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.
Romania’s 1930 World Cup squad were personally selected by King Carol II.
Despite making it to the finals 8 times unlucky Scotland have yet to go beyond the group stage.
Brazil have won the most World Cups having triumphed 5 times, Italy have won 5 and West Germany 3.
The Soviet Union goalkeeping legend Lev Yashin said the best way to warm up before a game was to “have a smoke to calm your nerves, then toss back a strong drink to tone your muscles.”
52 year old Pedro Gatica cycled to Mexico all the way from his home in Argentina to enjoy the 1986 World Cup, However on arrival he found he couldn’t afford to get into the games and while haggling thieves stole his bike.
In 1950 India pulled out of the tournament at the last minute, partly due to financial problems but mostly because they weren’t allowed to play in bare feet.
United Arab Emirates players were promised a Rolls Royce for every goal their team scored at the 1990 finals by the Royal family. They went on to bag just two goals in three defeats.
It was BMW that got headlines in 1974. Each team were given a luxury coach to use during the tournament, however the Zaire team had to be stopped by police after they attempted to drive all the way back to Africa in their luxury motor.
The fastest World Cup goal ever was scored after just 11 seconds by Turkey’s Hasan Sukur, against tournament hosts South Korea in 2002.