1 Introduction – Football World Cup 1974 » Winner – Teams -Statistics – History The tenth Fifa World Cup was held in West Germany duringthe summer of 1974. The competition sawthe hosts become champions, while underdogs the Netherlands and Poland, anddefending champions, Brazil, finished second, third and fourthrespectively. Ninety-eight nations attemptedto qualify, and many of the most thriving football nations in the world,including England and France, failed to make it to the finals tournament.
Underthe dampening atmosphere of heavy rain and political tension, West Germany 1974was, in many ways, a competition during which the World Cup as we know it todaywas born. 2 Participating Teams of the 1974 World Cup Finals Sixteen teams qualified for the finals of the 1974 WorldCup in West Germany. Having won the 1970tournament hosted in Mexico by defeating Italy 4-1, Brazil qualifiedautomatically. Argentina, Chile, andUruguay were the other South American nations that made it to the finals. Out of the thirty-two teams that comprisedthe UEFA zone, nine teams successfully qualified for the final stage. Scotland was the only home nation to make itto the finals, joining Bulgaria, East Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland,Scotland, Sweden, West Germany and Yugoslavia in what would be a challengingand unpredictable campaign for finalists. This tournament was particularly notable for the fact that it was thefirst World Cup that witnessed Australia (which would not again qualify foranother final until 2006), Haiti, Zaire – now the Democratic Republic of Congo– and East Germany reaching the last stage of the competition. The Netherlands and Poland, who both hadprominent roles in the final matches, had not qualified for a World Cup sincethe end of the Second World War.
Moreover,Scotland achieved their most successful performance at a World Cup to dateduring this competition. The Scots were,however, sent home after the first group stages despite being the only teamthat did not lose a match. 3 Winner of the World Cup 1974 West Germany, the hosts of the competition, won the 1974World Cup in impressive style. Captained by the legendry Franz Beckenbauer, theteam was on top form throughout the final stages of the tournament, winning sixmatches and losing one.
Gerd Müller was among the top goal scorers of the entiretournament, netting four goals throughout West Germany’s final games. Müller wasclearly instrumental to the success ofthis awe-inspiring West German team, but several of his team mates also appeared prominently on the competition’sscoresheet. Midfielders PaulBreitner and Wolfgang Overath scoredmultiple goals, while Bernhard Cullmann, Rainer Bonhof, JürgenGrabowski and Ulrich Hoeneß also all scored, bringing their nation ahard-fought and much deserved victory.
4 The story ofthe 1974 FIFA World Cup West Germany 1974 was a World Cup during which was adeparture from previous competitions. Inaddition to the fact that a newformat for the competition was implemented during this World Cup, FIFAinaugurated João Havelange aspresident shortly before the commencement of the finals, and he was the first personfrom outside Europe to hold the post in the history of the organisation. Perhaps the change which wasmost symbolic of the new face of the FIFA World Cup, however, was the fact thatthe iconic FIFA World Cup Trophy was presented to the champion nation. The Jules Rimet Trophy, which was the trophyused for previous World Cups, had been eternally bestowed upon the Brazilians,as they had won the title for the third time in Mexico 1970.
The entire competition brought together a wholehost of unlikely teams against some of the more usual faces, and teams such as theNetherlands, Poland, Yugoslavia, and Scotland were formidable when playing againsttheir high-ranking opponents.The final gameof the 1974 World Cup was held in Munich’s Olympiastadion,where West Germany defeated the Netherlands 2-1. The 78,000 spectators in attendance were treated to a furious first-half,in which the Netherlands’ Johan Neeskens fired in a penalty during the openingminutes. The West Germans quicklyequalised with a penalty taken by Breitner, and Müller took the team ahead justbefore half-time, in the forty-third minute. Much to the former title holder’s disappointment, Poland were therunners-up of the competition, beating Brazil 1-0 in front of an equally packedcrowd. In addition to their climatic final match against the Netherlands,another game of the campaign was particularly significant for the champions:both West Germany and East Germany were placed in Group one, characterising thefirst group stage with an unprecedented sense of political tension,particularly when the West was narrowly beaten 1-0 by the East.