FIFA World Cups


2014: FIFA World Cup - BRAZIL

The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be the 20th FIFA World Cup, an international men's football tournament that is scheduled to take place in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July 2014. It will be the second time that Brazil has hosted the competition, the previous being in 1950. Brazil was elected unchallenged as host nation in 2007 after the international football federation, FIFA, decreed that the tournament would be staged in South America for the first time since 1978 in Argentina, and the fifth time overall.

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2010: FIFA World Cup - SOUTH AFRICA

This was Africa's first FIFA World Cup and it will live in the memory as much for the spirit and smiles of the host nation as for the success of a Spain team who achieved their own first when Andres Iniesta's 116th-minute winner against the Netherlands put them into the record books as the eighth country to capture soccer's most prized crown.

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2006: FIFA World Cup - GERMANY

Italy won their fourth world crown in Germany, beating France on penalties in Berlin. If Zinedine Zidane's red card was the Final's defining image, Italy's triumph would be remembered as a team effort with ten different Azzurri players finding the net.

It was also a special month for Germany, the goals of Miroslav Klose helping secure third place in a tournament memorable for the festival mood across the host country.

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2002: FIFA World Cup - KOREA/JAPAN

Brazil became champions for the fifth time as top scorer Ronaldo exorcised the ghosts of 1998, scoring both goals in the Final against Germany. This was Asia's first FIFA World Cup™ and both host nations made history by reaching the knockout rounds – Korea Republic going as far as the last four.

A tournament of surprises, it opened with France losing to Senegal and closed with Turkey third in the world.

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1998: FIFA World Cup - FRANCE

The home of tournament founder Jules Rimet, France enjoyed an unforgettable summer as its footballers finally tasted FIFA World Cup glory, Zinedine Zidane leading Les Bleus to victory over Brazil in the Final. France 98 was the first finals with an enlarged cast of 32 teams and among the newcomers were a Croatia side who, fired by the goals of top scorer Davor Suker, confounded expectations by finishing third.

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1994: FIFA World Cup - U.S.A

The United States staged a hugely successful 15th FIFA World Cup that became the best attended in history and ended with Brazil celebrating their first world title since 1970. Forwards Romario and Bebeto were the Brazilians' star performers while Roberto Baggio shone equally brightly for Italy despite his penalty miss that concluded the first ever Final shoot-out. While Sweden finished third, the undoubted surprise package were their fellow semi-finalists Bulgaria.

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1990: FIFA World Cup - ITALY

When Lothar Matthaus lifted the FIFA World Cup for Germany, it was an undoubted triumph for Franz Beckenbauer, who became only the second winner of the trophy as both player and coach. If low on goals, Italy 1990 was certainly high on drama – from the feats of Italy's top scorer Toto Schillaci via the tears of England's Paul Gascoigne to the historic run of Roger Milla's Cameroon to the quarter-finals.

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1986: FIFA World Cup - MEXICO

The FIFA World Cup™ returned to Mexico for a tournament marked by the mastery of Diego Maradona. Argentina overcame West Germany in an exciting Final but the defining match was a quarter-final against England featuring two of history's most famous goals: the 'Hand of God' followed by the dribble of a genius. Michel Platini's France again lost out in the semi-finals before beating surprise package Belgium to third place.

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1982: FIFA World Cup - SPAIN

Paolo Rossi was the hero in Spain, his six goals propelling Italy to a third world crown. The Azzurri ran out 3-1 Final winners against a German team who had survived the competition's first penalty shoot-out in a dramatic semi-final against France. If Italy won gold, Brazil took a share of the glory for some scintillating football before succumbing to Rossi's hat-trick in the best game of this first 24-team finals.

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1978: FIFA World Cup - ARGENTINA

Hosts Argentina captured their first world title as the Netherlands suffered Final heartache for the second tournament running. Mario Kempes sealed Cesar Luis Menotti's side's triumph, scoring twice against the Dutch in the confetti-strewn cauldron of the Estadio Monumental to earn himself additional acclaim as top scorer.

Brazil, denied a Final place by Argentina's 6-0 win over Peru, took third place from an enterprising Italy side.

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1974: FIFA World Cup - GERMANY

West Germany were champions on home soil - and as in 1954 their victory came at the expense of a team widely considered the world's finest. Johan Cruyff's Netherlands were favourites before the Final but the hosts, beaten earlier in their competition by their East German neighbours, recovered from a first-minute Dutch goal to win. It was also a memorable tournament for Poland whom Gregorz Lato fired to third place.

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1970: FIFA World Cup - MEXICO

For the first time the FIFA World Cup™ was broadcast in colour and nothing could match the brilliance of Brazil's yellow shirts. With Pele rejuvenated and Jairzinho scoring in every game, Mario Zagallo's men were unstoppable – they beat Italy handsomely in the Final and, with this third triumph, retained the Jules Rimet Cup. If Brazil's tournament, others brought plenty to the party – not least ten-goal German marksman Gerd Muller.

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1966: FIFA World Cup - ENGLAND

The country that invented football, England, finally found a formula for success on the world stage. Alf Ramsey's 'Wingless wonders' overcame Final opponents West Germany thanks to Geoff Hurst's historic hat-trick, though the debate over whether his middle strike crossed the line continues to this day. Eusebio was another scoring hero, his nine goals – four of them against Italy's surprise conquerors, Korea DPR – taking Portugal to third place.

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1962: FIFA World Cup - CHILE

Brazil were worthy winners, beating Czechoslovakia in the Final to retain their crown in a tournament that showcased the sublime skills of Garrincha. With Pele injured, Garrincha ensured his colleague's absence was not felt, inspiring the Seleção to victory and finishing joint-top scorer in the process. This FIFA World Cup featured plenty else, including new 4-3-3 tactics and the infamous 'Battle of Santiago' between hosts Chile and Italy.

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1958: FIFA World Cup - SWEDEN

Brazil's love affair with the FIFA World Cup™ began in earnest as they won the world title for the first time. A 17-year-old Pele introduced his prodigious skills to the world in Sweden, epitomising the Brazilians' attacking flair and scoring six goals – two of them in the Final against the hosts. Third-placed France caught the eye too with Just Fontaine striking a record 13 goals.

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1954: FIFA World Cup - SWITZERLAND

West Germany were surprise winners of the 1954 FIFA World Cup™, coming from two goals down to defeat Hungary in a Final forever remembered as the 'Miracle of Berne'. Hungary were unbeaten in 31 matches and scored 25 goals en route to the Final – eight of them against the Germans in the first round. Yet it was Fritz Walter, not Ferenc Puskas who picked up the Jules Rimet Cup.

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1950: FIFA World Cup - BRAZIL

Brazil's determination to put on a show meant they built the world's biggest football stadium, the Maracana, for the 1950 FIFA World Cup™. Yet their dream of becoming the world's best died in that huge bowl, Uruguay capturing their second crown by beating the hosts in front of some 200,000 stunned spectators. It was not the only shock of a tournament where debutants England were humbled by the United States.

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1938: FIFA World Cup - FRANCE

Italy trainer Vittorio Pozzo made history by capturing a second successive title with a rebuilt team. With Silvio Piola's goals and Giuseppe Meazza's leadership, Italy beat Hungary in the Final having overcome in the semi-final a Brazil side missing top scorer Leonidas. Three of his strikes came in a 6-5 victory over Poland – the best match of a tournament notable for political tensions and the absence of some leading teams.

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1934: FIFA World Cup - ITALY

Italy delighted their passionate home support by coming from behind to beat Czechoslovakia in the first FIFA World Cup Final played on European soil. Angelo Schiavio scored the winning goal for the Azzurri, who had overcome the highly-rated Austrian Wunderteam in the semi-finals. It was a tournament missing holders Uruguay, whose refusal to take part made them the first and only champions not to defend their crown.

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1930: FIFA World Cup - URUGUAY

FIFA President Jules Rimet's dream was realised as Uruguay hosted the inaugural FIFA World Cup in its centenary year. Only four European teams made the long sea journey and the Final was an all-South American affair, with Uruguay beating neighbours Argentina just as they had done in the 1928 Olympic final. Trailing at half-time, the hosts triumphed 4-2 in the newly built Estadio Centenario to become football's first world champions.

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