The Qatar World Cup will kick off in a few weeks, and we bet you’re excited.
We will bring some curiosities that you might not know about the biggest sports tournament in the world. To begin with, a fact that perhaps too many people have not noticed. Since the first Soccer World Cup was played in 1930, there have been 21 Champions. However, there are only 8 countries that have managed to lift the Trophy. In 2010 Spain was the last country to join that select club. To know more World Cup curiosities for your FIFA World Cup Odds, please continue reading:
11 Curiosities About the World Cup
1. A Late Debut
In Italy in 1934, Egypt became the first African country to play in the World Cup. However, it was already very close to participating in the first edition of Uruguay. They were invited by the organizer and accepted, but the boat trip was long, and they did not have time to arrive for the start date. The African team requested to postpone the tournament for a few days. Despite the lack of competitors, FIFA refused, and Egypt had to wait 4 years to debut.
2. Bans and Rewards
After the 2nd World War, the World Cup restarted with Brazil in 1950. Japan and Germany were banned due to their involvement in the conflict. However, Italy did not suffer the same fate. Ottorino Barassi protected the Trophy so that it would not fall into Nazi hands, and in gratitude, FIFA allowed the Italians to participate.
3. The First Goal of the World Cup
The author of the First Goal of a World Cup was the Frenchman Lucien Laurent. It was in one of the two opening matches of the 1930 Uruguay World Cup, which was played on July 13. Specifically, the one that faced France and Mexico in the Pocitos Stadium. The goal came in the 19th minute, just 4 minutes before the next one. France won 4-1.
4. Top Scorer in a World Cup
Just Fontaine scored 13 goals in the 58 World Cup in Sweden, and that’s the maximum achieved so far.
Another Frenchman holds the Record for Goals Scored in a single edition of the World Cup. Just Fontaine scored 13 times in 6 matches in Sweden in 1958, where his team finished third.
5. The Youngest Player to Score a World Cup Goal
A very young Pelé appeared in that same World Cup (1958) edition. Brazil advanced to the quarterfinals thanks to its first World Cup goal against Wales. He scored at just 17 years old, making him the youngest player to ever score in a World Cup. Later, he became the youngest two-time champion and the only footballer to win 3 World Cups.
6. The Oldest
In contrast, Cameroon’s Roger Milla is the oldest player to have scored in a World Cup. In the last group stage match in the United States in 1994 against Russia, he scored at the age of 42 years and 39 days.
Until 2014 in Brazil. Milla was the oldest footballer to have played a match at the World Cup. However, Colombian goalkeeper Faryd Mondragón broke that record at 43 years and 3 days, when he entered the field to finish the first-round match against Japan.
This record only lasted until the next edition. In Russia 2018, the Egyptian Essam El-Hadary, also a goalkeeper, went under the sticks at the age of 45 years, 5 months, and 10 days in the match against Saudi Arabia in the group stage.
Although none of them lifted the Title, the player to lift it was the Italian Dino Zoff. In 1982 in Spain, at 40 years, 4 months, and 13 days, he became the oldest World Soccer Champion.
7. And the One Who Played the Most Games
The footballer with the most matches played in World Cups is the German Lothar Matthäus. In the quarterfinals of France 1998, he played his 25th match against Croatia, where Germany lost 0-3.
8. The Match with the Most Goals in a World Cup
Switzerland and Austria met in the quarterfinals of the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland. It would not have been a game to be highlighted if it were not for the fact that 12 goals were scored in it, 7 for Austria and 5 for the hosts. This is the highest number of goals ever seen in a single World Cup match.
9. And the Biggest Win in a World Cup
The biggest win in a World Cup ended 10-1 in favour of Hungary.
However, that match was balanced. This match pitted Hungary against El Salvador during the group stage of the 1982 World Cup in Spain. The superiority of the Europeans was such that László Kiss scored a Hat Trick in just 7 minutes. The score ended 10-1, the only tournament victory for Hungary.
10. Only Player with Hat Tricks in Consecutive Tournaments
Surely, that Kiss Hat Trick is the fastest in World Cup History. However, only one player in all these years has achieved 2 Hat Tricks in 2 consecutive editions. It is the Argentine Gabriel Batistuta. He made the first against Greece in the United States in 1994 and the second, four years later, against Jamaica. Both were in the group stage and with victory for his team.
11. The Fastest Goal of the World Cups
At Korea & Japan 2002, the third-place match pitted South Korea against Turkey. Just 11 seconds after the initial whistle, Turkey’s Hakan Şükür scored the fastest goal of all World Cups. The match ended 2-3 in favour of Turkey.