2014 World Cup — 10 Questions You Didn’t Know You Had, Answered
Match play in the 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament begins on Thursday, June 12 in Brazil. Though the soccer spectacle is one of the most-widely viewed sporting competitions in the world, some fans still have questions about this incredible event.
How Many Teams Will Play For the World Cup Title?
The month-long World Cup tournament occurs every four years after three years of preliminary competition, when more than 200 teams are narrowed down to a 32-team field (31 qualifiers plus the host nation).
The teams who advanced to Brazil are broken into groups of four (A through H), with each team playing three group matches prior to the knockout rounds. Starting June 28, the top two teams from each group begin knockout games to determine the champion.
In all, 64 matches will be played in 12 cities between June 12 and the July 13 championship game at Rio's Estadio do Maracana.
What's The Name Of The World Cup Trophy?
From 1930 to 1970, FIFA awarded the Jules Rimet Trophy to the winning World Cup team, but after Brazil won the title a third time in 1970, the nation was allowed to keep the trophy permanently.
Beginning in 1974, FIFA began awarding the distinctive golden World Cup Trophy designed by Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga to the winning team. The Adidas Golden Ball is presented to the most outstanding player at each World Cup tournament, and the Adidas Golden Shoe award is presented to the top goal scorer at every finals.
Which Nation Has Won The Most World Cup Titles?
When it comes to the World Cup, the 2014 host nation is a world-beater. The team from Brazil holds the all-time record with five World Cup titles, the most recent coming in 2002. The Brazilians are the only team to have played in every FIFA tournament, reaching the finals seven times - a feat only equaled by Germany.
Italy is second with four World Cup wins, and Germany has captured three titles. No North American national team has ever won the World Cup.
Which Nation Has The Most World Cup Match Wins?
Unsurprisingly, Brazil also holds the record for most all-time World Cup match wins with 67. Germany holds the all-time record for most World Cup tournament matches with 99.
Which Country Has Made The Most World Cup Appearances Without A Title?
Despite its rich football tradition, including 14 previous World Cup tournament appearances, Mexico has never won a title or advanced to a final. The team's best showing was the quarterfinal round in both the 1970 and 1986 World Cups.
The Netherlands have lost three times in the World Cup final (1974, 1978, 2010), but never won a championship.
Scotland holds the record as the team to appear in the World Cup the most times without advancing past the first round. The Scots have qualified eight times but never advanced to the knockout round.
The United States national team's best finish was third in 1930.
Which Nation Has Suffered The Most World Cup Match Losses?
Unfortunately for Mexico, its 14 prior World Cup appearances have resulted in a record 24 losses for its football team.
At least the Mexican team has been spared the fate of Bolivia, El Salvador, Honduras and New Zealand. Each of those nations share the record for the most World Cup matches without a win: six.
Who Has Scored The Most Goals In World Cup History?
Ronaldo, the retired Brazilian star who played 19 World Cup games on his nation's team from 1998 to 2006, holds the all-time record with 15 goals scored in the tournament. Germany's Miroslav Klose, 35, is the active leader with 14, which ties him with retired countryman Gerd Mueller for second on the all-time list.
Just Fontaine of France set a World Cup record for goals scored in a single tournament when he tallied 13 in 1958. Russia's Oleg Salenko set a World Cup record for goals in one match when he scored five against Cameroon in 1994.
Which Player Has Played In The Most World Cup Matches?
Germany's Lothar Mattaeus, who played in a record-tying five World Cup tournaments from 1982 through 1998, holds the all-time record for matches played with 25. The German team had a record of 15-4-6 in those matches, including a title game victory in 1990.
Germany's Miroslav Klose is the active leader with 19 matches played in the World Cup tournament finals from 2002 through 2010. He's likely to add at least three to four more matches to that total in 2014.
Which Manager Has Won the Most World Cup Championships?
While five managers have reached the final game of the World Cup twice, only the late Vittorio Pozzo of Italy was able to lead his team to victory in both appearances (in 1934 and 1938).
Late German manager Helmut Schon still holds the all-time records for matches coached (25) and won (16).
What Is The 2014 World Cup's TV Broadcast Schedule?
ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 will broadcast all 64 matches of the 2014 World Cup tournament live in English, while Univision broadcasts in Spanish. ABC will air 10 matches, including the World Cup final on July 13. Ian Darke serves as the lead broadcaster, calling the opening game (Brazil-Croatia on June 12) and the final.
More than 15 million viewers watched Spain defeat the Netherlands, 1-0, in extra time in South Africa in 2010. Even more viewers are expected for the 2014 championship.
Sources: FIFA.com, Wikipedia and SportsIllustrated.com