World Cup Facts
Did You Know?
- The World Cup in 2018 will mark the first time Russia has ever hosted this event.
- The 2018 World Cup will be Russia’s 11th World Cup appearance. Their highest ever finish was 4th place in 1966.
- 3.2 billion people (almost half of the world’s population) tuned in to watch the 2014 World Cup.
- The World Cup has been played 20 times, Brazil holds the most titles with five. Italy and Germany are close behind with four each.
- For the first time in the history of soccer, the 2002 World Cup was held in two different countries: South Korea and Japan.
- The oldest goal scorer in the World Cup was Roger Milla, who was 42 in 1994 when he scored a goal for Cameroon against Russia.
- It is rumored that India withdrew from the 1950 tournament as they were not allowed to play barefoot.
- One of the venues for the 2018 World Cup, Fisht Stadium in Sochi, is the same stadium that hosted the opening and closing ceremonies at the 2014 Winter Games.
- The first World Cup was played in 1930. Uruguay was both the tournament host and winner that year.
- The World Cup trophy went missing for 7 days in 1966, when it was stolen just prior to the tournament.
- The distance between the easternmost host city ( and the westernmost host city (Kaliningrad) at the 2018 World Cup is over 1500 miles. For comparison, that’s about the same distance as Moscow to London, England.
- The average attendance per game at the 2014 World Cup was over 53,000 fans!
- The highest scoring game in World Cup history was in 1954, when Austria defeated Switzerland 7-5.
- The Italians have had the most number of draws in World Cup history with 21.
- Of all countries that have appeared in the World Cup, Indonesia has played the least number of matches – just one in 1938.
- Mexico has the most World Cup losses (25), though they do also have 14 wins and 14 draws.
- While 32 teams will qualify for the 2018 tournament, the number will jump to 48 in 2026.
- The most goals ever scored by one player in a World Cup match is an impressive five, by Oleg Salenko of Russia.
- The World Cup winning country is rumored to see a baby boom 9 months after the World Cup. In fact, Hyundai even created a commercial based on this fact.