Football Facts

The game of soccer generates lots of data. Some of it you may uses when betting at bet365 Sport. Other times, data comes in the form of football facts.

And there are football facts but then there are Football Facts… The difference being that the second are the type of facts that will make you look up and ask “Say, what?!?”

Sure, we know the current Premier League table, and that Manchester City are the favourites with bet365 Sport and pretty much every bookmaker to win everything they can this season.

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But that is of no interest to us. What we want are the football facts that when you tell your friends, they will look at you in disbelief.

“Surely that can’t be right…can it?” then they will check their phone.

Well, I didn’t know that!

So outlined below are 20 Football Facts, organised into different sections, that will truly amaze your friends.

Ten Weird But Wonderful World Cup Facts

  • The country that has appeared in most World Cup Finals tournaments without ever reaching the Final, let alone winning the tournament is Mexico. The Central American giants have appeared in 17 World Cup Finals out of the 22 contested, one fewer than Argentina and Italy, three fewer than Germany and five fewer than the only ever-present in World Cup Finals, Brazil.
  • Mexico also holds the record for the worst goal difference in all their World Cup Finals games. Across 60 games in total, they have a -39 goal difference. However South Korea also have a -39 goal difference and they have played just 38 games at the World Cup Finals. Unsurprisingly, Brazil have the best goal difference in the finals at +129, with Germany well clear of the rest on +102.
  • Kylian Mbappe (France) has scored more goals in the World Cup Final than any other player. He has four goals in the Final itself, one in France’s 4-2 win over Croatia in 2018 and a hat-trick in the 2022 Final in the penalties loss to Argentina.
  • The highest margin of victory in a World Cup Finals game is nine goals. This has been achieved on three occasions, twice by one country. That was Hungary who defeated South Korea 9-0 in 1954 and then El Salvador 10-1 in 1982. The other team to achieve the feat was Yugoslavia who defeated Zaire 0-0 in 1974.
  • Two players hold the unwanted record of two red cards in World Cup Finals tournaments. Rigobert Song for Cameroon in 1994 and 1998 and Zinedine Zidane in 1998 and 2006.
  • Argentina hold a number of records for disciplinary infractions including the most players sent off in a World Cup Final (2 vs Germany in 1990), the most cautions in one match in the finals, with 10 players being yellow carded against the Netherlands in 2022.  That game produced a total of 18 cards in total with the Dutch also getting 8 yellow ards too.
  • The most cautions received by a player in a single game was three by Josip Simunic (Croatia) who got three yellow cards in a game with Australia in 2006. The last one was followed by a red, but came only after referee Graham Poll did not notice that Simunic had already been booked when awarding him a second yellow card. It was only when Simunic got a third yellow three minutes later he was sent off.
  • Italian defender Giuseppi Bergomi played in four World Cup Finals for the Azzuri, but never in a qualifier. He was called into the finals squad in 1982 as an 18 year old. Italy won that tournament to earn direct entry into the 1986 Finals in Mexico and then were hosts in 1990 which meant no qualification was required. Then in 1998, Bergomi was out of favour until recalled into the squad for the finals and made three appearances.
  • The highest attendance at a World Cup Final will likely never be beaten. An estimated 173,850 fans watched the Uruguay v Brazil final game of the tournament in 1950, however that figure is disputed with some experts stating the real figure was closer to 200,000.
  • Conversely, the lowest attendance at a World Cup Finals match came in the 1930 tournament in Uruguay when a reported 300 people turned up to watch Romania play Peru at the 10,000 capacity Estadio Pocitos. Romania won the game 3-1. This figure though is disputed with some saying the actual attendance was closer to 2,300.

A Random Selection Of Fantastical Football Facts And Figures

  • Nemanja Vidic is the only Premier League title winner whose name can be made up using only Roman numerals. V = 5, I is 1, D is 500 and C is 100.
  • French left back Bixente Lizarazu was the first ever player to be the European and World Champion at both club and international level at the same time! In 1998, he lifted the World Cup with France and in 2000 he won the European Championships with his nation. Then in 2001, he won the Champions League Final with Bayern Munich and then went on to win what is now the FIFA Club World Cup later in the year.
  • Barcelona have an enviable record against most teams, except one. There is one British team that they have played four times, losing home and away on all four occasions, scoring two goals and conceding seven. Their nemesis? Dundee United.
  • Only one player has scored a hat-trick in League Two, League One, the Championship, the Premier League, the Football League Cup, the FA Cup and for their national team. That player is Robert Earnshaw and he completed the incredible feat in just five years from 2000 to 2005.
  • Some of the most unusual injuries in football that we can recall are: A torn anus (Javier Mascherano), a foot injury after dropping a bottle of salad cream on it (Dave Beasant),  A knee injury from kicking a fridge (Raphinha), A broken jaw from eating a carrot (Rami Kaib), A Knee Injury from playing football on a games console (Rio Ferdinand), An ankle injury caused by being run over by a two-year old’s tricycle (David Batty), a broken toe caused by dropping Paul Gascoigne’s bed on his foot (Bryan Robson), knee injury caused by straining to reach the pedals on his Ferrari (Alan Wright). Perhaps the most unusual was Wilberforce Montgomery who was concussed after being hit on the head by a pie thrown from the crowd.
  • Aberdeen’s home ground, Pittodrie, when translated into Gaelic literally means “Hill of Dung” or “Place of Manure” which seems a little harsh.
  • Altruism is alive and well with some footballers. Cristiano Ronaldo is one of relatively few top footballers without a tattoo. His reasoning? He wants to be able to donate blood more often to help others. Sadio Mane has donated money to build a school and a hospital to serve his local town of Bambali in Senegal as well as donating toward fighting Covid in the country and donating laptops to students in his hometown. He also donates the equivalent of €70 each month to every family in the village and has provided 4G internet for the village.
  • Andrew Innocull is the only known professional footballer that has all five vowels in his name in the order they come in the alphabet.
  • William “Fatty” Foulke is purportedly the heaviest footballer in history, reportedly reaching 24 stone (152 kg) by the end of his career. However, to be fair to Foulkes, he was also one of the tallest footballers at 6ft 7”. In comparison, Nikola Zigic, also 6ft 7, tipped the scales at just over 15 stone. Adebayo Akinfenwa was reported to tip the scales at 16 stone.
  • Celtic’s 1967 European Cup winning team were all born within a 30 mile radius of Glasgow.