Thursday, June 29, 2006

World Cup Trivia

Well, I'm finally back from my honeymoon, and with the wedding out of the way I may finally get some time to write blog entries again. But wait, hang on, it seems like there's a World Cup (footy that is) to take up almost all of my evenings. Ah well, no blogging just yet then!

Still, there's no matches on at the moment (not until Friday anyway) and so to quench my need for football I decided to go on a trivia hunt. And thus was born Honest Bob's World Cup Trivia facts... I can't guarantee the accuracy of any of these facts as all were researched on the internet ;-)

Of the 17 events (prior to Germany 2006), the hosts have won 6 times, with only Sweden being a losing host finalist (1958, losing to Brazil).

Argentina and Brazil are the only countries to win outside of their own continent. Brazil have managed to win on every continent the competition has been played:

  • Asia: South Korea / Japan (2002)

  • North America: USA (1994), Mexico (1970)

  • South America: Chile (1962)

  • Europe: Sweden (1958)

Not only that, but Brazil have managed to qualify for every world cup tournament.

However, they are the only team that have won the competition to have NOT won it as hosts.

Although a German team have won the competition 3 times, they've never managed it as a combined Germany, only ever as West Germany.

In total only 7 teams have won the competition out of 207 countries who have competed for qualification, and 78 who have made it to the world cup proper. The 7 winners are:

  • Brazil (5 times)

  • Italy (3 times)

  • West Germany (3 times)

  • Uruguay (2 times)

  • Argentina (2 times)

  • England (once)

  • France (once)

The competition has been utterly dominated by European and South American teams, with only two teams outside of the two continents having made it to the semi-final stages. USA (1994) and South Korea (2002) both being hosts when they managed it.
The fastest goal in a world cup match was scored by Hakan Sukur (Turkey), 11 seconds after kick off against South Korea in the 2002 tournament.

However, that time is beaten when you also take into account the qualifying matches. David Gualtieri (San Marino) scored after 8 seconds against England in their ill-fated qualification attempt for the 1994 Finals. England needed to win by 7 clear goals and have Holland lose their match against Poland. England only managed to win 7-1, though it mattered little as Holland eventually won their game 3-1.

In the whole of that qualification group (10 games) San Marino managed to score only one other goal and conceded 46.

The 1950 World Cup was not decided by a final. Rather it was a league contested by 4 teams, with the match between Uruguay and Brazil (2-1) being the decisive match and therefore generally regarded as 'the final'.

The only person to have played both World Cup Football and World Cup Cricket is Viv Richards - West Indies at cricket (obviously) and for Antigua in their 1974 World Cup Qualifying matches, which ultimately ended in failure.