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The World Cup is such an impressive event on its own that it seems only natural to know a few World Cup facts this time of year as it might help you move along a conversation or simply it might help you to seem a bit of a connoiseur of the event and you might impress someone, who knows? World Cup facts might turn out to be quite handy so read along and discover ten interesting World Cup facts you should know:
- No host country had ever been eliminated in the first round until 2010, at the World Cup held in South Africa.
- Interestingly enough, out of 19 tournaments so far, six of them were won by the host country. The home-advantage works miracles for these teams.
- Scotland made the qualifications for the World Cup eight times and it is the only country to have qualified and to have been eliminated in the first round on eight different occasions.
- The first goalkeeper to win the Most Valuable Player award was German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn in the 2002 World Cup.
- Another German holds an interesting position. Franz Beckenbauer is the only footballer to have won the World Cup both as a player (1974) and as a coach(1990).
- In 1942 and 1946, the World Cup tournament was not held due to the Second World War.
- An interesting record goes to three different teams: the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Hungary are the most succesful three teams to never have won the World Cup. They all made two finals.
- Two World Cup finals have been decided on penalties. Brazil beat Italy in 1194 and Italy beat France in 2006.
- The fastest red card in the history of the World Cup went to Uruguay’s Jose Baptista who only lasted 56 seconds in a game against Scotland in 1986.
- Zinedine Zidane, one of the greatest football players in history, finished his career at the 2006 World Cup in a rather aggressive way. He attacked Italian player Marco Materazzi with his head during the final of the tournament, which led to a red card for Zidane and a rather nasty farewell to football.
So there you have it! Ten of the most interesting World Cup facts which hopefully will come in handy in sports-related conversations. Would you add any more World Cup facts to this list?