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Fun World Cup Facts: Records, Clean Sheets and Fascinating Trivia

The FIFA 2022 World Cup is here and 5aside.com™ are serving up some interesting, fun and random facts from nearly 100 years of World Cup history.

The history of the FIFA World Cup is full of unique facts. Here are some fascinating details to impress your friends and family; hat tricks, goalscorers, clean sheets, and remarkable trivia.

World Cup Goal Facts

What is the fastest hat trick in World Cup history?

On June 15th 1982, László Kiss of Hungary scored the quickest hat-trick in FIFA World Cup history in seven minutes and 42 seconds against El Salvador.

Kiss came on as a substitute in the 55th minute with Hungary already 5-0 up. The Hungarian forward’s three goals added to what ended in a 10-1 win.

What is the highest-scoring World Cup game?

The highest-scoring World Cup game in history was played in 1954 when Austria defeated Switzerland by a score of 7-5. The 12-goal thriller was labelled “The Hot Battle in Lausanne” due to the match being played in 40 °C in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Who has scored the most goals in a single World Cup?

Just Fontaine of France holds the record for scoring the most goals in a single FIFA World Cup. The Frenchman scored 13 goals in six games at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden.

Who holds the record for the most World Cup goals?

Having appeared at four FIFA World Cup tournaments between 2002 and 2014, Germany’s Miroslav Klose has scored the most World Cups goals. He scored 16 goals in 24 matches.

Oleg Salenko World Cup 1994
Russia’s Oleg Salenko scored five goals against Cameroon in their 6-1 win at the 1994 World Cup.

Who has scored the most goals in one World Cup match?

Russia’s Oleg Salanko scored five goals in their 6-1 win over Cameroon at the 1994 World Cup in the United States of America. He would share the Golden Boot with Bulgarian player Hristo Stoichkov.

What is the quickest World Cup goal?

In the third place play-off match at the 2002 World Cup, Hakan Sukur of Turkey scored in just 10.8 seconds against South Korea. The game ended in a 3-2 win for Turkey.

Which goalkeeper has conceded the most goals at a World Cup?

Spare a thought for Hong Duk-Yung of South Korea. He holds the unfortunate record for conceding 16 goals at a single World Cup in 1954 in Switzerland.

South Korea lost 9-0 to Hungary and 7-0 to Turkey.

Walter Zenga World Cup 1990
Goalkeeper Walter Zenga didn’t concede a goal for Italy until the Semi-Finals at the 1990 World Cup.

What is the longest clean sheet by a goalkeeper?

It took 517 minutes for Walter Zenga of Italy to be beaten at the FIFA World Cup in 1990 in Italy.

The host nation went through to the Semi-Finals without Zenga conceding a goal. However, Argentina’s Claudio Caniggia equaliser took the game to penalties, with Argentina going through to the Final after a 4-3 shootout.

Interesting FIFA World Cup Facts

Who is the oldest player to win a World Cup?

At 40 years, 4 months, and 13 days, Italian goalkeeper Dino Zoff is the oldest player to win the FIFA World Cup. He captained Italy, leading them to defeat West Germany 3-1 in Spain in 1982.

Who has managed/coached the most World Cup games?

As a World Cup regular, it’s no surprise a German has coached the most FIFA World Cup games. Between 1966 and 1978, Helmut Schön managed 25 matches at World Cup finals.

He oversaw four World Cup campaigns, including a Final victory in his homeland in 1974.

Didier Deschamps FIFA
Didier Deschamps (on the left) became the third person to win the FIFA World Cup as a player and as a manager.

Has anyone won the World Cup as a manager and as a player?

Many players go into management, and so far three people have the honour of winning the FIFA World Cup as a player and as a manager; France’s Didier Deschamps, Brazil’s Mario Zagallo, and Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer.

Didier Deschamps captained France as they hosted and won the FIFA World Cup in 1998. 20 years later, he managed the side to their second victory in Russia against Croatia.

Brazilian Mario Zagallo was the first of the three men to win the World Cup as a player and as a manager. Combined, Zagallo has won the World Cup four times. He won it twice as a player in 1958 and 1962. His first victory as Brazil’s manager came in 1970. He would repeat the feat 24 years later in 1994.

Like Deschamps, Franz Beckenbauer captained West Germany to World Cup glory as they hosted the 1974 tournament. The man nicknamed Der Kaiser (“The Emperor”) later led his country as a manager in 1990.

Brazil World Cup
Brazil’s iconic yellow shirts have appeared at every FIFA World Cup tournament.

Only one nation has appeared at every World Cup

So far, 79 countries have appeared at the World Cup, but only one country has appeared at every tournament – Brazil.

Their involvement in the 2022 tournament will be their 22nd FIFA World Cup. They will be looking to add to their five previous World Cup trophies.

2022 will also see hosts Qatar become the 80th nation to appear at a World Cup.

Europe has hosted the most FIFA World Cup tournaments

The FIFA World Cup tournament has taken place on five different continents, with Europe hosting the most with 11 tournaments. The first of these was in Italy in 1934. More recently, Russia hosted the 2018 tournament.

South Africa in 2010 is the only African nation to host a World Cup. While Qatar will become the third Asian country to host after Japan and South Korea co-hosted the 2002 tournament.

In South America, Brazil (twice), Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay have hosted the festival of football. Whereas Mexico (twice) and the United States of America represented the continent of North America. The FIFA World Cup will return there in 2026 as USA, Mexico, and Canada will be joint-hosts.

World Cup Red Card
The history of the FIFA World Cup has some interesting facts involving red cards.

What is the quickest red card in World Cup history?

Uruguay’s José Batista received the quickest red card, in the first minute in a game against Scotland in 1986.

Gianfranco Zola was sent off on his birthday at World Cup 1994

You read that correctly! When he played for Italy at the 1994 World Cup, he received a red card on his 28th birthday as they played Nigeria in the Round of 16.

Considered to be one of the nicest men in football, Zola was only on the pitch for 13 minutes having come on as a substitute for Giuseppe Signori in the 63rd minute. Despite Zola’s exit at 76 minutes, Italy would advance after Roberto Baggio scored two goals.

Ferenc Puskas Hungary
After appearing for his home country of Hungary in 1954, footballing great Ferenc Puskas would play for Spain at the 1962 FIFA World Cup.

Six players have played for more than one country

Did you know there have been six players who have represented more than one country at the World Cup?

The first of these was Luis Monti. He played for Argentina at the inaugural FIFA World Cup in 1930. He joined the Italian club side Juventus the same year, due to his links with the Romagna area of Italy giving him Italian citizenship. In 1934, he was part of Italy’s winning squad as he became the first player to play in a World Cup Final for two different countries.

Robert Prosinecki and Robert Jarni represented Yugoslavia in 1990 and Croatia in 1998. This is due to the breakup of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s.

While José Santamaria of Uruguay and Ferenc Puskas of Hungary appeared for their home countries at the 1954 tournament. However, by 1962, both players had taken up Spanish citizenship, allowing them to play for Spain.

Finally, José João Altafini AKA Mazola, played for Brazil in 1958 but four years later he was playing for Italy. Altafini had been playing club football in Italy since 1958.

  • Luis Monti (Argentina 1930 and Italy 1934)
  • Robert Prosinecki (Yugoslavia 1990, Croatia 1998)
  • Robert Jarni (Yugoslavia 1990, Croatia 1998)
  • José Santamaria (Uruguay 1954 and Spain 1962)
  • Ferenc Puskas (Hungary 1954 and Spain 1962)
  • Mazola (Brazil 1958, Italy 1962)