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Q From Martin Williamson who asks "How many times have Scotland qualified for the World Cup Finals?"

A Nine, though they've only taken part in eight. Scotland have played in the Finals in 1954, 1958, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990 and 1998. They qualified in 1950 by finishing second to England in the Home Internationals but the SFA decided they would only go to Brazil as British Champions or not at all. So Scotland stayed home while England lost 1-0 to the USA. Probably a wise decision.

Unfortunately, unless there's a double miracle in the last round of qualifying matches, that answer is going to stand until at least 2006.

Q Pete Robertson wants to know "Who has scored the most goals for Scotland?"

A Kenny Dalglish and Denis Law have both scored 30 goals though Dalglish played 102 times for Scotland and Law just 55.

Q "Is it true that Alex Ferguson once managed Scotland?" e-mails John McCartney.

A Yes. While at Aberdeen, Ferguson was an assistant to Scotland boss Jock Stein. Following Stein's tragic death in Cardiff during a qualifier with Wales, Ferguson took over on a part-time basis and guided the team past Australia in a play-off and continued in charge during the World Cup in Mexico in 1986.

Q Scotland's five in a row qualification for the World Cup (1974-90) is often claimed as a record. Is this true?

A No. Brazil have taken part in every World Cup and Germany/West Germany have played in every one bar the first (1930) and 1950 (when they were not allowed to enter after the Second World War). But as these countries often reach the Finals as holders they haven't had to go through the qualification process or (in the pre-war days) there was no pre-qualifying necessary.

Even so Italy qualified for SIX tournaments in succession (1962-82), appeared in the next two as holders then hosts, and have qualified for the two after that.

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