53 Interesting Facts About Soccer

Last updated on October 10th, 2020

41. The largest stadium used for soccer in the world is the Rungrado 1st of May stadium in North Korea. Located on Rungrad Island in Pyongyang, it holds about 114,000 people for soccer, with a capacity of around 150,000 for other events.

42. Only eight countries have won the World Cup: Uruguay, France, Italy, Brazil, Germany, Argentina, England, and Spain. Every winning country (and runner-up) is located in Europe or South America. 

FIFA World Cup History

Number of Titles WonTeamYear
5Brazil1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002
4Italy1934, 1938, 1982, 2006
4Germany1954, 1974, 1990, 2014
2Uruguay1930, 1950
2Argentina1978, 1986
2France1998, 2018
1England1966
1Spain2010
Table last updated26/07/2020

43. The name “soccer” is used mostly in the United States for association football. The name comes from the slang abbreviation of “association.”

44. The game of basketball was created by using a soccer ball and a peach basket to throw the ball into.

multiple soccer balls. interesting facts about Soccer.
Soccer balls. Interesting facts about Soccer. Image credit – Jordan Arenas

45. Four out of every five soccer balls are manufactured in Pakistan.

46. Did you know that until 1991, soccer was an illegal sport in Mississippi?

47. The Football Association penned the first official rules in 1863. Called “The Rules of Football”, the rules were framed by representatives of eleven different clubs that gathered to agree on common rules that would be accepted across the country. 

48. The spherical shape of a soccer ball is an optical illusion created by the pattern; they are slightly oval. The most goals scored in soccer by a goalkeeper is Rogério Ceni playing for São Paulo Futebol Clube, in Brazil. 

49. The national sport of Canada is soccer.

50. Soccer is one of the most lucrative sports in the world.

51. Famous Brazilian footballer Manoel Francisco dos Santos was born with several birth defects, including a deformed spine and a shorter right leg. At the time of his birth, his right leg was shorter by 6 centimeters than his left leg.

52. Brazil has hosted the world cup twice and they are the only country to have won five times. Interestingly, they did not win the cup when they hosted it. However, they are also the only country to have attended every single cup.

53. Ronaldo was one of the four men to win the FIFA World Player of the Year award thrice (or more) alongside Zinedine Zidane, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Most goals scored all time

Player nameCountryGoals scoredMatched playedYears
Josef BicanCzech Republic8055301928–1955
RomarioBrazil7729941985–2009
PeleBrazil7678311956–1977
Cristiano RonaldoPortugal75210462001–present
Ferenck PuscasHungary7467541943–1966
Gerd MullerGermany7357931962–1981
Lionel MessiArgentina7309232003–present
Ferenc DeakHungary5761940–1957
Uwe SeelerGermany5751954–1999
Tulio MaravilhaBrazil5751988–2019
Table last updated26/07/2020

Interesting facts about famous soccer players

1. Lionel Messi

We all know Lionel Messi as one of the greatest soccer players of our time. Here’s an interesting fact; it is common to see Messi point to the sky when he scores a goal. Most people think he is thanking God. However, this gesture is for his late grandmother Celia. He shared a special bond with his grandmother, and she was the one who took her to Rosario training when he was a young boy.

Lionel Messi. facts about soccer
Lionel Messi. Image via shutterstock/Christian Bertrand

2. Cristiano Ronaldo

Here’s something you would find interesting. Cristiano Ronaldo is a player who displays speed, power, and jumping power. So how high can Ronaldo jump? His G-force power that he uses to jump is equal to that of a cheetah. Perhaps he is the only soccer player who can claim to share a record with a cheetah.

cristiano ronaldo. soccer facts
Cristiano Ronaldo. Amazing soccer facts. Image via shutterstock/Javier Buckenmeyer

Ronaldo’s stardom at the football field made him one of the most recognized names in the world and one of the highest-paid athletes. This superstar also adds to his wealth by being a marketing diamond. He’s endorsing some of the top brands on his Instagram account that has over 200 million followers. He makes more from his Instagram than his Juve salary!

3. Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane is a big name in a world of soccer, and every fan knows about him. He earns his fame due to his tremendous contributions as a soccer player for his team. Here’s one thing you may not know about him. Zidane is one of the most expensive footballers that Real Madrid had on their side. He made a whopping €77.5 million as his transfer fee and made a world record at that time as one of the most expensive footballers.

Emirates A380 aircraft with Real Madrid players. facts about Soccer.
Emirates A 380 aircraft with Real Madrid players. Image credit – Thomas Naas. Interesting facts about soccer.

4. Johan Cruyff

The legendary footballer was at a time, more inclined towards baseball. Johan Cruyff was a gifted baseball player in his early teens and was one of the best pitchers and a catcher behind the plate at Ajax’s academy. Finally, he decided to pursue soccer instead of going further in baseball.

5. Alfredo Di Stéfano

He was twice named European Footballer of the Year (1957, 1959). Di Stéfano is another legendary footballer. Here’s one fact that shows how well-respected this athlete was in his days. In 1989, he was the first football player in history to receive the Super Ballon d’Or. In 2004, Alfredo Di Stéfano took the most votes to become the fourth greatest football player.

6. Franz Beckenbauer

A legendary name in soccer, Franz Beckenbauer was one of the best attacking defensive players. Captained West Germany, and won his country 50 matches, he won European Player of the Year twice.

Diego Maradona
Diego Maradona. Image credit – Doha Stadium Plus Qatar. Interesting facts about football.

7. Diego Maradona

Fans of Diego Maradona have nothing but praise for this legend. However, he has had his issues both on the field and outside. While his accolades have earned him the right name in sports, he also shares some not-so-proud moments. He is the only soccer player in the world, who had 23 fouls in a single match against Italy in 1982. These are the most fouls we have had in any one game to this day.

8. Ronaldinho

The Brazilian legend, Ronaldinho, is a name that needs no introduction. Today, people who see him as a legend may not know that this great footballer’s destiny was always to rise as one of the best soccer players in the world. Here’s one fact that many may not know. At a young age of 13, Ronaldinho scored all 23 goals in his local youth league, a feat that got him plenty of attention from the media.

Ronaldinho
Ronaldinho. Image credit – Filipe Fortes. Facts about soccer.

9. Luka Modric

He went to Real Madrid and made over £33 million. He also won the award for the ‘Best Midfielder’ in 2016. In 2018, he was the best player and won the Golden Ball award for the best player in the tournament.

While people know him for his fame and accolades, many do not believe that as a young child, Luka Modric had to live through some horrific times. Local Croatian Serb rebels captured his hometown and brutally murdered his grandfather. He had several other horrifying experiences during this capture, but he came out triumphant with a strong mentality that later helped him in his football career.

10. Kaka

He was born in Brazil in 1982 as Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite. But he got his fame as a footballer and is better known as “Kaka.” He is one of the most celebrated athletes who played for Italian club AC Milan.

Many people who know him as Kaka have no idea about the origin of the name. His brother had trouble calling Ricardo by his name, so he started calling him Kaka. Little did the brother know that the name would become one of the most recognized names in soccer.

11. Neymar

Neymar, the Brazilian sensation, is a treat to watch as he is famous for his magical dribbling ability that you will see during his soccer matches. The best young player in 2009 made a lot of money in his career, and his playful nature makes many people think that he has had a good life. In reality, Neymar has been a positive person despite the hardship his family faced in raising him. He grew up in a low-income family where his father was working three jobs, and his mother was working as a cook to make ends meet. However, the family always had a positive attitude that helped Neymar build his career as one of the most successful footballers.

12. Gerd Müller

The greatest goal scorers of all time, Gerd Müller, played for Germany. Here’s one interesting fact that many may find intriguing. He has one of the highest records for scoring for his national team, where he scored 68 times in his 62 matches.

13. Eusebio

Winning the European Footballer of the Year in 1965, Eusebio is one of Europe’s leading scorers. Interestingly, this player who played for Portugal for a record 64 times is not Portuguese, and today we remember him as one of the first great African footballers who was born in the town of Maputo in Mozambique in 1942.

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