FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar has reached the knockout phases with only 2 Round of 16 matches to go. France, England, Croatia, Brazil, Argentina and Netherlands have booked their spots for the last 8 while the remaining 2 slots will be filled after tonight’s fixtures between Portugal Vs. Switzerland and Morocco Vs. Spain.
In this feature, Sportzcraazy will reveal 5 Unknown and amazing facts about FIFA World Cup that you had no idea of.
1. The last 7 penalty shootouts at FIFA World Cup was won by the team that went second – Call it a curse or a co-incidence but the after Croatia defeated Japan last night by 3-1 on penalties, the last 7 World cup penalty shootouts have been won by the team that took the penalty second. 4 out of those 7 shootouts came during the 2018 FIFA World cup in Russia alone with 2 coming in the 2014 edition. Penalty shootouts are all about luck and how you control your emotions at the most crucial stage. Apparently the team going second in the penalty kick have handled the pressure very well and came out on top. It all started during the Quarter-finals of 2014 FIFA World cup when Netherlands went second after Costa Rica made it 1-0. The Dutch goalkeeper Tim Krul made 2 saves (4-3) to proceed to the Semi-finals. During the Semi-finals of 2014 World cup it happened again and this time Netherlands became the recipients. They were up against Lionel Messi’s Argentina and Ron Vlaas shot the first penalty and missed. Messi took the following penalty and put Argentina in front with his Goalie Sergio Romero making 2 saves to make it 4-2. The next 4 instances came in 2018 with Russia, England and Croatia (twice) went to take the second shot and won the match. Last night Croatia won their third consecutive penalty shootout after beating Japan all by going second.
2. Olivier Giroud became the highest goal scorer in France’s history – Former Arsenal and Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud overtook Theirry Henry to become the highest goal scorer for the French national team. The 2018 World cup winner has been in sublime form for his country as they look to defend the title they won 4 years ago. Before France took on Poland at the round of 16, Giroud was just a goal away from becoming the all-time top scorer for Les Blues. During France’s opening at the 2022 WC against Australia, Giroud started the game and found the back of the net twice and took his tally to 51 international goals. The number 9 made his second start in the tournament at the round of 16 against Poland and scored his 52nd goal in French colors ton win the match by 3-1.
3. Lionel Messi and Argentine great Diego Maradona have created the exact same chances at WC – In the history of FIFA World Cup Argentina’s Talismanic number 10 Lionel and former World cup winner Late Diego Maradona, both have created exactly the same number of chances for a goal i.e 67. Another co-incidence being 48 out of those 67 chances have come from open play. Another similarity between the two legends of football is that both of them have made exactly 103 touches in the opposition box. Really astonishing but Messi has the chance of toppling all the aforementioned stats during the on going world cup.
4. England’s Kyle Walker has been wearing the same shin pads for 18 years – A little uncanny as it sounds but England and Manchester City Right-back Kyle Walker has continued to wear the same shin pads since he was 14-years-old. Sources revealed in 2021, that Manchester City’s kit man can forget to carry everything but Kyle Walker’s shin pads. It is indeed a superstition for the quick right back and every player has it. Although, if we talk about his career, Walker is one of the most successful English full-back, winning 4 Premier League trophies, 4 Carabao cups, One FA Cup and 2 Community shields. Walker has played in 4 major tournaments for the Three Lions wearing the same shin pads!
5. Brazil the first team in WC history to use every single player in the Squad – During Brazil’s 4-1 victory against South Korea at the round of 16, Brazil brought in Third choice goalkeeper Weverton in place of number 1 choice Alisson Becker. By doing so, head coach Tite has now given every member of the Brazilian team the chance to play at the grandest stage of Football. In his own words, Tite described that giving Weverton the chance to play last night was to make sure that all of his players are featured at least once at the World cup. “It has been very nice to give Weverton minutes. We have a feeling of gratitude to everyone who has come here to support us” – said Tite after the match.
🇧🇷 After Weverton was subbed on last night, it meant that every member of Brazil's 26-man squad had made an appearance at #Qatar2022. They have now fielded more players than any other nation has at a #FIFAWorldCup pic.twitter.com/s3F0JnPUy5
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) December 6, 2022