Friday, May 08, 2009




The 8th FIFA World Cup was to be held in England to celebrate the centenary of the Codification of Football in England, the inventors of the game of Football. Before the tournament even got under way there was controversy as the African Confederation pulled out as FIFA created a rule that made the champions of Africa have a playoff against Asia to qualify for the World Cup. Also in the build up to the tournament the Jules Rimet Trophy was stolen from a display. After a nation wide manhunt for the Trophy it was finally found by a dog called Pickles. After this mishap a replica of the trophy was made and is now currently kept in the English National football Museum. The 1966 World Cup marked the first occasion that an Official Mascot was introduced for the FIFA World Cup, named Willie.

The 1966 tournament format remained the same as in 1962 with 4 groups of 4 teams of which the top 2 qualified for the Knockout Format being the quarters, semis and finals.
Group 1
England the hosts and seeds for this group played the opening game of the World Cup with Uruguay which ended in a goalless draw. England then went on to win their next 2 matches both 2-0 against Mexico and France to qualify for the Quarterfinals top of the group while Uruguay beat France and drew with Mexico to qualify 2nd.

Group 2
In Group 2, West Germany the seeds won their first game 5-0 against Switzerland with both Halle and Beckenbauer scoring 2 each and followed it up with a draw against Argentina and a 2-1 victory over Spain to qualify top of the group. Argentina also beat Spain and Switzerland to qualify 2nd behind West Germany on goal difference.

Group 3
Group 3 contained double defending champions and favourites Brazil with the likes of previous World Cup Stars in Pele & Garrincha as well as new talents Gerson, Jairzinho & Tostao. It was the old boys Pele & Garrincha that both scored cracking free kicks in their 2-0 opening match victory against Bulgaria. However Pele got injured and would miss Brazil’s next match against Hungary. Meanwhile Portugal in their first ever World Cup were out to prove a point with their star striker Eusebio. Portugal got their point across early with 2 comprehensive victories over Hungary 3-1 and Bulgaria 3-0. The Mighty Brazil without Pele however faulted against Hungary by losing 3-1 thanks to a superb performance by Hungary’s Florient Albert. Hungary were the last team to beat Brazil at the FIFA World Cup 12 years ago. In the final group games Brazil needed to beat Portugal in order to qualify but once again Pele was chopped to pieces by the Portuguese defenders and was carried off due to the violent tactics and continuous fouls from the Portuguese players. Pele continued but was ineffective due to him limping for the rest of the game. Eusebio once again starred with 2 goals in Portugal 3-1 victory. Hungary then beat Bulgaria 3-1 leaving Brazil deflated with a first round exit.

Group 4
The Italians were the seeded team in this group and all began well with a 2-0 victory over Chile. However the USSR after a 3-0 victory over unknown North Korea also in the first ever World Cup then beat Italy 1-0 and Chile 2-1 to qualify top of the group with a 100% record. All Italy needed to qualify was a draw against North Korea but the unknown North Koreans caused one of the greatest ever upsets with a 1-0 victory of the Italians. Such was the disappointment of the Italian fans back home that when the players arrived back in Italy they were met with a barrage of rotten tomatoes. North Korea qualified for the quarterfinals against all the odds.

The quarterfinals provided no shortage of drama and controversy. In West Germany’s easy 4-0 victory over Uruguay, the South Americans claimed that English referee Jim Finney ignored a goal line clearance by Schnellinger with his hand. Furthermore 2 Uruguay players Captain Troche and Silva were sent off. After being dismissed Troche slapped a German in the face on his way off. Anyway the Germans won the game with Haller scoring 2 and Beckenbauer once again on the score sheet. The USSR with legendary goalkeeper Lev Yashin overcame the Hungarian 2-1. In one of the most amazing comebacks of all time Portugal beat the tournament surprise package in North Korea 5-3 after being 3-0 down after just 25 minutes. Eusebio, one of the World Cup’s Best Players, was inspirational in leading Portugal’s fight back with 4 goals.

El Robo del Siglo (The Robbery of the Century)
The match between England and Argentina was to be the start of a rivalry between 2 nations that is still prevalent today. The game was won 1-0 by England thanks to a Geoff Hurst goal. However the Argentines protested the validity of the goal as they believed it was off-side. Furthermore Argentine captain Antonio Rattin was sent off by German referee Rudolph Kreitlein and it is reported that the referee said he sent him off because he did not like the way he looked. In fact Rattin was arguing the fact that England were receiving preferential treatment from the referee and had to be escorted off the pitch as he refused to leave. After finally leaving the pitch Ratting sat down on the Queen’s Red Carpet for a moment. After the game Alf Ramsey instructed his players not to swap shirts with the Argentine players as is the custom at World Cup Matches and he later described the South Americans as “Animals”. The Argentine Press and Public were outraged at the outcome of the match and published pictures of Mascot Willie in pirate outfits to demonstrate their opinion of the match and the English team. Till today this match is known in Argentina as “El Robo del Siglo” The Robbery of the Century.

The Semi-finals had all European teams. The West Germans continued their charge for success with a 2-1 victory over USSR thanks to Franz Beckenbauer scoring their 2nd goal, a long distance cracker. The USSR were reduced to 10 men with Chislenko being sent off. The English progressed through to their first ever World Cup Final with a 2-1 victory over Portugal. Once again there was controversy as the venue for the fixture was changed due to intervention from English officials from Liverpool to Wembley. Bobby Charlton scored both of England’s goals.

Third Place Playoff
In the third place playoff star player Eusebio scored in Portugal’s 2-1 victory over the USSR and became the tournaments golden boot winner with 9 goals.
Alf Ramsey’s “Wingless Wonders” had progressed through to the finals conceding just 1 goal throughout the tournament, a Eusebio penalty in the semi-final. England’s success in this World Cup was down to their great defensive skills with the likes of Gordon Banks in goal, Captain Bobby Moore leading the defence, Nobbie Styles breaking down opposition attacks in midfield, Bobby Charlton and Alan Ball creating in midfield and Geoff Hurst in attack. The English crows and press were constantly criticising Ramsey for choosing Hurst over star player Jimmy Greaves. The West Germans had reached the finals with some convincing victories along the way. The Germans had the likes of a 20 year old Franz Beckenbauer and Wolfgang Overath dictating in midfield with Uwe Seeler and Haller finishing off upfront. The final was played at Wembley Stadium.

Haller gave Germany the lead in the 12th minute after a defensive error. Hurst equalised after Bobby Moore took a quick free kick and picked out an unmarked Hurst who headed passed the German Keeper. Late on in the 2nd half Martin Peters gave England the lead and with just 2 minutes to go Wolfgang Weber equalised to take the game into extra time. In the 11th minute of Extra Time Geoff Hurst struck a powerful shot that struck the under side of the crossbar and fell straight down and then out and was cleared. Referee Dienst was unsure of whether it was a goal and consulted linesman Bakhramov. After a debate with his linesman the referee awarded the goal and England once again were in the lead. Till today this goal is debated among football fans World Wide as to whether it was over or not.

With just a minute left to play the entire German team including their defence were all attempting to score an equaliser and this allowed Bobby Moore to send a clearance pass straight to an unmarked Geoff Hurst to complete the only World Cup Final hatrick to date and ensure England’s first ever World Cup victory. The victory was immediately described by BBC Commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme as follows: “They think it’s all over, It is now”.

Picture of 2 of the 1966 World Cup’s Greatest Players, Franz Beckenbauer & Bobby Charlton
Alf Ramsey’s successful defensive 4-4-2 diamond formation with no Wide Wing players was dubbed England’s Wingless Wonders. England’s winning captain and defensive rock, Bobby Moore holds aloft the Jules Rimet Trophy.



  1. Jurgen KlinsmannFriday, 08 May, 2009

    That ball did not cross the line !!!

  2. The ref ruled that the ball crossed the line so it don't matter what you think Klismann!

    2 World Wars and a World Cup!


  3. 1966 was a great year for English Football
    Eric Cantona was born

  4. klinsman u wanker get lost,
    we won it stop taking the gloss of sir alf ramseys immortals of 1966!

    and i was better then you!

  5. 1966...aah..the only fokin time england did anything.........

    wa hahahahaha!!!

    england is kak!!!!

    God save them all!!!


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