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50 Insane Facts about the World Cup

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50 Insane Facts about the World Cup [INFOGRAPHIC]
Some History
The Numbers
Brazil in the World Cup
Brazil 2014 Quick Facts
The Merchandise and Branding
The Money

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The biggest event in football will shortly be upon us, and with Brazil 2014’s kick-off just around the corner, what better time to brush up on your knowledge of the tournament, the teams and terminology? Here are 50 facts to give you a grounding.

Some history:

  1. 1930 – The year of the first football World Cup[i].
  2. 1942/1946 – The two times the World Cup wasn’t held as scheduled, both due to the Second World War[ii].
  3. 1 week – The length of time the World Cup trophy went missing, ahead of the 1966 World Cup[iii].
  4. 76 – The record-breaking number of years since Cuba and Indonesia last competed in the World Cup[iv].
  5. Montevideo, Uruguay – The city that hosted the first World Cup[v].
  6. Golden Boot – Also known as the Golden Shoe, this award goes to the top goal scorer in each World Cup[vi].
  7. Golden Ball – This award is given to the best player in each World Cup[vii].
  8. 11 seconds – The time taken to score the fastest opening goal in the World Cup. Turkey’s Hakan Sukur scored against South Korea in 2002[viii].


  1. 715.1m – The number of people around the world who watched the 2006 World Cup final on television[ix].
  2. 750,000+ litres – The amount of beer sold in the host stadiums during the 2010 World Cup[x].
  3. 32 – The number of teams that play in any given World Cup tournament[xi].
  4. 8 – The number of teams that have won at least one World Cup[xii].
  5. 204 – The number of teams that put themselves forward for the 2014 World cup (hosts Brazil didn’t need to qualify) [xiii].
  6. 46.4% - The percentage of the world’s population that watched some of the 2010 World Cup on television[xiv].

Brazil in the World Cup:

  1. Brazil – The only team to have played in all of the World Cup tournaments[xv].
  2. 5 – The number of times Brazil has won the World Cup[xvi].
  3. 3 – The number of World Cups that Brazil’s Pele was in the winning team for[xvii].
  4. 15 – Goals by Ronaldo in the World Cup, making him the all-time top scorer

Brazil 2014 – quick facts:

  1. 3,845ft / 1,172m – The height above sea level of the Estadio Nacional stadium in Brasilia, host ground to the third-place match among others[xviii].
  2. 76,804 – The capacity of the Estadio Do Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, which will host the 2014 final[xix].
  3. 92% - The percentage of the old Estadio Fonte Nova stadium’s demolition debris used in the construction of the new Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador[xx].
  4. 12 – The number of cities in Brazil that will host matches in the 2014 World Cup[xxi].
  5. Inhumane – A word bandied around in response to lunchtime kick offs in Brazil in 2014, due to the expected temperature[xxii].
  6. 30,000 – The number of families claimed to have been forcibly relocated in Rio de Janeiro, due to rising land prices ahead of the tournament[xxiii].
  7. 12/06/14 – The day the first match of the 2014 tournament kicks off[xxiv].
  8. 1,041,000 – The number of tickets for the 2014 World Cup allocated to host nation Brazil[xxv].
  9. 125,465 – The number of tickets going to the USA, the nation with the second biggest allocation[xxvi].
  10. 80% - The humidity levels in the rainforest city of Manaus, one of the places hosting games[xxvii].
  11. 3.3m – The total number of tickets available for the 2014 World Cup[xxviii].
  12. Bosnia and Herzegovina – 2014 marks the first time this nation has been in the World Cup[xxix].

Brazil 2014 – merchandise and branding:

  1. Ricky Martin – The man whose voice is behind the official 2014 World Cup song[xxx].
  2. Acaraje – A Brazilian snack that street vendors in Bahia have been banned from selling during the World Cup, due to ‘product placement’ issues[xxxi].
  3. Fuleco – The name of the official mascot of the 2014 World Cup[xxxii].
  4. 14 – The age of Fuleco (who is an armadillo). It was born on 1st January 2000[xxxiii].
  5. 125 – The number of designs put forward as part of the 2014 World Cup logo creation process[xxxiv].
  6. 3 – The number of hands featured in the 2014 logo[xxxv].
  7. All in one Rhythm – the official slogan[xxxvi].
  8. 88 – The number of countries visited by the World Cup trophy on a tour ahead of the competition[xxxvii].
  9. 5 men, 1 woman – The number of official ambassadors for the competition. These include former Brazil legend Ronaldo[xxxviii].
  10. 600+ - The number of players and former players who tested the official match ball in its development stages[xxxix].

Brazil 2014 - money:

  1. £2.5bn – The amount of extra money that will be spent during the 2014 World Cup[xl].
  2. 10,000 – The number of England fans expected to head to Brazil for the tournament[xli].
  3. £10,000 – The price of getting to Brazil and attending the games paid by each of those fans[xlii].
  4. £5.5bn – The revenue FIFA rakes in over each four-year World Cup cycle from commercial interests.[xliii]
  5. £98 – The price of an official 2014 World Cup Brazuca match ball[xliv].
  6. £0 – The price of the same ball for Brazilians born on the day of its launch[xlv].
  7. £44.99 – The price you can expect to pay for a copy of the official 2014 World Cup video game[xlvi].
  8. £2.4bn – The amount spent by Brazil on stadiums for the 2014 World Cup[xlvii].
  9. $454m / £269m – The amount of money FIFA will give to competing nations in prizes[xlviii].

The future:

  1. Russia – This country will host its first World Cup in 2018[xlix].

So armed with those facts, you’ll hopefully be prepared to chat about the competition with anyone you come across .