World Cup Time – a brief history

Cyril's Betting Advice
Cyril's Betting Advice

It doesn’t seem like three years since the last World Cup. Nevertheless the final 32 have been bagged and drawn. So next July we can look forward to 64 matches of tension and excitement.
Well in some of them, at least.
There were three competitions held before World War 2. Looking at the total attendances there wasn’t all that much interest outside the competing countries.

From a total of 53 matches there were only 1,329,249 spectators. An average of only 25,080 per match. These figures paled in significance when the 1950 finals took place in Brazil.
Over 1 million watched the 22 games at an average per game of 47,511. This resurgence didn’t last, and the next time spectator totals topped the million mark
was in good old Blighty in 1966. The increase of almost 50% in spectators showed us that football really had come home. Altogether 1,563,135 watched 32 games at
an average of 48,4848. This was the start of a real return to football by spectators and the total had been bettered in 10 of the subsequent Finals. Argentina in 1978
being the odd man out by some 18,00.


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When played in America in 1994 almost three and a half million spectators saw 52 matches at an average of 69,00 per game. These figures still stand even when
allowing that the four subsequent Finals were increased from 24 teams to 32 and playing 64 matches. This format is in use in the present competition.

This brief history sets the scene for the more important things in the punters life. Finding the games to bet on and hopefully make some cash.

When the first Finals were played in 1930 there were an average of 3.89 goals this increased for the next two Finals being 4.12 followed by 4.67 before dropping
back to 4.00 in the 1950 Finals.
Then 1954 produced a goal feast. The average per game over the competition was 5.38 from 26 matches. Sadly it has been downhill from that point. Hitting an all
time low of 2.21 in, where else than Italy. The 2010 Finals didn’t fair much better with just an average of 2,27 goals per game. A grand total of 145 goals from
64 matches. 26 goals less than the best ever total of 171 in 1998 in France.