15 Facts You Should Know About Soccer

Posted Jun 29, by Val Liarikos

Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho first gained media attention after he scored every goal in a 23-0 game at age 13.

Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, or Ronaldinho, is a Brazilian football (soccer) star who has twice won FIFA World Player of the Year. Ronaldinho was born in Porto Alegre as the son of a salesperson and shipyard worker. 

His father had also played football, but had died of a heart attack when Ronaldinho was eight. When Ronaldinho’s older brother signed with a football team, the family moved to a more wealthy area. It was short lived, though, as his brother ended his career after an injury.

 When Ronaldinho was only 8, he also began to show skills in football. When he was 13, and scored 23 goals in a 23-0 victory against a local team. He was identified as a rising star at the 1997 U-17 World Championship, where he scored two goals from penalty kicks. 

From there, his fame rose to where he is today. If you remember when YouTube was brand new, you might recall that a 2005 Nike advertisement featuring Ronaldinho performing impressive feats with a soccer ball was the first YouTube video to break 1 million views. 

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The highest scoring soccer game was 149-0!

You’re probably wondering how a soccer team could be so bad that they let 149 goals be scored, but the truth is it was a form of protest. The event occurred in 2002 after a 2-2 draw between rival teams Stade Olympique de L’emyrne, or SOE, and AS Adema of Madagascar, which resulted in the referees awarding a penalty causing SOE to lose the game. 

As a form of protest for being robbed of the title because of a penalty, the players purposefully scored 149 goals into their own net at the next game as spectators stormed the ticket booths demanding refunds. Besides being very confused at first, the opposing team eventually stood around in good humor at the planned stunt. 

The result? Besides losing 149-0 and breaking the previous record from 1885 of 36-0, the SOE coach was suspended along with several of his players and captain. 

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Spain is the first team to win the UEFA European Football Championship twice in a row, and the first national team to win three major soccer tournaments in a row. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UEFA_European_Football_Championship
Soccer facts reveal that only the United States and Canada actually call soccer “soccer.” Source: http://www.the-soccer-coach.com/soccer_facts/soccer_facts.html

Barbados once had to score a goal on themselves in order to win a soccer match!

This happened in a late game of the Caribbean Cup tournament in 1994. It sounds really strange but there's a really good reason for why Barbados had to do this. They were playing Grenada, and they needed to win by 2 goals in order to make it through to the next round of the tournament. 

Although they had led for 2-0 most of the game, Grenada scored a goal in the 71st minute. The 2-1 score would have meant Barbados would've gone out of the tournament. So what did they have to do?

Force a tie, and go to overtime. The overtime would be played under golden goal rules (the first to score, wins) and the golden goal was worth 2 goals. Therefore, Barbados had a better chance at getting through by tying the game and scoring the golden goal. 

Grenada caught wind of what they were doing, and you had the funny situation in which Barbados was trying to score a goal on their own goal, and Barbados was trying to defend their opponent's goal! In the end Barbados scored the golden goal and went on to the next round of the tourney.

 What do you think, ingenious play or a cheap tactic?

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A bolt of lightning killed an entire soccer team during a game in 1998!

In October of 1998 a bolt of lightning killed an entire 11-man soccer team from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The opposing team was completely unharmed. Thirty more people had burn injuries.

Some people thought the team had been cursed and that was what caused the lightning to strike them. The game was a draw at 1-1 when the lightning struck the visiting team in the province of Kasai in the eastern region of the DRC. 

Incidentally, a similar situation happened the following weekend in Johannesburg, South Africa. A Premier League soccer match was suddenly stopped when lightning struck the field. 

Half of the players from both teams, the Jomo Cosmos and the Moroka Swallows, fell to the ground. Several of the players writhed on the ground holding their ears and eyes in pain. Luckily, no one was killed in that incident. 

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Cristiano Ronaldo one of the best Soccer players in the world. From Portugal was named after the United States president Ronald Reagan. According to his mother. Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx4ua0-3k5c&feature=related

A South Korean player who scored a goal to eliminate Italy from the 2002 World Cup was fired from his club for 'ruining Italian Football.'

Ahn Jung-Hwan had joined the AC Perugia as a loan player. In the 2002 world cup, he scored a goal in extra time that sent South Korea to the quarter-finals, eliminating Italy from contention. The very next day, his contract with AC Perugia was cancelled by the owner of the team. Luciano Gaucci, the owner, reportedly said "I have no intention of paying a salary to someone who has ruined Italian football."

After he calmed down, he took back his words and offered to restore his contract. Ahn Jung-Hwan, however, was not interested anymore. He was insulted that they would 'insult his character' instead of congratulating him for making the goal. If you were the owner, what would you have done? What if you were the player?

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Kids in a Thai village wanted to play soccer. They didn't have a place to practice, so they built a floating wooden pitch themselves!

The village is set on a lake surrounded by a beautiful set of mountains and forests. However, this means that the tiny villages didn't have enough flat space around to practice and play soccer. They watched it on TV and they loved it, but were never able to play. 

Some of the kids decided they wanted to form a team and figured out how to fix their space issue. They collected old wood, a couple old barges, and fishing net. After school they worked on their wooden soccer field. It was small and had nails sticking out everywhere. The ball fell into the water constantly and so did the boys. They got really good at their footwork, though, due to the small space and got really good at playing on a slippery surface.

They ended up playing in a tournament on the mainland and got to the semifinals. They lost by one point, but the village got really excited and they were able to build a nice soccer field. Their team is now regarded as one of the best in South Asia. They’ve even won the youth soccer championships from 2004-2010!

The dribble in soccer are actually kicks. The dribble are actually kicks that are light enough to stay in front of you. Many coaches like to call them 'taps' but they are wrong. The trick to it is mainly kick the ball lightly with your foot. People prefer to use the inside of their foot. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dribbling

There are over 340,000 slaves in the world today! Where are they?

Thought slavery was abolished all around the world? Think again. A new CNN report has revealed that there are still slaves in the world today, in fact there is between 340,000 and 680,000, that is between 10-20% of the total population! These slaves are found in the very small Saharan nation, Mauritania. In 1981, Mauritania was the last country to abolish slavery.

Unfortunately, all activists in the country are arrested if they protest the practice of slavery, and the government denies that slavery exists within the country! Up until 2007, slavery wasn’t even a crime in Mauritania! Since then, only ONE slave owner has been arrested and penalized. Do these statistics seem a little fishy? You have to read the source to get the full story.

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jellyfish can change genders up to 7 times a month Source: ifunny

A soccer player is credited for ending a 5 year war in his home country of the Ivory Coast!

For five years in the Ivory Coast the north was held by the rebels and the south held by the government loyals. Didier Drogba plays for Chelsea in England and is the team captain and star striker for the Ivory Coast Elephants. 

Drogba pleased the warring factions to have a cease-fire. Surprisingly, they heard him and a cease-fire was enacted. Drogba suggested in an interview that the game against Madagascar be played in Bouake, the rebel-north’s capital city. The game brought the whole country together for the first time in five years. 

Government military were invited to the game to help maintain control during and after the soccer match. It was the first time in five years that they’d been in the north without any violence and fighting involved. After the game, the rebellion army and the government military worked together to control the crowd. The Ivorian Elephants beat Madagascar 5-0. 

Drogba brought the country together again through soccer. Men began dressing like Drogba and women fell head over heels for him. Drogba became an icon. 

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China once banned a soccer simulation game.

The game was called Football Manager 2005, and was released on November 5, 2004 by Sports Interactive and Sega. The game’s focus is management of a soccer team. Seems harmless enough, right? 

Shortly after its release, it was found that regions like Tibet and Taiwan were included as separate countries. Tibet has had a long history as a territory of the People’s Republic of China, and because the game treated Tibet as a sovereign nation, China wasn’t happy. 

Officially, it was banned because the game “threatened its content harmful to China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity... [that] seriously violates Chinese law and has been strongly protested by our nation’s gamers.” 

Sports Interactive responded by saying that a fixed Chinese version of the game would be released, and clarified that the offending version wasn’t intended to be released in China in the first place. That version wasn’t available in Chinese, but had been imported, downloaded, or sold in illegal software shops. 

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If you throw an object at 11 kilometers per second on Earth, it will never land.
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