On November 20th, 2022, the world will stand still as the FIFA World Cup kicks off, it will be the last World Cup that will feature 32 teams and the first cup played in the Arab world. France comes in as the reigning champions while Brazil, Germany, Argentina, England, and the current champions are the early favorites.
For the USMNT it’s a return to the big stage after missing out on the cup in Russia 2018. Christian Pulisic and company will look to take the USMNT the furthest they have ever gone in the modern era since the quarterfinal appearance by the US in 2002.
From these stats and records World Cup legends are born and if you like quiz games, you can take a look at 30 amazing records and stats of the FIFA World Cup.
Youngest captain in a World Cup
The youngest player to ever wear an armband at the World Cup was none other than American goalkeeper and World Cup cult icon Tony Meola. The future MLS Cup winner was 21 years, 109 days and the match was against Czechoslovakia on 10 June 1990.
Fastest hat-trick in World Cup history
László Kiss of Hungary needed only 8 minutes to score the fastest hat-trick at Soccer’s biggest stage. The goals came in the 69', 72' and 76'minutes against El Salvador in the 1982 World Cup.
Who scored the only Olympic goal at a World Cup?
An Olympic goal is a goal that is scored off of a corner kick, and despite many players having the ability to do so only one has been able to achieve such a feat. Marcos Coll of Colombia defied logic and put the ball in the net from a corner kick against the Soviet Union in the 1962 World Cup.
Penalty shoot-out records
Argentina is a penalty shoot-out king at the World Cup, the Albiceleste are the team with most PK’s played with 5 games going to the spot kick definition in World Cup history, they are tied with the most penalty kicks shootout matches in one tournament with 2 and are tied with having won the most in one tournament with Croatia at 2.
Goalkeeper with most goals conceded in one tournament
Hong Duk-Yung basically had no defense in the 1954 World Cup as South Korea gave up 16 goals in losses to Hungary and Turkey by a margin of 9-0 and 7-0. Ouch!
Most consecutive wins in a World Cup
Who else? Brazil, the five-time champion went 11 in a row from 2002 to Germany 2006, the streak began with a 2-1 victory over Turkey in 2002 and went on until a 3-0 win over Ghana in 2006. The streak would end with a 1-0 defeat to France in the quarter finals of that World Cup.
How many times has the host won the World Cup?
Only six host nations have lifted the World Cup on home soil when it was all set and done; those teams are Uruguay (1930), Italy (1934), England (1966), West Germany (1974), Argentina (1978), and France (1998).
The smallest number of spectators at a World Cup match
In an era where any game at a World Cup will draw between 30,000 - 70,000 people, the lowest recorded attendance for a World Cup match was 300! In the small country of Uruguay in 1930, the host nation had smaller stadiums for many of the other games that were outside of the big nations. Romania and Peru played to a lucky 300 fans on the 14th of July 1930, at the Estadio Pocitos in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Sent off from the bench
Only one player in World Cup history was red carded while sitting on the bench and that is Claudio Caniggia vs Sweden in 2002. Caniggia yelled something at the referee who sent him off for verbal abuse.
Most matches coached
Only one manager has coaches in more World Cup matches above and beyond everyone else and that is Helmut Schön who sat in the big seat for 25 matches as head coach of West Germany from 1966 to 1978. Schön won the World Cup in 1974 and got to the final four in 1966 and 1970.
Most players provided by a club
The Italian old lady Juventus has provided the World Cup with the most player representations. Juve has always been a club for world class players and during the history of the World Cup the Turin team has cemented themselves as a powerhouse. The total number is 128 representatives.
First Major League Soccer player to play in a World Cup
On June 13th, 1998, Jorge Campos of the Chicago Fire became the first Major League Soccer player to play in a World Cup. The Mexican goalkeeper played all of El Tri’s games in France 98, in the first match Mexico won 3-1.
Most times a stadium hosted a World Cup final
Both Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, Mexico (1970 and 1986) and Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil (1950 and 2014) hosted a World Cup final twice. In each instance the champions were: Brazil (1970) and Argentina (1986) for Mexico and Uruguay (1950) and Germany (2014) in Brazil.
Most goals scored by a champion
In the World Cup in 1954 West Germany scored 25 goals in the tournament. The West Germans even scored three goals in a humiliating defeat by 8-3 against Hungary in the group stage.
Most championships won as a player and head coach
The honor of winning the most World Cups either as a player or manager belongs to Brazilian icon Mário Zagallo, who obtained three titles. Two as a player in 1958 and 1962. Then as a manager of the famed 1970 Brazil side.
Rafael Márquez’s World Cup records
Mexican international Rafael Márquez has two distinctions at the World Cup, most appearances as captain with 17 and most tournaments as a captain with 5 from 2002–2018. The former Barcelona defender was a staple of the Mexican teams in the early 2000s until the end of the next decade.
Most matches won at the World Cup
The player who was on the winning side the most at FIFA’s biggest event is none other than German scoring machine Miroslav Klose (2002–2014). The lethal striker was a part of 17 victories for the German side.
Most World Cup matches played
The player to play the most times at a World Cup is Germany midfielder turned sweeper Lothar Matthäus. The former Bayern Munich legend played a total of 25 World Cup games for Germany from the 1982–1998 tournaments.
Highest average of attendance per match
The World Cup that brought more fans to the stadiums on average was the cup many fans were fearful would not have fans at all. The 1994 World Cup hosted by the United States, on average each stadium hosted 68,991 spectators.
Most saves in one match
USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard has the World Cup record for most saves in one game at 16. The USMNT were on the ropes for most of their round of 16 game against Belgium with Howard coming up big well into extra time.
Most hat-tricks at the World Cup
Four plays have two hat-tricks each and are tied for most hat-tricks in a World Cup Finals, they are Sándor Kocsis (Hungary, 1954), Just Fontaine (France, 1958), Gerd Müller (West Germany, 1970) and Gabriel Batistuta (Argentina, 1994 & 1998).
Most goals scored in a World Cup match by a player
Russia’s Oleg Salenko scored five goals in a game in 1994 in a 6-1 victory over Cameroon. Salenko would become one of the biggest quiz answers of all-time, but his club career was disappointing as that game was his only big highlight.
Most matches with at least one goal
Two legends Ronaldo (Brazil, 1998–2006) and Miroslav Klose (Germany, 2002–2014) played 11 matches where they at least scored one goal. Two of the best goal scorers of their generation and iconic modern day World Cup heroes.
Longest distance covered by a player in a tournament
The player to put in all the hard running at a World Cup was in 2014 when World champion Thomas Müller of Germany ran 84 km during the tournament. It paid off as Müller was one of the best players for Germany.
Most tournaments with at least five goals
There players scored at least five goals in two different World Cups. The players are Teófilo Cubillas (Peru, 1970, 1978), Miroslav Klose (Germany), (2002–2006) and Thomas Müller (Germany, 2010–2014).
Record breaking World Cup goals
The 100th goal in a World Cup was scored by Edmund Conen (Germany), vs Belgium, 27 May 1934. The 1000th goal by Rob Rensenbrink (Netherlands), vs Scotland, 11 June 1978 and the 2000th goal by Marcus Allbäck (Sweden), vs England, 20 June 2006.
Fastest goal from kick-off
It took Turkey’s Hakan Şükür all of 11 seconds to score versus hosts South Korea in 2002. The match was played to determine who would finish third in the tournament with both nations being surprise semifinalists.
Latest goal in regular time
The latest goal within the regular match time frame was scored by Brazilian great Neymar in the 97th minute. It was in the 2018 World Cup, and it was against Concacaf nation Costa Rica.
Lionel Messi World Cup record
Lionel Messi is the only player to score in his teens, his twenties, and his thirties. Messi had goals in the 2006, 2014, and 2018 World Cups, almost winning the tournament in 2014.
Pelé milestones at the World Cup
The three time World Cup winner and one of the greatest of all time Pelé was the youngest goal scorer in cup history at 17 years, 239 days, he is also the youngest hat-trick scorer at 17 years, 244 days and youngest goal scorer in the final at 17 years, 249 days.