Soccer World Cup Trivia
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 to 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.
- Did you know that South American and European countries
have won the World Cup 9 times and 10 times respectively.
There has been no other continent which has produced a World
- World Cup Winners (total number by country): Brazil 5, Germany 4, Italy 4, Uruguay 2, Argentina 2, England 1, France 1 and Spain 1.
Who says there is no such thing as home advantage? Out of
the 20 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 World Cup Trophy
- 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 he 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 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 Janerio for the 1950 decider between Uraguay 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, 21 finals tournaments from 1930 to 2018.
- 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 debutant associations, although two of the qualifiers (Slovakia and Serbia) had previously appeared only as parts of former competing nations.
- No host country had ever been eliminated in the first round - until South Africa in 2010.
- It can be claimed that the 2018 World Cup was held in both Europe and Asia, as some matches will be 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 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.
- The 2026 World Cup will also see the tournament expanded from 32 to 48 teams.