The modern day footballer may be well paid, but there is a good reason for this – the art of kicking a ball is a highly skilled one. Here are some facts and stats about the ‘beautiful game’.

Kick start

To kick a ball accurately, you should hit it by using the inside of your foot. Hitting a ball with your toes is far less accurate and may even result in broken bones.

Heads Down

If you look up, the ball will go up.

Go The Distance

Records show that AC Milan’s Gennaro Gattuso covered a total of 10km in a 2007 match against Manchester United.

Marathon Men

In just over four games, footballers cover the distance of a marathon – the equivalent of 350 basketball courts laid end to end.

Speedsters

A typical football player has to sprint for nearly 1km, 50 to 60 times a game.

Two Percent

Only two percent of the distance covered by a soccer player is with a ball at their feet.

Trophy Cabinet

Germany’s Oliver Kahn became the first goalkeeper to be given the award of the World Cup’s Most Valuable Player in 2002.

Triple Winner

Brazil’s Pele is the only footballer to have won three World Cups in 1958, 1962 and 1970.

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