was in the 1982 tournament held in Spain, when West Germany beat France 5 - 4 in the semi-finals.
47. Goal number 1,000 of a World Cup was when Rob Rensenbrink of the Netherlands scored against Scotland in the 1978 edition.
48. Goal number 2,000 came up when Marcus Allback of Sweden scored in a draw against England, in the 2006 edition.
49. Germany has played the most World Cup games as compared to any other country.
50. Netherlands is the most successful team to have never won the World Cup, with 3 runner-up finishes and once placed fourth.
51. The first FIFA Women's World Cup was held in China in 1991, and was won by the United States.
52. Brazil and Italy are the only 2 countries to have defended their titles successfully.
53. In terms of top 4 finishes, Germany is the most successful country, with 14 in all.
54. Brazil has also scored the most goals at all World Cup games put together; 224 in all.
55. The most undisciplined game was between Netherlands and Portugal, in a 2006 round of 16 match. 16 yellow cards and 4 red cards were given out to the players.
56. Scotland has qualified for 8 World Cups, but never made it past the first round.
57. In 2010, South Africa became the first African nation to host the FIFA World Cup.
58. Because of World War II, Germany and Japan were not allowed to take part in the 1950 World Cup.
59. No team has ever won the tournament under the guidance of a foreign coach.
60. No country outside Europe and South America has ever won the world cup.
61. England has the distinction of getting knocked out of 3 World Cups in the group stages itself, without losing a single game.
62. Brazil's semi-final defeat by Germany in 2014 was their first loss in a competitive game at home since 1975.
63. The most World Cup games played between two countries are 7 - Brazil vs. Sweden. Germany and Yugoslavia have played each other 6 times.
64. South Africa is the only host country to have been eliminated in the first round, when they hosted the tournament in 2010.
65. The worst performance by a defending champion was by France in 2002. They did not score a single goal and were eliminated in the group stage itself.
66. As far as qualifiers are concerned, the biggest victory was achieved by Australia, who beat American Samoa 31-0 in 2001.
67. Only 6 countries have managed to win the tournament as host country.
68. Mexico has lost the most games at World Cups.
69. The most appearances in a World Cup is by Lothar Matthaeus of Germany, who played 25 matches.
70. Geoff Hurst of England is the only player to have scored a hat-trick in a final - 1966 against West Germany.
71. Vittorio Pozzo of Italy is the only coach to have won the tournament twice, once in 1934 and again in 1938.
72. Tore Keller of Sweden is the oldest player to score a hat-trick at a World Cup. He was 33 when he achieved this feat in a game against Cuba in the 1938 edition.
73. Luis Monti is the only player to have represented different countries in different World Cups. He played for Argentina in 1930 and Italy in 1934.
74. Bora Milutinovic is the only person to have coached 5 different World Cup teams; Mexico, Costa Rica, USA, China, and Nigeria.
75. Oleg Salenko of Russia holds the record for the most goals in a single game, when he scored 5 against Cameroon in 1994.
76. Just Fontaine of France scored the most goals in a single tournament. In the 1958 edition, he found the net 13 times in just 6 games played. Ironically, that was the only World Cup he played.
77. Franz Beckenbauer of Germany and Mário Zagallo of Brazil are the only 2 individuals to win the World Cup both as a player and coach.
78. The fastest goal was scored by Hakan Sükür of Turkey, when he netted a goal just 11 seconds into a game against South Korea in the 2002 tournament.
79. Tony Meola of USA was just 21 when he captained his team in a 1990 World Cup game.
80. The first ever expulsion of a goalkeeper was in the 1994 edition held in USA, when Gianluca Pagliuca of Italy was sent of in a match against Norway.
81. The first yellow card shown was in the 1970 edition, when Kakhi Asatiani of the Soviet Union was booked in a game against Mexico.
82. The youngest player to score a World Cup goal is Pelé of Brazil. He first scored at the 1958 tournament when he was just 17 years and 239 days old.
83. The oldest player to score a World Cup goal is Roger Milla of Cameroon. He was 42 years and 39 days old when he scored in the 1994 edition.
84. The first substitution in a World Cup was in a game between the Soviet Union and Mexico. Viktor Serebryanikov of the USSR was substituted in the 46th minute of the game.
85. The youngest coach at a World Cup was Argentina's Juan Jose Tramutola. He was 27 when he coached Argentina in the 1930 tournament.
86. The only goalkeeper to have ever won the 'Golden Ball' trophy is Oliver Kahn.
87. Germany's Miroslav Klose has scored the most goals in World Cups - 16.
88. Ronaldo from Brazil now stands 2nd in the list of highest goal scorers of all time, with 15 goals to his name.
89. Gabriel Batistuta of Argentina is the only player to score hat-tricks in two different World Cup tournaments.
90. Uruguay's Jose Baptista got to play one World Cup game for just 56 seconds. In 1986 he was red-carded in a game against Scotland.
91. Sir Viv Richards is the only person in the world to play both, soccer and cricket World Cups.
92. At the 2006 tourney, referee Graham Poll forgot his numbers. He booked Croatian Josip Simunic three times before sending him off, whereas the rule states that 2 bookings warrant a suspension.
93. Malaysia holds the record for the best and worst FIFA ranking by the same country. They have gone as high as 75 and as low as 170 in the rankings over time.
94. Norman Whiteside is the youngest player to play in a World Cup. He was barely 17, and was grounded by his folks when he got back home for not letting them know that he had reached the host country safely after leaving home.
95. Only once in history have 2 own goals been scored in a single game. In the 2002 edition, Portugal scored twice, but it was for their opponent's USA, and went on to lose 3 - 2.
96. For the 2014 edition, FIFA made Brazil revoke a 2003 law that banned alcohol sales in stadiums.
97. Argentine Marcelo Trobbiani had the shortest World Cup career in the world. He played for just 1 minute for his country at a World Cup, when he came on in the 89th minute in the 1986 final. Nevertheless, Argentina won and he can call himself a World Champion.
98. At the 1986 tournament, FIFA banned shirt swapping. The reason for this ban is that they didn't want the players to bare their chests to the public.
99. Everybody wants number 10. But players wearing shirt number 9 have scored the most goals in World Cups, followed by those wearing 10.
100. Netherlands have always had a player with the name 'van' in their line up for the past 14 years.
101. England and Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs has never played in a FIFA World Cup.
102. The least number of people to watch a World Cup game live at a stadium was 300, at the 1930 games.
103. 11 of the 62 games England have played in World Cups have ended 0-0, more than any other team.
104. Brazil has had the most red cards in the history of the competition (11), with Argentina (10) and Uruguay (9) not far behind.
105. Peru, who competed in the first World Cup, will play in the competition for the first time since 1982, the longest absence of any side that will be in Russia.
106. The most goals in a single World Cup match occurred on June 26, 1954: Austria beat Switzerland 7-5.
107. The last player to reach ten goals in a single World Cup was Gerd Müller, in 1970; since then, the best has been Ronaldo in 2002 (8).
108. Miroslav Klose, Pelé and Uwe Seeler have all scored in four World Cups; the only players who could reach this landmark in Russia 2018 are: Tim Cahill, Rafael Marquez, Cristiano Ronaldo and David Villa.
109. Every World Cup has been won by a coach who is the same nationality as his team.
110. Uruguay's Oscar Washington Tabárez will be at his fourth World Cup; more than any other coach at Russia 2018 (he has six wins, three draws and six defeats in the competition).
111. Germany were the only UEFA team to win all their qualifiers for Russia 2018, and had the best goal difference (+39).
112. England will play their 15th World Cup in Russia 2018, this being their sixth straight qualification, matching their best streak in the competition (between 1950 and 1970).
113. Counting the records of Yugoslavia as well as Serbia and Montenegro, this will be the 12th World Cup for Serbia, but it is only their second participation as an independent country (as of 2010).
114. Sweden have kept a clean sheet in just three of their last 24 World Cup matches.
115. Poland have lost six of their last eight World Cup matches without scoring in any of those defeats; they have also let in at least one goal in each of those eight games (their last clean sheet coming in 1986).
116. Croatia have lost the first game in their last three World Cups, the two most recent both against Brazil (2006 and 2014).
117. Brazil are the only side to have competed in every World Cup (21), have the most titles, 25% of tournaments, and the last to win back to back titles (1958 and 1962).
118. Teofilo Cubillas has scored 10 and assisted two of Peru’s 19 World Cup goals.
119. Excluding penalties, Costa Rica were one of three unbeaten teams in the 2014 World Cup (alongside Germany and Holland).
120. Tim Cahill has scored five of Australia’s 11 World Cup goals (45%). He’s one of nine players to have scored in the last three World Cups.
121. Russia's coach, Stanislav Cherchesov, played in the USA 1994 6-1 victory against Cameroon. In that match, Oleg Salenko scored five goals, a record in a World Cup game.
122. Since winning the title in 1966, England have reached the semi-finals on only one occasion (1990), and have been the first in their group in only one of their last five tournaments (2006).
123. Serbia haven't passed the group stage in their last two World Cups (2006, 2010), losing five of their last six games in that phase; with only one victory, against Germany in 2010 (1-0).
124. Since reaching the final in 1958 as the home team, Sweden have beaten the second round on only one occasion: in the USA, 1994, when they finished third.
125. None of the last 18 matches Colombia have played in a World Cup ended goalless. Only the USA (33) and Austria (29) have played more games without a 0-0.
126. Costa Rica have qualified for their fifth World Cup, getting out of the group on two of their four attempts (1990 and 2014).
127. It will be Panama coach Hernan Dario Gomez’s third World Cup, after coaching his native Colombia in 1998 and Ecuador in 2002 (knocked out of the group stage both times).
128. It will be Hector Cuper’s first World Cup as a coach, he was also coach of Egypt for the African Cup of Nations in 2017, losing the final 2-1 to Cameroon.
129. South Korea have qualified for their 10th World Cup, more than any other Asian country. They haven’t failed to qualify since 1986.
130. Australia have only qualified from the group once, in 2006, when they were beaten in the last 16 by champions Italy.
131. It will be Gareth Southgate’s first major competition as a coach. In 1998 he played two games for England at the World Cup.
132. Henrik Larsson was the last Swede to score in the competition (vs England, June 20 2006) and is the country’s top scorer in the competition with five goals.
133. David Villa has scored nine of the last 20 Spain World Cup goals and is one of the nine players to have scored in the last three competitions.
134. No country outside of Europe or South America has ever won the World Cup. Brazil - 5 wins. Germany - 4 wins. Italy - 4 wins. Uruguay - 2 wins. Argentina - 2 wins. England - 1 win. France - 1 win. Spain - 1 win.
135. India withdrew from the 1950 World Cup. They did it because of FIFA regulations that players had to wear football boots and would not be allowed to play barefoot. However the other side of the story suggests that travelling to Brazil was not easy and that the air fare was the main reason to back out.
136. The largest attendance for a Football match was 199,854. The match was played between Brazil and Uruguay in the World Cup at the Maracana Municipal Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, in July 1950. However the fewest number of fans to watch a game was 300 in Uruguay in 1930.
137. In 1966, the World Cup trophy was stolen and later found by a dog days before the tournament began.
138. Mexico holds the record for most defeats in World Cup history, losing 22 matches.
139. The Russian coach Fabio Capello is the highest paid coach at the 2014 World Cup with an annual income of 11,235,210 dollars.
140. Miroslav Klose of Germany has the record for the most World Cup goals: 16 goals.
141. Of 32 countries competing in Russia 2018, only Iceland and Panama are debut nations.
142. Since and including 1986, Cup winners have always topped their group.
143. Host nations have reached the knock-out phase at every World Cup except South Africa in 2010.
144. The last hosts to win the World Cup were France in 1998.
145. The 20 World Cups have been won by nations from Europe (11) or South America (nine).
146. The past two defending champions have been knocked out in the group stage (Italy 2010, Spain 2014).
147. Mexico have qualified for the Cup the most times (16) without winning it.
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