The final of each World Cup is a historical event that will forever remain in the memory of fans and specialists, as well as in textbooks.
The decisive matches are remembered apart from the entire championship because the final is both a separate plot and a climax. Football stars play in the decisive match, and it is the final that makes some of their star. The cup match is always nervous, which sometimes the best players cannot cope with. It also happens that for them the final becomes the greatest failure in their career.
In the entire history of the World Cup, eight teams have won the main trophy. Brazil has five titles, Italy and Germany have four trophies each, and the national teams of Argentina, Uruguay, and France have become the best on the planet twice. England and Spain have one title each. Let’s talk about some of the final matches at the football world championships.
1986 World Cup Final – Argentina 3-2 West Germany
The 1986 tournament was Diego Maradona’s championship. The Argentine captain was at the peak of his career, showing an excellent game and scoring goals that have become classics of world football.
In the World Cup final match, the Argentina national team met with the Germans. In the middle of the first half, Jorge Luis Brown opened the scoring, and in the 55th minute, Jorge Valdano doubled the advantage of the South Americans.
With a score of 0:2, it seemed that the outcome of the meeting was decided, but the main events took place in the last 15 minutes.
The German national team bounced back after corner kicks in the 74th and 82nd minutes. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Rudi Völler scored the goals. The decisive moment of the match was the counterattack of Argentina three minutes after the second conceded a goal. A solo pass and a goal by Jorge Burruchaga brought Argentina the world title.
1966 World Cup Final – England 4-2 West Germany (At the extra time)
England won their only World Cup title in 1966 at home. The final game with 98 thousand of spectators at Wembley Stadium turned out to be both spectacular and scandalous.
The Germans opened the scoring in the match: in the 12th minute, Helmut Haller, after an English defender’s mistake, picked up the ball in the penalty area and accurately shot it into the corner. The home team bounced back after only 6 minutes: Geoffrey Hirst scored with a header from captain Bobby Moore. Further, the match took place in a tense vicious struggle, and only in the 78th minute did the British take the lead – Martin Peters scored. At the end of the match, the German Wolfgang Weber did not allow the hosts to take the title in regular time – 2:2 in the 90th minute. In the first extra time, there was a resonant episode that is still being discussed: in the 101st minute, Hirst hit the German goal crossbar, and the ball hit the ground and flew into the field. The English players began to signal that there had been a goal, while the Germans insisted that the ball had not crossed the line. The chief referee of the match Swiss Gottfried Dienst consulted with the Soviet linesman Tofik Bakhramov and pointed to the center. On the 120th, Geoffrey Hirst scored his third goal, became the author of the only hat-trick in the history of the World Cup finals, and brought the trophy to the England team.
2006 World Cup Final – Italy 1-1 France (5-3 on pens)
The decisive match of the 2006 World Cup was also not without scandal. Incredible in terms of tension, the game reached a penalty shoot-out, in which the Italians turned out to be more accurate, and regained the main trophy of world football after 24 years.
The protagonists of the final were the captain of the French national team Zinedine Zidane and the defender of the Azzurra Marco Materazzi. In the 7th minute, the Italian fouled in the penalty area on Florent Malouda and Zidane effectively converted the penalty kick from the crossbar. The answer came in the 19th minute. Materazzi came into someone else’s penalty area for a corner and sent the ball into the goal of Fabien Barthez with his head.
A draw remained until the end of regular time. The key episode occurred in the 109th minute: Zinedine Zidane headbutted Marco Materazzi in the chest. So the French captain reacted to the provocations of the Italians. Referee Horacio Elizondo did not see this moment, but after consulting with the reserve referee, he showed Zidane a red card.
A year later, Materazzi, in an interview with Sorrisi e Canzoni magazine, answered the question of what exactly he said to Zidane: “I prefer sh *** like your sister.”
No goals were scored in extra time, and the fate of the championship title was decided in a penalty shootout. David Trezeguet hit the crossbar fatally. The Italians converted all their shots and won the trophy for the fourth time in history.
French miracle in 1998 – France 3-0 Brazil
This game was supposed to go under the sign of Ronaldo, who shone in those years, but they probably forgot to tell Zinedine Zidane about this. The French had a great fight, knocking out the opponent twice in the first half and finishing him off at the end of the second.
The star Ronaldo felt unwell on the eve of the game, but still went to the match in the starting lineup. However, Phenomenon spent the fight extremely pale, which, perhaps, was “contributed to” by a tough collision in one of the game episodes with the goalkeeper of the French national team Fabien Barthez.
At the home World Cup, France sensationally managed to get the first world title in its history, and for the first time play in the final. Prior to that triumph, the highest achievement of the French was the “bronze” at the championships in 1958 and 1986.
It was a story about the 4 World Championship finals. Very soon we will release part 2, where we will remember how the Brazilians became pentacampeones, how Spain became the World Champion for the first time, how Germany deprived Messi of the coveted trophy, and, of course, we will remember the 2018 World Cup in Russia.