Japan / Korea
Final: Germany 0 - 2 Brazil
The first time the world cup is held in
Asia and this was a world cup full of upsets with holders France, Argentina,
and Portugal going out in the group stages. It was left to the 'Ronaldo
show' to win the cup for brazil in a average final against Germany
The biggest shock of the finals was South Korea making it all the way to
the semi finals beating Spain and Italy on the way
1998 in France
Final: France 3-0 Brazil
This World Cup featured a record 32 teams, including South Africa, who
made their debut at the 1998 event and did not disgrace themselves with some
good individual performances.
France completely outplayed Brazil in a one-sided final in Paris to win
their first World Cup title on home soil. They were superbly marshaled by
their playmaker, Zinedine Zidane, who scored two goals in the final and had
a brilliant tournament.
1994 in the USA
Final: Brazil 0-0 Italy (Brazil won 3-2 on penalties)
The United States was uncharted territory for the footballing world, but
this turned out to be a great tournament, full of drama, suspense and
Oleg Solenko scored five goals for Russia within 60 minutes of their
match against Cameroon to set a new World Cup record. Roger Milla scored a
consolation for the Indomitable Lions so set another record as the oldest
scorer in World Cup finals.
Bulgaria and Sweden were surprise semifinalists in this tournament, but
it was the giants of the international game, Italy and Brazil, who would
contest what turned out to be a disappointing final.
It was the unfortunate Roberto Baggio of Italy who missed the decisive
penalty and Brazil were crowned world champions for the fourth time.
1990 in Italy
Final: West Germany 1-0 Argentina
Despite the fantastic atmosphere generated by the Italian public, this
was a dull, ponderous World Cup with teams taking the defensive route over
The hopes of the home side rested on their super-sub, Salvatore "Toto"
Schillaci, who ended up with the Golden Boot after scoring 6 goals. But
ultimately the boring, clinical football of the Germans won through and they
claimed their third title.
1986 in Mexico
Final: Argentina 3-2 West Germany
Originally awarded to Columbia, the 1986 tournament was moved to Mexico
after their South American neighbours announced in 1983 that they could not
afford to host the event.
There was more heartache for the West Germans as they lost their second
final in a row. This tournament will, however, always be remembered for the
brilliance of Diego Maradona, and his ‘hand of god’ that put England out in
1982 in Spain
Final: Italy 3-1 West Germany
The 1982 World Cup was expanded to involve 24 teams for the first time,
rather than the usual 16, and involved one of the most talked about matches
of all time.
Italy comfortably beat Poland in the one semifinal, but in the other
game, France and West Germany had a ding-dong battle that was ultimately won
5-4 on penalties by the Germans. This after a Michel Platini inspired France
were leading 3-1 in extra time.
1978 in Argentina
Final: Argentina 3-1 Holland
This proved another victory for the team hosting the tournament as
Argentina won their first ever World Cup. The build-up to this tournament
was filled with controversy as teams debated whether or not to boycott the
tournament in protest against Argentinean General Videla's tyrany and his
violation of human rights.
1974 in West Germany
Final: West Germany 2-1 Holland
The Dutch had a fantastic World Cup, beating Argentina 4-0, East Germany
2-0 and the mighty Brazil 2-0 in the final group stage. But they were no
match for the superbly organised West Germans in the final, led by the
"Kaiser", Franz Beckenbauer.
This tournament also featured a new trophy as the Jules Rimet trophy was
given to Brazil as recognition of them having won the World Cup three times
in 1958, 1962, 1970. The new solid gold statuette, still around today, is
known simply as the "FIFA World Cup".
1970 in Mexico
Final: Brazil 4-1 Italy
Amazingly, not one player was sent off during the 1970 World Cup as the
countries returned to providing us with great entertainment. Brazil won
their third title in style, with Pele once again playing a major role in his
One match which stood out and was entered into football folklore was the
semifinal between Italy and Germany where the two teams were locked at 1-1
after 90 minutes. Both teams forged ahead at different times in a
Franz Beckenbauer remained on the field even with a dislocated shoulder,
his arm in a sling strapped to his body. In the end, the Italians won 4-3
after 120 minutes of gruelling cut-and-thrust football.
1966 in England
Final: England 4-2 West Germany
“They think it is all over……it is now.” England secured their one and
only World Cup triumph in controversial circumstances as a dubious goal by
Geoff Hurst in the final set them on the way to victory.
The ball struck the bar and dropped straight down. The referee consulted
his Russian linesman and gave what has proven to be the most controversial
goal ever scored.
This was also the tournament where the World Cup was stolen whilst on
display, but never fear, for Pickles is here! The beagle dog found the
trophy in a suburban front garden in south London a few days later.
1962 in Chile
Final: Brazil 3-1 Czechoslovakia
By now Brazil were the major force in international football and one
there second tournament in a row, this despite losing Pele through injury in
their opening match of the campaign. The event also saw one of the most
notorious matches in World Cup history - the Battle of Santiago between
Italy and Chile, in which two Italians were sent off and one had his nose
broken by a solid punch from a Chilean player.
1958 in Sweden
Final: Brazil 5-2 Sweden
The mighty Brazil won their first ever World Cup tournament, inspired by
a 17-year-old named Edson Arantes Do Nascimento, or “Pele” to his friends.
He scored two goals in the final but the Golden Boot for the tournament went
to Frenchman, Just Fontaine, who scored a massive 13 goals in 6 matches, a
record which still stands today for a single goals haul in a World Cup.
1954 in Switzerland
Final: West Germany 3-2 Hungary
This tournament is viewed as one of the best ever after sensational
high-scoring games, such as Austria’s 7-5 victory over Switzerland in the
quarterfinals and Hungary’s 8-3 defeat of West Germany in the preliminary
rounds. The Germans would get their revenge in the final and be crowned
1950 in Brazil
Winners: Uruguay beat Brazil, Sweden and Spain in a group format
World War II meant that the next World Cup would only be played in 1950,
and this one took on a slightly different format from the last. The
qualifying was chaotic with teams withdrawing at the last minute - and teams
already eliminated being offered places. India did not play because Fifa
would not let them play in bare feet.
As their were only 13 teams involved, it was decided the winner would be
decided by the final four teams all playing each other in a group format
with the top team being declared the champion. Uruguay won two and drew one
of their matches to win the tournament for the second, and last, time in
1938 in France
Final: Italy 4-2 Hungary
As war clouds gathered over Europe, for the second tournament in a row,
Italy defeated eastern European opposition in the final. Highlight of the
tournament was undoubtedly Brazil’s 6-5 extra time triumph over Poland,
thanks to four goals from Leonidas, who played barefoot for a spell.
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1934 in Italy
Final: Italy 2-1 Czechoslovakia
Italy staged the second the second World Cup tournament and once again
it was the host nation who proved victorious. This time there were sixteen
teams involved, although for the first time, teams were made to qualify for
1930 in Uruguay
Final: Uruguay 4-2 Argentina
The very first World Cup competition was played in South America, much
to the annoyance of the European nations who had a long boat journey to
reach the Uruguay. Subsequently, only 13 nations took part with the hosts
running out the eventual winners.