Soccer is one of the most popular sports across the globe and there are many diehard fans that would go to the ends of the earth in support of their favorite team. For a soccer fan there are few matches greater than those that will be played at the World Cup.
While soccer may not be the most popular game in North America, it is steadily gaining popularity. The World Cup is the largest tournament that is followed by people all around the globe, and many North Americans will travel to Brazil in 2014 for the next tournament. Here are some little-known World Cup facts to get you into the soccer spirit for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil!
- The World Cup has been played 19 times, with Brazil winning the championship final on 5 of those 19 occasions.
- For the first time in the history of soccer, the 2002 World Cup was held in two different countries. These countries were South Korea and Japan.
- The oldest goal scorer in the World Cup was Roger Milla, who was 42 in 1994 when he scored a goal for Cameroon.
- In the year 1950, India withdrew from the tournament as they were not allowed to play barefoot.
- Did you know that the host country and the World Cup winning country are rumored to see a baby boom of nearly 15 percent after the World Cup? In fact, ESPN even created a commercial based on this fact. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2FRXmjfVaE)
- The World Cup trophy went missing for 7 days in 1966, when it was stolen just prior to the tournament.
- Nike makes about $1.5 billion annually through the sale of soccer merchandise even though they are not the official sponsors of the World Cup
- The average attendance per game at the World Cup is just over 43,000 fans!
- The highest scoring game in World Cup history was in 1954, when Austria defeated Switzerland 7-5.
- The Germans and Italians have had the most number of draws in World Cup history.
- Indonesia is said to have played the least number of world cup matches – 1. They refused to play their second game against Israel, and have never played since. (They lost the first game 6-0)
- Mexico is considered the biggest loser in the World Cup with a record of losing 22 matches.
Do you have a favourite little-known World Cup fact you’d like to share? Let us know.If you would like to join Roadtrips at the 2014 World Cup, contact us today!