The biggest football fiesta is just around the corner and less than two months are left until the opening night. The World Cup fever is already spreading! So, we would like to boost your mood and get you into the football spirit with these unbelievable facts about the previous World Cups. Happy Friday our friends and Olé, Olé, Olé!
1. The demographic data shows that the World Cup causes the increased birth-rate in host countries. No kidding! Nine months after Germany hosted the World Cup in 2006, the birthrate has been increased by 10 percent. How babies are related to football? Well, you know – emotions, beer, happiness, festive mood and voilà! I guess it might be fair if diaper companies would be sponsors of the World Cup.
2. The Swiss and Austrians are known as hardworking nations. So, there is no big surprise that highest scoring game in World Cup history has happened between these two countries. In 1954, Austria defeated Switzerland 7-5.
3. Not only women have problems with shoes. Man have it too! Just in a different way. In 1950, the national team of India refused to play in a tournament after they won the qualifications. Why on earth they did it? FIFA didn’t allow the team to play barefoot, which was the only way the team had practiced at that point.
4. The most embarrassing moment of all World Cups was captured in 1938 when the great Italian footballer Giuseppe Meazza tried to score the penalty shootout during the match with Brazil. What’s so funny, huh? Well, while he was about to do so, his shorts fell down. Literally! The crowd and teams were just burst out laughing. However, Meazza picked up his shorts very quickly and shot the goal beating the goalkeeper who was still laughing. Later, Giuseppe Meazza said it was just a lucky accident, not a special plan. Well, all is fair in love, war, and football?
5. Over 750,000 liters of beer were sold in stadiums during the South Africa World Cup in 2010. Approximately, it is more than 3 million cans. It sounds a lot? Well, more than 390,600 hot dogs were sold as well. If we count the total sum of calories, some nutritionists will have a heart attack
6. I bet that every football lover knows what the World Cup trophy looks like. Yes, it is the 36,8 centimeters high statue made of 18-carat gold with a malachite base. So, it was stolen in 1966 just prior to the tournament. Of course, the well-trained guard was watching it, but Edward Betchley, a 46-year-old former soldier who had served in the Royal Armoured Corps during the Second World War, was able to steal the trophy. It was missing for 7 days and the heads of FIFA just went crazy. It was accidentally found in one street of London by Pickles, the mongrel dog. Ahh, the power of curiosity!
7. Even bigger curiosity about this trophy is that how it was kept safe during the World War II. Yes, it was saved in the absolute chaos of war, but it was lost in 60’s. How is it possible? Well, the trophy was put in the extremely save place – under the bed. The Italian Vice President of FIFA, Ottorino Barassi, hid the World Cup Trophy under his bed during the time of war. The FIFA feared that it would be stolen by Nazis, so they smuggled the trophy from a Rome bank and stored it under his bed for most of the 1940s.
8. It is a big honor to win the qualifications and play in a tournament of the World Cup. But let’s talk realistic – everybody wants to win it not just participate. So, what could reduce the disappointment after losing an important match? Maybe the stolen bus? That’s what the national team of Zaire tried to do in 1974. They tried to steal a complimentary BMW team bus and come back home. However, they didn’t get very far. The bus was reclaimed by the police before the team left a territory of West German. As a result, there was no trophy, no bus and an extra night spent in the police commissariat. Life is not fair!
9. Nothing new that the upcoming World Cup 2018 will be held in Russia. I believe that some of you will participate in this event and support your national teams in stadiums. But there is one warning! Russia is not a very small country, you know. The distance between the easternmost host city Yekaterinburg and the westernmost host city Kaliningrad is more than 3,043 kilometers. In order to imagine it better, that’s about the same distance as from London to New York.
10. In 2022, the World Cup will be host in Qatar. It is an extremely rich Arabian country, so there is no surprise that the total budget will be 15 times higher what Brazil spent and more than 60 times higher what South Africa spent. Most of the budget will be spent on new stadiums and other infrastructure, but a significant part of the money will go to cooling down the outdoor air-conditioned stadiums in the middle of the Arabian summer. The average temperature in Qatar during the June is over 38 degrees Celsius. Good luck to all fans, you will be grilled there!