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Thursday, July 16, 2009

FIFA World Cup Trivia

Performances by host nations
See also: National team appearances in the FIFA World Cup#Results of host nations
Six of the seven champions have won one of their titles while playing in their own homeland, the exception being Brazil, who finished as runners-up after losing the deciding match on home soil in 1950.

England (1966) and France (1998) won their only titles while playing as host nations. Uruguay (1930), Italy (1934) and Argentina (1978) won their first titles as host nations but have gone on to win again, while Germany (1974) won their second title on home soil.

Other nations have also been successful when hosting the tournament. Sweden (runners-up in 1958), Chile (third place in 1962), Korea Republic (fourth place in 2002), Mexico (quarter-finals in 1970 and 1986), and Japan (second round in 2002) all have their best results when serving as hosts. So far, all host nations have progressed beyond the first round.

Best performances by continental zones
See also: National team appearances in the FIFA World Cup#Results by confederation
To date, the final of the World Cup has only been contested by European and South American teams. The two continents have won nine titles apiece. Only two teams from outside these two continents have ever reached the semi-finals of the competition: USA (North, Central America and Caribbean) in 1930 and Korea Republic (Asia) in 2002. The best result of an African team is reaching the quarter-finals: Cameroon in 1990 and Senegal in 2002. Oceania has only been represented in the World Cup three times, and an Oceanian qualifier has reached the second round once, as Australia qualified as an Oceanian nation in 2005, although they moved to the Asian Football Confederation before the beginning of the tournament.

All World Cups won by European teams have taken place in Europe and the only teams to have won outside Europe come from South America. The only non-European team to win a tournament in Europe is Brazil in 1958. Only twice have consecutive World Cups been won by teams from the same continent – when Italy and Brazil successfully defended their titles in 1938 and 1962 respectively.

Main article: FIFA World Cup awards
At the end of each World Cup, awards are presented to the players and teams for accomplishments other than their final team positions in the tournament. There are currently six awards:

The Golden Shoe (sometimes called the Golden Boot) for the top goalscorer (first awarded in 1982, but retrospectively applied to all tournaments from 1930); most recently, the Silver Shoe and the Bronze Shoe have been awarded to the second and third top goalscorers respectively;
The Golden Ball for the best player, determined by a vote of media members (first awarded in 1982); the Silver Ball and the Bronze Ball are awarded to the players finishing second and third in the voting respectively;
The Yashin Award for the best goalkeeper, decided by the FIFA Technical Study Group (first awarded in 1994);
The FIFA Fair Play Trophy for the team with the best record of fair play, according to the points system and criteria established by the FIFA Fair Play Committee (first awarded in 1978);
The Most Entertaining Team for the team that has entertained the public the most during the World Cup, determined by a poll of the general public (first awarded in 1994);
The Best Young Player Award for the best player aged 21 or younger at the start of the calendar year, decided by the FIFA Technical Study Group (first awarded in 2006).
An All-Star Team consisting of the best players of the tournament is also announced for each tournament since 1998.

Records and statistics

Main article: FIFA World Cup records
Two players share the record for playing in the most World Cups; Mexico's Antonio Carbajal and Germany's Lothar Matthäus both played in five tournaments. Matthäus has played the most World Cup matches overall, with 25 appearances. Brazil's Pelé is the only player to hold three World Cup winners' medals.

The overall leading goalscorer in World Cups is Brazil's Ronaldo, scorer of 15 goals in three tournaments. West Germany's Gerd Müller is second, with 14 goals in two tournaments. The third placed goalscorer, France's Just Fontaine, holds the record for the most goals scored in a single World Cup. All his 13 goals were scored in the 1958 tournament.

Brazil's Mário Zagallo and West Germany's Franz Beckenbauer are the only people to date to win the World Cup as both player and head coach. Zagallo won in 1958 and 1962 as a player and in 1970 as head coach. Beckenbauer won in 1974 as captain and in 1990 as head coach. Italy's Vittorio Pozzo is the only head coach to ever win two World Cups. All World Cup winning head coaches were natives of the country they coached to victory.

Source: Wikipedia