The World Cup is the “world’s most widely viewed sporting event” and takes place every four years to determine the world champion. The World Cup tournament will take place in Qatar from November 21 to December 18, 2018. Here is a list of 28 fun and interesting World Cup facts to get you into the soccer spirit for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar:
Related: World Cup Ultimate Guide
World Cup Facts
- The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will mark the first time the tournament will be held in this county.
- The 2022 World Cup will be Qatar’s first World Cup appearance. This is the first time the host nation will make their World Cup debut in the same year since the second World Cup in 1934.
- A total of 3.5 billion people (almost half of the world’s population) tuned in to watch the 2018 World Cup.
- This is a 9% increase on the 3.2 billion people who watched the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
- The World Cup has been played 21 times. Brazil holds the most titles with five. Italy and Germany are close behind with four each.
- For the first time in the history of soccer, the 2002 World Cup was held in two different countries: South Korea and Japan.
- The oldest goalscorer in the World Cup was Roger Milla, who was 42 in 1994 when he scored a goal for Cameroon against Russia.
- It is rumored that India withdrew from the 1950 tournament as they were not allowed to play barefoot.
- All of the venues for the 2022 World Cup are within a 55 km radius of each other, making it the most compact World Cup since the inaugural tournament in 1930.
- One of the venues for the 2018 World Cup, Fisht Stadium in Sochi, is the same stadium that hosted the opening and closing ceremonies at the 2014 Winter Games.
- The first World Cup was played in 1930. Uruguay was both the tournaments host and winner that year.
- The World Cup trophy went missing for 7 days in 1966 when it was stolen just prior to the tournament.
- The distance between the easternmost host city in the 2018 World Cup (Ekaterinburg) and the westernmost host city (Kaliningrad) was over 1,500 miles. For comparison, that’s about the same distance as Moscow to London, England.
- The 2022 World Cup will be the first winter World Cup in the northern hemisphere. The tournament will take place in November and December to avoid the intense heat of the Qatari summer.
- The average attendance per game at the 2018 World Cup was over 47,000 fans!
- The highest scoring game in the World Cup history was in 1954 when Austria defeated Switzerland 7-5.
- The Italians have had the most number of draws in the World Cup history with 21.
- Of all the countries that have appeared in the World Cup, Indonesia has played the least number of matches – just one in 1938.
- Mexico has the most World Cup losses (27), though they do also have16 wins and 14 draws.
- While 32 teams will qualify for the 2022 tournament, the number will jump to 48 in 2026.
- The most goals ever scored by one player in a World Cup match is an impressive five, by Oleg Salenko of Russia.
- The World Cup winning country is rumored to see a baby boom 9 months after the World Cup. In fact, Hyundai even created a commercial based on this fact.
- Lusail, the city that will host the 2022 World Cup Final is multi-billion dollar planned city that didn’t exist prior to 2006.
- One of the 2022 World Cup host stadiums will be built using recycled materials in a modular design so that it can be dismantled and repurposed after the tournament.
- Qatar is the smallest country to host a World Cup tournament.
- France, who won the 2018 World Cup, trailed for only 9 minutes in the entire tournament.
- At the 2018 World Cup, Raphael Varane became the 9th player to win the World Cup and the Champions League in the same year.
- Belgium scored the most goals of any team at the 2018 World Cup, with sixteen.
Looking Forward to Qatar
It’s hard to believe that we’re just a few years out from the 2022 World Cup. It doesn’t seem like very long ago that we spent that incredible summer in Russia, enjoying the amazing atmosphere and the outstanding soccer at the 2018 World Cup. It’s no secret that this event is one of our favourites and we’re already fielding lots of interest in what is arguably the world’s best soccer tournament.
Want to join us next in Qatar in 2022 for this iconic event? We have some amazing luxury 2022 World Cup packages with the best 2022 World Cup hotels in the country including the Ritz-Carlton Doha and the St. Regis Doha. We’d love to be your host as you experience the excitement for yourself.