The Most Fascinating (and Funniest!) Facts About Soccer You Need To Know

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Soccer. Football. Futebol. Fußball. These are just some of the names for the beautiful game that so many people worldwide know and love.

In our lands, we call it soccer. It is easily the most widely played and followed sport in the world. To some, it is more than a sport; it’s more like a religion.

And while it isn’t one of the four major sports we Americans are obsessed with, those who love it can’t live without this beautiful sport! 

Let’s take a look at some of the most fascinating and funniest facts about soccer that every fanatic or newbie must know!

Fun Facts About Soccer You May Not Know

Here are some fun facts about soccer you need to know.

Origins of The Game

Although nobody knows the exact date, most research suggests that soccer was invented in China sometime between 206 BC and 220 AD. It was called “Tsu-chu” (pronounced as tsoo-joo) and was played with a leather ball stuffed with feathers and hair!

Soccer came to Europe toward the end of the 17th century. When the Europeans started playing the game, they played with inflated pig or sheep bladders! Thank goodness technology has gifted us a new way of creating soccer balls!

Game Facts

Soccer balls have a circumference of 28 inches, and over 70% of soccer balls around the world are produced in Sialkot, Pakistan.

Although this may seem to be a random country when it comes to football, we have something even more unexpected for you.

Most people think that Camp Nou or Wembley are the biggest stadiums in the world, with Camp Nou’s capacity at 99,354 and Wembley’s at 90,000.

In fact, the largest stadium in the world is The Rungrado 1st of May Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea, which can hold up to 114,000 people!

Most people think of England as the home of soccer, and that’s because so many game facts are related to the country. 

  • The first official league was founded in 1888 in England.
  • The oldest official soccer club is Sheffield Football Club in England (now divided into Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United).
  • The first live broadcast of a soccer match happened in England between Arsenal and Arsenal Reserves back in 1937.

Fascinating (and Funny) Soccer Facts

Now that you know some of the more basic yet widely unknown soccer facts, here is our list of The Most Fascinating (and Funniest) Soccer Facts You Need To Know.

1. North vs. South Hemisphere.

There is a very special soccer stadium in Macapá, Brazil, which has a very unique feature: it is in both the northern and the southern hemispheres!

The center line of the stadium is painted exactly on the equator, meaning that the competing teams in any given match are always on different hemispheres!

2. The Original World Cup Trophy Can’t Be Found

The first version of the World Cup Trophy was called the Jules Rimet Trophy and was permanently awarded to Brazil in 1970 as a reward for being the first country in the world to win the tournament three times.

The trophy was stolen in 1983 and has not been located in the 40 years since! Most officials believe that the trophy has been melted down and sold off as gold.

The current World Cup trophy weighs nearly 13 pounds and is made of 18-carat gold. However, each winning nation does not get to keep the original trophy.

Instead, on the day of the World Cup final, the original is lifted by the victors and is then returned to FIFA for safekeeping. Thereafter, a far less impressive replica is awarded to the victorious nation.

3. Interesting World Cup Facts

Here are some super interesting (and quirky) facts about the World Cup:

  • Cristiano Ronaldo is the first player to score in 5 different World Cups. 
  • Brazil has had the most success in the World Cup, winning the trophy five times. However, the female Brazilian soccer team has never won the Women’s World Cup (yet)
  • Brazil is also the only team to have played in every single World Cup since the tournament was founded.
  • The most goals ever scored in a World Cup was between Hungary and El Salvador in 1982, with the Hungarians beating their opponents by a whopping score of 10 – 1!
  • Scotland has qualified for the World Cup on eight different occasions. Unfortunately, they have also been eliminated in the group stages of the tournament on all eight occasions. (Maybe not the best statistic for Scottish soccer fans!)
  • In 1950, India pulled out of the famous tournament because they were not allowed to play barefoot.
  • In 1954, Turkey and Spain drew straws to decide who would be eliminated, with Turkey emerging victorious and progressing in the tournament!

4. Goals, Goals, Goals!

Although this is sometimes argued, the Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is officially recognized as the highest goal scorer of all time with 850 official goals, followed by Lionel Messi with 819 goals. However, Brazil’s Pelé is considered the king of goal-scoring! 

Pelé is the only player to have 8 goals in a single game. He has also scored 5 goals on six different occasions, 4 goals in thirty-one different matches, and a hat-trick on 92 occasions.

To put that into perspective, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 63 hat-tricks, with Lionel Messi achieving 57 of his own. 

5. The Person With The Whistle

Like it or not, soccer would not be possible without a referee on the field. Here are some fun facts about refereeing:

  • Up until 1891, referees were not involved in soccer games. Before this, the team captains would discuss and resolve any problems on the field.
  • On average, referees run between 6 and 8 miles every time they are on the field!
  • French referee Stephanie Frappart became the first woman to referee an official World Cup in December 2022. This is seen as a great achievement within the context of equality in soccer.
  • If the ball hits the referee and deflects into the goal, this will be counted as an official goal. This is probably why referees try to stay out of the box during the attacking phases of the game!
  • In Tanzania in 1978, a referee was arrested during a game. The reason for this was that the referee in question smoked marijuana before the game started. Probably not the highest point in his career!
  • One of the fastest red cards was awarded to soccer player Lee Todd in 2000. After the ref blew the whistle to start the game, he swore and commented on how loud the whistle was. Referee Peter Kearle produced the red card after only 2 seconds!

6. Some Extra Fun Facts To Share at The Dinner Table.

Be sure to use these fun facts when you’re at the dinner table and you want to impress your friends.

  • Standing at 5’0 (153 cm), the shortest professional soccer player is Polish footballer Marcin Garuch, who plays as a midfielder for Miedź Legnica. On the other hand, the tallest soccer player is Kristof van Hout from Belgium. The goalkeeper is measured at 6’10 (208 cm)! Talk about reaching for the sky!
  • Until 1882, there was no crossbar across the top of the goal. That meant that any ball that went between the two posts, no matter how high, would count as a goal. If it were my team, I would like Kristof van Hout as my goalkeeper!
  • 149-0 is the highest-recorded soccer score in history. The game took place in 2002 between Olympique de L’emyrne and AS Adema in Madagascar, with AS Adema winning the match. However, the reason behind that score was due to a protest staged by Olympique de L’emyrne. The players felt as if their title had been stolen from them, with a questionable penalty being awarded against them in the game before. As a result, the Olympique de L’emyrne players started scoring own goals from the first minute of the game. If this sounds like a good idea to you, be warned, the coach of the team and four players were handed 3-year bans that prevented them from playing professional soccer anywhere worldwide! There are better ways to stage a protest!
  • Although this isn’t a ‘fun’ fact, we think it’s quite interesting. In 1998, an entire soccer team from the Democratic Republic of Congo was killed by a lightning strike. Some superstitious soccer fans believe this to be the work of witchcraft performed by supporters of the other team. Whatever the reason, we would like to offer our condolences to all the people impacted by this tragedy. 


There is so much to know and love about soccer as a sport. No matter how much time you spend researching, you will never know all of the facts there are to know about the beautiful game.

Be that as it may, we hope you enjoyed our list of the most fascinating (and funniest) soccer facts you need to know!

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