WORDS: Heidi Pascual, Jasmine Payo, and Cedelf Tupas
Filipino-British brothers Philip James and James Joseph Younghusband are in a video game. The Younghusbands were listed as reserves on the roster of English club Chelsea in a FIFA PlayStation game.
In a recent survey in Croatia, 40 percent of the men polled said they would rather watch their national football team play than go on a date with Angelina Jolie.
The Philippines is flanked by Bhutan (190) and Macau (192) in the world football ranking as of April 2006.
Made of solid 18-carat gold, the original World Cup trophy weighed 11 lbs and stood 14 inches high. While on exhibit in London, it was stolen days before the start of the 1966 World Cup. A dog named Pickles later discovered it under a hedge in a suburban residence. In 1983, it was filched again from its permanent home in Brazil. The trophy was never found, and since then, World Cup champions are presented with a gold-plated replica.
In 2002, the South Korean government thanked football for halting violent demonstrations and political turmoil. Koreans celebrated and danced in the streets every time their national team scored upsets over star-studded European squads in the World Cup series.
Leading bookmaker, Ladbrokes, say a turnover of around £200m was taken by bookmakers in England alone during the 2002 World Cup.
In the 1950 World Cup, India defied a FIFA rule requiring players to wear soccer boots during competition. The team declined to play saying all they really wanted was to play barefoot.
Football addiction was at its gloomiest in Bangladesh during the 1998 France World Cup. Poor districts there were without electricity for four days as power consumption surged to unmanageable proportions. The culprits? Too many football fans rabidly tuned in to live
World Cup broadcasts.
Saddened by Scotland’s lost to Morocco in the 1998 France World Cup, depressed fans, around 8,000 of them, were reported to have consumed an estimated 125,000 liters of beer.
Futbol Club Barcelona holds a special place for Filipino Paulino Alcantara. Born in Iloilo to a Spanish dad, Alcantara is, to this day, Barca’s all-time leading scorer, with 374 goals in 375 games played. He played for both the Philippines and Spain and was the first Barcelona player born outside Europe who played for Spain in international football meets.