25 Soccer Facts for the Diehard Fan

Warmer weather is upon us! This means spring is almost here, and of course, that summer isn’t too far behind. What’s so good about this summer? Ask any international soccer fan and they’ll answer with Copa America Centenario USA 2016! As the date nears and anticipation grows for this year’s 100th-anniversary games, soccer lovers can’t hold their breath any longer waiting for the series of matches to take place here in the United States. Even though we still have a three-month wait (sigh) for the teams to arrive, we wanted to kick off spring with some fun and interesting facts about soccer across the world.

In no particular order, here are the soccer facts that we found most interesting:

#1

The highest score ever made in a soccer game was 149-0.

#2

More than 1 in 20 soccer injuries are caused by celebrating goals on the pitch.

#3

The city of Lusail, host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Final game, doesn’t exist yet.

#4

1908 was the first time soccer was played in the Olympics.

#5

A traditional soccer ball has 32 panels – one for each country in Europe.

#6

Soccer was illegal in Mississippi until 1991.

#7

In most countries, a soccer player’s uniform is actually called a “kit.” The cleats are then called “hooves.”

#8

Soccer balls are not a perfect sphere. They are slightly oval-shaped but the checkerboard pattern creates an illusion.

#9

A 20-month-old baby became the youngest professional soccer player ever, after being signed by a Belgian club.

#10

In the 725 Copa America games played so far, an average of 3.28 goals have been scored in each.

#11

On average, soccer players run as far as 9.5 miles in a single match.

#12

The first soccer nets were wicker baskets.

#13

The original World Cup was made of papier-mâché, but it had to be replaced after the heavy rains of the 1950 World Cup.

#14

The youngest goal scorer of Copa America was 6-year-old Johnnier Montano.

#15

Players did not wear cleats and shin guards until 1874.

#16

Mexico and Jamaica did not have an age restriction on the players they could use in the 2015 Copa tournament.

#17

The term “soccer” was coined in the late 1800s by the British.

#18

The very first American professional soccer league (the USSA) played from 1919 to 1921. For every goal scored the players earned 35-cents.

#19

FIFA was established in 1904.

#20

The word “soccer” originated as a slang abbreviation of the word “association.”

#21

The first Women’s World Cup was in 1991 – USA won.

#22

Brazil has the most world cup wins.

#23

Over 1.5 million people tuned in to watch the 2015 Copa America final between Chile and Argentina.

#24

Greenland can not join FIFA because not enough grass grows there for a soccer field.

#25

The 1999 Women’s World Cup Final was the most watched soccer game in U.S. TV history.

Itching for more soccer facts? Check out our recent posts on the History of Soccer Scarves and the History of American Soccer.

Have another fact to share? Let us know in the comments below!