Soccer is the most popular sport in the world with fans all around the globe. It is therefore no wonder that we have found so many interesting fun facts about soccer we had to share with you.
1. The Rungrado 1st of May Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea is the largest soccer stadium in the world with a capacity of up to 150,000 people.
2. Only eight countries have won the Soccer World Cup so far.
3. The 2022 World Soccer Championship will be opened in Lusail (Qatar), a city that did not exist till recently.
4. The so called “football war” or also known as “100 hours war” was a brief war between El Salvador and Honduras in 1969. The name is based on the fact that the war was waged after El Salvador lost a soccer match against Honduras during a World Cup qualifier game in Mexico leading to riots and deaths on both sides
5. Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a founder and the first goalkeeper of soccer club Portsmouth FC.
6. The Brazilian soccer player Pelé holds the record for being the youngest goal scorer, the youngest hat-trick scorer, and the youngest hat-trick scorer in a World Cup final game. He achieved all these records with the age of 17 during the 1958 World Cup,
7. The most goals scored by one side in a Soccer World Cup match is 10. It happened during the 1982 World Cup in Spain between Hungary and El Salvador.
8. The center line of the football stadium in Macapá, Brazil, is exactly on the equator line, so that the competing teams in a match are always on different hemispheres.
9. Soccer player Lee Todd received the fastest red card in soccer history. After the whistle to start the game he commented “F**k me, that was loud” leading to a red card after just two seconds.
10. Soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo opened a museum in 2013 dedicated only to himself.
11. The Italian term “Tifosi” describes a group of supporters of a sports team. It literally means “those infected by typhus” because their fanatism is like a fever.
12. During the 2002 Soccer World Cup, Ahn Jung-hwan from South Korea scored a goal against Italy in injury time, knocking the Italians out of the World Cup. The next day, his contract with his Italian home club was terminated because the owner said he could not pay the person who had ruined Italian football.
13. It is estimated that 55 percent of all footballs are produced in Pakistan.
14. Only three years after the first football rules were laid down, the hand play was forbidden.
15. The only Olympic gold medals Uruguay has ever won are for soccer at both the 1924 and 1928 Olympics.
16. The 20 richest soccer clubs in the world are all European
17. The word “Soccer” originated as a slang abbreviation of the word “association” and is credited to late nineteenth century English soccer player, Charles Wreford-Brown
18. Soccer was invented in China already 2,200 years ago. The game was originally called “Tsu Chu” which means “kicking ball”.
19. The FIFA currently has 211 member states whereas the UN only recognizes 203 countries in the world.
20. The Vatican has its own soccer team however it is not a member of the FIFA.
21. The fastest goal in soccer history was scored in 2017 just 2.1 seconds after kick-off.
22. The official nickname of the Australia national soccer team is “the Socceroos”.
23. A referee’s call in a soccer match between Peru and Argentina in 1964 led to a riot in which 300 fans were killed.
24. Since 1896, soccer fields in Germany have to be free of trees.
25. When Germany won the 2014 Soccer World Cup in Brazil, it was the first time they achieved this as a united country. The three previous times, the soccer World Cup was won only by West Germany.
26. The first soccer game broadcasted in TV took place on September 16, 1937 and was a friendly match between Arsenal and Arsenal Reserve. This was followed by showing the international match between England and Scotland on April 9, 1938.
27. Brazilian soccer player Ronaldinho came to media attention at age 13 when he scored all 23 goals in a 23–0 victory against a local team.
28. On average, soccer players run as far as 7 miles (11 kilometers) in a single match.
29. Ten percent of Iceland’s residents traveled to France when the country’s soccer team reached the quarter-final of the 2016 Euro Cup in France.
30. The first Soccer World Cup took place in 1930 in Uruguay with 13 teams competing against each other and Uruguay winning the World Cup.
31. Arthur Wharton is considered the first black professional soccer player in the world.