The Soccer World Cup - 18 things you probably didn’t know

2014-06-13 07:45

The opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup 2014 (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

You might well know the 2010 Soccer World Cup was hosted by South Africa. It's been four years since we introduced the Vuvuzela to soccer fans all over the planet.

Whether you're cheering for your favourite team in Vuvuzela B-flat, your own flat or someone else's flat - here's some trivia you probably did NOT know about the World Cup:

1. People ate a LOT of boerewors rolls - and drank more than 2 million beers during the 2010 World Cup

More than 850,000 liters of beer and 390,600 boerewors rolls were consumed in World Cup stadiums in 2010.

2. The best/worst game ever: 31-0

The biggest score line in the history of World Cup qualifiers, and in the history of international soccer, was recorded on April 11, 2001, when Australia destroyed American Samoa 31-0.

3. Our Soccer World Cup was seen by almost half the people on the planet

The South African 2010 Soccer World Cup was shown in every single country and territory on Earth, including Antarctica and the Arctic Circle, and reached more than 3.2 billion people.

4. The first televised Soccer World Cup, and the first ever instant replay

Switzerland 1954 was the first World Cup to be televised. Sixteen years later, at Mexico 1970, the World Cup was televised across the globe and instant replays were introduced.

5. The 2014 host country has the largest number of World Cup victories

The tournament has been played every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946, when it wasn't held because of the World War II. Only eight teams have won the tournament, with Brazil winning five; Italy claiming four; Germany three; Argentina and Uruguay two; and England, France, and Spain each winning one title apiece.

6. England's actually not that good

1966 - the first, last, and only time England won a World Cup. Eish.

7. Marcelo played for only one minute - and became a Soccer World Cup champion

Argentine Marcelo Trobbiani set the record for the shortest World Cup career of all time when he made his first (and last) appearance in the 89th minute of the 1986 final - which Argentina ended up winning.

8. Ryan Giggs never played a single minute in any World Cup - ever

Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs never played in the FIFA World Cup, despite a 24-year pro career that included 13 league titles and two UEFA Champions League victories.

9. The first ever indoor Soccer World Cup match

The first ever indoor Soccer World Cup match took place in the Pontiac Silverdome in Detroit, Michigan in 1994, when the US tied Switzerland 1-1.

10. The United Stated had the best attendance ever

The highest total and average attendance was in 1994 USA. A total of 3,587,538 fans came out, averaging almost 69,000 soccer fans per game. The final between Brazil and Italy at the Rose Bowl drew 94,164 people.

11. Bosnia-Herzegovina is the 77th country to participate

A total of 76 teams have participated in the World Cup since the first edition in 1930. This tally includes nations that either no longer exist or have undergone a transformation, such as Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union, and Czechoslovakia. Bosnia-Herzegovina will be the 77th side added to the list in 2014.

12. Pelé is the youngest scorer ever

Pelé became the youngest scorer ever when he scored against Wales at Sweden 1958. He was 17 years and 239 days old.

13. The single tournament scoring record is 13 goals

The Moroccan-born Just Fontaine scored the most-ever goals in a World Cup when he scored 13 goals in six games for France in 1958.

14. Coaches range in age from 27 to 71

At 71 years young, Otto Rehhagel became the oldest man to coach at the World Cup when he led Greece at South Africa 2010. The youngest coach was Argentina’s Juan Jose Tramutola, who was 27 years old when he managed the team in 1930.

15. There have been two World Cup trophies

The first Soccer World Cup Trophy, the Coupe Jules Rimet, was used from 1930 to 1970. It was stolen on 20 December 1983 and was never recovered. The current trophy is simply named the FIFA World Cup Trophy.

16. 2006 saw the most red cards ever

Yellow and red cards were introduced at Mexico 1970, but no one was sent off until 1974 when Chile's Carlos Caszely picked up the first red card in World Cup history in the 67th minute against West Germany.

Plácido Galindo was the first player ever sent off in the World Cup in 1930, but the referees didn't have their magic trump cards back then.

The record for red cards in one tournament is 28, set in 2006, with the most famous being the Zindane headbutt debacle. There were also 345 yellow cards that year, an average of 5.39 per match.

17. The World Cup mascot is named 'Fuleco' and he even has his own website

He is a Brazilian three-banded armadillo.

18. Ball adjustments were necessary

The ball for the 2014 World Cup is the Adidas Brazuca, made from six individual polyurethane panels.


At Trivia SA, you'll find fun and interesting facts about the world around us - with a distinct South African flavour. It's probably the only website in South Africa where you can actually smell the braaivleis when you visit.

The full article (including awesome photo's) is available on Trivia SA's website.


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