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Interesting facts and figures…

The following are some interesting facts and figures about FIFA World Cup

1. Including the 2010 edition, a total of 76 teams will have taken part in the World Cup finals. This includes teams which either no longer exist or have undergone a transformation. When the World Cup was expanded to 24 teams, five countries qualified for the finals for the first time. Since then, there have always been three or four new teams, six in 2006. The 2010 FIFA World Cup will be an exception to the trend as Slovakia will be the only debutant.

2. The most successful teams are those which have been in the FIFA World Cup the highest number of times. Taking this into account Brazil have been in 19 WCs, Italy and Germany in 17 and Argentina in 15.

3. Brazil is the most prolific team in World Cup history in terms of goals scored — 201 followed by Germany (190), Italy (122) and Argentina (113). Aside from goal-scoring Brazil's World Cup track record is impressive: 19 tournaments, 5 titles, 92 games, 64 victories and 2.2 points per game.

4. With regard to African World Cup history, Egypt was the first of Africa's teams to appear in the FIFA World Cup. This was in 1934 when they played just one match against Hungary and were eliminated. Morocco was the next African participant in 1970. The first continental win was in 1978 when Tunisia beat Mexico 3-1. In 1982 Cameroon was the African team to be eliminated after three draws. In 1986 Morocco became the first African team to qualify for the second stage in 1986.

5. Austria's 7-5 win over Switzerland in 1954 still tops the list of highest-scoring matches.

6. The three biggest scoring victories have been matches with a margin of 9 goals. In 1954 Puskas & Co. defeated South Korea 9-0. In 1982 it was Hungary again who subjected El Salvador to a similar fate by beating them 10-1. In 1974 Yugoslavia also triumphed over Zaire with a 9-0 win.

7. A total of 2,063 goals have been scored in the 708 matches that have been played so far — an average of nearly three goals per game. The 1954 tournament in Switzerland had the greatest average of goals scored — 5.4 per match. This is compared to 2.2 goals per match, the lowest ever, in Italia'90.

8. Brazil's Ronaldo is not only the best ever scorer with 15 goals but also the player who has scored in the most number of matches, 11. He is followed by Germany's Jurgen Klinsmann who scored his 11 in 10 different matches. The record for a single tournament is held by Frenchman Just Fontaine who incredibly scored 13 times in 1958. Kocsis has the best goal score average with 11 goals in five games.

9. Pele is the only player with three World Cup wins to his name (1958, 1962 and 1970), although in 1962 he did miss most of the games through injury, including the final. His compatriot team member Cafu is the only player to have played in three consecutive finals (1994-2002). — Compiled by A. Vinod; Source: FIFA

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