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1966 FIFA World Cup

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1966 FIFA World Cup

1966 FIFA World Cup
World Cup 1966
1966 FIFA World Cup official logo
Tournament details
Host country  England
Dates 11–30 July (20 days)
Teams 16 (from 5 confederations)
Venue(s) (in 7 host cities)
Final positions
Champions  England (1st title)
Runners-up  West Germany
Third place  Portugal
Fourth place  Soviet Union
Tournament statistics
Matches played 32
Goals scored 89 (2.78 per match)
Attendance 1,563,135 (48,848 per match)
Top scorer(s) Eusébio (9 goals)

The 1966 FIFA World Cup, the eighth staging of the World Cup, was held in England from 11 to 30 July. England beat West Germany 4–2 in the final, winning the World Cup. With this victory, England won their first FIFA World Cup title and became the third World Cup host to win the tournament after Uruguay in 1930 and Italy in 1934.

The 1966 Final, held at Wembley Stadium,[1] was the last to be broadcast in black and white.[2] The tournament held a 28-year FIFA record for the largest average attendance until it was surpassed by the United States in 1994.

Host selection

England was chosen as host of the 1966 World Cup in Rome, Italy on 22 August 1960, over opposition from West Germany and Spain.


Sixteen African nations boycotted the tournament in protest of a 1964 FIFA ruling that required the three second-round winners from the African zone to enter a play-off round against the winners of the Asian zone in order to win a place at the finals. The Africans felt that winning their zone was enough in itself to merit qualification for the finals.

Despite the Africans' absence, there was another new record number of entries for the qualifying tournament, with 70 nations taking part. After all the arguments, FIFA finally ruled that ten teams from Europe would qualify, along with four from South America, one from Asia and one from North and Central America.

Portugal and North Korea qualified for the first time. Portugal would not qualify again until 1986, while North Korea's next appearance was at the 2010 tournament. This was also Switzerland's last World Cup finals until 1994. Notable absentees from this tournament included 1962 semi-finalists Yugoslavia and 1962 finalists Czechoslovakia.


The format of the 1966 competition remained the same as 1962: 16 qualified teams were divided into four groups of four. Each group played a round-robin format. Two points were awarded for a win and one point for a draw, with goal average used to separate teams equal on points. The top two teams in each group advanced to the knockout stage.

In the knockout games, if the teams were tied after 90 minutes, 30 minutes of extra time were played. For any match other than the final, if the teams were still tied after extra time, lots would be drawn to determine the winner. The final would have been replayed if tied after extra time. In the event, no replays or drawing of lots was necessary.


Qualification for 1966 FIFA World Cup
World map with result of qualifications for the 1966 soccer world cup
  FIFA members qualified for World Cup (including colonies as of 1966)
  FIFA members that failed to qualify
  FIFA members that did not enter World Cup
  Countries not members of FIFA in 1966

The 1966 World Cup had a rather unusual hero off the field, a dog called Pickles. In the build-up to the tournament, the Jules Rimet trophy was stolen from an exhibition display. A nationwide hunt for the icon ensued. It was later discovered wrapped in newspaper as the dog sniffed under some bushes in London. The FA commissioned a replica cup in case the original cup was not found in time. This replica is held at the English National Football Museum in Manchester, where it is on display.[3]

The draw for the final tournament, taking place on 6 January 1966 at the Royal Garden Hotel in London was the first ever to be televised, with England, West Germany, Brazil and Italy as seeds.[4]

First round

1966 was a World Cup with few goals as the teams began to play much more tactically and defensively. This was exemplified by Alf Ramsey's England as they finished top of Group 1 with only four goals to their credit, but having none scored against them. They also became the first World Cup winning team not to win its first game in the tournament. Uruguay were the other team to qualify from that group at the expense of both Mexico and France. All the group's matches were played at Wembley Stadium apart from the match between Uruguay and France which took place at White City Stadium. In Group 2, West Germany and Argentina qualified with ease as they both finished the group with 5 points, Spain managed 2, while Switzerland left the competition after losing all three group matches. FIFA cautioned Argentina for its violent style in the group games, particularly in the scoreless draw with West Germany, which saw Argentinean Rafael Albrecht get sent off and suspended for the next match.[5][6]

In the northwest of England, Old Trafford and Goodison Park played host to Group 3 which saw the two-time defending champions Brazil finish in third place behind Portugal and Hungary, and be eliminated along with Bulgaria. Brazil were defeated 3–1 by Hungary in a classic encounter before falling by the same scoreline to Portugal in a controversial game; this was Brazil's worst performance in any World Cup. Portugal appeared in the finals for the first time, and made quite an impact. They won all three of their games in the group stage, with a lot of help from their outstanding striker Eusébio, whose nine goals made him the tournament's top scorer.

Group 4, however, provided the biggest upset when North Korea beat Italy 1–0 at Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough and finished above them, thus earning qualification to the next round along with the Soviet Union. This was the first time that a nation from outside Europe or the Americas had progressed from the first stage of a World Cup: the next would be Morocco in 1986.

Quarter-finals, semi-finals, and third-place match

The quarter-finals provided a controversial victory for West Germany as they cruised past Uruguay 4–0; the South Americans claimed that this occurred only after the referee (who was Jim Finney, from England) had not recognised a handball by Schnellinger on the goal line and then had sent off two players from Uruguay: Horacio Troche and Héctor Silva.[7] It appeared as though the surprise package North Korea would claim another major upset in their match against Portugal when after 22 minutes they lead 3–0. It fell to one of the greatest stars of the tournament, Eusébio, to change that. He scored four goals in the game and José Augusto added a fifth in the 78th minute to earn Portugal a 5–3 win.

Meanwhile in the other two games, Ferenc Bene's late goal for Hungary against the Soviet Union, who were led by Lev Yashin's stellar goalkeeping, proved little more than a consolation as they crashed out 2–1, and the only goal between Argentina and England came courtesy of England's Geoff Hurst. During that controversial game (for more details see Argentina and England football rivalry), Argentina's Antonio Rattín became the first player to be sent off in a senior international football match at Wembley.[8] Rattín at first refused to leave the field and eventually had to be escorted by several policemen. After 30 minutes England scored the only goal of the match. This game is called el robo del siglo (the robbery of the century) in Argentina.[9]

Results of 1966 FIFA World Cup
World map showing results of participants of the 1966 soccer world cup
  Champion   Runner-up   3rd place   4th place   1/4-finals   Group stage
Eusébio finished as the tournament's top scorer, and also featured in the all-star team

All semi-finalists were from Europe. The venue of the first semi-final between England and Portugal was changed from Goodison Park in Liverpool to Wembley, due to Wembley's larger capacity. This larger capacity was particularly significant during a time when ticket revenue was of crucial importance.[10] Bobby Charlton scored both goals in England's win, with Portugal's goal coming from a penalty in the 82nd minute after a handball by Jack Charlton on the goal line.[11] [12] The other semi-final also finished 2–1: Franz Beckenbauer scoring the winning goal with a left foot shot from the edge of the area for West Germany as they beat the Soviet Union.[13] Portugal went on to beat the Soviet Union 2–1 to take third place. Portugal's third place remains the best finish by a team making its World Cup debut since 1934. It was subsequently equalled by Croatia in the 1998 tournament.


London's Wembley Stadium was the venue for the final, and 98,000 people attended. After 12 minutes 32 seconds Helmut Haller put West Germany ahead, but the score was levelled by Geoff Hurst four minutes later. Martin Peters put England in the lead in the 78th minute; England looked set to claim the title when the referee awarded a free kick to West Germany with one minute left. The ball was launched goalward and Wolfgang Weber scored, with England appealing in vain for handball as the ball came through the crowded penalty area.[14]

With the score level at 2–2 at the end of 90 minutes, the game went to extra time. In the 98th minute, Hurst found himself on the scoresheet again; his shot hit the crossbar, bounced down onto the goal line, and was awarded as a goal. Debate has long raged over whether the ball crossed the line, with the goal becoming part of World Cup history; Ian Reid and Andrew Zisserman claim to prove that the ball did not cross the line.[15] England's final goal was scored by Hurst again, as a celebratory pitch invasion began. This made Geoff Hurst the only player ever to have scored three times in a World Cup final.[14] BBC commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme's description of the match's closing moments has gone down in history: "Some people are on the pitch. They think it's all over ... [Hurst scores] It is now!".[16]

England's total of eleven goals scored in six games set a new record low for average goals per game scored by a World Cup winning team. The record stood until 1982, when it was surpassed by Italy's twelve goals in seven games; in 2010 this record was lowered again by Spain, winning the Cup with eight goals in seven games. England's total of three goals conceded also constituted a record low for average goals per game conceded by a World Cup winning team. That record stood until 1994, when it was surpassed by Brazil's three goals in seven games. Spain again lowered the record to two goals by conceding them during the group stage and then shutting out its four knockout stage opponents by 1–0 scores.

England received the recovered Jules Rimet trophy from Elizabeth II and were crowned World Cup winners for the first time.[14]

In this World Cup edition, although had the ceremony with the military bands during the players entrance to the pitch, the national anthems were not played. This was because England feared that North Korea's presence - a socialist country that is not recognized by United Kingdom - in the World Cup would cause problems with South Korea. An office memo of the Foreign Office months before the finals stated that the solution would be "denying the visas to North Korean players".[17]


World Cup Willie, the mascot for the 1966 competition, was the first World Cup mascot, and one of the first mascots to be associated with a major sporting competition. World Cup Willie is a lion, a typical symbol of the United Kingdom, wearing a Union Flag jersey emblazoned with the words "WORLD CUP".


White City Stadium in London was used for a single game from Group 1, between Uruguay and France. The game was scheduled for a Friday, the same day as regularly scheduled greyhound racing at Wembley. Because Wembley's owner refused to cancel this, the game had to be moved to the alternative venue.

Sunderland Middlesbrough Liverpool
Roker Park Ayresome Park Goodison Park
Capacity:40,310 Capacity:40,310 Capacity:50,151
Old Trafford
Hillsborough Stadium
London Birmingham
Wembley Stadium White City Stadium Villa Park
Capacity:100,000 Capacity:76,567 Capacity:55,000

Match officials



Pot 1: South American Pot 2: European Pot 3: Latin European Pot 4: Rest of the World


For a list of all squads that appeared in the final tournament, see 1966 FIFA World Cup squads.


Group stage

Group 1

Team Pld W D L GF GA GAv Pts
 England 3 2 1 0 4 0 5
 Uruguay 3 1 2 0 2 1 2.00 4
 Mexico 3 0 2 1 1 3 0.33 2
 France 3 0 1 2 2 5 0.40 1
11 July 1966
19:30 BST
England  0–0  Uruguay
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 87,148
Referee: Istvan Zsolt (Hungary)

13 July 1966
19:30 BST
France  1–1  Mexico
Hausser Goal 62' Report Borja Goal 48'
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 69,237
Referee: Menachem Ashkenazi (Israel)

15 July 1966
19:30 BST
Uruguay  2–1  France
Rocha Goal 26'
Cortés Goal 31'
Report De Bourgoing Goal 15' (pen.)
White City Stadium, London
Attendance: 45,662
Referee: Karol Galba (Czechoslovakia)

16 July 1966
19:30 BST
England  2–0  Mexico
B. Charlton Goal 37'
Hunt Goal 75'
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 92,570
Referee: Concetto Lo Bello (Italy)

19 July 1966
16:30 BST
Mexico  0–0  Uruguay
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 61,112
Referee: Bertil Lööw (Sweden)

20 July 1966
19:30 BST
England  2–0  France
Hunt Goal 38'75' Report
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 98,270
Referee: Arturo Yamasaki (Peru)

Group 2

Team Pld W D L GF GA GAv Pts
 West Germany 3 2 1 0 7 1 7.00 5
 Argentina 3 2 1 0 4 1 4.00 5
 Spain 3 1 0 2 4 5 0.80 2
 Switzerland 3 0 0 3 1 9 0.11 0
  • West Germany were placed first due to superior goal average.
12 July 1966
19:30 BST
West Germany  5–0  Switzerland
Held Goal 16'
Haller Goal 21'77' (pen.)
Beckenbauer Goal 40'52'
Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield
Attendance: 36,127
Referee: Hugh Phillips (Scotland)

13 July 1966
19:30 BST
Argentina  2–1  Spain
Artime Goal 65'77' Report Pirri Goal 67'
Villa Park, Birmingham
Attendance: 42,738
Referee: Dimiter Rumentchev (Bulgaria)

15 July 1966
19:30 BST
Spain  2–1  Switzerland
Sanchís Goal 57'
Amancio Goal 75'
Report Quentin Goal 31'

16 July 1966
15:00 BST
Argentina  0–0  West Germany
Villa Park, Birmingham
Attendance: 46,587
Referee: Konstantin Zečević (Yugoslavia)

19 July 1966
19:30 BST
Argentina  2–0  Switzerland
Artime Goal 52'
Onega Goal 79'
Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield
Attendance: 32,127
Referee: Joaquim Campos (Portugal)

20 July 1966
19:30 BST
West Germany  2–1  Spain
Emmerich Goal 39'
Seeler Goal 84'
Report Fusté Goal 23'
Villa Park, Birmingham
Attendance: 42,187
Referee: Armando Marques (Brazil)

Group 3

Team Pld W D L GF GA GAv Pts
 Portugal 3 3 0 0 9 2 4.50 6
 Hungary 3 2 0 1 7 5 1.40 4
 Brazil 3 1 0 2 4 6 0.67 2
 Bulgaria 3 0 0 3 1 8 0.13 0
12 July 1966
19:30 BST
Brazil  2–0  Bulgaria
Pelé Goal 15'
Garrincha Goal 63'
Goodison Park, Liverpool
Attendance: 47,308
Referee: Kurt Tschenscher (West Germany)

13 July 1966
19:30 BST
Portugal  3–1  Hungary
José Augusto Goal 1'67'
Torres Goal 90'
Report Bene Goal 60'
Old Trafford, Manchester
Attendance: 29,886
Referee: Leo Callaghan (Wales)

15 July 1966
19:30 BST
Hungary  3–1  Brazil
Bene Goal 2'
Farkas Goal 64'
Mészöly Goal 73' (pen.)
Report Tostão Goal 14'
Goodison Park, Liverpool
Attendance: 51,387
Referee: Ken Dagnall (England)

16 July 1966
15:00 BST
Portugal  3–0  Bulgaria
Vutsov Goal 17' (o.g.)
Eusébio Goal 38'
Torres Goal 81'
Old Trafford, Manchester
Attendance: 25,438
Referee: José María Codesal (Uruguay)

19 July 1966
19:30 BST
Portugal  3–1  Brazil
Simões Goal 15'
Eusébio Goal 27'85'
Report Rildo Goal 70'
Goodison Park, Liverpool
Attendance: 58,479
Referee: England)

20 July 1966
19:30 BST
Hungary  3–1  Bulgaria
Davidov Goal 43' (o.g.)
Mészöly Goal 45'
Bene Goal 54'
Report  15'
Old Trafford, Manchester
Attendance: 24,129
Referee: Roberto Goicoechea (Argentina)

Group 4

Team Pld W D L GF GA GAv Pts
 Soviet Union 3 3 0 0 6 1 6.00 6
 North Korea 3 1 1 1 2 4 0.50 3
 Italy 3 1 0 2 2 2 1.00 2
 Chile 3 0 1 2 2 5 0.40 1
12 July 1966
19:30 BST
Soviet Union  3–0  North Korea
Malofeyev Goal 31'88'
Banishevskiy Goal 33'
Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough
Attendance: 23,006
Referee: Juan Gardeazábal Garay (Spain)

13 July 1966
19:30 BST
Italy  2–0  Chile
Mazzola Goal 8'
Barison Goal 88'
Roker Park, Sunderland
Attendance: 27,199
Referee: Gottfried Dienst (Switzerland)

15 July 1966
19:30 BST
Chile  1–1  North Korea
Marcos Goal 26' (pen.) Report Pak Seung-zin Goal 88'

16 July 1966
15:00 BST
Soviet Union  1–0  Italy
Chislenko Goal 57' Report
Roker Park, Sunderland
Attendance: 27,793
Referee: Rudolf Kreitlein (West Germany)

19 July 1966
19:30 BST
North Korea  1–0  Italy
Pak Doo-ik Goal 42' Report
Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough
Attendance: 17,829
Referee: Pierre Schwinte (France)

20 July 1966
19:30 BST
Soviet Union  2–1  Chile
Porkujan Goal 28'85' Report Marcos Goal 32'
Roker Park, Sunderland
Attendance: 16,027
Referee: John Adair (Northern Ireland)

Knockout stage

Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
23 July – London (Wembley)        
  England  1
26 July – London (Wembley)
  Argentina  0  
  England  2
23 July – Liverpool
      Portugal  1  
  Portugal  5
30 July – London (Wembley)
  North Korea  3  
  England (aet)  4
23 July – Sheffield    
    West Germany  2
  West Germany  4
25 July – Liverpool
  Uruguay  0  
  West Germany  2 Third place
23 July – Sunderland
      Soviet Union  1   28 July – London (Wembley)
  Soviet Union  2
  Portugal  2
  Hungary  1  
  Soviet Union  1


23 July 1966
15:00 BST
Portugal  5–3  North Korea
Eusébio Goal 27'43' (pen.)56'59' (pen.)
José Augusto Goal 80'
Report Pak Seung-zin Goal 1'
Li Dong-woon Goal 22'
Yang Seung-Kook Goal 25'
Goodison Park, Liverpool
Attendance: 40,248
Referee: Menachem Ashkenazi (Israel)

23 July 1966
15:00 BST
West Germany  4–0  Uruguay
Haller Goal 11'83'
Beckenbauer Goal 70'
Seeler Goal 75'
Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield
Attendance: 40,007
Referee: Jim Finney (England)

23 July 1966
15:00 BST
Soviet Union  2–1  Hungary
Chislenko Goal 5'
Porkujan Goal 46'
Report Bene Goal 57'
Roker Park, Sunderland
Attendance: 26,844
Referee: Juan Gardeazábal Garay (Spain)

23 July 1966
15:00 BST
England  1–0  Argentina
Hurst Goal 78' Report
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 90,584
Referee: Rudolf Kreitlein (West Germany)


25 July 1966
19:30 BST
West Germany  2–1  Soviet Union
Haller Goal 42'
Beckenbauer Goal 67'
Report Porkujan Goal 88'
Goodison Park, Liverpool
Attendance: 38,273
Referee: Concetto Lo Bello (Italy)

26 July 1966
19:30 BST
England  2–1  Portugal
B. Charlton Goal 30'80' Report Eusébio Goal 82' (pen.)
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 94,493
Referee: Pierre Schwinte (France)

Third-place match

28 July 1966
19:30 BST
Portugal  2–1  Soviet Union
Eusébio Goal 12' (pen.)
Torres Goal 89'
Report Malofeyev Goal 43'
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 87,696
Referee: Ken Dagnall (England)


30 July 1966
15:00 BST
England  4–2 (a.e.t.)  West Germany
Hurst Goal 18'101'120'
Peters Goal 78'
Report Haller Goal 12'
Weber Goal 89'
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 96,924
Referee: Gottfried Dienst (Switzerland)


With nine goals, Eusébio is the top scorer in the tournament. In total, 89 goals were scored by 47 different players, with two of them credited as own goals.

3 goals
2 goals
1 goal
Own goals

All-star team

Goalkeeper Defenders Midfielders Forwards

Gordon Banks

George Cohen
Bobby Moore
Silvio Marzolini

Franz Beckenbauer
Mário Coluna
Bobby Charlton

Flórián Albert
Uwe Seeler

FIFA retrospective ranking

In 1986, FIFA published a report that ranked all teams in each World Cup up to and including 1986, based on progress in the competition, overall results and quality of the opposition.[18][19] The rankings for the 1966 tournament were as follows:

R Team G P W D L GF GA GD Pts.
1  England 1 6 5 1 0 11 3 +8 11
2  West Germany 2 6 4 1 1 15 6 +9 9
3  Portugal 3 6 5 0 1 17 8 +9 10
4  Soviet Union 4 6 4 0 2 10 6 +4 8
Eliminated in the quarter-finals
5  Argentina 2 4 2 1 1 4 2 +2 5
6  Hungary 3 4 2 0 2 8 7 +1 4
7  Uruguay 1 4 1 2 1 2 5 −3 4
8  North Korea 4 4 1 1 2 5 9 −4 3
Eliminated in the group stage
9  Italy 4 3 1 0 2 2 2 0 2
10  Spain 2 3 1 0 2 4 5 −1 2
11  Brazil 3 3 1 0 2 4 6 −2 2
12  Mexico 1 3 0 2 1 1 3 −2 2
13  Chile 4 3 0 1 2 2 5 −3 1
 France 1 3 0 1 2 2 5 −3 1
15  Bulgaria 3 3 0 0 3 1 8 −7 0
16  Switzerland 2 3 0 0 3 1 9 −8 0


  1. ^ "Hurst the hero for England in the home of football".
  2. ^ "1966 FIFA World Cup England ™ – Final".
  3. ^ Atherton, Martin [2008]The Theft of the Jules Rimet Trophy: The Hidden History of the 1966 World Cup. Meyer & Meyer Verlag. p.93, Retrieved 15 September 2010 from 'The Theft of the Jules Rimet Trophy', via Google Books
  4. ^ "History of the World Cup Final Draw" (PDF). Archived from the original on 14 June 2010. Retrieved 3 June 2010. 
  5. ^ "History of the World Cup". Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  6. ^ Alsos, Jan. "1966 – Story of England '66". Planet World Cup. Archived from the original on 12 June 2010. Retrieved 3 June 2010. 
  7. ^ "Mundial de Inglaterra 1966 – SIGUEN LOS CHOREOS A SUDAMÉRICA". Retrieved 3 June 2010. 
  8. ^ Hackett, Robin (7 April 2011). "Blue is the colour". ESPNFC. Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "Mundial de Inglaterra 1966 – EL ROBO DEL SIGLO". Archived from the original on 5 June 2010. Retrieved 3 June 2010. 
  10. ^ Vickery, Tim. "Argentina's class of '78 deserve respect". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 February 2012. [Tim Vickery's comment (no.29):] The semi final switch – I believe this is more down to the FIFA Exec Com than to Rous – in this pre-mass TV age the box office was still important, so it was obviously tempting from a financial point of view to have the ho[m]e side play in the stadium with the biggest capacity 
  11. ^ "England's 2–1 win brings first final". Montreal Gazette. 27 July 1966. Retrieved 11 October 2013. 
  12. ^ "ENGLAND PORTUGAL 1/2 FINAL WORLD CUP 1966". YouTube. 27 December 2007. Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  13. ^ "West Germany Nips 10 Russians 2–1". Montreal Gazette. 26 July 1966. Retrieved 11 October 2013. 
  14. ^ a b c McIlvanney, Hugh (30 July 2008). "From the Vault: Hurst's hat-trick wins the World Cup". (Guardian Media Group). Archived from the original on 6 June 2010. Retrieved 22 June 2010. 
  15. ^ Reid, Ian; Zisserman, Andrew. "Goal-directed Video Metrology". University of Oxford. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  16. ^ "Kenneth Wolstenholme". The Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). 27 March 2002. Retrieved 22 June 2010. Kenneth Wolstenholme, who has died aged 81, was the voice of football on the BBC for almost a quarter of a century and the author of arguably the most celebrated words in British sports broadcasting, his commentary on England's last goal in the World Cup Final of 1966: "Some people are on the pitch. They think it's all over – it is now!" 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Permanent Table" (PDF). p. 230. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  19. ^ "FIFA World Cup: Milestones, facts & figures. Statistical Kit 7".  

External links

  • 1966 FIFA World Cup on
  • Details at RSSSF
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