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2006 FIFA World Cup miscellany

Poster by Norbert Bisky.

This is a list of 2006 FIFA World Cup miscellany.



  • This was the first[4] World Cup with a team representing a country that had ceased to exist prior to the start of the tournament. Serbia and Montenegro split into Serbia and Montenegro on June 5, 2006. The Serbia and Montenegro footballers played under a flag no longer displayed in their countries. The team contained only one player born in Montenegro, Dragoslav Jevrić. (Another Montenegrin, Mirko Vučinić, had to return home as a result of an injury.)[5]
  • Australia made its first appearance in 32 years (missing 7 World Cup Finals), the longest such drought ended for any qualifier in 2006 (Turkey in 2002 and Egypt in 1990 ended a drought of 11 World Cup Finals).
  • According to the May 2006 FIFA World Rankings (the last rankings prior to the start of the tournament), the highest ranked teams to fail to qualify were Denmark and Nigeria (tied for 11th). The lowest ranked team that qualified for the competition was Togo (61st). [6]
  • Only 14 teams - less than half of all finalists - were coached by natives.[8]



  • Philipp Lahm of Germany was the first goal scorer in the 2006 World Cup, with a strike just outside the 18 yard box.
  • The first booking in the 2006 World Cup was a yellow card given to Danny Fonseca of Costa Rica in the 30th minute of the first game against Germany. The first red card was given to Avery John of Trinidad and Tobago after his second yellow card in the 46th minute against Sweden. The first straight red card was given to Vladislav Vashchuk of Ukraine against Spain in the 47th minute, which resulted in the awarding of the first penalty kick to David Villa.
  • There are 4 coincidences between Zinedine Zidane and number four in World Cup finals. He is the fourth player to scored 3 goals in World Cup final (2 goals in 1998 and 1 goal in 2006). The others are Pelé (2 goals in 1958 and 1 goal in 1970), Vavá (2 goals in 1958 and 1 goal in 1962) and Geoff Hurst (3 goals in 1966). He is the fourth player to score in 2 World Cup finals (1998 and 2006). The others are Pelé (in 1958 and 1970), Vavá (in 1958 and 1962) and Paul Breitner (in 1974 and 1982). He is the fourth player to scored penalty kick in World Cup final (7th minute vs Italy in 2006). The others are Johan Neeskens (2nd minute vs West Germany in 1974), Paul Breitner (25th minute vs Netherlands in 1974) and Andreas Brehme (85th minute vs Argentina in 1990). He is also the fourth player to be sent off in World Cup final (2006). The others are Argentines (Pedro Monzon (1990), Gustavo Dezotti (1990)) and French (Marcel Desailly (1998)).
  • This was the first FIFA World Cup in which no player scored a hat-trick.
  • Andrea Pirlo won three Man of the Match awards during the tournament, including that awarded for the Final.

Team - Group Stage

  • The opening match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup had the most goals of any opening match in FIFA history, with 6 goals (Germany 4; Costa Rica 2) compared to the next-best 1930 opening match with 5 goals (France 4; Mexico 1). Italy's 7-1 victory over the USA in 1934 was one of 8 simultaneous first round matches on the opening day and as such is not considered an opening match.
  • Japan got their only point when they scored nothing (0-0 against Croatia). But when they opened the scores, they got no point at all (1-3 against Australia and 1-4 against Brazil).
  • From all the teams that were placed at the bottom of their groups, Trinidad & Tobago conceded the least amount of goals, despite being the only team in the finals not to score at all.
  • For the first time in a World Cup finals, in Argentina's victory over Serbia and Montenegro, all three players of a team who entered a match as substitutes scored one goal. Esteban Cambiasso, subbed on in the 17th minute, scored in the 31st, Carlos Tévez, subbed on in the 59th minute, scored in the 84th, and Lionel Messi, subbed on in the 75th minute, scored in the 88th.
  • Two-thirds of the way through the Group stage, eight of the thirty-two teams had clinched qualification to the second round and seven teams had been mathematically eliminated from contention. Only in Group E were all four teams neither mathematically eliminated nor guaranteed qualification into the second round. No four-way ties were possible, and only one three-way tie was still possible (in Group G).
  • At the end of the Group Stage, there were only two ties. One was in group C for 1st/2nd place, and was won by Argentina ahead of the Netherlands on goal difference. The other tie was in Group H for 3rd/4th place, and was won by Tunisia ahead of Saudi Arabia on goal difference.
  • Heading into the final set of group games, there were seven scenarios that could have required the drawing of lots, but none of these scenarios came to pass. The group that came closest to being settled by the drawing of lots was Group G, where the double result France 2-0 Togo and Korea 1-1 Switzerland remained a possibility until Switzerland scored in the 77th minute to go 2-0 up. The potential drawing of lots had been scheduled for 11:30pm, but in the end was not required.
  • Only Ghana and France entered their final matches in lower than second place in its group (both entered in third) and still managed to qualify for their next rounds.
  • England's victory over Paraguay is the first 1-0 final score in World Cup finals history to have been decided by an own goal. England were the first team to lead its group without a goal scored by its players.[citation needed]
  • Switzerland was the only team not to concede a goal in the group stage, ending on a goal difference of +4 (GF 4, GA 0).
  • Australia qualified for the knockout stage after leading its games for only five minutes (88th-93rd minute vs Japan)
  • In Group A, all the matches resulted in a definite winner.

Team - Second Round

  • This was the sixth World Cup in a row where an African nation has progressed to the second round, and the first ever where an Oceanic nation progressed.
  • Teams advancing out of the first round for the first time are Ukraine, Australia, Ecuador and Ghana. Ukraine was the only one of them to advance to the quarter finals.
  • All 8 seeded teams reached the last 16
  • With reference to the May 2006 FIFA Rankings:
    • The average rank of the teams that progressed was 19.00.
    • The average rank of eliminated teams was 30.25.
    • Switzerland (35) was the lowest ranked team to win a group.
    • Ghana (48) was the lowest ranked team to progress to the second round.
    • The Czech Republic (2) was the highest ranked team to be eliminated in the group stage.
    • The USA (5) was the highest ranked team to come last in its group.
    • Group E was the only group where the third and fourth ranked teams (Italy (13) and Ghana (48)) progressed.
    • Group B - England (10), Sweden (16), Paraguay (33) and Trinidad and Tobago (47) - was the only group where the final group placings directly corresponded to the May 2006 FIFA rankings.
    • In four out of eight cases the lowest ranked team in the group progressed. These were Group A: Ecuador (39), Group E: Ghana (48), Group F: Australia (42), and Group H: Ukraine (45).
  • Although Czech Republic (Group E) and Korea Republic (Group G) topped their groups after their first game, they failed to progress to the Round of 16.
  • Portugal received the most yellow cards (9) in one game (against the Netherlands). The match also saw the most red cards (two to each side) in a single match in the history of the World Cup Finals, and tied the record of most yellow cards in a single match (16- 9 to Portugal, 7 to Netherlands).
  • As no team from the AFC reached the second round (although Australia are now under the auspices of the AFC, they qualified as members of OFC), there has still not been a World Cup in which all 6 confederations are represented in the second round.
    • From UEFA: Germany, Sweden, Italy, Switzerland, Ukraine, England, Portugal, Netherlands, Spain and France - 10 teams out of 14 participants (71 %)
    • From CONMEBOL: Argentina, Ecuador and Brazil - 3 teams out of 4 participants (75 %)
    • From CONCACAF: Mexico - 1 team out of 4 participants (25 %)
    • From OFC: Australia - 1 team out of 1 participant (100 %)
    • From CAF: Ghana - 1 team out of 5 participants (20 %)
    • From AFC: None out of 4 participants
  • Italy's 1-0 victory over Australia marked the first time in World Cup history that a game-winning penalty kick had been scored in stoppage time. It was also the first 1-0 game decided by a penalty kick since Croatia's victory over Romania in the Round of 16 in 1998. Although this has since happened again in the 2006 semi-final when France beat Portugal 1-0 by a penalty kick.
  • Switzerland became the first team ever not to concede a goal in the World Cup Finals, and the first team to be eliminated despite not conceding any goals. They also became the first team not to score during a penalty shootout in a World Cup.
  • Of the six former champions in the competition, all advanced to the quarter finals. The two quarter final qualifiers who were not former champions were Portugal and Ukraine.
  • Six group winners advanced from the Round of 16 to the quarter-finals. The other two places in the quarter-finals were taken by teams who came second in their groups, Ukraine and France, who defeated Switzerland and Spain respectively.
  • As most of the dominant football nations had progressed to the knockout stages as expected, several historical and recent rivalries were stirred up. Notable ones include Holland-Portugal (Euro 2004 semi-finals), England-Portugal (1986 first round, 1966 semi-finals of the World Cup; Euro 2000 first round and Euro 2004 quarter-finals), Brazil-France (1986 quarter-finals, 1958 semi-finals, 1998 finals of the World Cup), France-Portugal (Euro 1984 and Euro 2000 semi-finals), Argentina-Germany (1958 and 1966 first round, 1986 and 1990 finals of the World Cup), Italy-Germany (1962 first round, 1970 semi-finals, 1982 finals of the World Cup; Euro 1988 and Euro 1996 first round), and Italy-France (1978 first round, 1986 round of 16, 1938 and 1998 quarter-finals of the World Cup; Euro 2000 final).

Team - Quarter Finals

  • With reference to the May 2006 FIFA Rankings:
    • The average rank of the teams that progressed was 14.00 (6 of the 8 teams have a higher rank than the average).
    • The average rank of eliminated teams in the second round was 24.00.
    • Ukraine (45) is the lowest ranked team to progress to the quarter finals.
    • The Netherlands (3) was the highest ranked team to be eliminated in the second round, followed by Mexico (4) and Spain (5).
  • Of the 8 group winners, 6 progressed to the quarter finals, France and Ukraine advanced farther than Switzerland and Spain who finished above them in groups G and H respectively.
  • 6 of the 8 seeded teams reached the quarter finals. Spain and Mexico failed to do so; Portugal and Ukraine reached the last 8 despite not being seeded.
  • Brazil have been on a World Cup winning streak since they lost to France in the 1998 final. This winning streak was finally ended by the same team that beat them 8 years earlier. Notably, France has now won three straight World Cup matches against Brazil (1986, 1998, 2006 - 1986 was a 1-1 draw in normal and extra time, with France winning the penalty shootout 4-3), with their only loss coming in 1958. In addition, Fabien Barthez is the first keeper to have maintained a clean sheet against the five-time World Cup champions in consecutive meetings.

Team - Semi Finals

  • With reference to the May 2006 FIFA Rankings:
    • The average rank of the teams that progressed was 11.75 (2 of the 4 teams have a higher rank than the average).
    • The average rank of eliminated teams in the second round was 16.25.
    • Germany (19) is the lowest ranked team to progress to the semi finals.
    • Brazil (1) was the highest ranked team to be eliminated in the quarter finals.
  • 3 of the semi-finalists were among the 8 top seeds, Portugal being the exception.
  • This tournament was the first one since the 1982 FIFA World Cup where the final four teams to compete for the World Cup were all from Europe. Three of the four teams from that year were also in this semi final: Germany(called West Germany then), Italy, and France. The other team in the final four that year was Poland, which was eliminated in the first round in this World Cup. Portugal has "replaced" Poland here.
  • Portugal were the only team to qualify for the 2006 semifinals that had not yet won a World Cup.

Team - Final and third-place

  • This was France's second appearance in a final and Italy's sixth; this was Germany's fourth appearance in a third-place game and Portugal's second.
  • France is the first team to appear in a World Cup final without having first won its group (second place to Switzerland) since Italy (third-place behind Mexico and Republic of Ireland), who lost to Brazil in the final in 1994. The last team to win the World Cup without having first won its group was also Italy (second place behind Poland), beating West Germany in the final in 1982. Italy last appeared in a World Cup final having won its group in 1970, but lost to Brazil.
  • For the first time since 1994, neither final game participant had a perfect group stage record. Both third-place game participants had gone 3-0-0 in the group stage.
  • Horacio Elizondo was the first person to referee both the opening and final games of one World Cup finals (English referee George Reader also officiated the first and last matches of Brazil 1950, but the last one, also known as Maracanazo, was not technically a final).
  • Both finalists scored in the final for the first time since the 1986 World Cup Final (Argentina 3-2 Germany), excluding penalty shootouts.
  • Italy won their first World Cup penalty shootout against France in the final. This is the second time the final has been decided by penalty shootouts. The first time this happened was in 1994 where Italy lost to Brazil.
  • Italy scored 12 goals from 10 different players. The only other time a team has had 10 different goal scorers was France in 1982 where they scored 16 goals with 10 different players.
  • This is the first World Cup final contested by teams that will face each other again in the qualifying stage of their next major tournament, Euro 2008. Prior to the start of the World Cup, France and Italy were both drawn into Qualifying Group B. The French will travel to Georgia and the Italians will host Lithuania on September 2, 2006. The World Cup finalists will then face each other at the Stade de France in Paris on September 6 (less than two months after the World Cup final), [1] [2] with the Italians scheduled to host the French on September 8, 2007 (the venue for this match has not yet been announced). [3]
  • There are some coincidences between the 2006 World Cup and the 1990. In 1990, the World Cup was held in Italy, but the host nation were defeated in semi final and won the 3rd place play-off. (West) Germany were succeed to be the champion and the host nation player, Salvatore Schillaci became the top goal scorer with 6 goals. In 2006, the World Cup was held in Germany, but the host nation were defeated in semi final and won the 3rd place play-off. Italy were succeed to be the champion and the host nation player, Miroslav Klose became the top goal scorer with 5 goals. And in both editions, the average of goals scoring were the lowest in World Cup history (2.21 goals per game in 1990 and 2.29 goals per game in 2006).
  • Coming into the tournament Italy were ranked 13th in the world. The last time they were ranked that low going into the world cup was USA 1994 where they ended up in the final.
  • France reached World Cup finals twice, in 1998 and 2006. On both occasions, they had a player sent off.
  • This is the first time since 1982 that the winning team has featured a player with a beard (Gennaro Gattuso).
  • The 2006 World Cup mirrors the 1990 tournament; the host lost in the semi-final but won the third place match, and Germany won in Rome while Italy won in Berlin.
  • Italy has continued a streak of reaching the World Cup final every 12 years (1970, 1982, 1994, 2006), winning in 1982 and 2006.
  • The 2006 tournament saw 4 own goals, the highest of the editions.
  • Italy (4) and Brazil (5) have now won half of all the 18 world cups played.
  • Every world cup final has featured at least one of Italy, Brazil, (West) Germany or Argentina.
  • Since 1950, either Germany or Brazil never failed to qualify to final except in 1978 and 2006. In both occasions, the milestone of 1000th goal in World Cup history was scored. The 1000th goal was scored in 1978 and the 2000th goal was scored in 2006


  • For the first time at a World Cup, match officials were equipped with microphones and earpieces so they can communicate better with each other during each game.[11]
  • The 2006 tournament featured a fifth official as a substitute for the referee's assistants. Although the fifth official can view a video monitor he isn't wired up to the referee's microphone and cannot therefore communicate what he sees directly to the referee. [12]
  • Adidas supplied personalized match balls for every match of the tournament, as it has done since 1970. On each of these "Teamgeist" balls the name of the stadium, the competing teams, the match date and the kick-off time of each individual game appeared under a protective coating. The ball used for the final match had a special gold trimming rather than black.
  • The 2006 FIFA World Cup was the first one to give environmental protection official project status with the "Green Goal" initiative. [13]


A graph depicting significant Internet traffic decrease during the Netherlands - Serbia and Montenegro match (look between 15:00 - 17:00 on the 2nd peak)
  • The World Cup causes a significant decrease in Internet traffic.[15] AMS-IX, an Internet relay company in the Netherlands, stated that during the match of the Netherlands against Serbia and Montenegro, there was a massive decrease in Dutch Internet usage, only coming back up lightly during half-time.
  • Before the match between Korea Republic and Togo, the organisers played the Korean national anthem twice before correctly playing the Togolese one.[16]
  • Hyundai Motor Company will supply 32 brand-new buses for use by the teams. To promote the tournament, a contest was held on the tournament's website. If a fan could supply a good slogan for their favorite team's bus, they would win tickets to the opening match. The 32 winning slogans were announced on May 22, 2006 and can be seen here.
  • The vocal group, Il Divo, and R&B singer, Toni Braxton, sang the official song Time of Our Lives [17]. The official album was released in May 2006 which also included a special version of Shakira's newest hit "Hips Don't Lie".
  • Due to the official beer sponsor of the 2006 FIFA World Cup being Anheuser-Busch, hundreds of Dutch fans wearing orange lederhosen, which were part of Dutch brewer Bavaria's marketing campaign, were forced to take to the stands in their underwear. [18]
  • In the game between Australia and Croatia, referee Graham Poll showed Croatia's Josip Šimunić a second yellow card, but, confusingly, did not send him off after marking his match card incorrectly with the name of Australian defender Craig Moore[19]. Poll later showed him a third yellow and this time showed him the red.[20]
  • Puma supplied the kit to 12 of the 32 finalists (including champions Italy and all five of the African finalists), making it the leader in this category. Nike supplied 8 teams; Adidas supplied 6 (including hosts Germany and runners-up France), while Umbro and Lotto supplied two teams each, and Marathon and Joma furnished a single team each (Ecuador and Costa Rica, respectively). The only group without a PUMA-supplied team was Group F, which had 3 Nike-supplied teams and one Adidas-supplied team. In Group E, only the USA (who wore Nike) did not wear PUMA kits.
  • Since the 1994 finals, each player's jersey has had their squad number printed on the front as well as the back. Typically this has been printed in the middle of the shirt, but Adidas and Puma instead printed numbers for most teams on the right of the chest (as worn).
  • Some hotels where teams lived during the tournament removed Western symbols. i.e.: At the hotel where Saudi-Arabia stayed, hotel officials removed bibles, Coca-Cola, beer, and other Western symbols. The hotel management also glued arrows on the wall indicating the direction of Mecca, for praying purposes.[citation needed]
  • The wives and girlfriends of the England team earned the soubriquet 'The WAGs' in recognition of their high spending lifestyle where they shopped and sunbathed all day and partied all night.[21]
  • Apparently the World Cup trophy suffered some damage after it was given to the Italian team. Fabio Cannavaro has been photographed holding a piece of green malachite that had broken off the base. [22]

Players playing against their 'mother' country

There were a number of incidents in the 2006 FIFA World Cup of players playing against their nation of birth or descent. When Germany faced Poland, both Germany strikers, Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski, were born in Poland.

In the game between Australia and Croatia there were several players who might have been playing for the other side. For the Socceroos, Mark Viduka and Jason Čulina were both of Croatian descent, as was goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac. Kalac had been brought in to replace Mark Schwarzer but made an error which allowed Niko Kovac to score for Croatia.

On the other hand, the Croatian side in that match featured Canberra-born Josip Šimunić, who was erroniously booked three times by referee Graham Poll. This was thought to be down to Šimunić's Australian accent, which led Poll to record his second yellow card as 'Australia #3', which was Craig Moore, who had not already been booked.

At the same time as the above match, Brazilian-born Alex played for Japan against Brazil.

England were coached by Swede Sven-Göran Eriksson and played against Sweden in the group stage. Mexico played Argentina in the second round coach by Argentine Ricardo Lavolpe.


  1. ^ The team representing the Czech Republic is considered distinct from the team which represented Czechoslovakia from 1934–1990 and was thus technically making its first appearance.
  2. ^ The team playing as Serbia and Montenegro, however, was considered by FIFA to be the successor to the team which competed under the name Yugoslavia in 1998 (but not the same as the team which competed as Yugoslavia from 1930–1990) and thus it was technically making its second appearance. With the breakup of the Serbia and Montenegro confederation in June 2006, future teams representing Serbia will be considered by FIFA to be the successor to the football history of Serbia and Montenegro, and future teams representing Montenegro will be considered a new entity.
  3. ^ The team representing Ukraine is considered distinct from the team which represented USSR from 1958–1990 and was thus technically making its first appearance
  4. ^ In 1938, the Austrian team qualified for the World Cup finals, but withdrew prior to the tournament when Austria ceased to exist following the Anschluss, the annexation of Austria by Germany in March of that year.
  5. ^ Serbia-Montenegro team playing without a country at the World Cup 2006-06-07 The Star (Accessed June 8, 2006)
  6. ^ FIFA Rankings May 2006 (Accessed June 23, 2006)
  7. ^ "Angola team profile,", FourFourTwo's "Complete Guide To...World Cup 2006" published by Haymarket Group, June 2006. 
  8. ^ The fourteen finalists with native coaches were: Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, Czech Rep., France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the USA. This list ignores the mixed parentage of Luís Oliveira Gonçalves (Angola). It should also be noted that Ilija Petković (Serbia), while ethnically a Serb, was born in Croatia.
  9. ^ Ronaldo the record-breaker
  10. ^ 2,000th goal at the FIFA World Cup, FIFA World Cup's Official site. Retrieved on June 17, 2006.
  11. ^ World-Referees happy clampdown on fouls has worked (2006-06-15). Retrieved on 2006-06-18.
  12. ^ Digger: Beckenbauer man-marks Blatter in Germany versus Fifa play-off | World Cup 2006 | Guardian Unlimited Football
  13. ^
  14. ^ The other represented languages with official status are: Croatian (Croatia), Czech (Czech Republic), Dutch (Netherlands), Guaraní (Paraguay), Japanese (Japan), Korean (South Korea), Persian (Iran), Polish (Poland), Romansh (Switzerland), Serbian (Serbia and Montenegro), and Ukrainian (Ukraine). Swedish is the de facto official language of Sweden. Some of the aforementioned languages and numerous other languages are of course spoken in many of these countries without (or with only local) official status.
  15. ^ Doorn, J. (2006). Sterke daling internetverkeer door WK. Webwereld. Retrieved on June 12, 2006.
  16. ^ Togo anthem on hold as Korea's gets surprise encore 2006-06-13 Reuters (Accessed June 14, 2006)
  17. ^ FIFA report on official song
  18. ^ A different dress code
  19. ^ Fox Sports Australia
  20. ^ Official FIFA report originally showing Šimunić's three cautions (61', 90' and 93'+), but his caution in the 90' minute has since been removed from the report. See also the BBC match report.
  21. ^ The charm of the WAGs is wearing off
  22. ^ 'World Cup suffers at hands of the winners', Daily Telegraph, 14 July 2006.
2006 FIFA World Cupstages v • d • eGroup AGroup BGroup CGroup DGroup EGroup FGroup GGroup HKnockout stageFinal 2006 FIFA World Cup general information QualificationSeedingSquadsScheduleDisciplineOfficialsControversiesBroadcastingSponsorshipMiscellany
2006 FIFA World Cup finalists v • d • e Champions: ItalyRunners-up: FranceThird place: Germany  Fourth place: Portugal  Eliminated in Quarter-finals: Argentina • Brazil • England • UkraineEliminated in Round of 16: Australia • Ecuador • Ghana • Mexico • Netherlands • Spain • Sweden • SwitzerlandEliminated in Group Stage: Angola • Costa Rica • Côte d'Ivoire • Croatia • Czech Republic • Iran • Japan • Korea Republic • Paraguay • Poland • Saudi Arabia • Serbia & Montenegro • Togo • Trinidad and Tobago • Tunisia • United States
Categories: 2006 FIFA World Cup related listsHidden categories: All articles with unsourced statements | Articles with unsourced statements since February 2007

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