FIFA World Cup: Unique and Lesser Known Stats

The FIFA World Cup over the years has been home to some of the unique records and accolades that have seen the greats of the game set the tone. 

From being the youngest goal scorer to the goalkeeper who has conceded more goals, from the fastest goal to the latest goals, the World Cup of football has seen some of the strangest records ever recorded. Here is a list of unique and lesser-known facts about the game of football.

Youngest captain in a World Cup

The youngest player to lead a side 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 scalped a World Cup hat-trick in just 8 minutes to score the fastest hat-trick at the biggest stage. The goals came in the 69', 72', and 76'minutes against El Salvador in the 1982 World Cup.

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 players provided by a club

The Italian powerhouse Juventus have 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 pitch-hitting club. A total of 128 players have played in the World Cup while representing the Old Lady.

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 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 match 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.

Record-breaking World Cup goals

The 100th goal in a World Cup was scored by Edmund Conen (Germany), vs Belgium, on 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

Turkey’s Hakan Şükür took just 11 seconds to score against 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 in the history of FIFA World Cup was scored in the 2018 edition by Neymar after he netted in the 97th minute against Concacaf rivals Costa Rica.

Cover Credits: Eurosport

Leave a Reply