World Football Annual

World Football Annual

4th Edition

Packed with the latest facts, stats and figures, including sections on all the greatest footballing nations, it's perfect for anyone looking to brush up on their soccer knowledge.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
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1 min.
all-time records

GERMANY, IN BRAZIL, became the third country to win the FIFA World Cup at least four times, the same as Italy. However, Brazil remain the record-holders, with five victories, inspired by superstars from Pele and Garrincha to Ronaldo and Ronaldinho. Argentina and Uruguay (two each) are the other South American winners, with past champions from Europe being England, France and Spain (one apiece). Germany’s 2014 glory in Brazil was their first FIFA World Cup as Germany, their first three coming as West Germany.…

4 min.
fifa world cup qualifiers

BALLON D’ORIBE Mexico booked the final spot at the 2014 FIFA World Cup by beating Oceania representatives New Zealand 9-3 on aggregate in a two-legged November 2013 play-off. Caretaker manager Miguel Herrera–Mexico’s fourth boss of the year–earned himself the job permanently by masterminding wins by 5-1 at home and 4-2 away. His squad relied purely on domestic-based players, meaning there were no European-based stars such as Villarreal’s Giovani dos Santos or Manchester United’s Javier Hernandez. The goalscoring hero was Oribe Peralta, who scored five goals in the two games–including the first three of the 4-2 victory in Wellington’s Westpac Stadium. IRAN MAKE THE CUT Iran were the first team to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, joining hosts Russia in the hat for the group stages. They qualified with an impressive unbeaten…

8 min.
fifa world cup team records

EXTRA SPECIAL GERMANS Germany, in beating Argentina 1-0 in the Maracana stadium in 2014, became the fifth team to win the FIFA World Cup Final in extra time after Italy (1934), England (1966), Argentina (1978) and Spain (2010). In both 2010 and 2014, the Final had finished goalless after 90 minutes. Andres Iniesta, for Spain in 2010, and Mario Gotze, for Germany in Rio de Janeiro, both struck their lone winning goals in the second period of the additional 30 minutes. Extra time was not enough in 1994 and 2006, when Brazil and Italy, respectively, won on penalties. BRAZIL COLOUR UP Brazil’s yellow shirts are famous around the world. But they wore white shirts at the first four FIFA World Cup finals. However, their 2-1 loss to Uruguay in the 1950 tournament’s final…

7 min.
fifa world cup goalscoring

HOST WITH THE MOST Brazil have scored more goals (nine) in the opening matches of the FIFA World Cup than any other nation, though their status as double hosts in 1950 and 2014 certainly helped. Between 1974 and 2002 the holders, rather than the hosts, also had the honour of kicking off proceedings. Brazil beat Mexico easily by 4-0 in the 1950 opener in the Maracana stadium, with goals from Jair, Baltazar and Ademir (two). They defeated Scotland 2-1 in the Opening Match of France 1998 (Cesar Sampaio and Tom Boyd, own goal) and then Croatia, 3-1, in 2014, thanks to a double (one a penalty) from Neymar and a third from Oscar. A Brazilian also netted the very first goal of the 2014 finals, as left-back Marcelo gave Croatia the…

11 min.
fifa world cup appearances

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buff on was in Italy’s squad for his fifth FIFA World Cup in Brazil in 2014 and, after missing the victory over England, he captained the Azzurri in losses to Costa Rica and Uruguay. Buff on actually played in only four tournaments, however, having been an unused substitute in 1998. Two players have appeared in matches in five FIFA World Cups: Mexico’s Antonio Carbajal (1950–66) and West Germany/Germany’s Lothar Matthaus (1982–98). YOUNGEST AND OLDEST Northern Ireland’s Norman Whiteside is the youngest player in FIFA World Cup finals history, being just 17 years and 41 days when he started against Yugoslavia in 1982. The oldest player to feature is Colombia goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon as a late substitute in a 4-1 win over Japan in 2014. Aged 43 years and three days,…

5 min.
fifa world cup goalkeeping

HAIL CESAR! Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar wept with relief and joy after his penalty shoot-out defiance helped the 2014 FIFA World Cup hosts beat Chile in a round-of-16 tie in Belo Horizonte. Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari had kept faith with the 34-year-old, even though he had barely played for his English club Queens Park Rangers and gone on loan to FC Toronto of the MLS. Cesar was blamed by many Brazilians for a mistake which led to defeat by Netherlands in the 2010 quarter-finals. In 2014, however, he saved Chile’s first two kicks and rocketed from scapegoat to national hero. NOT THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX Italy’s Gianluca Pagliuca was the first goalkeeper to be sent off at a FIFA World Cup match–for handball outside his penalty area–against Norway in 1994. Despite sacrificing playmaker…