20 World Cup facts Mar28


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20 World Cup facts

A few topics to make you sound cool this season.

  1. Every match at the inaugural 1930 World Cup in Uruguay was played in one city: Montevideo.
  2. Sweden’s Jan Olsson, wearing No. 2, was the defender that Dutch star Johan Cruyff famously bamboozled with his inventive “Cruyff Turn” at the 1974 World Cup in West Germany.
  3. Brazil’s Pele is the only player to win three World Cups: in 1958, 1962 and 1970.
  4. The number of players who recorded two hat tricks at the World Cup: Hungary’s Sandor Kocsis (both in 1954), France’s Just Fontaine (1958), West Germany’s Gerd Muller (1970) and Gabriel Batistuta (one in 1994 and one in 1998).
  5. Russia’s Oleg Salenko scored a tournament-record five goals in one game during a 6-1 win over Cameroon at the 1994 World Cup in the United States.
  6. Paolo Rossi was the top scorer at the 1982 World Cup in Spain with six goals, leading Italy to its third title.
  7. The number of days the World Cup trophy went missing when it was stolen prior to the 1966 Cup in England. A dog named Pickles, being taken out for a walk by his owner in South London, discovered the trophy wrapped in some newspapers at the bottom of some bushes a week after it was taken.
  8. Scotland has qualified for the World Cup on eight occasions. All eight times it failed to advance beyond the first round.
  9. Mexico lost a record nine straight games at the World Cup (1930, 1950-58).
  10. The number of minutes left in extra time of the 2006 World Cup final when France’s Zinedine Zidane head-butted Italian defender Marco Materazzi.
  11. Turkey’s Hakan Sukur scored 11 seconds into the game against South Korea in 2002, the quickest goal in World Cup history.
  12. Austria and Switzerland teamed up for the highest-scoring game in World Cup history in 1954 when they combined for 12 goals. Austria won 7-5.
  13. The number of teams that participated in the first World Cup in 1930 in Uruguay.
  14. German star Gerd Muller, regarded as one of the top strikers in the history of soccer, scored 14 career goals at the World Cup.
  15. The number of goals Brazil’s Ronaldo scored at three World Cups (1998, 2002 and 2006), a tournament record.
  16. Russian referee Valentin Ivanov brandished 16 yellow cards (tying a tournament record) in a second-round match at the 2006 World Cup in Germany between Portugal and the Netherlands.
  17. The age of Brazil’s Pele when he became the youngest player ever to score at the World Cup, in 1958 in Sweden.
  18. England’s Geoff Hurst is the only player in World Cup history to net a hat trick in the final, the first of his three goals against West Germany in 1966 coming in the 18th minute.
  19. Lucien Laurent scored for France in the 19th minute against Mexico in 1930, becoming the first player to score a goal at the World Cup.
  20. The 20th World Cup will be staged in 2014 in Brazil.


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