With the 2006 World Cup underway in Germany, armchair midfielders and barstool broadcasters are two deep in pubs and living rooms around the world, spouting stats and holding court. Feeling left out? Looking for that perfect cocktail party quip or random tidbit to keep you in the conversation? Here are some numbers to get you primed for the world’s greatest sporting event.By Denise Kiernan
1 - Number of men who played on a World Cup championship team and coached one too. The legendary Franz Beckenbauer captained the winning German squad in 1974 and coached the German champs in ’90. Beckenbauer is currently chairman of the organizing committee for the 2006 WC.
2 - Number of players who have appeared in five World Cup tournaments: Germany’s Lothar Matthäus and Mexico’s Antonio Carbajal.
13 - The number of countries that participated in the first World Cup, held in 1930 in Montevideo, Uruguay. It was won by the home team.
40 - The age of Italy’s Dino Zoff when, as captain in 1982, he became the oldest player to win a World Cup.
5- The record number of WC titles earned by defending champ Brazil.
14 - Number of goals scored by the highest scorer in the tournament’s history, Germany’s Gerhard “Gerd” Müller.
42 -… and 39 days: The age of Cameroon’s Roger Milla in 1994 when he became the oldest player in a World Cup — he even scored a goal in the match.
213 - Number of countries that televised the 2002 World Cup, a record for any single sporting event.
7 - The number of countries that have ever won a World Cup (Brazil, Germany, Italy, France, Uruguay, Argentina, and England).
11 -The number of seconds it took Turkey’s Hakan Sukur — aka “SukurMan” — to score the fastest goal ever in World Cup history. It was against South Korea in 2002.
17 -The age of Brazil’s Pele in 1958 when he became both the youngest player to score in a World Cup (six goals total, two in the final against host Sweden) and the youngest player to be on a WC-winning team. It was Brazil’s first victory.
1950 - The year the national team of India withdrew from the World Cup after being told they would not be allowed to play barefoot.
1.1 billion - The number of people who watched the World Cup final in 2002.
12 - Number of years that elapsed between World Cups when the 1942 and 1946 tournaments were canceled due to World War II.
25 - Number of World Cup appearances by record-holder Lothar Matthäus.
30 billion - The cumulative number of viewers expected to tune in and watch this year’s tournament.