It is for many the greatest sporting tournament on earth, football or “jogo bonito” as the Brazilians say (it was arguably the greatest player of all time Pele himself he first used the term “beautiful game”) creates anticipation and interest like no other event.
Olympic crowds don’t sing chants and few dress from head to foot in their team colours, and while the rugby and cricket world cups are fantastic they don’t fill the back and front pages of the world press. And you won’t see Ant & Dec releasing a single in honour of any curling tournaments.
Quite simply nothing compares to the football World Cup and this year it comes complete with the flavour of Brazil. And as tension builds in readiness here at StagWeb HQ we’ve found 30 amazing World Cup while we wait to rush out and by our 2014 World Cup sticker album.
The winning goalscorer of the first World Cup in 1930 was known as “El Manco” (The Maimed) he had only one arm after having cut the other one off with an electric saw when he was 13.
The Jules Rimet Trophy didn’t have much luck, it was original stolen from the 1966 World Cup and all ransom attempts failed ( it was eventually found by Pickles the dog after a nationwide search). In 1970 Brazil were given the trophy to keep after winning it for a 3rd time. It was stolen from the Brazilian FA and has never been found.
In the 1950 final to at Rio’s Maracana Stadium Brazil lost to Uruguay which led to two fans committing suicide by jumping off a stand.
In 1992 Cameroon legend and dancing maestro Roger Milla was arrested for kidnapping pygmies after the Pygmy World Cup failed to draw crowds. The players from local rainforests complained about being locked up underneath the ground with only one meal of rice and sauce in 72 hours. A spokesman for the tournament later said, “You don’t know the pygmies. They are extremely difficult to control. They play better if they don’t eat too much,”.
At the 1930 final Uruguayan police searched the crowd as they entered and confiscated 1,500 revolvers.
A 1990 “art house” film starring porn star Cicciolina (who later went on to become an Italian politician). Showed the “star” of the movie sleeping with the opposition to tire them all out before big games and featured look-a-likes of football stars including a fat Maradonna (Maradonna… Fat? Never!).
The 19 previous tournaments have been one by just 7 nations; Brazil, Italy, West Germany, Argentina, Uruguay, France and England.
The 1966 game between Uruguay and France had to be played at the nearby White City Stadium because Wembley was already booked for greyhound racing that night.
In the film it was Ciccolina’s ball skills which single handedly one Italy the World Cup.
According to the man himself Garrincha (one of Brazil’s all time greats and World Cup winner of 62 & 68) lost his virginity aged just 12. To a goat. He later went on to father 14 children…. Or should that be kids?
Highly superstitious Japan doesn’t like the number four, so much so that it is not used on their football shirts. Four is pronounced “shi” which is the same as “death.”