Soccer

Ready for World Cup? Test your soccer knowledge

The 2010 FIFA World Cup starts Friday, but how well do you know the World Cup?

The trivia questions that follow range from easy to hard and will give you a good indication of how much you already know about the world’s marquee sporting event.

The answers are at the end of this quiz, so without further ado, let the games begin!

1. Which nation has won the most World Cups?

2. How many people have hoisted the World Cup as a player and coach?

3. What’s Team USA’s nickname?

4. What’s the farthest America has advanced and in what year?

5. How many different nations have won the World Cup?

6. Among the World Cup winning nations, which one has never won while hosting the tournament?

7. Who holds the record for most goals in a single World Cup?

8. How many times has Africa played host to the World Cup?

9. Who is Team USA’s captain?

10. What are those stars on some of the team’s kits (jerseys)?

ANSWERS:

1. Brazil has reigned supreme in the World Cup five times. The “Select” as the squad is sometimes known, last won the Cup in 2002 and enter this year’s event as one of the favorites.

2. Two. Mario Zagallo for Brazil (1962-player, 1970-coach) and Franz Beckenbauer for Germany (1974-player, 1990-coach). Beckenbauer, dubbed the Kaiser, also captained that 1974 West Germany squad. Diego Maradona is looking to join this select group as he manages Argentina 24 years after sending the Argentines to victory in the 1986 World Cup.

3. The Yanks. The English paper, The Sun, used a cover headline ‘E-A-S-Y,’ with the “Y” standing for Yanks. It was in reference to the group England drew, with Algeria and Slovenia making up the other letters.

4. Semifinals in 1930. The very first World Cup saw America earn a semifinal berth, where they exited. However, since the field has expanded to 32 teams, Team USA’s quarterfinal trip in 2002 held in Korea/Japan is still etched in everyone’s recent collective memory as the farthest the United States men’s national team has advanced.

5. Seven. The powerhouse nations dominate this tournament every four years, with Brazil (five), Italy (four) and Germany (three) leading the pack of multiple winners. And not since France in 1998 has a country that had never won the World Cup before hoisted the trophy.

6. Brazil. Until 2014, the Samba Kings have only hosted the World Cup in 1950, when they were heavy favorites against South American rival Uruguay to win the Jules Rimet Cup. Instead of a euphoric first-time World Cup victory for the 174,000 fans in attendance (according to FIFA.com), the result of that match, a 2-1 Uruguay win, has been known as Maracanzo, a slang term translated to “The Maracanã Blow” in reference to the stadium where the match was played.

7. Just Fontaine. The Frenchman blitzed the competition with 13 goals in five matches during the 1958 edition, when Brazil’s Pele burst onto the scene.

8. Zero. Today marks the first time the continent will host the FIFA World Cup as host South Africa faces Mexico in the opener.

9. Carlos Bocanegra wears the captain’s armband, not Landon Donovan — arguably Team USA’s best player.

10. The stars reference each time a nation has won the World Cup, with Brazil leading the way with five stars on their kit (jersey).

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