57 World Cup History Facts That Are Quite Astonishing

Shagun Dhanuka
Nov 08, 2022 By Shagun Dhanuka
Originally Published on Jan 26, 2022
Edited by Rhea Nischal
The FIFA world cup takes place every four years. Read on for more World Cup history facts!
Age: 3-18
Read time: 9.2 Min

The FIFA World Cup, generally referred to as just the World Cup, is an international organization football league contested by the adult men's national teams of FIFA members, the sport's worldwide governing institution.

France is the current champion of the tournament, having won the 2018 game in Russia for the second time. The current model includes qualifying matches that last three years and determines which teams will compete in the tournament phase.

The current final event, which has been held in the host countries since 1998, has 32 national teams playing over a month. The tournament is split into two phases: a group phase and a knockout phase.

Teams participate in eight groups of four teams during the group stage. Eight nations, including the host, are chosen using a method based on prior World Cup records and placed in different groups.

The knockout stage is a single-elimination competition that begins with the round of 16, in which the winners of each group face the runner-up from another group.

The quarter-finals, semi-finals, third-place match, and final stage all take place after that.

Since the first tournament in 1930, the championship has indeed been presented every four years, except for 1942 and 1946, when it was not conducted due to World War II.

The FIFA World Cup is the world's most prominent football competition, along with being the most broadly watched and followed single-sport event.

Qatar will hold the 2022 FIFA World Cup, while Canada, the United States, and Mexico will jointly host the 2026 World Cup, making Mexico the first nation to organize gameplay in three World Cups.

The FIFA Women's World Cup, a comparable competition for women's football, was first contested in China in 1991.

Except for Brazil, six winners have won one of the championships while competing in their very own country.

The FIFA Confederations Cup was a one-year pre-World Cup event hosted in the World Cup host nation as a warm-up for the forthcoming World Cup.

In 1982, the game broadened its structure to 24 teams, allowing 32 nations in 1998, further authorizing teams from Africa, Asia, and North America to contest.

On January 10, 2017, FIFA announced that the 2026 World Cup will now have 48 teams in its final.

Continue reading to learn more about the World Cup and its history.

If you enjoyed reading this, you must also look at other fun fact articles about the Brazil World Cup and World Cup 2018 facts.

The History Of The World Cup

  • The first official football match was a challenging match between Scotland and England in Glasgow in 1872, which ended in a 0–0 tie.
  • FIFA attempted to organize an international football competition against countries outside of the Olympic structure in Switzerland in 1906, after it was created in 1904.
  • The Summer Olympics, which were organized by the Football Association, England's soccer regulatory body, were viewed as a display for amateur teams exclusively.
  • In Turin in 1909, Sir Thomas Lipton organized the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy event, which is frequently referred to as the 'First World Cup.'
  • Because of the Olympic football events' popularity, FIFA, led by President Jules Rimet, began considering holding their own international competition outside of the Olympics.
  • In 1930, the inaugural World Cup was held. Uruguay was both the host nation and the victor of the tournament that year.
  • The World Cup is a multi-national soccer competition in which senior men's national teams from across the world compete.
  • Africa, Asia, Europe, North and Central America, the Caribbean, Oceania, and South America are the six continental zones represented in the FIFA World Cup.
  • Jules Rimet suggested the first World Cup in 1930, intending to create an international championship amongst men's football teams.
  • The Fédération Internationale de Football Association, a non-profit organization, provides the World Cup prize money. FIFA does not pay for the building of World Cup infrastructure because that is the responsibility of the host country.
  • Uruguay won the first match of the World Cup, which took place in 1930 by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, or FIFA.
  • In May 1904, seven nationwide organizations, namely Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland, formed FIFA.
  • From 1904-1906, Guerin, FIFA's first president, ruled over the organization. Seven other individuals have served as FIFA president, including Jules Rimet, who presided over the organization for 33 years from 1921-1954.
  • Under FIFA's leadership, soccer has risen to become the most popular sport on the planet.
  • FIFA, as soccer's supreme administrative body, oversees all aspects of the game, including regulating rules of play, managing international player transfers, and organizing international events such as the FIFA World Cup.
  • From 1921-1954, Jules Rimet, a French football executive, was the third President of FIFA.
  • He also started the Red Star Saint-Ouen football team in France.
  • With 33 years in office, he is FIFA's longest-serving president. From 1919-1942, he was the head of the French Football Federation.
  • Thanks to Rimet's proposal, the inaugural FIFA World Cup was staged in 1930.
  • In his honor, the Jules Rimet Trophy was created.
  • Since that time, the World Cup has grown in size and format, with the current 32-team final event preceded by a long two-year process of qualifying that involves over 200 teams participating from all around the globe.

The Winners Of The World Cup

  • Eight teams have won the 21 World Cup events. Brazil has won five games and is the only nation to have contended in all of them.
  • Uruguay won the first game for the cup, which took place in 1930 by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, or FIFA.
  • In 1970, the Jules Rimet Trophy was permanently granted to Brazil, which was then a three-time champion, and a new trophy, the FIFA World Cup, was introduced for competition.
  • As of 2018, Miroslav Klose of the German national team is the all-time leading scorer in the World Cup.
  • In four World Cup campaigns, he scored a total of 16 goals.
  • No country has ever won the World Cup title other than Brazil, Italy, Germany, Argentina, Uruguay, France, Spain, and England.
  • Uruguay won the World Cup in their native country in 1930, Italy in 1934, England in 1966, Germany in 1974, Argentina in 1978, and France in 1998.
  • In the years 1934 and 1938, Italy won the World Cup twice in a row.
  • In 1958 and 1962, Brazil set a new record by being the winning team for two years in a row.
  • Uruguay won the first Football World Cup, held in Uruguay in 1930, with a 4-2 victory against Argentina in the World Cup finals.
  • Only Brazil has competed in the World Cup Championships continuously since the inaugural tournament in 1930 till the present.
  • South Korea took fourth place in the 2002 World Cup and was awarded a fourth-place medal.
  • Brazil also holds the record for winning the most World Cup titles which is five times.
  • A poll of media members determines who wins the 'Golden Ball' for best player.
  • The Silver Ball and the Bronze Ball are given to the players who come in second and third place in the vote.
  • West Germany, alongside Brazil, has been the only country to have appeared in three World Cup finals in a row.
Brazil holds the record for the highest number of wins in the history of the World Cup.

Records Set During The World Cup

  • With 16 goals, Belgium has the most goals of any team at the 2018 World Cup.
  • In the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifying rounds, 200 teams competed; 198 countries competed in the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying rounds; a record 204 countries competed in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds.
  • In the 2018 World Cup, Raphael Varane became the ninth player to win both the World Cup and the Champions League in the same year.
  • Oleg Salenko of Russia holds the record for most World Cup goals scored by a single player in a World Cup match, which is five goals.
  • Mexico has the most World Cup defeats (27), but it also has the most victories (16) and draws (14) in the tournament.
  • Indonesia has featured in the World Cup the fewest times of all countries, having only played one world cup in 1938.
  • With 21 draws at the World Cup, the Italians have the most draws in the tournament's history.
  • In 1954, Austria defeated Switzerland 7-5 in the highest-scoring game in World Cup history.
  • There have been 21 tournaments of the World Cup. With five titles, Brazil is the most successful country in the world. With four apiece, Italy and Germany are close behind.
  • Roger Milla, who scored a goal for Cameroon against Russia in 1994 at the age of 42, was the World Cup's oldest goalscorer.
  • The all-time leading scorer in the World Cup is Germany's Miroslav Klose, with 16 goals.
  • Seven players have collected all three types of World Cup medals, including Miroslav Klose of Germany with four consecutive medals.
  • Mário Zagallo of Brazil, Franz Beckenbauer of West Germany, and Didier Deschamps of France are the only people who have won the World Cup as a player and a head coach.
  • Only Djalma Santos of Brazil, Franz Beckenbauer of West Germany, and Philipp Lahm of Germany have been chosen for three World Cup All-Star Teams.

Amazing Facts About The World Cup

The competition's 2022 edition would be the Northern Hemisphere's first-ever winter world cup.

  • Every four years, the World Cup, the world's most renowned international soccer competition, is held.
  • The inaugural World Cup was held in 1930 and featured 13 invited countries. It was hosted by Uruguay, who also won the event.
  • Since its inception in Uruguay in 1930, the World Cup has been held every four years, except for 1942 and 1946, due to world conflicts.
  • The World Cup is a lengthier competition with more matches and teams than the Summer Olympics.
  • With five World Cups, Brazil is the country with the most number of World Cups. With four apiece, Italy and Germany are close behind.
  • The host country must achieve certain minimum requirements to qualify, and if they do, a vote is held to decide the next host.
  • The total number of soccer fans that watched the 2006 World Cup matches was predicted to be 26.2 billion, with 715.1 million individuals watching the final match, accounting for a 10th of the world's population.
  • Each World Cup has had a total of 32 national teams represented since 1998.
  • The current World Cup trophy has been awarded to winning teams since 1970. However, the original was stolen in 1983 and never discovered, necessitating a replacement.
  • The World Cup trophy is constructed of 18-carat gold and weighs 13.5 lb (6.1 kg). It was produced in Italy.
  • The new world cup trophy is not given to the winning country forever, but the World Cup winners retain it only until the post-match festivity is completed.
  • The Women's World Cup is held every four years, much like the men's version.
  • The 2018 World Cup was seen by 3.5 billion people (almost half of the world's population).
  • For the first time in soccer history, the 2002 World Cup was staged in two countries: South Korea and Japan.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 75 World Cup history facts that are quite astonishing then why not take a look at world cup facts, or fun facts about Brazil?

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Written by Shagun Dhanuka

Bachelor of Business Administration

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Shagun DhanukaBachelor of Business Administration

With a Degree in Business Administration, Shagun is an avid writer with a passion for food, fashion, and travel, which she explores on her blog. Her love of literature has led her to become a member of a literary society, where she contributes to promoting literary festivals in her role as head of marketing for her college. Shagun also pursues learning the Spanish language in her free time.

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