Interesting Facts on the FIFA World Cup


The first World Cup was held in 1930 and is held every four years. (It wasn't held in 1942 and 1946 because of World War II.) The next tournament will be in 2010 in South Africa. Brazil has won a record five World Cup titles, and Brazilian Ronaldo holds the individual record for most World Cup goals with 15. But there are some other facts that aren't as well-known about the World Cup.

First Goal

  • The first World Cup was held in Uruguay in 1930. Many believed American Bart McGee scored the first goal in the World Cup, against Belgium in the 40th minute. But a dispute erupted and FIFA, soccer's governing body, determined the first goal was scored by Frenchman Lucien Laurent in the 19th minute against Mexico on July 13, 1930.

First Red Card

  • The red and yellow card system was not introduced until the 1970 World Cup. The first player to receive a red card was Chile’s Carlos Caszely in 1974 in a match against West Germany in the 67th minute.

Youngest Player

  • The youngest player to play in a World Cup match was Northern Ireland’s Norman Whiteside against Yugoslavia in 1982. He was 17 years, 41 days old.

Largest Attendance

  • The highest attendance for one match was in the 1950 final. The official attendance was 199,854 for the match between Brazil and Uruguay in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Top Scoring Team

  • Hungary scored 27 goals in the 1954 World Cup. Hungary made the finals that year but lost to West Germany 3-2.

Most Consecutive First-Round Eliminations

  • Scotland holds the record with eight: 1954, 1958, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990 and 1998.

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