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10 amazing football facts you won’t believe are true

23 Mar

Want to impress/bore your mates at the pub with useless football trivia? Then read on…


1. Mark Hughes once played for Wales and Bayern Munich in the same day
Hughes had just signed for Bayern and was due to play for Wales against Czechoslovakia in Prague in a Euro ’88 qualifier. “I had dinner with Uli Hoeness who asked me what time the Wales match was,” he said. “I told him it was around midday and he said: ‘That’s OK then, you can play in the evening as well.'” Hoeness watched the game and then flew him to the Bayern game on the other side of the Czech border where Borussia Monchengladbach were the opponents. “We actually flew over the ground and missed the first half, but I got there at the start of the second half.” Bayern won.

2. Alvin Martin once scored a hat-trick against three different goalkeepers
The defender achieved the feat playing for West Ham against Newcastle in 1986. His first goal came against Martin Thomas, who was an actual keeper, but was forced off with injury. Martin then scored against defender Chris Hedworth, who also injured himself meaning Peter Beardsley was next. The Hammers won 8-1.

3. Clive Allen ended the 1979/80 season at QPR and began the following campaign at Palace, after Arsenal had made him the costliest teenager in football during the summer
Having scored 28 goals for QPR in the Second Division, Arsenal paid £1.25m for Allen, but he played three pre-season friendlies before being moved on to Selhurst Park. He later joined Tottenham in 1984 and enjoyed huge success including scoring 49 goals in one season.

4. Since 1982 at least one Bayern player has been in the starting line-up in every World Cup final
It’s true. Germany appeared in the 1982, ’86, ’90, ’02 and 2014 finals, while players such as Jorginho (Brazil in ’94), Bixente Lizarazu (France in ’98), Willy Sagnol (France ’06) and Arjen Robben (Netherlands ’10) have starred.

5. Before Alex Ferguson took over at Manchester United, Aston Villa were more successful than the Red Devils
Yes, Fergie took over in 1986 at which point Villa had won seven league titles and FA Cups, three League Cups and the European Cup. United, meanwhile had also won seven titles, but six FA Cups, a European Cup and Cup Winners Cup. That’s 18-15 in terms of major honours won.

6. In Gaelic, Pittodrie, the home of Aberdeen roughly translates as s*** heap (‘place of manure’ or ‘hill of dung’ to be polite)
Over the years fans have taken great delight in this.

7. László Kubala is the only player to play for three countries (as recognised by FIFA)
Born to parents of Czech origin in Budapest, Kubala, a Barcelona icon, played for Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Spain. Former Real Madrid striker Alfredo Di Stefano played for Argentina, Spain and Colombia, however, his Colombia caps won in the early 1950s came at a time when the country’s football association was not officially recognised by FIFA.

8. Jimmy Rimmer is the only player to have won European Cup winners’ medals with two different English clubs
He was on the Man United bench in 1968 and started for Aston Villa in 1982, however, he was forced off with injury and replaced by Nigel Spink against Bayern Munich. 

9. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has played for six clubs that have won the Champions League, but he has never actually won the trophy himself
The striker has been at Ajax, Barcelona, Inter, Juventus, Milan and now Man United.

10. Giuseppe Bergomi played in four World Cups but did not appear in ANY qualifiers
The former Inter defender played for Italy at the 1982, 1986, 1990 and 1998 World Cups without exerting himself in any qualifiers. As an 18-year-old he was a late addition to the side in 1982, then the team qualified as holders in 1986, while Italy were the hosts in 1990. In 1998, at the age of 34, he was a late and surprising call up to the squad.

READ: Bergomi and the ultimate one club footballers ranked

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