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30 Truly Random Football Facts

1) The last time the
Netherlands played an
international match without
a 'van' in their starting XI
was against France during
Euro 2000 (they won 3-2).
However, the last time they
didn't have a 'van' in their
entire match day squad
(Peter van Vossen appeared
as a late substitute against
France) was way back in
1996 in a friendly 2-0 victory
against China.

2) The highest amount of goals
scored by half time occurred
in 1954, when Motherwell
and Dumbarton played out a
huge 6-6 draw; Motherwell
were 6-4 up at the end of
the first half - a huge 10
first half goals.

3) Quite fittingly, Pelé is the
youngest ever World Cup
winner, picking up the gold
in 1958 at just 17 years and
249 days.
Way up the other end of the
scale is former Italian
goalkeeper Dino Zoff, who in
1982 became the oldest
player to lift the trophy at
40 years and 133 days.

4) Andy Selva hold the
distinction of being the only
man to ever score a winning
goal for San Marino, having
scored in their 1-0 victory
against Liechtenstein in
2004 (in 121 games, San
Marino's record is 1 win, 3
draws and 117 losses).
Selva is also the nation's all
time top goalscorer, with 8
goals (in 64 appearances).
Manuel Marani is the only
other man to score on more
than one occasion for San
Marino, with 2 goals (34

5) Forget about Messi; if you
want to find a goalscorer,
look no further than
Fernando Peyroteo.
The Portuguese boasts the
world's greatest goals to
game ratio of 1.77, having
found the net an incredible
331 times in just 187 games
for Sporting Lisbon between
1937 and 1949 (compared to
Messi's 0.82 for Barcelona).
Adding to that, he
reportedly scored 4 or more
goals in a game on more
than 30 occasions, including
a phenomenal nine in one

6) No country has ever won the
World Cup during the
papacy (term) of a Pope
from the same country.
Not that it should worry
Argentina; Messi's broken
enough records already, so
what's one more?

7) Manchester United defender
Nemanja Vidic is the only
Premier League players
whose last name is
completely made up of
roman numerals: V (5), I (1),
D (500), I (1), C (100).
A gladiatorial name that
perfectly suits his play?

8) The power house nations of
Algeria, Ghana, South Korea
and Saudi Arabia are part of
an elite group; being the
only countries in the world
to boast an undefeated
record against England.

9) Arsenal are the only team to
have received a gold version
of the Premier League
trophy, when it was
specially made to
commemorate their 2004
‘Invincibles’ season, instead
of the silver trophy that
every other title winning
team have lifted.

10) In the 2009-10 season,
Barcelona's Pedro became
the first man to score in 6
different, official club
competitions in one season,
scoring in La Liga, the
Supercopa de España, the
Copa del Rey, the
Champions League, the UEFA
Super Cup and the FIFA Club
World Cup.
However, this has since
been trumped by Spanish
striker Fernando Torres,
who scored in 7 official club
competitions during the
2012-13 season. The Chelsea
striker netted in the Premier
League, Champions League,
Europa League, FIFA Club
World Cup, FA Community
Shield, FA Cup and League

11) Martin O'Neill's departure
from Sunderland is the first
time in his career that he
has left a professional club
because he has been sacked.
He has previously managed
Wycombe, Norwich,
Leicester, Celtic and Aston
Villa, but left them all on his
own terms.

12) Chelsea legend Gianfranco
Zola is the only player to be
sent off in a World Cup
finals... on his birthday! The
Italian received a red in
their second round victory
against Nigeria on his 28th
On the bright side, at least
he got a card from the
**I apologise for how
rubbish a joke that was...

13) Less of a football fact and
more pub quiz-y, but I think
this is brilliant. As the
question goes, ‘Sunderland
did it in 1979, Villa did it in
1981. Who did it in 1980?’
The answer isn’t another
team as you may expect, but
is in fact ‘Trevor Brooking’.
For Brooking scored the
winning goal in the 1980 FA
Cup Final for West Ham,
much like Alan Sunderland
did for Arsenal in 1979 and
Ricky Villa did for
Tottenham in 1981.

14) Arguably Finland’s greatest
ever player, Jari Litmanen
holds an incredibly unique
distinction: he is the only
footballer to have played
international football in four
different decades.
‘Kuningas’ made his Finland
debut in 1989 (the 80s), was
a regular throughout the
90s and 00s, before making
his final appearance in 2010
(the 10s). No surprise then
that he is the nation’s most
capped player, representing
Finland a whopping 137

15) Welshman Robert Earnshaw
boasts an impressive record
as the only player to have
scored hat tricks in: the top
four domestic leagues in
England (The Premiership
and Divisions 1, 2 and 3
before they were rebranded)
and both domestic cups in
England (the League and FA
Cups), along with netting a
treble in an international for
Hat tricks in 7 different
competitions doesn’t
scream complacency now,
does it..

16) While teams fluctuate in the
FIFA World Rankings,
Malaysia holds the record
for the greatest difference
between their highest and
lowest ever ranking. In
August 1993, the nation held
a respectable 75th position,
yet in June 2008 they were
170th – a difference of 95
places between their best
and worst ranking positions.

17) PSV Eindhoven appear to
claim an interesting
sponsorship record. With
the club originally founded
by engineering and
electronics giant Philips,
PSV, standing for ‘Philips
Vereniging’ (translating as
Philips Sports Union) have
retained these close links.
Thus since 1982, the first
year Eredivisie clubs were
permitted to have shirt
sponsorships, ‘Philips’ has
been imprinted on the
players’ torsos as the
primary shirt sponsor.
To show a comparison in
the same time period, (not
including different shirt
logos within the same
sponsorship) Chelsea and
AC Milan have had 9
different shirt sponsorships,
Real Madrid 8 and
Manchester United 5
(including Chevrolet, agreed
to commence 2014).

18) Winning the Copa
Libertadores with Atlético
Mineiro has placed
Ronaldinho into a very
exclusive club, becoming
one of only seven players to
win both this and the UEFA
Champions League, along
with Cafu, Dida, Roque
Júnior, Carlos Tevez, Juan
Pablo Sorín and Walter

19) Sergio Batista (1986) and
Gennaro Gattuso (2006) are
apparently the only 2
players to have won the
World Cup while sporting a
full beard.

20) In the wake of the Munich
Air Disaster, Real Madrid
President Santiago
Bernabeu’s respect for Sir
Matt Busby and his
Manchester United team led
to attempts to help rebuild
the club following such
They offered holidays to
Spain and allowed the use
of their facilities for the
bereaved, set up cut price
annual friendlies to help
raise funds, and even
offered Argentine legend
Alfredo Di Stéfano to the
club on loan (the player also
agreed but the move was
blocked by the FA as it was
considered a place that
could instead be used by
another British player).

21) Miguel Muñoz, Giovanni
Trapattoni, Johan Cruyff,
Carlo Ancelotti, Franch
Rijkaard and Josep
Guardiola are the only 6
people to win the European
Cup/Champions League
crown as both a player and
a manager, lifting the
trophy a whopping 23 times
between them.

22) Paul Merson stated in his
book that during his time at
Middlesbrough, himself and
Paul Gascoigne, who he was
living with, used to play a
game after training. They
would buy several bottles of
red wine and a packet of
sleeping pills, before betting
thousands of pounds on
who would fall asleep first.

23) Stefan Schwarz arguably had
the most bizarre clause to
have ever been inserted into
a player's contract. When
signing for Sunderland in
1999, the Swede was banned
from travelling into space!

24) Falkirk and River Plate are
the only two football clubs
outside of Italy, England
and Spain to have broken
the world record transfer
fee. Sydney Puddlefoot
joined the Scottish side for
a then record £5,000 in
1922, whilst the
Argentinians splashed out a
record £23,000 on Bernabe
Ferreyra ten years later.

25) Former Hammer Alvin
Martin achieved quite a feat
in 1986 when he scored a
hat trick – against 3
different goalkeepers. He
first scored past Newcastle
goalkeeper Martin Thomas,
who then came off at half
time having been struggling
with an injury coming in to
the match. With no
substitute goalkeeper,
centre back Chris Hedworth
went between the sticks and
was beaten for Martin’s
second before picking up an
injury, at which point
Geordie legend Peter
Beardsley donned the
gloves, being beaten for
Martin’s third.
Not bad for a centre back.

26) The much loved Football
Manager game was once
banned in China because it
'threatened its content
harmful to China's
sovereignty and territorial
integrity... (that) seriously
violates Chinese law'. This
was because the 2005
version included Taiwan and
Tibet as separate countries
and not as part of China.

27) Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano
Ronaldo recently scored his
518th career goal. However,
out of all these goals, he
has scored in all the minutes of a football match.
Discounting injury time
(where he has bagged 20
goals), Ronaldo's most
prolific minutes are the
68th, when he has netted 11
times, followed by the 23rd
minute, where he has 10!

28) Every player dreams of
representing their nation,
but as far as international
careers go, surely there are
none more strange than
Guillermo Stábile’s.
Uncapped for Argentina,
Stábile was selected for the
first ever World Cup in
1930. After missing the first
game, he was selected for
his debut as a replacement
for the unfit first choice –
and bagged a hat trick. He
then scored 2 goals in the
final group game to secure
qualification to the semi
finals (as there were less
teams competing). He
bagged another brace in the
semi final, before netting a
single goal in their
unsuccessful final versus
winners Uruguay.
After this tournament,
Stábile never played for
Argentina again. This meant
that in his international
career, he could boast
having scored a hat trick on
his debut, scoring in every
game he played for the
national side, a goals per
game ratio of two (four
games, eight goals), and
being the top scorer at the
first ever FIFA World Cup.

29) Former Paris Saint-Germain
and Tottenham star David
Ginola is very unfortunate:
his name is an anagram for
‘vagina dildo’.

30) This season has seen the
Premier League be unusually
tight, yet it is nothing on
the final standings in the
1983-84 season in
Romania’s third division,
which consisted of 16
teams. Just 10 points
separated Champions
Muresul Deva (38 points),
and bottom placed Minerul
Aninoasa (28).
Perhaps even more
unbelievable, however, is
that the champions were
somewhat run away leaders:
second placed UMT
Timisoara mustered just 31
points, meaning that just 2
points separated 2nd from
15th, who had 29 points.
Truly unbelievable stuff –
the final league table truly
was outstanding.

This post first appeared on Soccer Fanzone: Football Statistics | Football Articles, please read the originial post: here

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30 Truly Random Football Facts


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