The 1954 World Cup, held in Switzerland, was the first to be televised. The Soviet Union did not participate because of their dismal performance at the 1952 Summer Olympics. Scotland made their first appearance in the tournament, but they were unable to register a win, going out after the group stage. This tournament set a number of all-time goal-scoring records, including highest average goals per game and highest-scoring team (Hungary), Neverwinter Zen and most goals in a single match (Austria’s 7–5 quarter-final victory over Switzerland). West Germany were the tournament winners, defeating Olympic champions Hungary 3–2 in the final, overturning a 2–0 deficit in the process, with Helmut Rahn scoring the winner. The match is known as the Miracle of Bern in Germany.
The 1966 FIFA World Cup, hosted by England (UK), was the first to embrace marketing, featuring a mascot and official logo for the first time. The trophy was stolen in the run-up to the tournament but was found a week later by a dog named “Pickles”. South Africa was banned for violating the anti-discrimination charter (apartheid). The ban remained in effect until 1992 when the South Africa Football Association was finally accepted by FIFA. The qualifying rounds of the tournament saw a controversy when the African nations decided to withdraw in protest of only one qualifying place allocated by FIFA to the regions of Asia, Oceania and Africa.
The eventual qualifiers from the zone, North Korea, became the first Asian team to reach the quarter-finals, eliminating Italy in the process. England won the tournament, although Joao Havelange (former FIFA President from 1974 to 1998) claimed that the 1966 and 1974 World Cups were fixed so that England and Germany would win respectively. Geoff Hurst became the first and to this day the only player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup Final and Eusébio, whose team Portugal were taking part in their first World Cup, was the tournament top-scorer, with 9 goals to his name.
The result was the one we all expected in the end, but increasingly the intrigue around the Club World Cup final is less about who will end up lifting the trophy and more about how the non-European side will approach the occasion. River Plate battled in the first half and kept their chins up even when 3-0 down late on in the second but didn’t have any reply to Barcelona’s brilliance in Yokohama. Lionel Messi declared Barcelona are the “best team in the world” after becoming Club World Cup champions with a 3-0 win against River Plate in Sunday’s final. Messi, 28, returned from a kidney issue to start the game in Yokohama against Copa Libertadores champions River, and opened the scoring after 33 minutes with a fine finish from Neymar’s header down.
Luis Suarez scored twice more after half-time as Barca added a fifth trophy to the Champions League, La Liga, Copa del Rey and European Supercup. The FIFA Club World Cup, formerly known as the FIFA Club World Championship, is an international men’s association football competition organised by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport’s global governing body. The competition was first contested as the 2000 FIFA Club World Championship. It was not held between 2001 and 2004 due to a combination of factors, most importantly the collapse of FIFA’s marketing partner International Sport and Leisure. Since 2005, the competition has been held every year, and has been hosted by Brazil, Japan, Neverwinter Gold the United Arab Emirates and Morocco. The FIFA Club World Cup’s prestige is perceived quite differently in the football world.