Little football fans everywhere are already gearing up for one of the most exciting sporting events of the year. The FIFA World Cup™ is the biggest single-event sporting competition in the world. The competition has been played every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held due to the Second World War.
The World Cup 2014 will be held in Brazil, and with the Olympic Games 2016 also scheduled to be held there, it’s an exciting time to be in the world’s fifth biggest country. Not least because Brazil have won the Wold Cup five times, and they are the only team to have played in every tournament.
Millions of fans around the world are expected to tune in for the games. An estimated 715.1 million people watched the final match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup held in Germany and the 2010 event in South Africa was broadcast to 204 countries on 245 different channels. A total of 3,170,856 spectators in the stadiums attended the 64 matches, an average of 49,670 per match and the third highest aggregate attendance behind USA 1994 and Germany 2006.
The cup doesn’t start until June, but if you’ll be watching with the kids this year, get ready in plenty of time with our ‘Football Fun’ activities the whole family can enjoy.
In the first in our Football Fun series, learn all about Brazil with our top 10 facts. Scroll down to to read more, or click on the button to shop our brilliant football collection for mini fans.
FOOTBALL FUN: 10 FACTS ABOUT BRAZIL
1. Brazil is the largest country in South America and the fifth largest in the world. The Federative Republic of Brazil spans 8,500,000 square kilometers of the east continent of South America.
2. Brazil was discovered in 1500 by the Portugese explorer Pedro Cabral. He found South America on his travels to India.
3. The Cerrado savannah region covers 20% of the country and produces 70% of the nation’s cattle. Brazil has become the world’s largest exporter of beef.
4. Flowing across nine countries from the Peruvian Andes to the Brazilian Atlantic coast, the Amazon is the world’s second longest river. 4000 miles long and up to 15 miles wide, it contains 20% of the world’s fresh water.
5. Brazil has been the world’s biggest gold producer since the 18th century.
6. San Paolo is the biggest city, with over 20 million people living there.
7. Brazilian footballer Pele is considered to be one of the greatest footballers of all time. In his career, he scored a total of 1,283 first-class goals, including 77 for Brazil and won three World Cups.
8. The Pantanal extends from western Brazil to Paraguay and is the world’s largest wetland. Vistors can see more species of birds there than anywhere else in the world.
9. Brazil is home to the world’s longest snake, the anaconda, which can grow up to 20 feet long.
10. The Brazilian rainforest provides 20% of the world’s oxygen and around half of all known plant species grow there.