In the 2022 FIFA World Cup leadup, people are excited about what will happen in Qatar. It led them to look at the past and see which can be considered the best matches in the event’s history.
As the most significant event in the sport, the World Cup is the event that fans will flock to since it has a lasting legacy. Look at the historical World Cup matches and discover why they are revered today.
England vs West Germany (1966 final)
Before the 1966 World Cup, most people were on the Brazil hype train because they won the two previous iterations in Sweden’s 1958 and Chile’s 1962 events. In the 1966 World Cup event, most fans in the stadium were cheering for their home country, England.
It was the chance for another team to take over because two-time defending champions Brazil did not make it out for the group stage. England took advantage as they beat Argentina and Portugal to make it to the final.
In that final at Wembley Stadium, England managed to bag the win in a historic 4-2 victory. It was a strong performance from England on both ends of the pitch. They cemented their place in the legendary World Cup winners list that only involved a few countries.
The only time England won the World Cup
Despite being known as the origin of soccer, England has only won the World Cup once. That World Cup-winning match was during the 1966 iteration when Geoff Hurst scored a hat-trick en route to a big-time victory. Before his last two goals, the game was tied at 2-2, proving Hurst was a hero to English fans then, and the final one is labelled as the Wembley Goal.
It was a valuable result for England because they were long maligned for their inability to win the big one before this, but afterwards, they were considered a powerful team. Hurst was the man of the match, but fans praised team captain Bobby Moore for his stellar performance on defence and leadership.
Italy vs West Germany (1970 semi-final)
Dubbed the ‘Game of the Century’, this match was held in the 1970 World Cup at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.
For most of the match, Italy held a 1-0 lead, but when extra time started, West Germany started to mount a comeback as they scored all their goals. However, Italy managed to hold on as they scored three goals to secure the win, with Giovanni Rivera scoring the final goal.
Game of the century
This match has remained one of the biggest reasons why Italy and Germany have remained top-tier countries in soccer. They have a passionate rivalry that can be traced back to their previous World Cup encounters, with this 1970 clash being the prime example.
It was a fantastic experience for everyone watching at home or in the stadium. Everyone could tell this was a legendary match when it was ongoing because a scoring onslaught from both sides during the extra time was surprising.
The edge-of-your-seat action captured the hearts of soccer fans worldwide because it was back and forth during that extra time until Rivera finished the job for Italy. The Italians advanced to the World Cup Final, and despite their best efforts, they lost to the Pelé-led Brazil team.
West Germany vs France (1982 semi-final)
West Germany always finds a way to have some fantastic matches, and just like the previous entry, this was during a semi-final. It was a historical match because it was exciting to watch and had many dramatic moments with all of the back-and-forth goals.
France did not end well because they had a 3-1 advantage after 98 minutes, but West Germany returned and tied the match at three goals apiece after 108 minutes. It led to the most intense penalty shootout at the time. French team captain Michel Platini considers it one of the best games ever played in soccer.
The intense penalty shootout
It was one of the best moments in World Cup history as it proved that penalty shootouts are unnerving for the fans and the players. After the fifth round, both teams were in a deadlock at four goals apiece, which prompted a move to sudden death. France’s Maxime Bossis’ shot was blocked, while West Germany’s Horst Hrubesch scored the winning penalty and punched his team’s ticket to the final.
Itay would win the event, but West Germany cemented that they deserved to be on the biggest stage because they never gave up. They were down two goals, but they pulled it back and turned the apparent loss into one of the most legendary results of all time.
Italy vs Brazil (1982 second round)
It might have only been a second-round match, but Italy vs Brazil in the 1982 World Cup is one of the best soccer matches ever. Brazil was considered soccer royalty then, but Italy managed to dethrone them and use that momentum to win the World Cup.
Brazil is known to be one of the biggest offensive powerhouses of all time, yet they were stopped by a fantastic performance by Italy’s defenders. Brazil’s free-flowing attacking style was no match for Italy’s toughness, which has become their trump card since.
Pablo Rossi’s hat trick
Rossi was the man of the match as he scored all of Italy’s goals en route to the victory. Sócrates and Falcão scored a goal apiece, but that was not enough because Rossi scored a screamer for the third and final goal.
His third goal was unfortunate for Brazil because a bad clearance ended at Rossi’s feet. He scored the goal to end the match and help Italy advance to the next round.
Italy would win the entire event as they beat West Germany in the final. Thanks to Rossi’s unique hat trick, this fantastic match will always be remembered by fans.
Argentina vs England (1986 quarter-final)
To this day, this match gets talked about when England and Argentina play against each other. The rivalry between the two countries was already intense with the political turmoil, but this game ignited a soccer rivalry that remains today.
Diego Maradona was the main man during this match as he scored two goals, with the first being the most controversial of all time. Despite the controversy, Argentina still took the victory, and they used the momentum to win the entire event on the back of Maradona’s fantastic World Cup run.
Maradona’s legendary performance
It’s arguably the most well-known game from Maradona’s illustrious career. The first goal, aptly named ‘The Hand of God’, was scored using Maradona’s hand. That has become infamous because Diego had no chance of reaching the ball with his head against lanky goalkeeper Peter Shilton.
However, the second goal was stunning since Maradona dribbled past five defenders as he secured the win for Argentina even if Gary Lineker scored a goal in the 81st minute. Argentina ended up winning 2-1 and used the momentum to propel them to another title, this time over West Germany in the final.
Romania vs Argentina (1994 second round)
Back in the 1994 World Cup, people were surprised that Romania performed at a higher level than expected. Argentina was the clear favourite heading into this match as they boasted a fearsome squad that involved Gabriel Batistuta and Abel Balbo, who managed to score this match. However, it was Ilie Dumitrescu and Gheorghe Hagi who scored a brace and a goal, respectively, that helped the underdogs pull off the massive upset.
Plucky underdogs getting the big win
The favourites were never ahead in this game which was not expected because they were one of the biggest contenders heading into the event. Romania would end up losing to Sweden in the quarter-final, but they proved they deserved to play on the biggest stage in soccer.
The Eastern European country cemented their place as one of the best teams in the world at the time as it topped its group. Few expected them to be a top team, but this win over Argentina was the icing for this team’s success that year.
Germany vs Brazil (2014 semi-final)
As the two biggest powerhouses in the 2014 event, Germany and Brazil were primed to be the biggest match of the tournament. Both teams entered the matchup with undefeated records, which ensured this would be a massive match.
Unfortunately, It ended up arguably the most lopsided match in World Cup history. An important factor behind Brazil’s dip in performance was team captain Neymar Jr.’s absence from the squad as he was injured. Star defender Thiago Silva was also sidelined due to a high-amount yellow-card suspension.
The most surprising result ever
Germany was the favourite to win the whole tournament. They ended up doing so as they were favoured to win against the plucky underdog Argentina in the final.
Soccer fans were perplexed with how well Germany played in this game as they took a 7-0 lead until Oscar scored a consolation goal in the 90th minute. Of course, Brazilian fans talked about Neymar and Silva’s absence, but they would not have affected the match to prevent this German barrage.
These were the goal-scorers for Germany in this lopsided result.
- Thomas Müller
- Miroslav Klose
- Toni Kroos (twice)
- Sami Khedira
- André Schürrle
Belgium vs Japan (2018 round of 16)
Heading into the match, Japan was the heavy underdog. Despite the odds, Japan took a 2-0 lead after 52 minutes. It was already a big upset for Japan, but Belgium proved they were the favourites in the matchup as Jan Vertonghen, Marouane Fellaini, and Nacer Chadli scored a goal.
Japan was a plucky underdog that took the lead, but they were inexperienced compared to Belgium’s top-tier players. However, it showcased that Japan has the potential to contend among the greats at the international level; they need to work on their gaps, including complacency.
Belgium’s stellar comeback
Many thought it was impossible to come back from two goals down, but Belgium managed to pull it back in the second half to pull off the surprising win. Most people expected Belgium to win, but after Japan took the lead, it was a tough mountain to climb. However, Roberto Martinez and his Belgian team pulled it off and secured a spot in the quarter-final.
The 2022 World Cup will have phenomenal matches
With all the top-tier matches in the World Cup’s history, you should look at the upcoming World Cup. There will be some phenomenal fixtures at the event that will be fun to watch because of the talented squads that will play at the event. Just look at the group stage and some of the scheduled matchups.
- Belgium vs Croatia
- Spain vs Germany
- Portugal vs Uruguay
- France vs Denmark
After the group stage, the knockout stage will have the best teams remaining at the event. It will be a display of elite soccer, and you should not miss out on watching those matches. The World Cup typically brings the best out of the players, as evidenced by the FIFA World Cup matches mentioned above that you can bet on at BC.Game.
The 2022 World Cup will be unlike any other
Do not miss out on the World Cup in 2022 because there are many top contenders. Brazil and France are the two teams to beat, but there will be other dark horses that you should check out. Argentina and England have come to mind as top-tier contenders, so you should keep an eye out for your betting at BC.Game in this event.