80 Soccer Facts (That Will Amaze You Today)

80 Soccer Facts (That Will Amaze You Today)

Last updated on July 10th, 2023 at 11:18 am

Are you looking for interesting soccer facts? SoccerNovo has you covered! We’ve compiled 80 of the latest and greatest soccer facts that will blow your mind.

From the highest-paid player to the most defeated Premier League teams and everything in between, you’ll want to check these interesting soccer facts out!

General Soccer Facts

  1. Soccer was invented sometime between 206 B.C. – 220 A.D. in China.
  2. Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, with an estimated 4 billion global fans.
  3. Soccer is played in over 200 countries around the globe.
  4. The first soccer balls in Europe were made from inflated pig bladders.
  5. The first soccer balls in China were made from sewn clothing with rubble inside.
  6. The maximum number of players on a soccer team is 11 (including the goalie).
  7. Soccer is the only major sport that doesn’t allow players (excluding goalies) to use their hands.
  8. The average soccer player runs 7 miles in a 90-minute match.
  9. Only 9 countries in the world use the term “soccer” over “football” to describe the game.
  10. Goalkeepers started wearing different colored jerseys in 1913.
  11. A goalkeeper has six seconds to get rid of the ball after he/she picks it up.
  12. The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be hosted by North American countries (USA, Canada and Mexico) in 16 different cities.
  13. US Youth Soccer registers nearly 3 million players every year.

International Soccer Facts

  1. The FIFA World Cup is the most-watched sporting event in the world.
  2. The most expensive transfer was set by Neymar Jr. when he went from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain for €222 million or $263 million.
  3. In 2022, Cristiano Ronaldo signed a 2.5-year contract with Al Nassr (Saudi Arabia) worth about a whopping $200M per season.
  4. The highest soccer jersey number for an official soccer competition was 121 worn by Thomas Oar.
  5. Pele received his nickname because he had six toes on each foot. “Pele” means “six feet” in Brazilian Portuguese.
  6. A lightning strike in 1998 killed an entire soccer team from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  7. Pele has the most goals in soccer history with 1,279.
  8. Referees were not used in official soccer games until 1881. Players were responsible for making the calls on the pitch.
  9. The fastest red card given in soccer history is 2 seconds. In 2000, Lee Todd of Cross Farm Park Celtic swore about the volume of the whistle.
  10. Red and yellow cards were first introduced in the 1970 World Cup.
  11. The “old school” black and white soccer ball had 32 shapes which stood for the 32 European nations.
  12. The oldest professional club in the world is Sheffield FC which was founded in 1857 and still exists today.
  13. Approximately 70% of the world’s soccer balls are made in Sialkot, Pakistan.
  14. The country of Greenland has never had a team recognized by FIFA.
  15. The Olympics has an age limit of 23 but they have an exception where only three players can be older.
  16. The first televised game happened in 1937 when Arsenal took on England.
  17. Turkey eliminated Spain from the 1954 World Cup by drawing straws.
  18. Cristiano Ronaldo built a museum dedicated to himself. It’s called the CR7 Cristiano Ronaldo Museum.
  19. Russian soccer player, Oleg Salenko, holds the record for most goals scored in a single World Cup match with five.
  20. Marc Burrows has the fastest recorded goal scored in a professional match. It took him only 2.56 seconds to score in 2004.
  21. The World Cup was made out of paper mache up until 1950.
  22. European teams have reached the final of every World Cup tournament except in 1930 and 1950.
  23. Qatar is the first Arabian country to host a World Cup.
  24. Since 2011, Lebron James has had a 2% minority stake in Liverpool. He exchanged his shares in 2022 for part-ownership of FSG. It is estimated the value is worth £35 million in profit.
  25. Soccer is an Olympic Games sport and has been since 1900 for men and 1996 for women.
  26. The highest-scoring soccer match on record was 149-0, which occurred in 2002 in Madagascar. The losing side, Stade Olympique, staged a protest in the match. In reality, this wasn’t a ‘real match’.
  27. The longest soccer match on record was played in England with Stockport and Doncaster Rovers. The match lasted three hours and 23 minutes.
  28. In 2022, Kylian Mbappe was the highest paid soccer player in the world. He was only 23 years old.
  29. The most successful national team in international competition is Brazil, who have won the World Cup a record five times.
  30. Uruguay won the first World Cup in 1930.
  31. Miroslav Klose of Germany has the most World Cup goals of all-time.
  32. The most goals scored in a single season in the Spanish La Liga is 50, by Lionel Messi of Barcelona in 2011-2012.
  33. Manchester United has the most titles (13) in the Premier League.
  34. Everton is the most defeated team in Premier League history. West Ham United and Aston Villa are second and third most defeated respectively.
  35. Alan Shearer and Andy Cole hold the record for most goals (34) in a single 42-game season.
  36. Mohamed Salah holds the record for most goals (32) in a single 38-game season.
  37. Alan Shearer and Wayne Rooney have the most missed (11) penalties of all-time.

MLS Facts

  1. The Major League Soccer (MLS) was founded in 1993 and there were only 10 teams.
  2. The first MLS season started in 1996 with D.C. United defeating L.A. Galaxy for the championship.
  3. There are currently 29 teams in the MLS.
  4. In 2007, MLS expanded to include teams from Canada.
  5. The United States agreed to start a professional soccer league if FIFA awarded the World Cup to be hosted in the states.
  6. There were thirty-seven MLS players playing in the 2022 World Cup.
  7. Chris Wondolowski has the most goals (171) in MLS history.
  8. Landon Donovan has the most assists (136) in MLS history. He’s also second all-time in scoring.
  9. Carlos Vela has the most goals (34) in a single MLS season.
  10. The New England Revolution has the most points in a single season. They totaled 73 points in the 2021 season.
  11. The highest single scoring game in MLS history is 11 in 1998 between L.A. Galaxy (7 goals) and Colorado Rapids (4 goals).
  12. L.A. Galaxy has the longest winning streak of all-time. From September 7, 1997 to May 17, 1998, they won 15 matches in a row.
  13. In 2022, the highest paid MLS player is Chicago Fire FC’s Xherdan Shaqiri with an annual salary of $8,153,000.
  14. In 2022, the average MLS salary for a player is $312,470.
  15. MLS is sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF).
  16. MLS NEXT was created in 2020 to complete the pathway from youth soccer to the professional-level.
  17. The most successful MLS team is the Los Angeles Galaxy, who have won the MLS Cup a record 5 times.
  18. The most attended MLS match was between Charlotte FC and Atlanta United in 2022. This was Charlotte’s inaugural season. A crowd of 73,019 watched the match.
  19. The highest transfer fee paid for an MLS player was $16 million, which was paid by Atlanta United for Thiago Almada in 2022.

Women’s Facts

  1. Since 1991, U.S. National Women’s Soccer has won four titles and a runner up in eight of the World Cups.
  2. The University of North Carolina (UNC) has won 16 national championships in women’s soccer.
  3. The Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA) was formed in 2001. Eight teams participated and two years later it was dissolved.
  4. The first recorded women’s soccer match took place in 1895 in Scotland.
  5. The highest attendance for a women’s soccer match was 91,553 when Barcelona played Real Madrid in 2022. The previous record was held when USA took on China in the 1999 World Cup Final.
  6. The highest transfer fee paid for a female soccer player is £470,000, which was paid by Barcelona for Keira Walsh in 2022.
  7. The 1991 Women’s World Cup was only 80-minute matches. They added 10 more minutes to make it the same as men’s in subsequent years.
  8. Before the 1999 World Cup finals in the U.S., Jennifer Lopez shot scenes for her music video “Let’s Get Loud.”
  9. China was supposed to host the 2003 Women’s World Cup but it had to be moved to the U.S. because of the SARS outbreak.
  10. Carli Lloyd is the highest-paid female soccer player in the world with an annual salary of $518,000.
  11. The current top-tier professional women’s soccer league in the United States is the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), which was founded in 2012.
Beau Bridges - Soccer Novo Hey 👋 I’m Beau. A proud Dad, former coach and soccer enthusiast. I continue to love the game of soccer today the same way I did when I was 7. I created soccernovo.com to share what I know about the game as well as provide a platform so other parents can learn more about youth soccer in the U.S.

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