FIFA fever

Did you know?

  • The first World Cup football match kicked off in Uruguay on July 13, 1930 with France beating Mexico 4 to 1.
  • 13 teams played in the first World Cup — Uruguay, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, France, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, the United States and Yugoslavia.
  • Only countries in two continents — South America and Europe — have won the World Cup; 9 times and 12 times respectively.
  • World Cup Winners — Brazil 5, Germany 4, Italy 4, Uruguay 2, Argentina 2, England 1, France 2 and Spain 1.
  • Because of World War II, the World Cup was not held between 1938 and 1950. Hence Italy were the reigning World Cup champions for a record 16 years (from 1932 until 1950).
  • In 1986, shirt swapping was officially prohibited because FIFA did not want players to bare their chests on the field!
Japan loses football game, but wins hearts Both the Japanese football team and the Japanese fans won the hearts of football fans around the world with a remarkably dignified response after losing to Belgium by a whisker in the dying moments of the game, after taking an early lead by scoring two goals. This is the third time the Japanese team, which played remarkably well, has failed to make the last eight in the World Cup. As Belgium stunned the Japanese footballers by an amazing last ditch effort to reach the quarterfinals, many of the shocked players fell on their knees, while others were in tears. But before leaving for home, they showed the world the Japanese penchant for discipline and courtesy by cleaning the changing room and leaving a ‘thank you’ note for their Russian hosts. And even amidst sobs, the Japanese fans cleaned the stadium!
Japan loses football game, but wins hearts
Both the Japanese football team and the Japanese fans won the hearts of football fans around the world with a remarkably dignified response after losing to Belgium by a whisker in the dying moments of the game, after taking an early lead by scoring two goals. This is the third time the Japanese team, which played remarkably well, has failed to make the last eight in the World Cup.
As Belgium stunned the Japanese footballers by an amazing last ditch effort to reach the quarterfinals, many of the shocked players fell on their knees, while others were in tears. But before leaving for home, they showed the world the Japanese penchant for discipline and courtesy by cleaning the changing room and leaving a ‘thank you’ note for their Russian hosts. And even amidst sobs, the Japanese fans cleaned the stadium!
A rubber chicken With barely 24 hours to go before their crucial semi final match with Croatia, the English team went into a training session substituting the football with a rubber chicken! The reason scribed was to get the team into the “mood” for the crucial match, but whether the testosterone pile-up was to make minced meat of the Croation squad only Captain Harry Kane could explain!
A rubber chicken
With barely 24 hours to go before their crucial semi final match with Croatia, the English team went into a training session substituting the football with a rubber chicken! The reason scribed was to get the team into the “mood” for the crucial match, but whether the testosterone pile-up was to make minced meat of the Croation squad only Captain Harry Kane could explain!
Croatian prez celebrates The Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic joined her country’s team in the dressing room to party after Croatia entered the semi-final of the World Cup, to face England. Earlier she was spotted seated with the Croatian fans in the stands and was invited to the VIP area, where the 50-year-old was seen lustily cheering every goal of her team and the nail-biting penalty shoot-out, which ensured Croatia’s victory against home team Russia. As soon as the match was over, she rushed to the players’ dressing room and embraced each one of them in a congratulatory hug.
Croatian prez celebrates
The Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic joined her country’s team in the dressing room to party after Croatia entered the semi-final of the World Cup, to face England. Earlier she was spotted seated with the Croatian fans in the stands and was invited to the VIP area, where the 50-year-old was seen lustily cheering every goal of her team and the nail-biting penalty shoot-out, which ensured Croatia’s victory against home team Russia. As soon as the match was over, she rushed to the players’ dressing room and embraced each one of them in a congratulatory hug.
Messi consoled by wife Football legend Lionel Messi’s wife Antonella Roccuzzo met and consoled her totally dejected husband at the Barcelona airport after Argentina was thrown out in the last 16 game by France. While the rest of the Argentinean team took the 18-hour flight to Buenos Aires, 31-year-old Messi, who is rumoured to be seriously considering retirement after recent dismal performances, flew to Barcelona, where the grim-faced football star refused to talk to reporters. He managed to score just one at this tournament and even messed up a penalty in a 1-1 draw with Iceland, followed by a devastating 3-0 defeat by Croatia, and the formidable Argentina was swept out of the World Cup by France with the 19-year-old sensation Kylian Mbappe scoring two goals.
Messi consoled by wife
Football legend Lionel Messi’s wife Antonella Roccuzzo met and consoled her totally dejected husband at the Barcelona airport after Argentina was thrown out in the last 16 game by France. While the rest of the Argentinean team took the 18-hour flight to Buenos Aires, 31-year-old Messi, who is rumoured to be seriously considering retirement after recent dismal performances, flew to Barcelona, where the grim-faced football star refused to talk to reporters. He managed to score just one at this tournament and even messed up a penalty in a 1-1 draw with Iceland, followed by a devastating 3-0 defeat by Croatia, and the formidable Argentina was swept out of the World Cup by France with the 19-year-old sensation Kylian Mbappe scoring two goals.

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