What soccer player made headlines when he agreed to come out of retirement to play for his country in the World Cup finals? He hit four goals in five games and went on to become the oldest player ever to score in the final round. What was his age? THE past six decades of World Cup soccer have produced more than 1,400 goals in the final rounds. Who scored the first goal in a World Cup final round? SINCE the first World Cup finals in Uruguay in 1930, no European team have managed to win the tournament when played on the American continent. The South American teams have also come off second-best whenever the tournament has been played in Europe - with one exception. Which team and at which tournament? IN the first World Cup in Uruguay in 1930, a surprise team, nicknamed ''the shot-putters'' because of their bulky build, reached the semi-finals. Their squad included six British ex-professionals. Can you name that team? IN that 1930 World Cup, Argentinian Guillermo Stabile emerged as the leading scorer with eight goals. Forty-eight years later, fellow Argentinian Mario Kempes scored six of his country's 15 goals and helped his team win the World Cup title. How many goals did he score in the final itself? THE 1974 World Cup finals began with a 0-0 draw. Who scored the first goal in these finals? Clue: He also scored the last goal of the '82 finals.
ONE of this year's South American teams will be participating in the World Cup for the first time in more than 40 years. Although they took part in two previous final rounds, they failed to score even one goal in any of their matches. Which country is this and in which World Cup final rounds did they take part? BRAZIL won the World Cup in 1958 and Italy, in 1982. Only once during this period has a team taken the title after winning all of their final-round matches. Which team was it, in which World Cup did this occur, which team did they defeat in the final and what was the score? ONE European country are taking part in the final round for the sixth time this year. In their five previous appearances, they have failed to win a single match. Which country is this and in which World Cup final rounds have they taken part? THE 1938 World Cup tournament, staged in France, was overshadowed by mounting political tensions in Europe. Austria, having qualified, were unable to take part. Another country was invited to take the Austrians' place, but they turned down the offer. Which country was it? THE World Cup finals always seem to showcase a new star player. The '90 World Cup in Italy was no exception. Can you name the striker who came on as a substitute to score a decisive goal and became the top scorer of the tournament? THAT player, incidentally, scored six times throughout the tournament. Precisely the same tally was hit by top scorers Gary Lineker of England in 1986, Paolo Rossi of Italy in 1982 and Mario Kempes of Argentina in 1978.
While Lineker's goals only helped England reach the quarter-finals in Mexico, those of Rossi and Kempes were glory goals - both Italy and Argentina were winners in the respective years.
Who was this particular World Cup top goal-scorer and in which year? He scored a total of nine goals and his team was a beaten semi-finalist. Here's another clue: In the quarter-finals he scored four goals including two penalties in a memorable match.
THE '90 World Cup saw the fewest goals in the history of the World Cup with just 115 in 52 matches - about 2.21 per match. One year saw the highest-scoring World Cup on record - 140 goals from 26 matches, an average of 5.38 per match. It provided the one match with the highest tally of goals ever from both sides combined. Do you know the year, the two teams and the score? THE forthcoming World Cup will feature for the first time an opening-round rule of three points for a win, designed to give teams every incentive to score and to cut the cautious trend begun in 1966. Then - and in the subsequent three tournaments - there were goalless draws in all the opening matches.
The situation was much different in the two years when the World Cup final round began not with mini-league group games, but immediately on a knockout principle. What years were they? IN 1950, nearly 200,000 squeezed into the unfinished Maracana Stadium in Brazil, despite the fact that only 150,000 tickets had been sold. If that ''final'' had the largest gate, which final in which stadium had the smallest? IN 1974, West German Gerd ''The Bomber'' Mueller scored the match-winner in Germany's 2-1 final victory over Holland to win the title. Do you remember another Mueller match-winner in a game which went into extra-time in the '70 World Cup? Why was that victory especially sweet for West Germany? THERE was a player at the '90 World Cup who at 40 was the oldest in the tournament, during the course of which he set the world record of 125 caps. Yet it was not the happiest occasion in what was his final national team appearance. Who was he? THE Arab and African teams can no longer be regarded as pushovers. The first Arab team to play at a World Cup was Egypt, in 1934. But it was not until much later that a team from the African/Arab region ever won a World Cup match. Name the team.
WHICH World Cup team managed to draw all three of their first-round matches and in the process scored only two goals, yet scraped through to the second round? That team ultimately went on to capture the ultimate prize, the World Cup.
IN 1978, West Germany's dream of back-to-back titles was brutally ended in the quarter-finals when Austria pulled off a 3-2 upset to eliminate the Germans. It was the Austrians' first victory over the Germans in 47 years. Striker Hans Krankl scored two of Austria's goals. Who scored Austria's third?