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World Cup Facts

The World Cup is arguably the world’s most widely viewed sporting event. It takes place every four years to determine the world champion. The World Cup is held by FIFA, and the 2018 tournament will take place in Russia from June 14 to July 15, 2018.  To celebrate this we have put together some interesting facts that you might not be aware of. Here is a list of 19 interesting World Cup facts to get you into the soccer spirit for the 2018 World Cup in Russia:

World Cup Facts

  • The World Cup in 2018 will mark the first time Russia has ever hosted this event.
  • The 2018 World Cup will be Russia’s 11th World Cup appearance. Their highest ever finish was 4th place in 1966.
  • 3.2 billion people (almost half of the world’s population) tuned in to watch the World Cup in 2014.
  • The World Cup has been played 20 times and Brazil holds the most titles with five. Italy and Germany are close behind with four each.
  • For the first time in the history of soccer, the 2002 World Cup was held in two different countries: South Korea and Japan.
  • 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.
  • It’s rumoured that India withdrew from the 1950 tournament as they were not allowed to play barefoot.
  • One of the venues for the 2018 World Cup, Fisht Olympic Stadium, is the same stadium that hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Games.
  • The first World Cup was played in 1930. Uruguay was both the tournament host and winner that year.
  • The trophy went missing for seven days in 1966, when it was stolen just prior to the tournament.
  • The distance between the easternmost host city (Ekaterinburg) and the westernmost host city (Kaliningrad) at the 2018 World Cup is over 1500 miles. For comparison, that’s about the same distance as Moscow to London, England.
  • The average attendance per game in the World Cup 2014 was over 53,000 fans!
  • The highest scoring game in World Cup history was in 1954, when Austria defeated Switzerland 7-5.
  • The Italians have had the most number of draws in World Cup history with 21.
  • Of all countries that have appeared in the World Cup, Indonesia has played the least number of matches – just one in 1938.
  • Mexico has the most World Cup losses (25), though they do also have 14 wins and 14 draws.
  • While 32 teams will qualify for the 2018 tournament, the number will jump to 48 in 2026.
  • The most goals ever scored by one player in a World Cup match is an impressive five, by Oleg Salenko of Russia.
  • The World Cup winning country is rumoured to see a baby boom 9 months after the World Cup. In fact, Hyundai even created a commercial based on this.

 

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