World Cup Facts

Here are some facts about the World Cup.

  • The World Cup is an international football (soccer) competition between FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) countries. It has been held every 4 years since 1930, except 1942 and 1946.

  • Brazil has played in every competition and has won the World Cup 5 times up to 2014. Italy and Germany have won the competition 4 times each (up to 2014).
  • England won once, in 1966 when 100,000 fans packed Wembley Stadium to see England beat West Germany 4-2. The match was the last World Cup game to be televised in black and white.
  • The trophy awarded is the Jules Rimet Trophy, named after the FIFA president. It is made of solid 18 carat gold, and stands 36 cm high.
  • World Cup rules state that players have to wear football boots to play. India dropped out of the 1950 competition when told that they could not play barefoot.
  • Brazil’s Pele is the only player to have won 3 World Cup championships. He was also one of the youngest players to appear in a final, at just under 18 years old.
  • The first hat trick was scored by Bert Patenaude of the United States in the 1930 competition. One of the fastest ever goals was scored 11 seconds into the game by a Turkish player in 2002.
  • The system of issuing yellow and red cards to players was introduced in the 1970 competition. Chile’s Carlos Caszely was the first player to receive the red card, in 1974.
  • The 2014 competition in Brazil generated over 4 billion dollars in revenue for FIFA. Almost 10 percent of the world’s population watched the competition, making it the most watched sporting event.
  • However, the 2014 World Cup also cost an estimated 16 billion dollars. Security at the matches in Brazil was helped by using robots and drone spy planes to fly overhead.