The FIFA World Cup has long been hailed as the pinnacle of world soccer. But, for any child playing the magical sport, the ultimate dream is to put on your country’s colors and play in front of millions watching.
With that said, the World Cup is rich in history, and with every edition comes surprises that shock the world. Read on below to learn about five interesting FIFA World Cup facts that you probably didn’t know!
FIFA World Cup’s Most Successful Teams
Most people know Brazil has won the world cup a record five times in their history. However, few people know is that only eight countries have won the world cup. Such is the tournament’s difficulty that only Germany, Brazil, England, Argentina, Spain, Uruguay, Italy, and France have managed to conquer the world.
Oldest Player to Score in a World Cup
Cameroonian player Roger Miller has the record of being the oldest player to ever score a FIFA World Cup goal. Against Russia in the 1994 edition, Roger Miller became the oldest scorer at the ripe old age of 42 years old.
Most Goals by One Player in a Match
In the same match that Roger Miller scored his record goal, Cameroon lost the game 6-1. Russian striker Salenko having bagged 5 of those goals for himself, which is still a record that has yet to be beaten.
Highest Scoring Defeat
Unfortunately, sometimes things don’t go so well for some teams at the tournament. El Salvador has the most unwanted record of being the team to suffer the highest-scoring defeat at the World Cup. They were thrashed 10-1 by Hungary in the group stages of the tournament.
Funny enough, Hungary could not progress past the group stage. El Salvador, as expected, didn’t go on to win any games.
The Success of the Home Team
There is something to be said for home team advantage. Playing on home soil, with thousands of spectators cheering for you, provides the home team with a significant advantage. This can be seen in the record books, with home teams doing surprisingly well over the years.
Barring South Africa in 2010, every home team has gone on to the last 16 of the tournament, while a host nation has won the tournament six times. The countries that overcame the pressure were Uruguay in 1930, Italy in 1934, England in 1966, West Germany in 1974, Argentina in 1978, and most recently, France in 1998.
A Fairy-Tale Tournament
For many nations vying to win the tournament, the FIFA World Cup is not only a competition to see who is the best at that moment but is a tournament where dreams are made and lost. However, who knows what the future holds and who might get to carve their names into the history books?
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