The Qatar World Cup countdown has already begun for soccer enthusiasts. Everyone can't seem to wait to witness the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar and see the world's top soccer players in action. We've put up a handy cheat sheet of World Cup trivia so you can impress your friends at the next get-together.
Facts about the host nation
France was the last host country to capture the FIFA World Cup in 1998. South Africa is the only host nation that hasn't advanced past the first round. The competition has never been held in Southeast Asia or Oceania.
Qatar will host the first-ever World Cup in the winter of 2022. Until now, every other country that's hosted the tournament has done it during the warm months of the year.
Infrastructural developments in Qatar include stadiums, motorways, and accommodations. These initiatives will cost the government an eye-popping $200 billion. The 2018 World Cup is expected to be the most lucrative yet.
Giuseppe Meazza's penalty shootout is one of the more interesting World Cup facts. In 1938, he had a penalty kick opportunity against Brazil.
Unfortunately, his shorts collapsed as he was ready to do so. Although his shorts fell down, he still managed to score, beating the goalkeeper despite the latter's continued amusement. As a result of this goal, Italy made it to the finals of Euro 2016.
Gianfranco Zola, an Italian forward, was the only player who was sent off on his birthday. After being sent off against Nigeria, Zola was deemed to commit a foul by the referee to Augustine Eguavoen and missed the next two World Cup matches.
In the end, Italy prevailed 2-1 and reached the World Cup final, where they will face Argentina. Gianfranco Zola was not reinstated to the team following his suspension.
Facts about goalkeepers
In the history of Futsal World Cup goalkeepers, South Korean Hong Duk-Yung has allowed the most goals in a single tournament. Hong Duk-Yung was a poor goalkeeper in 1954, letting in a total of 16 goals.
In 1974, with Zaire behind Yugoslavia 3-0 after 22 minutes, the first time a goalie was substituted at a World Cup was for reasons other than injury. When Dimbi Tubilandu, the replacement goalkeeper, was not able to stop the goal rush, their team lost the match 9-0.
Walter Zenga of Italy is the World Cup's longest unbeaten goalie. For 517 minutes in the 1990 World Cup, he went without conceding. Argentina's Claudio Caniggia put an end to Italy's semifinal run as the team lost on penalties.
World Cup’s firsts
The Coupe Jules Rimet was the inaugural trophy awarded to the winner of the FIFA World Cup. Abel Lafleur, a Frenchman, first came up with the idea in 1930. Meanwhile, on July 13, 1930, the very first World Cup game took place. In Montevideo, Uruguay, France faced up against Mexico. The final score was 4-1 in favor of France.
During the same encounter, the first goal in World Cup history was scored. Lucien Laurent, a Frenchman, scored the winning goal from outside the area.
Placido Galindo was the first-ever player to be dismissed from a World Cup match in the 1930 edition. Their game against the Romanians ended with him being substituted after 70 minutes. When Carlos Caszely of Chile was sent off with a red card in 1974, it was the first time in World Cup history.
Facts about the World Cup trophy
During the 1966 World Cup, the FIFA World Cup trophy was stolen 7 days before the tournament. From 1930 through 1970, the Jules Rimet trophy served as the official World Cup trophy. After Brazil won the event three times, it was presented to them as a permanent trophy.
Jules Rimet Trophy was taken in 1983 and it has not been found since. An 18-karat-gold award is extremely precious. The trophy was transferred from the bank's safety vault to a mere shoebox under the FIFA vice president's bed during World War II to keep it safe from the Nazis.
World Cup has always been an event worth catching up with. World Cup 2022 odds are out now so be sure to check them out.