From Pelé to Klose, all editions of the World Cup have had some memorable players. Here are 9 astounding facts about footballers who made the 2014 World Cup worth watching.
Faryd Mondragón Will (Likely) Be the Oldest Player in World Cup History
The Colombian keeper is going to be the oldest player in the 2014 World Cup by the time it ends, turning 43 on June 21st.
The second oldest player is also on the Colombian squad- Mario Yepes is 39 years old. Mondragón is, in fact, older than two of the tournament’s coaches- Croatia’s Niko Kovac and Côte d’Ivoire’s Sabri Lamouchi.
If selected to play, Mondragón will be older than Roger Milla (42 years old) and become the oldest player in World Cup History.
Memphis Depay Was Almost a Rapper
Depay is a rising star for the Netherlands squad- he’s quick, clever and has a powerful foot.
He also nearly became a rapper! At a certain point his manager, Fred Rutten, made him choose between rapping and football for a career. If he had chose rapping he likely would not be appearing in this year’s World Cup.
Check out this video for some highlights of his playing skills as well as audio clips from some of the songs he has recorded.
Fabrice Olinga Will Be the 9th Youngest Player in World Cup History
Olinga, who plays for Cameroon in this World Cup, made history when he scored against Celta Vigo at the age of 16 – became the youngest scorer in the 90 years of Spanish football.
Cameroon’s Fabrice Olinga, at 18 years old, is the youngest player at Brazil 2014 and, if selected, he will become the ninth-youngest in World Cup history. Learn more about Olinga and his football skills in this video.
Miroslav Klose is the Most Prolific Player in This World Cup
With 14 World Cup goals already in his kit pocket, Klose is the most prolific player heading into this year’s tourney. The German striker “needs just one more to equal the tournament record set by Ronaldo in 2006” (FIFA).
Enjoy this video footage of some of Klose’s most memorable goals.
Klose Could Match Pelé and Uwe Seeler’s Scoring Feat
Klose could also become the third player to score in four editions of the World Cup. Currently, Pelé and Seeler are the two players who have ever scored goals in four editions of the World Cup. Both set this record in the editions from 1958-1970.
Pelé is one of the most famous footballers of all time – he was a standout player at both the 1958 and 1970 tournaments.
Seeler was actually first to reach this milestone, and holds the record for the only player to have scored twice or more in four separate World Cup tournaments.
Gucci Aspires to Be a Musician Upon Retiring From Football
Reza Ghoochannejhad, the wildly talented Iranian striker who goes by Gucci, aspires to play the violin in a philharmonic orchestra when he retires from football. He has played the instrument since he was a child.
In the World Cup qualifiers, Gucci scored clutch goals against against Qatar, Lebanon and S. Korea. Watch the highlights in this video.
Dejan Lovren Has His Own Fashion Label
Lovren is a 24-year-old Croatian defender who would probably design the most stylish kit for his team if given the opportunity. He started his own fashion line, called Russell Brown, that is created, designed, and produced in Croatia.
Fabian Schär Used to Be a Swiss Banker
Fabian Schär has an aptitude for numbers. The FC Basel-bred defender is a talented player appearing in this World Cup who is also a banker.