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Davide Sannazzaro

Davide Sannazzaro

World Cup Finals – Six of the best

Tags: Argentina, Brazil, England, Germany, Ghana, Italy, mexico, Sony Handycam ®, Spain, USA

The World Cup Final is arguably the most watched football match on the planet, meaning anyone with an interest in the beautiful game will have some recollection or another about previous Finals.

It could be the result that makes it memorable, win or lose, or a fantastic goal that means a game stays long in the memory.

Goal.com has selected six of the best just to whet your appitite for Sunday’s big decider …

Sport, Football, World Cup Final, Mexico City, Mexico, 21st June 1970, Brazil 4 v Italy 1, Brazil's Jairzinho shows his delight after scoring his team's third goal, as Italy's Facchetti (left) and goalkeeper Albertosi are well beaten

1970 – Brazil 4 Italy 1
Any Final providing this number of goals is bound to be memorable. However, the conclusion of the 1970 tournament in Mexico is recalled with fondness largely to the sparkling display produced by Brazil in winning the Jules Rimet trophy for the third time. After Pele’s opener was cancelled out when Boninsegna took advantage of some chaotic Brazilian defending before half-time, Mario Zagalo’s side turned on the magic with goals from Gerson, Jairzinho – his seventh in seven games – with captain Carlos Alberto rounding off the scoring with a superbly worked team goal.

1966 – England 4 West Germany 2 (AET)
This game had everything; dramatic goals, a record-breaking scoring feat that has never been matched, a controversial refereeing decision, and an iconic piece of commentary. England trailed to a Haller goal after just 12 minutes, equalised through Hurst, then took the lead 12 minutes from time when Peters scored. That appeared to be that as time ticked towards the 90th minute. But in the dying seconds, England failed to deal with a long-range free kick enabling Weber to equalise. Then the controversy. After 101 minutes, Hurst wheeled and shot, the ball rebounding off the crossbar and down – and over the line according to linesman Tofik Bakhramov, though TV footage has always been inconclusive. With the German pitching everything forward, England struck on the counter – only to be confronted by some fans who believed time had already been called. That overeagerness was beautifully captured in Kenneth Wolstenholme’s commentary; “some people are on the pitch, they think it’s all over – it is now!” as Hurst smashed his shot high past Tilkowski to complete the first – and thus far only – World Cup Final hat-trick.

1958 – Brazil 5 Sweden 2
Even the grainy, fuzzy, crackling black and white television pictures of the 1958 Final in Stockholm appeared full of sunshine and colour as the world welcomed new winners of the World Cup in the shape of Brazil, and with it the prodigious talents of a 17 year-old by the name of Edson Arantes do Nascimento – or Pele as he’d be known the world over. He scored two goals for the blue-clad Brazilians, with a further pair coming from Vava (Zagalo also scoring with Liedholm and Simonsson netting for the Swedes) as Brazil, disappointed hosts themselves eight years earlier – made the world sit up and take notice.

1982 – Italy 3 West Germany 1
Seldom has any nation – possibly with the constant exception of Brazil – carried so much neutral support as the Italians did for the Madrid final in ‘82. And the reason was simple. Most discerning football fans had wanted France in the final, and made German ‘keeper Toni Schumacher the villain after his semi-final assault on Patrick Battiston. However, it wasn’t the hostility and animosity that defeated the Germans but a superb Italian side that earlier had knocked favourites Brazil out. They could even afford to miss a penalty before top goalscorer Paolo Rossi broke the deadlock in 57 minutes, with Tardelli and Altobelli sealing the outcome way before Breitner’s consolation penalty seven minutes from the end, leaving 40-year-old ‘keeper and captain Dino Zoff to hoist the trophy.

1954 – West Germany 3 Hungary 2
Hungary were widely considered the best team in the world when Switzerland staged Europe’s first post-war World Cup tournament. An indication of the firepower the Magyars possessed came in the the group stages when they beat South Korea 9-0, and then recorded an 8-3 win over West Germany. The Final looked destined to be as one sided as the earlier contest when Puskas and Czibor put Hungary two-up after just nine minutes. But in an unbelievable turnaround, the Germans netted twice in quick succession through Morlock and Helmut Rahn by the 18 minute mark, then held out against a second half Hungarian barrage before pinching the winner through Rahn six minutes from time.

Diego Maradona

1986 – Argentina 3 West Germany 2
One name, and his performances, stuck out more than any other during Mexico ‘86: that of Maradona. After some mesmerising displays by the Argentine captain in the earlier rounds, including a double against England in the last eight, and another pair in the semi-final against Belgium, Argentina won their second World Cup in eight years after an enthralling duel against the back-to-back (to-back as it would transpire) finalists Germany. Brown and Valdano put the South Americans two ahead, only for the West Germans to score twice in six minutes through Rummenigge and Voller. That was with ten minutes left, yet there was another twist when Burruchaga netted the winner in 83 minutes making it Argentina’s – and Maradona’s – World Cup …

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