Nothing quite brings the people of England together like the FIFA World Cup. For an entire month, the whole country erupts into frenzied celebrations as we watch our team battle it out against the rest of the world for that coveted trophy. Even the lead up to the tournament is an event in itself.
It has been 52 years since we were last pronounced world champions, but that doesn’t stop us from hoping that this year might be the year we take back the crown. Honestly, the fact that we even made it out of the group stage this year is more than most of the country ever hoped for. Not to mention our 6-1 thrashing of Panama!
Whether England makes it to the final or not, it is always fun to have an arsenal of interesting World Cup facts to impress your friends with at halftime. Here are ten of the most interesting things you might not know about the FIFA World Cup.
- The first ever World Cup was hosted in Uruguay in 1930. Coincidentally, the host nation was also the winner of that tournament. What a way to kick off the world’s most important football tournament!
- This year, the distance between the easternmost venue (Ekaterinburg) and the westernmost (Kaliningrad) is over 1500 miles. To put that into perspective, it is about the same distance as London to Moscow.
- The game with the most goals so far in World Cup history was in 1954 when Austria beat Switzerland 7-5 – a game with a grand total of 12 goals. That must have been quite a sight to see.
- While this hasn’t been scientifically proven, it is generally thought that the country of the winning team sees a baby boom roughly nine months after the end of the tournament. In fact, commercials have even been made based on this notion.
- In 2014 around 3.2 billion people tuned in to watch the World Cup. That’s almost 50% of the entire population of the planet.
- A lot of coaches ban their players from having sex during the World Cup. Presumably, this is because they don’t want players to think about anything other than playing football. It seems like letting off a bit of steam would be a good way of keeping them focused, but who am I to say.
- The winning team gets to take home a whopping $35 million. But, this is just small change considering the tournament rakes in over $4 billion on average. In fact, your team gets $8 million just for participating!
- At the moment, 32 teams are allowed to qualify for the World Cup. This is decided through qualifying games within each continent. However, the number of teams that can qualify is going to jump up to 46 in 2026.
- The most goals ever scored by a player in a single World Cup match is 5. This was done by Oleg Salenko, a Russian player, during a 1994 match against Cameroon, in which Russia won 6-1.
- The most goals ever scored by a team during a World Cup match was 10, scored by Hungary against El Salvador back in 1982. The end score was 10-1 to Hungary.
That’s all folks. Keep cheering on our boys and lets hope for the best as they do their thing at the Russia World Cup 2018.