The largest soccer competition in the world is full of curiosities and anecdotes since its first edition in 1930
Temas relacionados The first FIFA World Cup was held in 1930. 20 editions and almost a century of history later, the most important international soccer tournament on the planet has compiled countless curious stories and anecdotes to remember.
From the 1930 Uruguay World to the Brazil 2014, a total of 77 football teams have taken part in the competition. However, only 8 countries have been world champions: Brazil (5), Germany (4), Italy (4), Argentina (2), Uruguay (2), England (1), France (1) and Spain (1)
Russias 2018 will be the first World Cup for Iceland, a small country of just about 300,000 inhabitants. In all of Iceland there are only a hundred professional footballers, although the majority of players of the Icelandic team have other professions and play soccer as a hobby.
The great absence at this World Cup will be Italy, four-time winner. The Azzurri team was eliminated during the qualifying phase, something that had not happened until since 1958 World Cup.
King of Cups
Germany is a team that stands out for its physical strength, its size and the tactics of its players. Thanks to these skills they have been champions four times, last one being the 2014 Brazil World Cup.
However, Brazil continues to be the most successful. Canarinha has lifted the World Cup five times (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002) and hopes to make history once again in Russia to get that sixth star on their shield.
On the other hand there is Uruguay, whose team has won two World Cups but has four stars on their jersey. The light-blue team won the first World Cup in 1930, which Uruguay played at home, and the famous World Cup of 1950 in Brazil, with the Maracanazo as the great surprise.
However, the Uruguayan national team also won the 1924 and 1928 Olympic Football Tournaments, organized by FIFA within the framework of the Olympic Games. These tournaments were so successful and made such an impact worldwide, that FIFA decided to organize their own competition outside the Olympic Games: this is how the FIFA World Cup was born.
The 32 teams playing Russia 2018 have called 736 players, 200 of whom have previously participated in a World Cup. The oldest player is Mexican footballer Rafa Márquez: this will be his fifth World Cup.
Egypt goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary is the oldest player to participate in a World Cup: he is 45 years and 5 months old. On the other hand, there is Australian Daniel Arzani at 19 years and 5 months and is the youngest player in Russia 2018.
Los 32 equipos al completo 📌
— Copa Mundial FIFA 🏆 (@fifaworldcup_es) June 4, 2018
Octopuses, Cats & Spiders
During the South Africa 2010 World Cup, a cephalopod was famous for predicting the victory of Spain: Octopus Paul chose the winner standing on top of one of the food containers that he had in his aquarium and that carried the flag of each team.
Eight years later, the Russian 2018 organizers have looked for their own fortune teller mascot. Achilles, a deaf cat who lives in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and got the result of some matches of the Confederations Cup 2017 pretty much the same way: choosing a plate of food.
Russia 2018 official poster features the Russian goalkeeper Lev Yashin, better known as the Black Spider, who took part in four World Cups. Yashin is considered a true legend in his country and is the only goalkeeper in history who has won the BALLON D’OR.