40 Completely Random Yet Amazing Football Facts
For a little change of pace from my latest diatribe, I thought I’d mix things up and spew some of the odd facts I have stored away in the footballing portion of my brain. Some you may have heard before, others perhaps not, but here are 40 facts about the game we all love that at the very least is good bathroom reading material! Enjoy…
1. Brazilian striker Ronaldo holds the record for goals at the World Cup’s with 15 goals.
2. Famous Cricketer Viv Richards is the only person to play at both Cricket and Football World Cups.
3. Brazil is the only country to appear in every single World Cup tournament.
4. Swedish defender Jan Olsson was the unlucky player that Dutch legend Johan Cruyff made a fool of with the now famous “Cruyff Turn” in the 1974 World Cup.
5. At 42, Cameroon Legend Roger Milla is the oldest player to play and score in World Cup history.
6. Turkey’s Hakan Sukur holds the record for the fastest goal in World Cup history in Korea 2002, after an amazing 11 seconds.
7. Geoff Hurst is the only player to score a World Cup Final Hatrick.
8. In 1996, George Weah paid for his team-mates kits and expenses so Liberia could enter the African Nations Cup.
9. In 1998, English referee Martin Sylvester sent himself off after punching a player during a game in the Andover and District Sunday League.
10. Sir Stanley Matthews never received a booking in his 33-year long career.
11. The first televised game was an Arsenal practice match at the Highbury ground in 1937.
12. Italian goalkeeper Dino Zoff, aged 40, became the oldest player ever to win a World Cup at the 1982 World Cup in Spain.
13. Brazil’s Pele is the only player to win three World Cups (1958, 1962 and 1970).
14. In 1950, India withdrew from the World Cup because FIFA refused to let their team play barefoot.
15. Germany’s Oliver Kahn became the first goalkeeper to win the World Cup’s Most Valuable Player (2002).
16. The first ever World Cup was held in the year 1930, which was won by the host country, Uruguay. The number of spectators at the opening match between Mexico and France was just 3000. At a group 3, opening match between Peru and Romania? Just 300. Attendance would balloon to 93,000 (some people report 80,000) for the final between Uruguay and Argentina.
17. Danish legend Michael Laudrup was a part of the Barcelona team when they won against Real Madrid, 5 – 0. He was also a part of the Real Madrid team when they won 5 – 0 against Barcelona as well.
18. Manchester United have won the English top division most times (19).
19. Nottingham Forest has won the European Cup (Champions League) twice, in 1979 and 1980.
20. Chelsea has only won the English top league 4 times.
21. Every year except for two (1930 and 1950), a team from Europe has reached the World Cup Final.
22. Football is known the world over except in the USA and Canada, where they call it Soccer (Find out the history of the word here).
23. The most fans to watch a World Cup match was 119,850 in Brazil (1950).
24. In 1999, Chelsea signed Chris Sutton from Blackburn for £10 million. The striker scored just one league goal and left a season later.
25. France captain Laurent Blanc kissed the bald head of Fabian Barthez before each match of the 1998 World Cup. He was suspended for the final, but still kissed the goalie from the sidelines in his suit.
26. Leo Messi at just 25 has already won 5 La Liga crowns and 3 European Cups.
27. Four out of the top 5 highest transfers are held by Spanish giants Real Madrid – Ronaldo, Figo, Kaka, and Zidane.
28. Scottish team Rangers have won a staggering 54 league titles.
29. Arsenal went 49 consecutive games unbeaten from 7thMay, 2003 to 24th, October 2004.
30. Manchester City only scored 10 goals at home in the 2006-2007 season.
31. Chelsea had an amazing +71 goal difference in the 2009-2010 season.
32. In 1992, Vinnie Jones got booked after 3 seconds playing for Chelsea against Sheffield United.
33. Ashley Cole has the most FA Cup winner’s medals with 7.
34. Premier League was formed on 20th Feb, 1992.
35. Alex Ferguson has won 3 Scottish leagues and 12 English league titles.
36. Real Madrid has won the European Cup an amazing 9 times.
37. Pele was the first to call soccer “the beautiful game.”
38. Ramon Unzaga of Chile was the first player to perform a bicycle kick. He accomplished the feat in 1914, at El Morro Stadium.
39. The first set of rules for football were made by the London Football Association in 1863.
40. Maradona scored an incredible 311 career goals.
Feel free to add comments below, or join thousands of other fans as they discuss the Beautiful Game at r/Football