Do You Know About These Incredible World Cup Facts ?

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The long-awaited linger for the biggest football tournament in the world is over. FIFA World Cup 2018 is up and running. Football fans have waited for this particular moment for four years. The 32 qualified nations are going horns-to-horns to win the golden trophy. The number of nations is decreasing as the tournament is taking its pace slowly. As always, this FIFA World Cup is full of heartbreaks and tears of joy. But we are here to talk about some interesting facts about Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup. Below is a list of interesting facts which you might not know until or unless you are an absolute football fanatic.

Incredible World Cup Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

The Spectators

The crunching number of 3.2 billion global audiences (about 46% of the world’s population) watch the glorious tournament. According to FIFA, “These numbers make World Cup the most viewed sporting event in the universe.”

Incredibly, the spectators of FIFA World Cup has put the audience of ‘Super Bowl’ to dust. This might be similar to comparing apples with oranges as Super Bowl is a US event whereas FIFA is a global tournament. But I’m including this fact to zip the mouths of those ignorants who put both sports in the same slot.

The ‘Jules Rimet’ trophy

Did you know that the trophy we all have been seeing from our childhood was not the original trophy for the tournament? Yes, the FIFA trophy was ‘Jules Rimet’ which was named after the brainchild of World Cup. The Frenchmen, Jules Rimet was then the president of FIFA who thought of the idea of bringing nations together. May God bless him for his virtue!

‘Pickles’ to the rescue

At the time of 1966 World Cup, Jules Rimet trophy went on a display at a London stamp exhibition. It was then stolen despite 24-hour surveillance. Later came a flurry of notes, ransom, negotiations and arrests but the trophy was not found. An Englishman, David Corbett and his dog, ‘Pickles’ were strolling around London’s Beulah Hill district six days later of the theft. Pickles sniffed a newspaper-wrapped parcel which turned out to be the Jules Rimet trophy. Pickles became a global hero and the World Cup saga continued.

England went on to win their first and only World Cup that year. What a way to compensate for the nerve-wracking mishap.

The ‘crazy’ trophy rule

Every football fan might have wondered at some point- “Why did they change the original trophy?” The answer is here.

FIFA had a crazy rule that time which said that the nation who wins the tournament three times gets to keep the Jules Rimet trophy. Brazil went on to win the tournament for the third time in 1970 after winning it in two occasions in 1958 and 1962. Jules Rimet now resides in the Brazilian Football Confederation headquarters in Rio de Janeiro.

And you thought football was not crazy enough. Didn’t you?

No Coitus

This one is even crazier. Nations like Mexico, Chile, Spain and Germany have banned their players to indulge in sexual intercourse during the World Cup. The reason is still unknown but managers claim coitus to be a waste of energy and distraction.

Then, there are other masterminds who say that players can do it but should abstain from “acrobatic” forms of sex. You saw that right, even I’m trying to get rid of the images. I wish players could say “screw you” to their coaches, but then, maybe they are even banned from saying that.

Prize money

We all are curious to know how much money players make winning such a massive tournament. You might not believe me but the World Cup winners take home a staggering amount of $35 million dollars. The runners-up also run away with $25 million. Similarly, every participating nations book their $8 million dollar check by simply qualifying for the tournament.

No wonder they all want to be a part of it. Greedy nations!

Increase in the Birthrate

Put excitement and booze together, what would you get? A hike in the birth rate! Football not only makes men ooze of adrenaline but also makes ladies happy. And when a lady is happy, she secrets hormones which makes it easier to get pregnant. As crazy and scary (on the way you see it) as this fact is, the reported birth rate of the hosting nations increases when it’s time for World Cup.

So, don’t be a fool and wrap around your tool. Whether your team is winning or not!

The ‘Champions Curse’

With Germany out of the 2018 world cup, this is the fourth time that a defending nation witnessed a ‘champions curse.’ France (2002), Italy (2010), and Spain (2014) saw a similar fate catching the first plane home.

The newborn ‘VAR’

FIFA World Cup 2018 did the inauguration of controversial ‘VAR.’ Video Assistant Referee (VAR) has already seen so many controversies in club and now in country level. We saw around 18 penalties already in the tournament which has exceeded the total in 2014 WC. Players are committing less fouls due to VAR (or maybe they all had a moment of epiphany).

Quick facts

  • Hungary holds the record of most goals scored by a nation (27) in a single World Cup (1954).
  • With a tally of 16, Miroslav Klose (Germany) is the top scorer in WC history (2002–2014).
  • Oleg Salenko of Russia scored most goals in a single World Cup match. He scored 5 goals against Cameroon in 1994.
  • Just Fontaine (France) is the only player to score 13 goals in a single World Cup in 1958.
  • Hakan Sukur scored the fastest goal of the competition in 2002. The Turkish international player scored in just 11 seconds.
  • Australia has the biggest winning in the World Cup Qualifying history. The ruthless Australians scored 31 goals (in a single game, of course) against American Samoa in 2001.
  • Germany has the highest goals scored in WC campaigns. They scored 25 goals in 1954 WC which is the best till date. 
  • Brazil has the most WC glory (5) and the second place is tied between Germany and Italy (4).
  • Brazilian, Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pelé) is the only player to win World Cup 3 times.
  • Dino Zoff (Italy) is the oldest player to win the competition. He was 40 when he lifted the trophy in the 1982 edition.
  • Italian coach Vittorio Pozzo (1886-1968) is the only manager to win the WC two times (1934 and 1938).
  • Brazil is the only team to participate in every single edition of FIFA World Cup.
  • Brazil (1958 and 1962) and Italy (1934 and 1938) are the only nations to win the competitions on a bounce.
  • Hungary's win over El Salvador in 1982 (10-1) is still the biggest rout in the World Cup history.
  • Germany has played in the most World Cup Finals losing eight times in total.
  • Mexican Antonio Carbajal, German Lothar Matthäus, Mexican Rafael Marquez and Italian Gianluigi are the only ones who have played in five WC editions.
  • The meeting of Portugal and Netherlands in 2006 saw the referee giving 16 yellow and 4 red cards. Still the game with most cards in WC history.

With all been said, FIFA World Cup holds so much more than just joy and sorrow. But we all know that the future is uncertain and there might be more shocking facts after the FIFA World Cup 2018. Ciao for now will see you guys again with more incredible things about the world’s best game. Let me know if you have more incredible WC facts.

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