World Cup 2018 Interesting Facts
The World Cup 2018 gets underway on June 14 in Moscow and here at BettingTop10, we cannot wait for kick-off. It’s set to be a jam-packed schedule, featuring some of the best teams and players in the world. The first tournament featured just 13 teams in 1930, with every single match played in the capital Montevideo, however, the World Cup 2018 will be played across 11 different cities, potentially causing a busy schedule, complete with large commutes between venues for travelling soccer fans.
Many Australian bookmakers and online betting companies have already priced up the outright betting odds for the tournament with more markets likely to follow. Early betting tips and predictions suggest the favourites in the market will be hard to stop, with Germany and Brazil fancied to battle it out in the final on July 15 in Moscow. The World Cup 2018 is just the second tournament to feature goal-line technology after the initiative made its debut in Brazil during the 2014 tournament.
Interesting Facts about the World Cup
Teams from just two continents have been victorious at the tournament, with sides from both Europe and South America sharing out the success. All but two of the finals have featured at least one European team. Brazil have won the event five times and are the only team to be ever-present in the tournament.
Almost half of the world’s population (46%) tuned in to watch the World Cup in 2014, with 3.2 billion people taking time out of their busy schedule to follow all of the action from Brazil. The World Cup 2014 was also the most expensive tournament to date, costing around $14.5 billion USD ($18.31 billion AUD) to stage. The tournament in Russia is likely to cost similar.
In 1986, FIFA prohibited shirt swapping following the games as they didn’t want bare chests on show. This ban was lifted following the tournament.
The 1986 tournament was held in Mexico, for the second time (the first time in 1970) making Mexico one of the few countries to have hosted twice. Just before the 1986 tournament Mexico City was hit by a devastating earthquake, but luckily none of the stadiums were damaged and the World Cup went ahead as planned.
The original Jules Rimet Trophy was so named after Fifa’s longest serving president, who was in office for 33 years, from 1921-1954. Prior to England’s 1966 success the Jules Rimet trophy, it went missing! Thieves managed to pinch the prestigious item and it appeared mysteriously in a bush having been found by a dog called Pickles. The mystery still remains largely unexplained.
In accordance to Fifa rules at the time, the team who won the tournament three times, would get to keep the trophy outright. Winning for the third time in 1970 Brazil took the prize home for good, or at least until it was stolen in Rio de Janeiro in 1983. The original trophy was never recovered, and a replica was presented to the Brazilian Football Confederation in 1984.
The teams participating for in the 2018 World Cup will be battling it out on the field for the new trophy, originally titled the “Fifa World Cup Trophy”. After the mishap in Brazil, teams no longer get to take the trophy home, but winners receive a gold-plated replica to keep, which is called the FIFA World Cup Winners’ Trophy.
Australia have come through the qualifiers four times and victories in their final two games (at the end of August/start of September 2017) will see them compete in their fifth tournament. They are currently 45th in the latest rankings. In their first appearance in 1974, they were a team entirely made up of amateur players but they still managed a 0-0 with Chile. They’ve reached the round of 16 once, back in 2006.
Interesting Facts about Players at the Tournament
With such a hectic schedule over the course of four weeks, it can be tough for the players to find form, especially off the back a tough European season. This was never a problem for the tournament’s top goalscorer Miroslav Klose, who broke the all-time scoring record during the 2014 World Cup shortly before announcing his retirement. Klose notched up 16 goals during his many games at the tournament, breaking Ronaldo’s record in the process. He scored five times at both the 2002 and 2006 tournaments.
However, as impressive as Klose’s 16 is, it didn’t come close to beating Just Fontaine’s record of 13 goals in a single tournament. France didn’t make it to the final of the 1958 tournament but Fontaine still managed to shine throughout the 1958 event. It’s unlikely that any players at the World Cup 2018 will break this record.
Tim Cahill is the highest scoring Australian player at the tournament with five goals in total, including two strikes at the 2006 and 2014 tournaments.
Valdemar de Brito of Brazil made World Cup history in 1934, as the first player to miss a penalty kick in the match against Spain, forcing them out of the competition in the first round. He was forgiven though, as he later became a football talent scout and was responsible for discovering Pelé.