Are you excited about the 2022 World Cup? We definitely are!
According to FIFA, about 3.5 billion people worldwide consider themselves to be football fans. So if you are new to the soccer fandom, we are going to mention some interesting facts about soccer that you probably didn’t know.
But in case you don’t know much about soccer, then let us start with some basics:
What is Soccer?
Soccer or football is a game played by two teams consisting of 11 players. It is a ball game played on a rectangle-shaped field with two goals on each end. The field is covered with grass and ironically, players prefer to play on artificial grass instead of real grass.
The goals are protected by goalkeepers, their job is to prevent the opposing team from scoring a goal. The goalkeepers are allowed to use their hands and body to defend and prevent the ball from entering the goal post. But that is a privilege not allowed to the other players who can only use their legs.
Now let’s take a look at some interesting facts:
Here are some interesting facts about soccer:
- Soccer is the world’s most popular sport. Some hardcore fans spend a fortune on things like collectibles and expensive football cards to show their appreciation and loyalty to their stars.
- Around 200 countries in the world play soccer.
- FIFA has more national associations than the United Nations!
- Versions of the modern-day game of soccer can be traced back to 3000 years ago.
- The closest sport resembling modern-day football dates back to 206AD in China called Cuju.
- The word “soccer” was derived from the term “association” as slang.
- Both men’s and women’s soccer started at the same time, but women were later banned from playing professionally by the governing body of England for many years.
- In 1872 in England, the FA Cup began as the world’s first football competition.
- Uruguay hosted the first-ever FIFA World Cup.
- Sheffield FC, founded on 1857 by Nathaniel Creswick and William Prest in England, is the oldest professional club that still exists today.
- FIFA Women’s World Cup first started in 1991
- The winner of the first FIFA Women’s World Cup is the US.
- Only 8 countries have won the FIFA World Cup, with Brazil winning 5 times and Germany and Italy winning 4 times each.
- After the second world war, Germany was banned from participating in the World Cup of 1950.
- The highest official attendance of a match was recorded during the Brazil Vs. Uruguay match of 1950 World Cup Finals. It was held at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janerio and was attended by almost 200,000 people. Uruguay won that match and became the Champions!
- The first ever soccer game broadcast live on TV was in 1937. It was an exhibition match between Arsenal and Arsenal Football Club Academy and was aired by the BBC.
- The original prize in the FIFA World Cup was the Jules Rimet Trophy, originally called “Victory” or Coupe du Monde. It was created by the French sculptor Abel Lafleur, measuring 35cm in height and 3.8kg in weight. Uruguay won the first FIFA World Cup in 1930,
- Before 1970, penalty shootouts didn’t exist.
- Goalies wear different colored jerseys to easily separate them from other players of the team as they have different roles.
- Greenland is not allowed to participate in the FIFA World Cup as it is not an independent nation but an autonomous part of Denmark.
- Other than the US and Canada, all countries worldwide use the term “Football” to mean “Soccer”.
- “American Football” is a different sport, even though it has football in its name.
- Lee Todd was given the fastest red card in history at an astounding 2 seconds into the match! He was given a red card for the use of foul language.
- The record for the most goals scored in a calendar year is held by Lionel Messi in the year 2012.
- Aged 45 in 2018, Essam El-Hadary was the oldest footballer participating in a FIFA World Cup.
- Scoring a whopping 16 goals in his match against Racing Club De Lens, Stephan Stanis is the record holder for the most goals scored in a single football match.
- The only player in the world who has scored a goal in every minute from start to finish of a match is Christiano Ronaldo.
- In his match against Paraguay, American Bert Patenaude scored the first hat trick in 1930.
- Tim Howard holds the record for the most saves in a World Cup game. He saved 16 goals as a goalkeeper against Belgium.
- Brazil never won a match against Norway, they had 4 games in which they lost twice and were drawn twice.
- Pelé is the only player in history to win the World Cup 3 times!
Here is a bonus for you since the 2022 World Cup is starting within a few months!
Bonus Read: FIFA 2022 World Cup Interesting Facts:
- It is the most expensive World Cup in history.
- It will also be the first World Cup to be held at the end of the year instead of the middle.
- Qatar has the least number of stadiums compared to other hosts in recent years.
- Qatar had only one stadium before; they are making seven new stadiums just for hosting the WorldCup, including new roads, highways, and hotels.
Whether you call it football or soccer, it doesn’t matter. What unites us all is the love and passion for the game!
Very few things in the world draw people’s attention and bring people together, like soccer. The feeling when your favorite team scores a game-winning goal, the cheers of the fans, and their screams are nothing short of magical.
Hope you found this list of the most interesting facts about soccer interesting!