Amazing World Cup Facts

This is the place for World Cup trivia.

A new fact will be posted regularly.

Did you know…:

  • At the end of the 1st round matches this year, no player remained who had played on a previous World Cup champion.
  • The English exited with 1 point in 3 games, their worst record ever at the World Cup. This is only the 2nd time they did not win a game at the World Cup. They went out in a playoff to the Soviet Union after finishing group play with 3 draws in 1958.
  • The 4 goals in Germany-Portugal and 3 in US-Ghana brought the tournament total to 44 in 14 matches: an average of 3.14 per game. The last time the World Cup averaged more than 3 a game was in 1958.
  • After Brazilians, Americans bought the most tickets to the 2014 World Cup.
  • Germany is the tallest team at this year’s World Cup.
  • Ivory Coast’s 2-1 win over Japan was the 4th comeback win in the first 3 days. By comparison, only 3 teams came back from 1-0 deficits to win in the entire 2010 World Cup. (Uruguay’s quarterfinal victory over Ghana came in a shootout.)
  • Spain’s 5-1 demolition was the worst loss by a defending World Cup champion ever.
  • Brazil has not lost at home in a competitive match since 1975. They have not lost a World Cup opener since 1934. And they’re the only World Cup team with a winning record in matches in which they give up the 1st goal.
  • Marcelo’s mistake marks the 1st time ever that the 1st goal in a World Cup was an own goal.
  • US coach Jurgen Klinsmann earned a diploma as a baker in 1982.
  • Dino Zoff was 40 when he captained Italy to the 1982 World Cup title.
  • The oldest player to score in a World Cup was Roger Milla (42 years old, in 1994 — it was Cameroon’s only goal in a 6-1 loss to Russia).
  • The original Maracana stadium in Rio — built for the 1950 World Cup — had a capacity of 200,000.
  • The 1950 World Cup was the only one without a championship match. Uruguay won the trophy, by capturing the 4-team final round-robin format.
  • 3.2 billion people watched the 2010 World Cup final. That’s half of the world’s population!
  • Which is the best nation never to win the World Cup? Probably Holland. the Dutch are 0-3 in the finals (1974, ’78, 2010).
  • The best US finish ever came in 1930, when 13 teams competed. We won our group (with 6 British-born players) and advanced to the semifinals, where we lost to Argentina — by a 6-1 score.
  • The very 1st hat trick in the World Cup was scored in 1930 by Bert Patenaude — of the US team!