European Soccer – Interesting Facts!


Did you know- Ferec Puskas, one of the most brilliantly shining stars of the football history, participated twice at the World Cup. He competed for Hungary in 1954 and then played for Spain in 1962. Puskas also took part in the Games of the XV Olympiad in Finland in 1952, where the Hungarian squad won the gold medal. From 1945 to 1962, he scored more than 750 goals. On the other hand, Hungary is the most successful squad in the men’s soccer event at the Summer Games, having won gold three times.


Did you know- Portugal’s athlete Eusebio was one of the top-ranked players at the VIII World Tournament in the mid-1960s. Eusebio hails from Mozambique, an African republic which has never qualified for the FIFA World Cup.


Did you know- Switzerland is the smallest nation ever to hold the FIFA World Tournament. Between June 16 and July 4, 1954, this European country, more than twice the size of Hawaii (USA), hosted the universal tournament. Sixteen teams participated in 1954: West Germany (winner), Hungary (runner-up), Austria, Uruguay, Switzerland (host nation), Brazil, England, Yugoslavia (present-day Serbia), France, Italy, Turkey, Belgium, Mexico, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic and Slovakia), Scotland and South Korea.


Did you know- Surprisingly Turkey, traditionally a wrestling power, won the bronze medal at the FIFA World Championship in Germany in 2002 in South Korea and Japan, behind Brazil and Germany. This was Turkey’s second World Cup appearance. Between June 16 and July 4, 1954, the country made its World Cup debut in Switzerland, where it finished 11th.


Did you know- Between 1956 and 1990, Ukraine competed in the global event under the Soviet flag.

USSR ( Now Russia)

Did you know- The FIFA Under-20 World Championship was held in Moscow -host of the 1980 Summer Olympics– in the mid-1980s. Sixteen teams competed in Moscow, Soviet Union/USSR (today Russia). The champion was Brazil, followed by Spain (runner-up), Nigeria (third), Soviet Union (fourth). The People’s Republic of China ranked fifth; Bulgaria, sixth; Mexico, seventh; Colombia, eighth; Saudi Arabia, ninth; Australia, tenth; Hungary, eleventh; England, twelfth; Paraguay, thirteenth; Ireland, fourteenth; Tunisia, fifteenth; Canada, sixteenth.

Yugoslavia (Now Serbia)

Did you know- At the FIFA World Tournament in Rome, between June 8 and July 8, 1990, Yugoslavia, present-day Serbia, was one of the six best teams on Earth, behind West Germany, Argentina, Italy (host country), England, and Czechoslovakia. The last time an Communist nation advanced to the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup was in July 1982 when Poland won a bronze medal in the global event in Spain, at the expense of France and Brazil.

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