Soccer is the most popular sport globally, with more than 3.5 billion people watching or playing the game. Being such a popular sport, it’s not surprising that football also witnesses heavy betting, especially during events like the FIFA world cup or UEFA.
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Coming back to soccer, here are thirteen crazy facts about this beautiful game that you probably didn’t know about.
Against All Odds
1. The game with the highest score was 149-0. Stade Olympique de L’emyrne, a Madagascar team, scored their own goals. They did it in protest of the previous game’s unfair decision by the referee.
2. Ronaldinho rose to prominence after he scored 23 goals in a 23-0 victory while still a teenager.
3. A football squad was killed by lightning in 1998. The disaster occurred in Congo during a soccer match between the communities of Bena Tshadi and Basangana.
4. Neil Armstrong wanted to ship a football to the moon, but NASA thought it was un-American.
5. During a pre-season game, a Nigerian-born Chelsea player named Celestine Babayaro injured himself while celebrating his first goal.
6. Today, it’s impossible to imagine football without legends like Pele, Ronaldinho, Seedorf, and Didier Drogba. However, a few centuries ago, football was not as diverse as it is today. It was only in the 1800s when Arthur Wharton created history by becoming the first black player.
7. If you say ‘football’ in the USA and Canada, the general public will think you are referring to “American football.” In fact, these are the only two nations with a different name for football; it’s “soccer.”
8. Another interesting fact about the origin of the word “soccer” is that Canadians or Americans didn’t coin it. The term was invented in England and is an abbreviation of “Association Football”, which was altered to “Assoc Football.”
The term “soccer” was substituted as it was typical in nineteenth-century Britain to add the “-er” sound to abbreviated words.
9. A referee’s decision during a football match in Peru in 1964 sparked a riot that killed over 300 people.
Miscellaneous Trivia About Soccer
10. From 1989 and 1994, Cote d’Ivoire’s ASEC Abidjan went unbeaten in 108 games.
11. Almost 30 football clubs worldwide have adopted a Beatles song as their moniker, with Villarreal in Spain being the most well-known (the Yellow Submarines).
12. For the past 120 years, the ball used in professional football has been the same size and form – 28 inches in circumference.
13. While Pakistan is one of the lowest-ranking nations in football, it is also the “producer of football.” How? Well, every four out of five footballs are manufactured in Pakistan.