100 facts about the World Cup, each fact related to a specific number, one through 100.
1 — every match at the inaugural 1930 World Cup in Uruguay was played in one city: Montevideo.
2 — Sweden’s Jan Olsson, wearing No. 2, was the defender that Dutch star Johan Cruyff famously bamboozled with his inventive “Cruyff Turn” at the 1974 World Cup in West Germany.
3 — Brazil’s Pele is the only player to win three World Cups: in 1958, 1962 and 1970.
4 — the number of players who recorded two hat tricks at the World Cup: Hungary’s Sandor Kocsis (both in 1954), France’s Just Fontaine (1958), West Germany’s Gerd Muller (1970) and Gabriel Batistuta (one in 1994 and one in 1998).
5 — Russia’s Oleg Salenko scored a tournament-record five goals in one game during a 6-1 win over Cameroon at the 1994 World Cup in the United States.
6 — Paolo Rossi was the top scorer at the 1982 World Cup in Spain with six goals, leading Italy to its third title.
7 — the number of days the World Cup trophy went missing when it was stolen prior to the 1966 Cup in England. A dog named Pickles, being taken out for a walk by his owner in South London, discovered the trophy wrapped in some newspapers at the bottom of some bushes a week after it was taken.
8 — Scotland has qualified for the World Cup on eight occasions. All eight times it failed to advance beyond the first round.
9 — Mexico lost a record nine straight games at the World Cup (1930, 1950-58).
10 — the number of minutes left in extra time of the 2006 World Cup final when France’s Zinedine Zidane head-butted Italian defender Marco Materazzi.
11 — Turkey’s Hakan Sukur scored 11 seconds into the game against South Korea in 2002, the quickest goal in World Cup history.
12 — Austria and Switzerland teamed up for the highest-scoring game in World Cup history in 1954 when they combined for 12 goals. Austria won 7-5.
13 — the number of teams that participated in the first World Cup in 1930 in Uruguay.
14 — German star Gerd Muller, regarded as one of the top strikers in the history of soccer, scored 14 career goals at the World Cup.
15 — the number of goals Brazil’s Ronaldo scored at three World Cups (1998, 2002 and 2006), a tournament record.
16 — Russian referee Valentin Ivanov brandished 16 yellow cards (tying a tournament record) in a second-round match at the 2006 World Cup in Germany between Portugal and the Netherlands.
17 — the age of Brazil’s Pele when he became the youngest player ever to score at the World Cup, in 1958 in Sweden.
18 — England’s Geoff Hurst is the only player in World Cup history to net a hat trick in the final, the first of his three goals against West Germany in 1966 coming in the 18th minute.
19 — Lucien Laurent scored for France in the 19th minute against Mexico in 1930, becoming the first player to score a goal at the World Cup.
20 — the 20th World Cup will be staged in 2014 in Brazil.
21 — the four European teams that competed at the first World Cup (Romania, Belgium, France and Yugoslavia) set sail for Uruguay on June 21, 1930.
22 — North Korea took a shocking 3-0 lead after only 22 minutes against Portugal in the quarter-finals of the 1966 World Cup, only to see the Portuguese storm back to win the game 5-3.
23 — Uruguay’s Alcides Ghiggia was 23 when he scored the winning goal against Brazil in the 1950 World Cup decider at Rio’s Maracana Stadium. Years later, Ghiggia famously said: “Only three people have ever silenced 200,000 people at the Maracana with a single gesture: Frank Sinatra, Pope John Paul II and me.”
24 — the number of consecutive passes made by Argentina before midfielder Esteban Cambiasso scored against Serbia and Montenegro during the first round of the 2006 World Cup.
25 — Germany’s Lothar Matthaus has played in a tournament record 25 games at the World Cup.
26 — on May 26, 1928, at its Amsterdam conference, FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, announced plans to stage a World Cup tournament independent of the Olympics. Two years later, the first World Cup was held in Uruguay.
27 — Hungary scored the most goals by one team at a single tournament, finding the back of the net 27 times in 1954 in Switzerland.
28 — Hungary entered the 1954 World Cup as the favourites, having gone undefeated in their previous 28 games (24 wins, four draws) in international play, before losing to West Germany in the final.
29 — 1929 was the year in which FIFA awarded Uruguay the right to host the first World Cup.
30 — the number of referees who will work the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. They’ll come from 28 countries.
31 — Australia defeated American Samoa 31-0 in 2001, the largest margin of victory ever in a World Cup qualifying game.
32 — the number of teams the tournament expanded to (from 24) in 1998 in France.
33 — Ireland asked FIFA to let it enter the 2010 World Cup as the tournament’s 33rd team after Thierry Henry’s infamous handball helped France qualify for the competition at the expense of the Irish. Their request was denied.
34 — born in Buenos Aires, Luis Monti is the only person to have played in two World Cup finals for different countries, representing Italy in 1934 after playing for Argentina four years earlier.
35 — the height (in centimetres) of the World Cup trophy presented to Uruguay after it defeated Argentina in the final of the first World Cup, in 1930.
36 — Polish legend Zbigniew Boniek was the 36th player in World Cup history to record a hat trick, scoring three past Belgium in 1982. Regarded as one of the best players of his era, Boniek was suspended for the semifinals that year against Italy, which easily won 2-0.
37 — the minute in which Guillermo Stabile scored to give Argentina a 2-1 lead in the 1930 World Cup final. Uruguay came from behind to win 4-2.
38 — Joe Gaetjens scored in the 38th minute for the U.S. against England in the first round of the 1950 World Cup. The Americans went on to win 1-0, registering the greatest upset in tournament history.
39 — Gary Lineker, one of only two English players to score three goals in a game at the World Cup, recorded the 39th hat trick in tournament history in 1986.
40 — Italian goalkeeper Dino Zoff was 40 when he became the oldest player ever to win the World Cup, at the 1982 tournament in Spain.
41 — as in 17 years and 41 days, the age of Northern Ireland’s Norman Whiteside when he became the youngest player to appear at the World Cup, in 1982.
42 — the age of Cameroon’s Roger Milla when he became the oldest player to score and play at the World Cup, in 1994 in the United States.
43 — the average attendance (per game) at the World Cup: just over 43,000 fans.
44 — the gap in years between Italy’s second World Cup title (in 1938) and third (in 1982).
45 — Italian legend Giuseppe Meazza scored over 50 goals during his international career, with his 45th coming against Brazil in the semifinals of the 1938 World Cup. Famously, Meazza was set to take a penalty shot against Brazil when the elastic holding up his shorts snapped. Undaunted, Meazza held up his shorts with his left hand while scoring from the spot to give Italy a 2-0 lead. Meazza’s shorts fell down around his waist after he scored.
46 — the aftermath of the Second World War caused the cancellation of the 1946 World Cup.
47 — Germany’s Miroslav Klose was the 47th player in history to record a hat trick at the World Cup, in 2002 against Saudi Arabia. Amazingly, all three goals were scored on headers.
48 — number of hat tricks recorded in World Cup history.
49 — Spain has played 49 games at the World Cup, the most of any nation that has not won the tournament.
50 — the 1950 World Cup was the only tournament not to have a final game. Instead, the winner was determined via a four-team round robin after Brazil, Uruguay, Spain and Sweden won their respective first-round groups. Uruguay defeated hosts Brazil 2-1 in the final game of the round robin to win the World Cup.
51 — the minute in which Argentina’s Diego Maradona scored his infamous “Hand of God” goal against England in the quarter-finals of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.
52 — the age of Vittorio Pozzo at the time he led Italy to World Cup glory in 1938. Pozzo is still the only coach to win two World Cup titles.
53 — the oldest referee in a World Cup game was George Reader of England, who was 53 when he took charge of the Brazil-Uruguay World Cup finale in 1950.
54 — the minute in which Argentina’s Diego Maradona scored his famous “Goal of the Century” goal against England in the quarter-finals of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.
55 — with Brazil sitting on a slender 2-1 lead over Sweden in the 1958 final, a 17-year-old Pele took control of the game in the 55th minute when he scored a stunningly breathtaking goal. Standing in a crowd in the penalty area with his back toward goal, he trapped a high pass with his chest, knocked the ball over his head while being marked by a defender, whirled around and volleyed it past Swedish goalkeeper Karl Svensson.
56 — Uruguay’s Jose Batista was red carded a mere 56 seconds into a first-round game against Scotland at the 1986 World Cup, the fastest ejection in tournament history.
57 — the legendary Alfredo di Stefano of Argentina acquired Spanish citizenship and played four World Cup qualifying matches for Spain in 1957, but the team failed to qualify. Di Stefano is considered the greatest player never to have played at the World Cup.
58 — Brazil’s Mario Zagallo became the first man to win the World Cup as a player and a coach. He won his first title while playing for Brazil in 1958.
59 — Poland’s Ernst Wilimowski became the first player in World Cup history to score four goals in a single game when he netted four times against Brazil in a first-round match in 1938. His second goal was scored in the 59th minute.
60 — in 1960, FIFA was in the midst of selecting the host nation when a catastrophic earthquake and the ensuing tsunami rocked Chile. Thousands were killed, and the country was devastated. Strangely, though, this did not weaken Chile’s application to stage the World Cup, and the South American nation held the tournament two years later.
61 — English referee Graham Poll mistakenly showed Croatian defender Josip Simunic three yellow cards during a first-round game against Australia in 2006. Poll cautioned Simunic the first time in the 61st minute.
62 — six players, including Brazil’s Garrincha, finished tied as the tournament top scorers in 1962 in Chile with four goals each.
63 — Soviet star Lev Yashin, considered the greatest goalkeeper ever to play the game, made 63 saves (according to several statisticians) during his three World Cup appearances.
64 — record number of World Cup victories registered by Brazil.
65 — the first player to be expelled in a World Cup final was Pedro Monzon of Argentina in 1990, when he was sent off against West Germany in the 65th minute.
66 — Portugal’s Eusebio was the top scorer at the 1966 World Cup in England with nine goals.
67 — minute in which Argentina’s Claudio Caniggia scored against Italy in the semifinals of the 1990 tournament, ending Italian goalkeeper Walter Zenga’s record shutout streak at 517 consecutive minutes.
68 — Archie Gemmell scored one of the most famous goals in World Cup history in the 68th minute of a first-round game against the Netherlands. Gemmell elegantly slalomed his way through the Dutch defence before chipping the ball over goalkeeper Jan Jongbloed and into the back of the net to give Scotland a 3-1 lead.
69 — minute in which Hungary’s Laszlo Kiss scored the first of three goals against El Salvador in 1982 en route to recording the quickest ever hat trick at the World Cup (eight minutes).
70 — Mexico became the first nation outside of Europe and South America to host the World Cup, in 1970.
71 — as in one hundred and seventy-one, the most amount of goals scored at a single World Cup, in 1998 in France.
72 — number of years after the inaugural World Cup in 1930 that the tournament was held in Asia (in 2002 in Japan and South Korea) for the first time.
73 — minute in which Jaime Ramirez opened the scoring in Chile’s 2-0 win over Italy in the first round of the 1962 World Cup, a match that was later dubbed “the battle of Santiago” because several fights broke out between players.
74 — in what is regarded as one of the greatest games in World Cup history, Paolo Rossi scored a hat trick to lift Italy to a 3-2 win over Brazil in 1982 in Spain. Rossi’s third goal was scored in the 74th minute.
75 — number of nations that have played at the World Cup.
76 — Cuba and Indonesia last played in the World Cup in 1938, which means when 2014 Cup rolls around, it will have been 76 years since their previous World Cup appearance — a tournament record in futility.
77 — minute in which Hungary’s Laszlo Kiss scored his third goal against El Salvador in 1982, becoming the only substitute in World Cup history to record a hat trick.
78 — Argentina was the last South American country to stage the World Cup, in 1978.
79 — Uruguay’s Alcides Ghiggia scored the winning goal of the 1950 final against Brazil in the 79th minute to lead his country to its second World Cup title and famously silence the 200,000 fans who packed Rio’s Maracana stadium.
80 — number of minutes that Austria and Germany played against each other without pressing forward during their first-round match in 1982. Germany scored in the 10th minute to take a 1-0, and both teams knew that if the game finished that way, they would both move on to the next round at the expense of Algeria, which played the day before.
81 — Yugoslavia embarrassed Zaire 9-0 at the 1974 World Cup in one of the most lopsided games in tournament history. Dusan Bajevic finished off the scoring in the 81st minute.
82 — Silvio Piola scored in the 82nd minute of the 1938 World Cup final to cap off a 4-2 win for Italy over Hungary in France. In doing so, Italy became the first team to repeat as champions.
83 — Hungary hammered El Salvador 10-1 in 1982, tying the record for the most lopsided result in World Cup history. Hungary’s Tibor Nyilasi scored the last goal of the game in the 83rd minute.
84 — Germany’s Helmut Rahn scored the winning goal against Hungary in the 84th minute of the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland. The game, forever known as “the miracle of Berne,” saw the Germans win their first World Cup in one of the most dramatic finals ever.
85 — Andreas Brehme scored the winning goal for Germany in the 1990 World Cup final in Italy, converting from the penalty spot in the 85th minute against Argentina.
86 — Mexico became the first repeat host when it staged the World Cup for the second time in 1986.
87 — minute in which Roberto Baggio scored the winning goal for Italy against Spain the quarter-finals in 1994.
88 — minute in which Roberto Baggio scored against Nigeria in the second round of the World Cup to help Italy stave off elimination. Baggio went on to score the winner in extra time to help the Italians move on to the next round.
89 — a thrilling quarter-final match at the 1998 World Cup between the Netherlands and Argentina was settled in the 89th minute when Dennis Bergkamp calmly controlled a 50-yard pass in the air from teammate Frank de Boer, sidestepped Argentina defender Roberto Ayala and hammered the ball into the roof of the net past goalkeeper Carlos Roa.
90 — Germany’s Karl-Heinz Schnellinger scored in the 90th minute of the 1970 semifinals to tie the score 1-1 against Italy, sending the game, regarded by many critics as the greatest in World Cup history, into extra time. The Italians went on to win 4-3.
91 — how old Nelson Mandela will be when the 2010 World Cup kicks off June 11 in South Africa. Mandela played a pivotal role in bringing the World Cup to Africa for the first time in the tournament’s history.
92 — both Brazil and Germany have played in a record 92 World Cup games.
93 — 93,000 spectators packed Montevideo’s Estadio Centenario to watch Uruguay defeat Argentina 4-2 in the first World Cup final in 1930.
94 — more than 3.5 million fans attended all 52 games of the 1994 World Cup in the United States, still the single tournament attendance record.
95 — as in 1995, the year in which a study conducted by the Engineering Department at Oxford University concluded that Geoff Hurst’s controversial winning goal for England n the 1966 World Cup final against West Germany did not cross the goal-line entirely.
96 — temperature (in Fahrenheit) in Leon, Mexico, at the time of kickoff when Canada made its World Cup debut against France in 1986. Canada lost 1-0.
97 — Germany’s Karl-Heinz Rummenigge entered the 1982 semifinals against France in the 97th minute and went on to score two goals — including one in the penalty shootout — to lift his country to a dramatic come-from-behind victory in one of the most thrilling games in World Cup history.
98 — Bora Milutinovic is the only man to coach five different countries at the World Cup history, including Nigeria in 1998.
99 — minute in which England’s Paul Gascoigne earned a yellow card against Germany in the semifinals in 1990, which led to his famous teary reaction.
100 — current age of Argentina’s Francisco Varallo, the only person who is still alive to have played in the first World Cup in 1930.