Sunday, January 10, 2010

1994 Fifa World Cup

The 1994 FIFA World Cup, the 15th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in the United States from 17 June to 17 July 1994. The United States was chosen as hosts by FIFA on 4 July 1988. Brazil became the first nation to win four World Cup titles when they beat Italy 3-2 in a penalty shootout after the game ended 0-0 after extra-time, the first final to be decided by penalties.

The average attendance for the tournament was 69,000 while the total attendance was 3.6 million. The 1994 World Cup holds the record for the highest attendance in World Cup history. It was also the highest-attended single sport event in U. S. history.

FIFA's decision to hold the event in the United States over the bids of Morocco and Brazil surprised many due to the common perception that the United States had a relative lack of football (soccer) fans. FIFA hoped that by staging the world's most prestigious football tournament there, it would lead to a growth of interest in the sport - one condition FIFA imposed was the creation of a professional football league; Major League Soccer started play in 1996. Despite these misgivings, in terms of attendance the event was a success.

The average attendance of nearly 69,000 shattered a record that had stood since 1950, due to the bigger capacities of the American stadiums compared to those of Europe and Latin America. To this day, the total attendance for the final tournament of nearly 3.6 million remains the highest in World Cup history, despite the expansion of the competition to 32 teams in 1998. Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Belgium, Italy and the USA were seeded for the final draw that took place in Las Vegas, on 19 December 1993.


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1990 Fifa World Cup

The 1990 FIFA World Cup, the 14th staging of the World Cup, was held in Italy from 8 June to 8 July. Italy was chosen as the hosts by FIFA on 19 May 1984, making it the second country to host the event twice. The Soviet Union was the rival of Italy's candidacy to host the event. It was won by West Germany, who beat Argentina 1–0 in the final to win the World Cup for the third time.
The 1990 World Cup is widely regarded as one of the poorest World Cups ever. It generated a record low goals-per-game average and then-record of 16 red cards were handed out. Most teams relied heavily on defensive play and hard tackling, as well as aggressive intimidation of the referee. In the knockout stage, many teams would "play it safe" for 120 minutes and try their luck in the penalty shoot-out, rather than risk going forward. Ireland and Argentina were prime examples of this trend of cautious defensive play; the Irish made it to the quarter-finals after scoring just twice in five games and drawing all their matches until their defeat to Italy. Argentina, meanwhile, scored only five times en route to the final. Cameroon were one of the few teams to choose an attacking style. Eventual champions West Germany also concentrated on offense-oriented play, but they too became more defensive as the tournament progressed.

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Friday, January 1, 2010

1986 FIFA World Cup

The 1986 FIFA World Cup, the 13th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in Mexico from 31 May to 29 June.
Colombia had been originally chosen to host the competition by FIFA but, largely due to economic reasons, was not able to host the competition and officially resigned in 1982. Mexico was selected as the new host in May 1983. The tournament was the second to feature a 24-team format, although unlike the previous edition in 1982, the second round of the tournament was played on a knock-out basis rather than groups. Although the heat and altitude of Mexico would seem to favour Latin American teams, the likes of Belgium, France and West Germany all progressed to the later stages of the competition. But it was eventually won by Argentina (second title after 1978), who beat West Germany 3–2 in the final at Mexico City's Estadio Azteca.
Jose Brown put Argentina one up midway through the first half of the final, and when Jorge Valdano scored a second for the South Americans in the 55th minute, Argentina looked to be strolling to victory. But then West Germany staged a spirited comeback. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge pulled one back in the 74th minute, and six minutes later Rudi Völler hit the equaliser. The momentum now seemed to be with West Germany – but with seven minutes remaining, a brilliant pass from Maradona gave Jorge Burruchaga the chance to score the winner for Argentina. Eight years on from their home triumph, Argentina regained the world title for the second time, and 30 million people in Argentina celebrated in the streets after the final victory. Maradona was the Golden Ball winner as the best player of the tournament, while Gary Lineker of England won the Golden Boot as the leading scorer of the World Cup with six goals.

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1982 FIFA World Cup

The 1982 FIFA World Cup, the 12th FIFA World Cup, was held in Spain from 13 June to 11 July, 1982. Spain was chosen as hosts by FIFA in July 1966. The tournament was won by Italy, after beating West Germany 3–1 in the final.
Italy equalled Brazil's record of winning the World Cup 3 times. The tournament was marked by a series of great matches and is widely regarded by fans and pundits as the best World Cup since the 1970 tournament, and for the first time the World Cup was expanded to feature 24 teams, 8 more than in the previous tournament 1978.Italy's lead appeared secure, encouraging Italian president Sandro Pertini to wag his finger at the cameras in a playful "not going to catch us now" gesture, overcoming an initial reluctance from the Italian crowd to declare victory early after West Germany's famous comeback in the semi-final. In the 83rd minute, however, Paul Breitner managed to put a small scare back into the Italians by driving home a goal against the otherwise spectacular Dino Zoff but it was never enough and Italy claimed their first World Cup title in 48 years, and their third in total with a 3–1 victory.

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