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World Cup Football

Football World Cup 1966

1966 was a year of triumph for the host nation, England, which won in a controversial final beating West Germany 4-2. The tournament's leading goalscorer was Eusebio of Portugal with nine goals. The event was given by FIFA in 1960 to England to celebrate the centenary of the codification of football (soccer) in England.

The format of the 1966 competition remained as in 1962: 16 qualifying teams were divided into four groups of four. The top two teams in each group advanced to the quarterfinals.

The 1966 World Cup had a rather unusual hero off the field, a dog called Pickles. In the build up to the tournament the Jules Rimet trophy was stolen from an exhibition display. A nation wide hunt for the icon ensued. It was later discovered wrapped in some newspaper as the dog sniffed under some bushes in London.

 

It was the first World Cup to choose a mascot and an official logo for marketing purposes: The mascot was a lion called World Cup Willie. His image appeared in the official poster (right).

Despite achieving record attendances for the time, 1966 was a World Cup with few goals as the teams began to play much more tactically and defensively. This was exemplified by Alf Ramsey's England as they finished top of Group 1 with only four goals to their credit, but having none scored against them. Uruguay were the other team to qualify from that group at the expense of both Mexico and France. All the group's matches were played at Wembley apart from the match between Uruguay and France which took place at White City.

In Group 2, West Germany and Argentina qualified with ease as they both finished the group with 5 points, Spain managed 2, while Switzerland left the competition after losing all three group matches.

In the northwest of England, the Old Trafford and Goodison Park stadia played host to Group 3 which saw the World Cup holders, Brazil, finish in third place behind Portugal and Hungary and so be eliminated along with Bulgaria.

Group 4, however, provided the biggest upset when North Korea beat Italy 1-0, and finished above them, earning themselves qualification along with the USSR. Chile finished bottom of the group.

The quarter-finals provided an easy victory for West Germany as they cruised past Uruguay 4-0. It appeared as though the surprise package North Korea might do the same to Portugal when after 22 minutes they were in the lead 3-0. It fell to one of the greatest stars of the tournament, Eusebio, to change that. He scored four goals in the game and with Augusto adding a fifth in the 78th minute, one of the most incredible comebacks was complete.

Meanwhile in the other two games, Bene's late goal for Hungary against the USSR, who were led by Lev Yashin's stellar goalkeeping, proved little more than a consolation as they crashed out 2-1, and the only goal between Argentina and England came courtesy of England's Geoff Hurst. During that game, an ugly, ill-tempered affair, Argentina's Antonio Rattin became the first player to be sent off in a senior international football match at Wembley. The German referee, Rudolf Kretlein, gave Rattin his marching orders for dissent and the 'look on his face', even though he understood no Spanish. Rattin at first refused to leave the field and eventually had to be escorted by several policemen.

Both semi-finals finished 2-1: Franz Beckenbauer providing the winning goal for West Germany as they beat the USSR, while Bobby Charlton scored both goals in England's triumph against Portugal. Portugal went on to beat the USSR 2-1 to take third place.

First Round

Group 1

Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GD
England 5 3 2 1 0 4 0 4
Uruguay 4 3 1 2 0 2 1 1
Mexico 2 3 0 2 1 1 1 0
France 1 3 0 1 2 2 5 -3

July 11, Wembley Stadium, London - England 0 - 0 Uruguay

July 13, Wembley Stadium, London - France 1 - 1 Mexico

July 15, White City Stadium, London - Uruguay 2 - 1 France

July 16, Wembley Stadium, London - England 2 - 0 Mexico

July 19, Wembley Stadium, London - Mexico 0 - 0 Uruguay

July 20, Wembley Stadium, London - England 2 - 0 France

Group 2

Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GD
West Germany 5 3 2 1 0 7 1 6
Argentina 5 3 2 1 0 4 1 3
Spain 2 3 1 0 2 2 4 -2
 Switzerland 0 3 0 0 3 1 9 -8

July 12, Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield - West Germany 5 - 0  Switzerland

July 13, Villa Park, Birmingham - Argentina 2 - 1 Spain

July 15, Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield - Spain 2 - 1  Switzerland

July 16, Villa Park, Birmingham - Argentina 0 - 0 West Germany

July 19, Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield - Argentina 2 - 0  Switzerland

July 20, Villa Park, Birmingham - West Germany 2 - 1 Spain

Group 3

Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GD
Portugal 9 3 3 0 0 9 2 7
Hungary 6 3 2 0 1 7 5 2
Brazil 3 3 1 0 2 4 6 -2
Bulgaria 0 3 0 0 3 1 8 -7

July 12, Goodison Park, Liverpool - Brazil 2 - 0 Bulgaria

July 13, Old Trafford, Manchester - Portugal 3 - 1 Hungary

July 15, Goodison Park, Liverpool - Hungary 3 - 1 Brazil

July 16, Old Trafford, Manchester - Portugal 3 - 0 Bulgaria

July 19, Goodison Park, Liverpool - Portugal 3 - 1 Brazil

July 20, Old Trafford, Manchester - Hungary 3 - 1 Bulgaria

Group 4

Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GD
USSR 6 3 3 0 0 6 1 5
Korea DPR 3 3 1 1 1 2 4 -2
Italy 2 3 1 0 2 2 2 0
Chile 1 3 0 1 2 2 5 -3

July 12, Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough - USSR 3 - 0 Korea DPR

July 13, Roker Park, Sunderland - Italy 2 - 0 Chile

July 15, Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough - Chile 1 - 1 Korea DPR

July 16, Roker Park, Sunderland - USSR 1 - 0 Italy

July 19, Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough - Korea DPR 1 - 0 Italy

July 20, Roker Park, Sunderland - USSR 2 - 1 Chile

Quarterfinals

July 23, Goodison Park, Liverpool - Portugal 5 - 3 Korea DPR

July 23, Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield - West Germany 4 - 0 Uruguay

July 23, Roker Park, Sunderland - USSR 2 - 1 Hungary

July 23, Wembley Stadium, London - England 1 - 0 Argentina

Semifinals

July 25, Goodison Park, Liverpool - West Germany 2 - 1 USSR

July 26, Wembley Stadium, London - England 2 - 1 Portugal

Third Place Match

July 28, Wembley Stadium, London - Portugal 2 - 1 USSR

Final

July 30, Wembley Stadium, London - England 4 - 2 (AET) West Germany

Attendance: 93,802

Referee: Gottfried Dienst (Switzerland)

Goals: Haller (FRG) 12', Hurst (ENG) 18', Peters (ENG) 78', Weber (FRG) 89', Hurst (ENG) 101', Hurst (ENG) 120'.

For more detail, see 1966 World Cup Final

London's Wembley Stadium provided the venue for the Final, and 97,000 people crammed inside to watch.

After 12 minutes Helmut Haller had put West Germany ahead, but the score was levelled by Geoff Hurst four minutes later. Martin Peters put England in the lead in the 78th minute; England looked set to claim the title when the referee awarded a free kick to West Germany with one minute left. The ball was launched goalward and Wolfgang Weber managed to poke it across the line, with England appealing in vain for handball as the ball came through the crowded penalty area.

With the score level at 2-2 at the end of 90 minutes, the game went to extra time. In the 98th minute Hurst found himself on the score sheet again, when he scored an infamous goal; his shot hit the crossbar and was controversially deemed to have crossed the line by the linesman and referee. In the last minute, it was Hurst again to easily sprint through the (then almost empty) German half and net his third, just as the gathered crowd invaded the pitch to celebrate with the team, thus cementing the victory for England. This made Geoff Hurst the only player ever to have scored three times in a World Cup Final.

BBC commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme's description of the match's closing moments has gone down in history: "Some people are on the pitch. They think it's all over." (Hurst scores) "It is now!"

England received the recovered Jules Rimet trophy from Her Majesty the Queen and were crowned World Cup winners.

 England - 66 Celebration
England - 66 Celebration
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Top Five Players

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Vote for the best football player on the planet

stevie gerrard is the best because he can do everything whereas other good players specialise in a few things. Also he works hard and is loyal to club and country.

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mi jugador es iniesta de espana

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torres,messi,kaka,cristiono ronaldo,villa and xavi