International Football Trivia

LONDON - NOVEMBER 03: Wayne Rooney of Manchester United evades Kolo Toure of Arsenal (L) during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on November 3, 2007 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)All football fans love trivia! We have gathered a heap of interesting tidbits from the world of international football and international football friendlies:

  • Theo Walcott of Arsenal became England’s youngest ever play when he replaced Wayne Rooney during the international football friendly against Hungary at Old Trafford on 30 May 2006. Walcott was 17 years and 75 days old.
  • There has been at least one Juventus player in every Italian World Cup squad since they first entered in 1934.
  • The only person to have played both World Cup football and World Cup cricket is Viv Richards – he played football for Antigua and cricket for the West Indies.
  • Shirt swapping was once officially banned by FIFA in 1986 as they didn’t want players to ‘bare their chests’ on the field.
  • More international football trivia: The red and yellow card system was invented by an English school headmaster, Ken Aston.
  • Germany is the only nation to have won both the men’s and the women’s World Cups.
  • Hakan Şükür scored the fastest ever goal (10.8 seconds after kickoff) in a World Cup match during the third-place game of the 2002 World Cup against South Korea.
  • The shortest England career is attributed to Brighton’s Peter Ward who played just eight minutes of England’s 1980 international football friendly with Australia.
  • Did you know that South American and European teams have won the FIFA Football World Cup nine and eight times respectively? There have been no winners from any of the other continents.

When should you be born if you want to be a footballer?

  • January: 14 916 professional footballers born
  • February: 13 428
  • March: 13 031
  • April: 12 000
  • May: 12 144
  • June: 10 896
  • July: 10 571
  • August: 13 815
  • September: 16 758
  • October: 16 550
  • November: 15 107
  • December: 13 771

Did you know?

A total of 43 players took part in England’s international football friendly against Serbia & Montenegro in June 2003. Reserve goalkeeper David James was the only player out of both the teams who was not used as England triumphed 2-1.