See also the past winners list, goal trivia, oldest and youngest trivia, top goal scorers, list of firsts, history, and trivia about each past host country and participating countries.
- The first world cup soccer match kicked-off on July 13th, 1930 with France beating Mexico 4-1 (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. This was the only
World Cup without qualifying rounds, as
every country affiliated with FIFA was invited to compete.
- The 16-team tournament in 1934 was reduced to only 15 teams as Austria was absorbed into Germany after qualifying.
- Of all the countries that have appeared in the World Cup, Indonesia has played the least number of matches – just one in 1938.
- World Cup Winners (total number by country): Brazil 5, Germany 4, Italy 4, France 2, Uruguay 2, Argentina 2, England 1, and Spain 1.
- Who says there is no such thing as home advantage? Out of the 21 World Cups so far, six have been won by the host country.
- Because of World War II, the World Cup was not held between 1938 and 1950. As a result, Italy were the reigning World Cup Champions for a record 16 years (from 1932 until 1950).
- Bora Milutinovic coached in every tournament between 1986 and 2002 - but for different teams: Mexico, Costa Rica, USA, Nigeria and China.
- Six 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) and New Zealand 2010 (3 draws).
- The only man reportedly to have played both World Cup Football and World Cup Cricket is Viv Richards — Antigua and Barbuda at football (in the qualifiers only) and West Indies at cricket. He actually played for Antigua and Barbuda in a qualifying round of the CONCACAF championship, which is in turn the qualifier to get into the World Cup of 1974. Someone who did actually achieve this unique double is Australian female athlete Ellyse Perry, who appeared in the final rounds of both cricket (2009) and football World Cups (2011).
- 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 Janeiro for the 1950 decider between Uruguay and Brazil.
- The record for the lowest attendance was for the match between Peru and Romania in 1930, where just 300 people watched the game.
- In the 1950 finals, there was only a final pool to determine the winner, without a knock-out Final as has been held in other Finals series.
- 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.
- The only manager to win successive World Cups was Italy's Vittorio Pozzo in 1934 and 1938.
- The 1966 World Cup is the only World Cup to have been boycotted by an entire continent, in protest to having to play off against the Asian champion for the one place in the finals, and also against the re-admission of South Africa to FIFA.
- Brazil are the only country to have appeared in every tournament, 22 finals tournaments from 1930 to 2022.
- Two World Cup finals have been decided on penalties. Brazil beat Italy in 1994, and Italy beat France in 2006.
- The fastest red card was given to Uruguay defender Jose Batista, who was shown a red card against Scotland at the 1986 World Cup at the 52nd second mark. Actually, the foul was committed in the 39th second and it took the referee 13 seconds to show the card.
- The 2010 World Cup was the first with no débutante associations, although two of the qualifiers (Slovakia and Serbia) had previously appeared as parts of former competing nations.
- No host country had ever been eliminated in the first round - until South Africa in 2010, and it will probably happen again in 2022 with Qatar not expected to progress past the first round.
- England have been eliminated from the tournament without losing a single match three times (1982, 1990 and 2006).
- Until Germany won in Brazil 2014, all the World Cup tournaments that had taken place in Latin America had been won by South American countries.
- It can be claimed that the 2018 World Cup was held in both Europe and Asia, as some matches were held in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg, considered to be part of Asia.
- Iceland qualified for the first time in 2018, becoming the smallest country (in terms of population) to reach the World Cup.
- France's winning coach in 2018, Didier Deschamps, was also captain of the winning 1998 side, and became the third man to win the World Cup as player and coach after Brazil's Mario Zagallo and Germany's Franz Beckenbauer.
- At the 2022 World Cup the host country Qatar will be making its debut. This is the first time the host nation will make their World Cup debut in the same year, since the second World Cup in 1934.
- Of the 21 World Cups played so far (up to 2018), there have been 12 European winners, 9 South American winners. No other continent has produced a world champion.
- Of the 21 World Cups so far (up to 2018), six tournaments have been won by the host country.
- Host country Qatar made its debut in 2022. This is the first time the host nation will make their World Cup debut in the same year since the second World Cup in 1934. After their defeat in their first match, they became the first host nation to lose their opening match.
- Portugal's Christiano Ronaldo is the only player to score at five World Cups.
- The first full siblings to play for different countries at the FIFA World Cup were Inaki Williams of Ghana and Nico Williams of Spain, at the 2022 Qatar World Cup. In 2010 and 2014 half-siblings Jerome and Kevin-Prince Boateng played for Germany and Ghana respectively.
- The 2026 World Cup will also see the tournament expanded from 32 to 48 teams.
- World Cup FIRSTS
- World Cup Records
- Goal trivia
- Top-10 List of the Oldest and Youngest players at the World Cup
- Families at the World Cup - siblings, fathers, sons and other relatives
- Oldest and Youngest at the World Cup
- World Cup Quiz
- Women's World Cup Trivia
- More Sports Trivia