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Friday, 4 June 2010






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FIFA World Cup

Amazing facts from finals

* Italian FA chief Dr Ottorino Barassi was so worried that the German army might steal the Jules Rimet trophy that he kept it under his bed in a shoebox for the duration of the 1934 tournament..

* BMW gave each competing team a luxury coach to use during the 1974 tournament. Police had to reclaim Zaire's after the team left their hotel in it, intending to drive it home to Africa

* Frank Borghi, America's goalkeeper when they beat England at the 1950 finals, was a baseball player and part-time hearse driver who never learned to kick the ball. He threw the ball to a defender after saves and had a team-mate take goal kicks. Borgi never wore gloves - unlike USA full-back Charlie 'Gloves' Colombo, who always did.

* In 2006, Ecuadorian shaman Tzamarenda Naychapi was allowed to "purify" each German stadium by letting out a loud scream to chase away evil spirits.

* Ronaldo decided to switch to his 'half-moon' hairstyle in the later stages of the 2002 tournament after he saw his infant son Ronald kissing a picture of Roberto Carlos, apparently believing the diddy defender was his dad.

* Greeted by a Japanese hostess on arrival at the finals, Ronaldo responded by sticking out his teeth still further and making the 'slitty-eyes' gesture.

* The crowd for Romania v Peru at the 1930 finals was only 300.

* Belgian keeper Paul Preud'homme used to wear a shirt of Standard Liege (his first club) under his national jersey during international matches. He had to abandon this tradition in USA because of the heat.

* The 1974 final was delayed by 10 minutes because officials had forgotten to put in the corner and centre-line flags.

* The opening match of the 1966 tournament, against Uruguay, was delayed because seven England players had left their FIFA registration cards back at the team hotel. A police motorcyclist was sent to get them.

* Switzerland centre-forward Poldi Kielholz scored three goals in two matches at the 1934 finals despite keeping his spectacles on during matches.

* The 1938 top scorer Leonidas became a private detective after retiring.

* Hector Castro, who scored the winner in the 1930 World Cup final, accidentally cut off his right arm with an electric saw when he was 13. He was known as El Manco - The Maimed.

* Uruguay were sequestered in a hideaway for eight weeks before the 1930 finals. Keeper Antonio Mazzali was caught sneaking out to see his family and was kicked out of the squad.

* The Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) side which appeared at the 1938 finals was captained by a doctor, Acmad Nawir, who wore glasses during the games.

* The New York Times refused to report that the USA had beaten England 1-0 at the 1950 World Cup because editors believed the scoreline was a hoax.

* Uruguay's 2-1 win over France at the 1966 World Cup was played at White City Stadium, Shepherd's Bush, because Wembley stadium was already booked for a greyhound race night.



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