The World Cup is the most unpredictable sports tournament in the world—even the best analysts don't know what's going to happen.
As a result, the World Cup has had a glorious history and has produced many surprising facts.
Over the past two weeks, I have been researching the World Cup for my various articles on Bleacher Report and came across eight little known facts. These facts may seem hard to believe at first but after extensive fact checking, I have confirmed their validity.
Did you know that the host country and the World Cup winning country see birth rates climb by as much as 15 percent after the World Cup? This has even inspired ESPN to create a commercial.
(Sources: ESPN and London Telegraph)
Passionate (and desperate) Fans
Did you know eight percent of all Americans would be willing to give up their homes to see the U.S. win the World Cup?
This is higher than all other participating countries.
(Source: Wall Street Journal)
New Kids on the Block
Did you know Slovakia is the only team making its debut at the World Cup?
In 2006, six teams made their debuts. The last season only one new team made the World Cup was 1950.
Did you know that all seven teams that have previously won the World Cup qualified for the tournament this year?
Brazil, Italy, Germany, Argentina, Uruguay, England, and France are the only teams to win the World Cup in its 18 installments.
No team from Africa, North America, Africa, or Australia has ever won the tournament.
(Source: Sports Illustrated )
Did you know that the 1954 World Cup was perhaps the most influential in soccer history?
The tournament introduced the world to Adidas sneakers (made by a shoemaker from Switzerland), broadcast the first World Cup match ever on television, and sold the first World Cup souvenir.
(Source: ESPN World Cup Companion)
Back Door Approach
Did you know Nike makes $1.5 billion annually from soccer related merchandise and isn't even an official sponsor of the World Cup?
The company made an elaborate, multi-million dollar soccer commercial, "Write The Future ," just in time for the World Cup, and did not even mention the tournament once.
The official apparel sponsor of the World Cup is Adidas.
(Source: ESPN Soccernet )
Did you know Ronaldo has the most goals in World Cup history?
In the 1998, 2002, and 2006 tournaments, Ronaldo has managed to score a combined 15 goals.
(Source: CBS Sports)
Many people know Pele was the youngest player to score a goal in World Cup history but did you know the oldest player to ever score a goal was Roger Milla of Cameroon?
Milla was 42-years-old when he scored a goal for Cameroon at the 1994 World Cup against the United States.
(Source: CBS Sports)
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