Around the world – Brazil World Cup Special

The World Cup kicks off in Brazil this evening as the host nation take on Croatia in Sao Paulo – so this edition of Around the World is dancing to the samba beat in a Brazil World Cup Special.

And if you want to keep in touch with friends, colleagues, clients or fellow football fans forth duration of the tournament, you can use ConferenceCall.co.uk to speak to up to 50 other people at once, using the local rate Brazilian dial-in number 21-39561452.

Now read on to fill your head with enough World Cup trivia to make sure your picked first for every pub quiz team for at least the next four weeks…

World Cup history

The first ever FIFA World Cup finals were played in Uruguay in 1930 and only four European teams made the two-week sea voyage across the Atlantic – Belgium, France, Yugoslavia and Romania.

Brazil’s 4th goal in the 1970 final – and what a goal

Uruguay beat Argentina 4-2 in the final of that tournament to become the first ever World Cup Champions.

The host country also won the next tournament when it was held in Italy in 1934 – the tournament then took a 16-year hiatus as World War II intervened.

In 1950 the tournament was held in Brazil but it was Urugauy who were once again crowned champions, beating the host nation in the final at the Maracana.

The 1954 tournament in West Germany saw the trophy return to the host nation once more and it wasn’t until 1958 in Sweden that Brazil won the first of their five World Cups – the others coming in 1962 in Chile, 1970 in Mexico, USA in 1994 and Japan/Korea in 2002.

England didn’t enter the World Cup until 1950 and have only won it once, when they hosted the tournament in 1966.

World Cup Records

Brazil’s five World Cup final wins means they have won the trophy more times than any other nation.

Ronaldo is the tournament’s all time leading goalscorer, netting a total of 15 goals across three tournaments in 1998, 2002 and 2006.

Maradona’s goals against England at Mexico ’86

France’s Just Fontaine has scored the most goals in one tournament, bagging 13 as France finished third in the 1958 finals in Sweden.

The oldest player to take part in the World Cup Finals is Cameroon’s Roger Milla who was 42 when he scored five goals during Italia 90.

The fastest goal scored in the World Cup finals came after 11 seconds when Turkey’s Hakan Suker netted against South Korea in the 2002 tournament.

Brazil played host to the biggest ever crowd as 200,000 crammed into the Maracana to see hosts Brazil beaten in the 1950 final by South American rivals Uruguay.

The youngest player ever to take to the pitch in the World Cup finals was Northern Ireland’s Norman Whiteside who was 17-years-and-one-week old when he played against Yugoslavia in the 1982 World Cup Finals in Spain.

Germany’s Lothar Mattaeus has played more World Cup games than anyone else, notching up 25 appearances across five tournaments.

France’s Zinedine Zidane is regarded as one of the finest players to ever grace a football pitch, but it seems he also one of the dirtiest, having racked up four yellow cards and two reds at World Cup Finals, more than any other player.

And here is 15 minutes of the greatest player to never have won a World Cup, Holland’s Johan Cruyff…

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