Ultra Violent Soccer… and 7 other Football
Facts 1) “Soccer” was once a popular name for
Football in Britain in the sport’s earliest days. When the rules for the sport were first
being defined, it was named “Association Football” to distinguish it from the other
forms of football commonly played. Within a year of its inception, this got slurred
down to “Assoccer,” after the common practice of adding “-er” to nicknames at the time
in Britain. Very shortly after this, “Assoccer” became “Soccer,” which remained a semi-popular
nickname for the sport in Britain until about a half century ago, along with just “Football.”
The game initially spread throughout the world primarily known as “Football.” However,
in countries where other forms of football already were dominate, the nickname “Soccer”
was, and in some cases still is, the preferred name for this reason.
2) Frenchman Just Fontaine holds the record for most World Cup goals in one tournament
from 1958 when he scored an astonishing 13 goals. For reference, the top scorer in the
history of the World Cup, Brazilian Ronaldo, scored a total of 15 times participating in
four different World Cups. 3) The Earliest Known Soccer Sport was in
1004 B.C. Japan. There are also many references to similar sports in 50 B.C. China, even being
played between teams from China and Japan. The Romans played several types of football
games, including some that resembled soccer, one of which was also included in the Roman
Olympic Games. This particular version featured 27 men a side and was extremely rough, with
it being common for most players to require medical attention after the game.
4) Most of the earliest forms of football were named thus, not because you kicked a
ball with your foot, but because they were played on foot. Peasants played most of their
sports on foot; aristocrats played many of theirs on horseback. Thus, games played on
foot were called “football,” whether they had anything to do with kicking a ball or
not. Indeed, many of the Earliest Forms of Football involved carrying balls in an attempt
to get across goal lines passed some opposing team or individual players.
5) The first and only goalkeeper in history to win the World Cup Golden Ball (Most Valuable
Player award) was German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn during the 2002 FIFA World Cup in which
Germany made it to the final but was defeated by Brazil.
6) German legend Lothar Matthaus has played in five FIFA World Cups (1982, 1986, 1990,
1994, 1998) more than any other outfield player, and also holds the record for the most World
Cup matches played by a single player with 25. He also took part in three consecutive
finals (1982, 1986 and 1990) but only won the last one.
7) The Oldest Captain to lead a participating Football nation to a World Cup triumph was
the legendary Italian goalkeeper Dino Zoff, who at the age of 40 led Italy to their 1982
FIFA World Cup title. 8) Only two World Cup Finals Penalties have
been decided on penalties and coincidentally Italy took part in both of them. In the World
Cup of 1994, Brazil beat Italy in a dramatic penalty shoot-out, while 12 years later in
the World Cup of 2006 Italy beat France. In the latter final, one of the greatest Footballers
ever, Frenchman Zinedine Zidane, famously head butted Marco Materazzi in the chest,
which led to a red card and the defeat of France.