World Cup 1974 Facts
World Cup 1974 Background
Choosing the host country for the 2nd World Cup of the 70s went pretty much harmonic. On July 6 1966 in London, 3 host cities have been announced, which each would host the 1974, 1978 and 1982 World Cup.
Both Spain and West Germany were interested in both the 1974 and 1982 World Cup, since the 1978 World Cup would be held in South America. As a logical result, Spain decided to withdraw their bid for the 1974 World Cup, and West Germany withdrew their bid for the 1982 World Cup. This meant West Germany was chosen to host the 10th World Cup for the first time.
World Cup 1974 Participants
99 countries tried to qualify for the 1974 World Cup. As in previous World Cups, only 14 places of the 16 would be allocated. Brazil was automatically qualified since they won the 1970 World Cup, and West Germany automatically qualified as the host country.
8 places for Europe excluding West Germany were allocated to the following countries: East Germany, Yugoslavia, Scotland, Netherlands, Sweden, Bulgaria, Poland and Italy. East Germany qualified for the first time and the Netherlands and Poland qualified for the first time since 1938.
2 places for South America excluding Brazil were allocated to the following countries: Uruguay and Argentina.
1 place for Africa was allocated to country Zaire (now known as Democratic Republic of the Congo) which qualified for the first time. Zaire became the first sub-Saharan African country to have qualified for a World Cup.
1 place for North/Central America and Caribbean was allocated to country Haiti which qualified for the first time.
1 place for Oceania was allocated to country Australia which also qualified for the first time. Australia is also the first OFC country to have qualified for a World Cup.
1 intercontinental play-off had to be played by 2 countries which didn’t qualify directly: UEFA country Soviet Union against CONMEBOL country Chile. Chile won the play-off and therefore qualified last minute for the 1974 World Cup. The reason why Chile won is because Soviet Union refused to play the 2nd leg due to the 1973 Chilean coup d’état. The match was played though, with only 11 Chile players on the field. The captain simply walked the ball in the net.
No Asian (AFC) country was able to qualify for the 1974 World Cup.
World Cup 1974 Groups
As in the previous World Cups with 16 teams, they were divided in 4 groups. The round-robin format was implemented again; meaning all teams in a group had to play against all other group members. 1 point was rewarded for a draw and 2 points for a win. 2 teams would advance to the next round.
However the 1974 World Cup introduced a different format for the next round that hasn’t been used before in previous World Cups. No Quarter-Finals or Semi-Finals stages were played. Instead the 2nd round was again a group stage. The 8 teams making it to the 2nd round were divided in 2 groups of 4 teams each. The winner of each group would play against each other in the Final. The teams reaching the 2nd place of each group encountered each other in the match for the third place.
This format which included the group stage in the 2nd round would be implemented again in a few upcoming World Cups.
FIFA Organising Committee chose for the following 4 countries to be seed teams: Brazil, Italy, Uruguay and West Germany. Each team was placed in a different group.
The groups were as followed:
World Cup 1974 Stadiums
9 stadiums were used in 9 host cities during the 1974 World Cup. All 9 cities were located in West Germany. The city Berlin is the only East Germany city that was used, however only the west side. Only the west side was used since this part of Berlin belonged to West Germany as well.
The following 9 cities and 9 stadiums were used in Germany:
World Cup 1974 Schedule
World Cup 1974 Memorable Matches
West Germany – East Germany 1-0
A very unique match this was. East Germany played a World Cup for the first and last time. This was therefore the first and last time West and Easy Germany encountered each other in a World Cup. This match is considered as 1 of the most political charged matches in World Cup history. It was Easy Germany which won the match by a goal from Jürgen Sparwasser. Ironically , this was the only match West Germany lost in this tournament. East Germany topped the group and advanced together with neighbour West Germany.Group 2
Zaïre - Brazil 0-3
Zaïre played their first and only World Cup in 1974. Brazil won with not to much difficulty. 3 goals were scored in total by Jairzinho, Rivelino and Valdomiro. 1 of the most surprising and funny World Cup moments occurred in this match. A free kick was awarded to Brazil. For some reason, defender Ilunga Mwepu from Zaïre ran out of the defensive wall and shot the ball away, before any Brazilian player could touch it! A strange moment this was! He later stated he did this on purpose in order to receive the red card. The act was a protest against his country’s authorities who didn’t want to pay the players. The referee however, punished him with a yellow card. Zaïre was eliminated but which group 2 teams would advance? It was a close call. 3 countries Brazil, Yugoslavia and Scotland ended up with 4 points. The matches ended all in a draw except for the matches against Zaïre. Yugoslavia crushed Zaire with 9-0, so when implementing the goal difference rule Yugoslavia topped the group easily. Brazil ended up with a higher goal difference than Scotland and occupied the 2nd place. This was the first time Brazil advanced while having finished on the 2nd position instead of the first position in a group. Scotland ended up on the 3rd place and was eliminated due to this goal difference rule. However this would not be their first time….
Netherlands – Sweden 0-0
The Netherlands was playing 1 of their best World Cups. With the invention of Total Football, where each player should be able to play any position, they surprised every opponent. This was the only match where no goals were scored by the Netherlands. But it does contain 1 memorable moment! It was in this match against Sweden where forward Johan Cruijff showed the world his famous ‘Cruijff turn’! It was Swedish defender Jan Olsson who was fooled by this now infamous move. Both countries advanced to the next round.
Poland – Argentina 3-2
The Netherlands wasn’t the only country that impressed the world during the 1974 World Cup. Poland was the other country which showed impressive play and won each match. Only their last match against West Germany which resulted in elimination, was lost. In this exciting match against Argentina, 5 goals were scored in total. Polish winger Grzegorz Lato scored the first goal in the 7th minute. His team mate Andrzej Szarmach scored the 2-0 1 minute later. These were the only goals scored in the first half. In the 2nd half 3 goals were scored in a time span of 6 minutes! Ramón Heredia scored first for Argentina which was quickly corrected by a goal from Grzegorz Lato 2 minutes later. Argentinian striker Carlos Babington scored the 2nd goal for Argentina 4 minutes later. They couldn’t score the equalizer so Poland won. Both countries advanced to the next round. Poland’s win against Italy resulted in a quick elimination for Italy. Italy and Argentina had the same amount of points but Argentina advanced due to the goal difference rule. Second Round
Argentina – Brazil 1-2
This was the first time rivals Argentina and Brazil met in a World Cup. Due to their rivalry, a match between both teams is also called Battle of the South Americans. Brazil won this match with 2 goals scored by Rivelino and Jairzinho. Before Jairzinho scored in the 2nd half, the score was temporary 1-1 due to a goal by Argentinian Miguel Ángel Brindisi. Argentina could not find the equalizer. Argentina also lost against the Netherlands and drew against East Germany. They were therefore eliminated.Netherlands – Brazil 2-0
Westfalenstadion, Dortmund – attendance: 52,500
This match is not only known for the first Dutch triumph ever over Brazil. The match is also remembered for the hard defense the players were using. The Netherlands nevertheless, won this match with their impressive Total Football. Johan Neeskens and Johan Cruijff were the goalscorers. Brazil was eliminated and wasn’t as powerful as they used to be 4 years earlier in the 1970 World Cup. Although both teams met each other for the first time in a World Cup, it was certainly not the last time.Brazilians duck for Rivelino’s free kick! Against East Germany (1-0) Group B
West Germany – Sweden 4-2
West Germany was pretty lucky by finishing on the 2nd place of their group. They now avoided Brazil, Argentina and the Netherlands which were placed in Group A. Of all Group B matches, the highest amount of goals were scored in this match. West Germany showed clear superiority when it comes to football and scored 4 goals in the 2nd half. The goals were scored by 4 different players Wolfgang Overath, Rainer Bonhof, Jürgen Grabowski and Uli Hoeneß. Hoeneß scored a penalty. Sweden was able to score the only goal of the first half by Ralf Edström. Striker Roland Sandberg scored the 2nd goal for Sweden but could not prevent Sweden from being eliminated from the tournament.Poland – West Germany 0-1
Waldstadion, Frankfurt – attendance: 59,000
Both West Germany and Poland managed to beat Yugoslavia and Sweden. This was the crucial match: who will advance to the Final? It ended up being West Germany. But the match wasn’t an overall spectacle. Rainstorms made the pitch hard to play on and the match was delayed. The Local fire department was called to soap up the water but this didn’t improve much. The unplayable pitch created a lifeless match were only 1 goal was scored. It was German Gerd Müller who scored the only goal. The score could have been 2-0, since West Germany was awarded a penalty before Muller’s goal. However penalty taker Uli Hoeneß missed, which was the first German penalty miss in World Cup history. West Germany advanced and Poland played the match for the third place. Poland won against Brazil with 0-1. It was legendary Polish winger Grzegorz Lato who scored the 0-1 and became the 1974 World cup top scorer with 7 goals.
World Cup 1974 Final
The Netherlands, finally back in a World Cup since 1938. In their 3rd World Cup participation in 1974, they impressed the world with their unique way of football play called ‘Total Football’. This unique play is invented by then Dutch trainer Rinus Michels. Total Football meant the ability for every player to switch positions quickly during the match. The Netherlands performed magnificently and won every match except for the group match against Sweden which ended in a draw.
With confidence they entered the Final against their famous rival West Germany with captain Franz Beckenbauer. Unlike the Netherlands, West Germany lost 1 match in the group stage which was ironically against East Germany.
This was the very first time West Germany played against the Netherlands in a World Cup.
The Final was held on the 7th of July, in the Olympiastadion in Munich with 75,200 attendees. The match was delayed since the corner and center line flags were missing. The officials have forgotten to place the flags back in their position after the opening ceremony.
Johan Cruijff against Franz Beckenbauer. Would the Dutch Total Football dominate the strong and always focused Germans? The match started spectacularly with a penalty before West Germany even touched the ball (2′). It was Johan Neeskens who successfully scored the first penalty ever awarded in a World Cup Final.
West Germany however was granted the same opportunity 23 minutes later. The referee awarded the Germans a penalty and this time it was Paul Breitner who changed the score to 1-1 (25′). The 2nd and final goal of the match was scored just before the 15 minutes break. Gerd Müller became the Germany’s hero by scoring the 2nd goal (43′), which at the same time would be his last goal for the West German team.
Gerd Müller scored a goal in the 2nd half, but this was considered off-side by the referee. The Netherlands were not able to score the equalizer which meant West Germany became World Cup champion. They were the first team to win the new FIFA World Cup trophy since the Jules Rimet trophy was kept by Brazil after winning the 1970 World Cup.
For the 4th time in World Cup history, a country has won the World Cup for the 2nd time. West Germany became the 4th country to win a World Cup as a host country. They have won a World Cup before which was 20 years earlier in 1954. Gerd Müller scored his 14th goal in the Final. He surpassed French player Just Fontaine, who was the all-time World Cup top scorer with 13 goals which were all scored in the 1938 World Cup. Gerd Müller would stay all-time World Cup top scorer till the 2006 World Cup. It was in that World Cup where Brazilian Ronaldo sets a new record with 15 goals.
An interesting fact is that West Germany won the World Cup with having lost 1 match in the group stage. This is the 2nd time this has happened in World Cup history. Coincidentally, the first time was also West Germany but in the 1954 World Cup to Hungary.
West Germany would play their next Final 8 years later, and the Netherlands in the next World Cup to come.
World Cup 1974 Mascot
Probably due to the popularity of Juanito the 1970 World Cup mascot, FIFA chose to introduce humans again as a World Cup mascot. This time it wasn’t 1 boy but 2 boys who go by the name Tip and Tap. They like to play football and it is Tip who is holding a white football. They wear the German kit without East Germany or West Germany references. The jerseys have WM 74 on them, where WM stands for Weltmeisterschaft (World Cup). As Tip and Tap hug each other, they represent harmony, unity and fair play. Tip and Tap could each represent West Germany and East Germany, forecasting the unity of Germany in 1990.
World Cup 1974 Song
After the absence of a song for the 1970 World Cup, the World cup fans became happy again after the introduction of the 1974 World Cup song. This time it was a woman who sang and performed the song in Polish which is called Futbol. This woman is famous Polish singer Maryla Rodowicz who performed the song during the opening ceremony in Munich. It is so far the only Polish song which was used as an official World Cup song.
World Cup 1974 Records
Did You Know
World Cup 1974 FIFA Awards
World Cup 1974 FIFA All-Star Team
This is the first FIFA All-Star Team to include players from the Netherlands and Poland. For Chile this is the last time so far to be included. Instead of 11 players, this is the only All-Star Team together with the 1990 Team to include 12 players. The 1974 All-Star team also contains German player Franz Beckenbauer for the last time. It is the 3rd time he is included in an All-Star Team. He is the only player together with Brazilian Djalma Santos to be included in 3 All-Star Teams.
World Cup 1974 in Action
1974 FIFA World Cup Highlights Part 1 1974 FIFA World Cup Highlights Part 2 Greatest goals 1 Greatest goals 2 Heading for Glory – Official 1974 World Cup Movie (in Portuguese)
Tag: 1974 Fifa World Cup Final
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