- In two years to the day, the Qatar 2022 final will be held
- On this occasion, FIFA.com looks back on the most memorable finals of the event
- On the menu, Maracanazo, the Miracle of Bern, the triplet of Hurst and the genius of Pelé
In these times of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is difficult to plan your schedule for the months, weeks or even days to come. However, you can already check the date of December 18, 2022 in your diary. The horizon may seem distant, but that day will be the final of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 ™. In two years to the day, all eyes will be on the Lusail stadium in Doha.
On the occasion of the launch of this countdown, FIFA.com plunges into the most beautiful finals of the world event.
July 16, 1950: Brazil 1-2 Uruguay
History should have retained the feat of Uruguay, crowned for the second time after the inaugural edition of 1930, at the Maracanã in front of 200,000 spectators won over to the opposing cause. Instead, this encounter will go down in history as Brazil’s nightmare. Not just the Selection, but from an entire country. “Brazil is dead”, headlines the daily World. Not so exaggerated, when we know that two supporters threw themselves from the top of the stands and three succumbed to a heart attack… But on the ground, no Uruguayan assassins. Only heroes, including Juan Schiaffino and Alcides Ghiggia both scorers for the Celeste. And yet, Brazil only needed a draw to be crowned world champions, and even led 1-0 thanks to Friaça. Hundreds of kilometers away, his ear glued to the radio, a nine-year-old boy sees his father crumble with sadness at the final whistle and, to console him, slips: “Don’t cry daddy, I will win it for you, the World Cup “. Her name ? Edson Arantes Do Nascimento, known as Pelé.
July 4, 1954: West Germany 3-2 Hungary
At the kick-off of the Swiss 1954 final, we don’t wonder who will win, but rather by how many goals behind Hungary will win against West Germany. The Magyars have been undefeated for over four years thanks to Ferenc Puskás, Zoltán Czibor, Nándor Hidegkuti and other Sándor Kocsis, and in the first round they handed the Germans a scathing 8-3. Add to that the pouring rain that falls on the Swiss capital, and everything seems to come together for the Germans to live a nightmare. Impression confirmed in eight minutes, with two goals from Puskás and Czibor.
Instead of collapsing, the National team finds the strength to react immediately, motivated by its captain Fritz Walter. Ten minutes later, the two goals came back. Confidence has changed sides, but the pressure is on the German cages with two posts and a goal denied to Puskás. With only six minutes left to play when, at the height of Hungarian domination, Helmut Rahn concluded a German block with a cross strike that deceived Gyula Grosics. The invincible Magyars fall from above, and Germany win the first of their four world titles.
July 30, 1966: England 4-2 (ap) West Germany
In front of their audience and their most illustrious supporter, the Queen of England, the Three Lions are a little in the same situation as Brazil in 1950: they absolutely must be crowned kings of the world on their Wembley lawn. No question of living a Maracanazo in English. Except that the Germans love to lie to the forecasts. Ask the Hungary of 1954 …
Wolfgang Weber deprives the British of the title by equalizing in the last minute (2-2), and the coronation is played in overtime. Geoff Hurst, already a scorer in regulation time, delivers a whole country by signing two new goals, the first being arguably the most controversial in the history of the event: his shot hits the crossbar and bounces off the line – from the point German sight – or just behind, depending on the English and the referee. England claim their only world title, and Hurst remains to this day the only player to score a hat-trick in the final.
June 21, 1970: Brazil 4-1 Italy
For many, the victory of the Selection on the Blue Team in Mexico represents the coronation of the most beautiful team in history, at the end of the most beautiful World Cup in history. Between two double world champion teams, it is Brazil which becomes the first nation to make the pass of three at the end of a meeting splashed by the individual talent of Pelé, and the collective magic of the Auriverdes. A head ofKing, two goals from Jairzinho and Gerson and a work of art concluded by Carlos Alberto on an exceptional pass from Pelé put Brazil on the roof of the world. “I said to myself before the match: ‘he is in the flesh, just like anyone’. But I was wrong,” said Italian defender Tarcisio Burgnich, at Pelé’s marking that day.
June 29, 1986: Argentina 3-2 West Germany
Back to Mexico in 1986, and once again, we witnessed a sublime World Cup, just like the final. Carried by Diego Maradona at the top of her game, Argentina reached the final where Germany was waiting for him, revenge after their final lost against Italy in 1982. The 115,000 spectators of Azteca see the South Americans take two goals in advance, but the Germans once again show that they are specialists in closing champagne bottles opened too early. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Rüdi Völler score in seven minutes and the two teams are tied with six minutes from time. This is the moment chosen by Maradona to flaunt her genius by sending a bright pass in perfect timing to Jorge Burruchaga in the depth. The striker does not miss his face-to-face with Harald Schumacher, offers his second title to theAlbiceleste and eternal glory to Maradona.
July 12, 1998: Brazil 0-3 France
France is organizing the world event for the second time, and reaching the final for the first time. A dream final since it faces Brazil, quadruple winner and big favorite. Deprived of Laurent Blanc, suspended, the Blues may be worried about Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Cafu and other Bebeto or Roberto Carlos. But that day, Aimé Jacquet tactically dominates Mario Zagallo and Zinédine Zidane is in a state of grace. With a double from their playmaker and a third goal from Emmanuel Petit at the end of the match when they were reduced to ten, the day of glory has arrived for the Blues.
Also to remember:
- June 29, 1958: 17-year-old Pelé’s brace against Sweden gives Brazil their first crown
- July 7, 1974: Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Müller knock down Johan Cruyff’s Netherlands, who led 1-0 after two minutes without the Germans touching the ball
- July 11, 1982 : Another goal for Paolo Rossi, the immense joy of Marco Tardelli: Italy dominates Germany
- June 30, 2002 : With a double, Ronaldo offers Brazil his fifth world title, he who had found the selection a few months before, after repeated injuries. Captain Cafu becomes first player to play three consecutive World Cup finals
- July 9, 2006 : Zidane scores with a Panenka, Marco Materazzi equalizes from a corner. The Frenchman is excluded at the end of the match for a header on the Italian. At the end of the suspense, Italy won on penalties.
- July 11, 2010: In the 116th minute, Andrés Iniesta signs the winning goal over the Netherlands, synonymous with Spain’s first world title, and confirmation of its domination on the football planet thanks to his tiki taka.