9 INTERESTING AND CRAZY BUT TRUE FACTS ABOUT FOOTBALL.
I have never written anything on football before. Not because I don’t like it, but because I am simply not a sport writer. But it is the World Cup season and teams are still slugging it out in Brazil, so I think why can’t I share some interesting and crazy but true facts about football? Here we go.
- It is no news that Suarez has been banned from playing the game of football for four months alongside nine-game international ban. He was also fined 100,000 Swiss francs. Yes, that’s real money, folks — we’re talking $112,000 USD. Now that will surely take a bite out of his wallet. But the more interesting fact here is that Suarez has now completed his hatrick of bites after biting Giorgio Chiellini at the ongoing FIFA World Cup. His first bite was on Otman Bakkal of PSV in November 2010, while he was playing for Ajax FC. Second bite was on Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea in April 2013 – The rise of Vampire?
- Americans might not be into soccer that much unlike rest of the world, but in terms of World Cup hosts, the United States remains the host with most spectators. In 1994, the U.S. World Cup pulled the highest fan turnout in FIFA history with an average attendance of 68,991 per game and a total attendance of 3,587,538 – Class, but let’s wait for the total attendance in Brazil.
- The original World Cup trophy was called the Jules Rimet Trophy. It was named after Jules Rimet, a French football administrator who was the 3rd President of FIFA and FIFA’s longest serving President, having served for 33 years, between 1921 and 1954. He was also the man who set up the first tournament in 1930. In 1983, the trophy was stolen and never recovered. It was thought to have been melted down by thieves – Chae! That’s plenty gold rings, necklaces and bracelets… (Sharp guys)
- English referee Graham Poll mistakenly showed three yellow cards to a Croatian player before sending him off in their first round game against Australia at the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Josip Šimunić was shown a yellow card by Poll in the 61st minute for a foul on Australian Harry Kewell. In the 90th minute, Poll held up another yellow card in front of Šimunić for another foul, but did not follow it with a red card as is required upon a second yellow card. And finally, in the 93rd minute, after Poll had blown the final whistle, Šimunić approached Poll angrily and gave him a push. Poll then issued Šimunić with a 3rd yellow card and also finally showed him the red card – Confused referee?
- Bora Milutinović is the only man to coach five different countries at the World Cup history. The Serb coached five different nations at World Cup finals. Milutinović led Mexico to the quarterfinals at the 1986 World Cup, its highest finish; He was later hired as the coach of Costa Rica just 90 days before the 1990 World Cup, and he got them into the second round. He also coached the United States national team at the 1994 World Cup in the U.S.A where the U.S. team notched its first win in the World Cup since 1950, and progressed to the knockout round of the tournament for the first time since the 1930s. Milutinović later coached the Nigerian Super Eagles team at the 1998 World Cup in France. Nigeria won its group, notching a notable 3-2 upset win over Spain, and reached the knockout rounds. This was the fourth team that Milutinović had taken to the knockout rounds of the World Cup. Before he finally qualified China for their first ever World Cup tournament in 2002 – Top Mercenary?
- The highest scoring soccer game was 149-0! This whitewash happened in 2002, but the truth is it was a form of protest after a 2-2 draw between rival teams Stade Olympique de L’emyrne, and AS Adema of Madagascar, which resulted in the referees awarding a penalty causing Stade Olympique de L’emyrne to lose the game and lose the title. So, as a form of protest for being robbed of the title because of a penalty, the players purposefully scored 149 goals into their own net at the next game as spectators stormed the ticket booths demanding refunds. Besides being very confused at first, the opposing team eventually stood around in good humor at the planned stunt – Crazy fellas?
- Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, or Ronaldinho, is a renowned Brazilian football star who has twice won FIFA World Player of the Year. When he was 13, his team scored 23 goals against a local team in Brazil, with Ronaldinho netting all of the 23 goals – Superman?
- The largest victory ever in an international soccer match was achieved by Australia when they defeated American Samoa 32-0 in 2001. American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Samoa, and had to call in their junior squad because the senior team had a passport mix-up. One player called Archie Thompson scored a record 13 goals in that match, before then, Thompson had only scored one goal in two other appearances for Australia – Awoof Berekete abi?
- In October of 1998, a bolt of lightning killed an entire 11-man soccer team somewhere in the province of Kasai, eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, but the opposing team was completely unharmed. This happened during a match between the villages of Bena Tshadi and nearby Basangana. The game was a draw at 1-1 when the lightning struck the visiting team and they all died, while the home team members only suffer mild injuries. Some people thought the team had been cursed and that was what caused the lightning to strike them – Winchy Winchy things?