The beautiful game has once again captured the hearts and minds of the general public. If you are currently experiencing EURO 2020 delirium, you will be sure to find the amazing football facts listed below incredibly interesting.
Here are nine hard-to-believe football factoids:
1. Mark Hughes played for two teams in one day
These days, most football players moan if they are forced to play two games within the same week. Back in 1987, there was no such complaining from Welsh hero Mark ‘Sparky’ Hughes. He was not just asked to lace up his boots twice in the same week, and he actually played two games on the same day!
First up, he took part in an important European Championship 1988 qualifying match for his country, Wales. After playing against Czechoslovakia in Prague, he flew to Germany to play a cup game for the club he had recently signed for, Bayern Munich. It was a bit of a rush, but Hughes managed to turn up at the stadium just in time to play the second half of the match against Borussia Monchengladbach.
Talk about a hectic day!
2. Bayern Munich had a representative in 9 consecutive World Cup finals
Another hard-to-believe fact relating to German giants Bayern Munich was astonishingly represented by at least one of their players in 9 consecutive World Cup finals. From 1982 right the way through to 2014, Munich players such as Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Jorginho, Oliver Kahn, Arjen Robben, and Thomas Muller have all had the honour of gracing the biggest sporting event in the world.
3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has never won the Champions League
Despite having played for six of the most successful football clubs in Europe, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has never actually won the biggest prize of them all: the Champions League. This is quite an astonishing fact when you consider the number of games he is played and the number of goals he is scored in the tournament.
Having recently led his beloved AC Milan back to the tournament for the first time in seven years, perhaps Zlatan will finally get his hands on the iconic trophy next season? To find out what chance he has of achieving this amazing feat at the ripe old age of 40, be sure to check out the odds.
4. Cristiano Ronaldo has scored a goal in every minute of a football match
Over the course of his illustrious career, Cristiano Ronaldo has been awarded just about every accolade going in the world of football. Personal honours, club trophies, international competitions — he has been there, won it all!
One of CR7’s most impressive accolades is the fact that he has scored one goal in every minute of a football match. From the first minute all the way through to the 90th, he has managed to put the ball in the back of the net at least once. Not even a certain Lionel Messi has managed to replicate this awesome feat…
5. Gary Lineker never received a referee booking in over 600 games
When it comes to footballing nice guys, Gary Lineker is up there with the best of them. The legendary English striker never received a booking from the referee, which is mind-boggling when you consider the fact that he played over 600 games in his career.
6. West Ham player Alvin Martin once scored a hat-trick against three individual goalies
Former West Ham football player, Alvin Martin, had a game to remember back in 1986. On 21 April of that year, his Hammers side played against Newcastle United, and what happened in the game has since gone down in English football folklore. Martin managed to score a hat-trick of goals… against three different goalkeepers! Martin Thomas, Chris Hedworth, and Peter Beardsley all took turns in goal for Newcastle that day, and all three of them were beaten by Martin.
7. Man Utd legend Sir Matt Busby once played for Man City and Liverpool
When you talk about Manchester United legends, Sir Matt Busby is one of the first names that you mention. He led the Red Devils to their first ever European Cup trophy, which in turn set them on course for unrivalled success over the half-century that followed. Before he became a United legend, however, Sir Matt actually played for their two biggest rivals, Man City and Liverpool.
8. France were consistently the first beneficiaries of new football technology
Over the past decade, more and more tech has been integrated into the beautiful game to improve match quality, quickness, and fairness. Since the inception of VAR and goal-line technology, France has consistently found themselves being the first beneficiaries for whatever reason. Back in 2014, French striker Karim Benzema scored the very first goal to be awarded due to goal-line tech. At the 2018 World Cup, the French were also awarded the first penalty via VAR. France are one of the favorite’s in the 2020 Euro’s. You can check out Euro 2020 winner bets to liven up this year’s tournament.
9. Barcelona have never beaten… Scottish football team Dundee United
European footballing heavyweights Barcelona have enjoyed a vast amount of success over the years. Having produced and played host to some of the finest football players ever to grace planet earth, they are definitely worthy of being considered the world’s greatest ever team. Barca has not, however, managed to beat every team they have come up against. Curiously, they’ve never managed to win or even draw a game against — wait for it — Dundee United! It is true, and little Dundee has managed to retain a 100% record against five-time European Cup winners Barcelona. You could not make it up.
Do you want to impress your mates in your next sports quiz? If so, be sure to remember all of the hard-to-believe football facts listed above. From Mark Hughes playing for two teams in one day all the way through to Dundee United being a constant thorn in Barca’s side, you will be sure to leave your friends in awe of your unique footballing knowledge.