Every four years the FIFA World Cup takes place as one of the biggest sporting events of the year. It’s hosted this year by Brazil, and thirty-two nations are taking part (USA! USA! USA!). Whether you’re a fan of the “beautiful game” or not, the fact is soccer/football is about to get very, very popular for the next month. Want to impress your friends? Here are ten facts about the World Cup, past and present.
- Despite the fact that India qualified for the 1950 World Cup, they refused to play because the rules required shoes. Because of financial concerns, Indian players were accustomed to barefoot football.
- Who could forget the 2006 headbutt from Zinedine Zidane? Click this video if you need a refresher.
- Brazil 2014 welcomes a new team: Bosnia-Herzegovina.
- Scotland has qualified 8 times and has also been eliminated in the first round all 8 times. Better luck next time!
- Let’s crunch some numbers. The 2006 World Cup had an estimated 715.1 million viewers. In 2010 the World Cup was broadcast in over 200 countries. Over 3 million people attended the 2010 World Cup with an average of 50,000 attendees per match. Another 6 million gathered in public viewing locations in 16 places around the world. (It truly is a global sport.)
- Brazil has made the most consecutive World Cups with 19 appearances. How’s that for a host country?
- The record for the highest number of goals in a game was Austria vs. Switzerland in 1954. Austria defeated Switzerland 7-5.
- There are 208 FIFA nations, and 204 attempted to qualify for the 2010 World Cup.
- The first goal in World Cup history was scored by Lucien Laurent of France in 1930.
- We can’t finish the list without mentioning Pelé. He is the only player to have won 3 World Cup championships. Guess what? He’s Brazilian.
Here is the FIFA World Cup schedule. To help us feel festive we’ve included our World Cup mood board.
Image sources credited in captions. Are you ready to get your game face on? We sure are, and we’ll be sporting some sweet gear to show our pride. Check out our GoJane picks below!