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72 amazing facts about Brazil 2014 World Cup

72 amazing facts about Brazil 2014 World Cup
July 14
18:56 2014

As the dust begins to gather on the memories of Brazil 2014, here are a few reminders of some of the statistics that have illuminated the tournament, courtesy of Opta.

• There were fewer red cards at the 2014 World Cup than any other edition since 1986 (8).

• The 2014 World Cup saw a joint-highest number of goals scored (171).

• Germany reached the World Cup final for the eighth time, more than any other side in the history of the competition.


• Germany scored 18 goals – the last team to score as many in a World Cup tournament were Brazil (also 18) in 2002.

• Argentina trailed for just seven minutes in the entire tournament (excluding injury time).

• Belgium reached the quarter-final stage, despite only holding a lead for 52 minutes in their five matches combined.


• Brazil committed 31 fouls in their quarter-final win over Colombia, their most in a single World Cup game since records began in 1966.

• James Rodriguez became the first player to score in his first five career World Cup appearances since Peru’s Teofilo Cubillas (across the 1970 and 1978 tournaments). Gerd Muller in 1970 was the last player to do it in a single tournament.

• Miroslav Klose became the top scoring player in World Cup history with his strike against Brazil in the semi-finals (16 goals).

Facts 1• This was the first time that three sides from the Concacaf region made it out of the group stages and into the last 16 (since the format began in 1986).


• Costa Rica knocked out Italy, England, Greece and beat Uruguay, four sides placed in the top 12 positions of the Fifa Rankings (Uruguay – 7th, Italy – 9th, England – 10th, Greece – 12th).

• Only six European nations made it to the last 16; a joint-World Cup low since the round-of-16 was introduced in 1986.

• All eight group-stage winners progressed to the quarter-finals for the first time in World Cup history.

• One point was England’s lowest-ever return in a World Cup group stage.


• This was the first time that England were eliminated from a World Cup at the group stage since 1958.

• Three of the last four teams to win the World Cup have gone out in the following group stage (France 2002, Italy 2010, Spain 2014).


• There were more goals scored by substitutes in this World Cup than in any previous edition (32).

Facts 2• Silvestre Varela’s goal for Portugal against USA was the latest during normal time of a World Cup finals match since 1994 (94min 33sec).


• Tim Howard made 15 saves in the USA’s quarter-final defeat to Belgium – no goalkeeper has ever made as many saves in a single World Cup game (1966-2014).

• Three of Holland’s five outright victories in this World Cup tournament were from losing positions in normal time.

• Italy have exited at the group stage in their last two World Cups. The last time they managed this was in the 1960s (1962 and 1966).

• Germany are the first European team to win the World Cup in Latin America.

• Teams from Uefa have won the last three World Cups, the first time a single confederation has won three in a row.

• Germany’s 7-1 win was the biggest margin of victory ever seen in a World Cup semi-final.

• With their destruction of Brazil, Germany became the top-scoring nation in World Cup history (223), overtaking Brazil in the process. Germany ended the tournament with 224 goals, three ahead of Brazil.

• Luke Shaw was the youngest player to play at this World Cup, when he played for England v Costa Rica (18 years 348 days).

• 13.3% of shots have been scored at these finals, a higher proportion than in any other World Cup tournament since records began in 1966.

Facts 3• There were only three direct free-kicks scored at these finals, the fewest since 1986 (3). In 2010, there were five , while nine were scored in 2006 and 2002.

• The only World Cup to see more own goals than this tournament (5) was the 1998 finals (6).

• Switzerland’s Diego Benaglio was the only goalkeeper to register a shot at the 2014 tournament, thanks to a late effort v Argentina.

• Algeria goalkeeper Rais M’Bolhi created two goal-scoring chances; only three of his team-mates managed more in the tournament.

• Brazil have topped every group they have played in at a World Cup from 1982 onwards.

• Spain conceded 5+ goals in an international (5-1 v Holland) for the first time since losing 6-2 to Scotland in June 1963.

• That four-goal margin is the biggest losing margin by a defending champion at a World Cup.

• Brazil’s 7-1 defeat to Germany was the biggest losing margin by a host nation at a World Cup.

• Tim Cahill has scored in three World Cups for Australia; no other Australian has done so in more than one tournament

• Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan (6) overtook Cameroon’s Roger Milla (5) as all-time top scoring African player at a World Cup.

• Algeria became the first African team to score four goals in a World Cup game when they beat South Korea 4-2.

Facts 4• England’s Wayne Rooney recorded his first World Cup assist in his team’s opening game v Italy and his first goal in their game v Uruguay.

• Keisuke Honda became the first Japanese player to score at two different World Cups.

• Switzerland’s Xherdan Shaqiri scored the first entirely left-footed hat-trick at a World Cup (1966-2014).

• His treble was also the 50th hat-trick in the history of the World Cup.

• In losing 4-0 to Germany, Portugal conceded four goals in a World Cup for the first time in their history.

• Clint Dempsey’s goal (29 seconds) v Ghana for the USA was the fifth fastest in World Cup history.

• England goalkeeper Joe Hart made only one save in two World Cup games.

• In his 126 minutes of World Cup action, Diego Costa failed to muster a single shot on target (only five shots in total).

• In winning Euro 2008, World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012, Spain conceded a total of six goals, one fewer than they did in their three matches at World Cup 2014.

Facts 5• Alex Song picked up Cameroon’s eighth red card in their World Cup history. His uncle Rigobert Song is one of only two players (along with Zinedine Zidane) to be sent off twice at World Cups, meaning the Song family is responsible for three of Cameroon’s eight reds.

• Olivier Giroud’s opening goal v Switzerland was France’s 100th goal at World Cup finals.

• Neymar scored the 100th goal of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil’s 100th game in World Cup finals history.

• Against Japan, Colombia’s substitute goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon became the oldest-ever player to feature in a World Cup match, at 43 years and three days.

• Honduras have now played nine games without a win at the World Cup (D3 L6). They have played more matches at the World Cup without winning than any other side (New Zealand, El Salvador and Bolivia – all six).

• Ghana went out in the group stage for the first time ever (in their third World Cup). Now, only three teams have never been eliminated in a World Cup opening group stage: Germany, Holland and the Republic of Ireland.

• Fabio Capello has won only one of his seven World Cup games as a manager.

Facts 6• Mexico have been knocked out of the World Cup finals at the second-round stage in all six editions since 1994; no team has been knocked out at this stage as often as this.

• Nigeria have lost all three of their World Cup second-round ties (0-2 v France in 2014, 1-2 v Italy in 1994 and 1-4 v Denmark in 1998).

• Angel di Maria’s goal v Switzerland was the latest-ever scored by Argentina at the World Cup (118 minutes).

• Switzerland have failed to score in their last three World Cup knockout matches, last scoring in one in 1954.

• Belgium conceded only three goals in five games at the 2014 World Cup.

• Holland progressed to the semi-finals for the third time in their last four World Cups.

• Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas saved 21 of the 23 shots on target that he faced at this World Cup (91%).

• Thomas Muller has scored 10 goals and provided six assists in just 13 World Cup matches.

• Against Brazil in the semi-final, Germany were 5-0 up faster than any other team in World Cup history (29 minutes).

Facts 7• The 7-1 defeat to Germany equalled Brazil’s all-time biggest margin of defeat (lost 6-0 to Uruguay in 1920).

• Germany scored two more goals v Brazil than England have in their past two World Cup campaigns combined.

• Argentina have progressed from all four of their World Cup semi-finals.

• Argentina v Holland was the first World Cup semi-final to finish 0-0 (including extra-time). Lionel Messi did not touch the ball in the opposition box in the entire 120 minutes.

• Nine of the 14 goals Brazil conceded in this World Cup came in the first 30 minutes of their games.

• Brazil conceded 10 goals from 14 shots on target conceded in the semi-final and third place play-off game combined.

• Mario Gotze is the first substitute to score a winning goal in the World Cup final.

• Mario Gotze is the youngest scorer of a goal in a World Cup final since Wolfgang Weber in 1966 (22 years, 33 days).

• Sami Khedira is the 10th player to win the European Cup/Champions League and World Cup in the same season.



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