The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia will be the 21st staging of the tournament.
Brazil is the only team to have taken part in every World Cup and have won the tournament on five occasions. Only eight nations have lifted the World Cup, with Germany the most recent winners back in 2014. Miroslav Klose is the all-time leading goalscorer in the tournament with 16 goals for Germany, closely followed by Brazil’s Ronaldo with 15.
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Uruguay won the first-ever tournament in 1930, whilst Brazil’s haul of five trophies is one more than Germany and Italy. Argentina and Uruguay with two titles each, and England, France and Spain with one apiece complete the list of winners.
Perhaps the greatest team in World Cup history was Brazil’s 1970 side. The likes of Pele, Jairzinho and Carlos Alberto have etched their name in footballing folklore for the manner in which they played the game.
Three-time World Cup winner Pele is a true icon and is widely considered as the greatest ever footballer. The Brazilian striker won his first World Cup in 1958 aged just 17. He scored 1,281 goals during his professional career in 1,363 games.
Argentina star Maradona played in four World Cups, including Mexico 1986 where he captained his country to victory over West Germany in the final. His performances saw him win the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player.
German striker Miroslav Klose holds the all-time World Cup goalscoring record with 16 goals. He scored 71 goals in the 137 appearances for his country and crowned his career by helping Germany win the trophy in 2014.
Other World Cup facts
Hosts Russia will hope one of their players can emulate Oleg Salenko’s exploits during the 1994 World Cup. The striker holds the record for most goals scored in a single World Cup match with five against Cameroon during a 6-1 victory.
Just Fontaine was the star of the show at the World Cup in 1958, scoring an incredible 13 goals in just six games for France. His efforts helped Les Bleus claim third place in the tournament.
Hungary top the list for the most goals scored by a team in single World Cup match. They notched ten goals to beat El Salvador 10-1 in a group game in 1982. However, the Magyars failed to progress to the next stage as they finished third in the opening stage behind Belgium and Argentina.
Uruguayan defender Jose Batista holds the dubious distinction of receiving the fastest red card in World Cup history in 1986. He was sent off after just 56 seconds after a shocking tackle on Scottish midfielder Gordon Strachan. Despite Batista’s dismissal Uruguay held on to seal a 0-0 draw.
In 2026, 48 teams will take part in the World Cup and there will be 80 matches as opposed to the current 64. Just 13 nations took part in the first World Cup in Uruguay in 1930. The increase is expected to generate an extra £823 million in revenue for FIFA.
Leading bookmaker analysts estimated that British gamblers wagered more than £1 billion over the course of the tournament in 2014, and Russia 2018 is expected to attract even more betting revenue. Remember to follow Amazing.bet for all the latest interesting World Cup facts and betting news surrounding the tournament.