FIFA World Cup Trivia

The 2014 World Cup is underway in Brazil featuring the globe’s best footballers. TNS gives you interesting facts and fugures about the world’s most watched sporting event:

World Cup Trivia
FIFA World Cup Trivia

•  Starting from 1930, World Cup has been held a total of 19 times. It couldn’t be staged in 1942 and 1946 due to the World War II

•  From 1930 to 1970, the Jules Rimet Trophy was awarded to the World Cup winning team

• It was originally simply known as the World Cup but in 1946 it was renamed after the FIFA president Jules Rimet, the Frenchman, on whose initiative the first World Cup was held in 1930

• In 1970, when Brazil won the tournament the third time, they became entitled to keep the trophy permanently

• Since 1970, the teams have been competing for a new trophy called the FIFA World Cup Trophy. However, this trophy won’t become a permanent possession of a country; no matter how many times it is won by any

• Only two continents, Europe and South America, have provided the winners. Europe: Italy (4 times), Germany (thrice), England (once), France (once), Spain (once). South America: Brazil (5 times), Argentina (twice) and Uruguay (twice)

•  Best finish for Asia: Fourth: South Korea in 2002

•  Best finish for North, Central America and Caribbean: Fourth: USA in 1930

•  Best finish for Africa: quarter final: Cameroon (1990), Senegal (2002) and Ghana (2010)

•  Best finish for Oceania: 2nd round: Australia (2006)

•  Only two countries have been successful in retaining the title: Italy (1934 & 1938) and Brazil (1958 & 1962)

•  Holland has appeared in most finals without winning: 1974, 1978 and 2010

•  From 1930-78, a total of 16 teams appeared in the final round except in 1930 (13), 1938 (15, as Austria, after having qualified was absorbed in Germany), 1950 (13, as India, Turkey and Scotland withdrew)

•   In 1982, the number of teams was increased to 24 and then to 32 in 1998

•   Brazil is the only team to have appeared in all the editions of the World Cup

•   Brazilian Pele is the only player to be part of three World Cup winning squads: 1958, 62 and 70

•   Brazilian Cafu is the only player to play in three successive final matches: 1994, 1998 & 2002

•   Vittorio Pozzo is the only person to be the head coach of two World Cup winning teams. He guided his native Italy to World Cup triumphs in 1934 and 1938

•  Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer is the only person to win the World Cup as captain (1974) and as the head coach (1990)

•   Brazil’s Mario Zagallo won the World Cup as player (1958 &62) and as the head coach (1970)


•   Brazilian Ronaldo with 15 goals (1998, 2002 & 2006) is the all-time top scorer

Note: Germany’s Miroslav Klose, who will be making his fourth World Cup appearance in this year’s edition, has scored 14 goals and thus stands a good chance to become the all-time top scorer

•  In a single edition: Frenchman Just Fontaine, with 13 goals in 1958, holds the record

•   In a single match: Russian Oleg Salenko scored five goals against Cameroon in 1994

•   Three players have scored in two World Cup finals:

Pele: two in 1958 and one in 1970 (Brazil won both).

Paul Breitner: one in 1974 (West Germany won) and one in 1982 (West Germany lost). Zinedine Zidane: two in 1998 (France won) and one in 2006 (France lost)

•  Four players have scored two hat-tricks in World Cup matches: Sandor Kocsis of Hungary (both 1954), Just Fontaine of France (both 1958), Gerd Muller of West Germany (both 1970), and Gabriel Batistuta of Argentina (1994 and 1998). Batistuta is the only person to score hat-tricks in two World Cups

•   Only one player has scored a hat-trick in a World Cup final. Geoff Hurst scored three goals for England against West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final

•  Two players share the record for playing in the most World Cups: Mexico’s Antonio Carbajal (1950–1966) and Germany’s Lothar Matthaus (1982–1998) played in five tournaments

•  There was no official World Cup final match in 1950. The tournament winner was decided by a final round-robin group contested by four teams (Uruguay, Brazil, Sweden, and Spain)

Surprisingly, the USA, where football is not one of the more popular sports, holds the record of the highest average attendance per match for a World Cup: 68,991 in 1994

2002 World Cup held in Japan and South Korea was the only one to be hosted jointly by two countries:

•  715.1 million individuals watched the final match of the 2010 World Cup (a ninth of the entire population of the planet)


•  The Golden Ball for the best player determined by a vote of media members (since 1982)

The Silver Ball and the Bronze Ball are awarded to the players finishing second and third in the voting, respectively

•  The Golden Boot for the top goal scorer (first awarded in 1982, but retrospectively applied to all tournaments from 1930). In recent times, the Silver Boot and the Bronze Boot have also been added

•   The Golden Glove Award (formerly the Yashin Award, in honour of the legendary Russian goal keeper) for the best goalkeeper, decided by the FIFA Technical Study Group (first awarded in 1994)

•  The Best Young Player Award for the best player aged 21 or younger at the start of the calendar year, decided by the FIFA Technical Study Group (first awarded in 2006)

•  The FIFA Fair Play Trophy for the team with the best record of fair play, according to the points system and criteria established by the FIFA Fair Play Committee (first awarded in 1978)

• The Most Entertaining Team for the team that has entertained the public the most during the World Cup, determined by a poll of the general public (first awarded in 1994)

•  An All-Star Team consisting of the best players of the tournament has also been announced for each tournament since 1998.