The 1974 FIFA World Cup West Germany was the tenth edition of the Football World Cup. It was held in West Germany (FRG), between June 13 and July 7, 1974. Sixteen national teams participated in the tournament which, as a novelty, changed the system in the second round, where instead of fighting Direct elimination among the eight teams that advanced, were divided into 2 groups of 4; the winners of each group went to the final, and the second, to play the game for third place. The final match was played by the Netherlands and the RFA, which won 2-1.
This tournament unveiled to the world the so-called “Mechanical Orange”, the Dutch national team, whose game stood out for its “total football”, an innovative tactic in which all defended and attacked. The star of the team and one of the best players in the championship was Johan Cruyff, who played in the Barcelona Football Club, a team he would also train years later.
In this edition of the contest the current version of the trophy appeared for the first time. 54 projects had been submitted for the new trophy and the design of Italian Silvio Gazzaniga, of solid gold, weighing five kilos and malachite base, was chosen, since the Jules Rimet Cup had been granted in perpetuity to Brazil in the previous tournament.
Also, in this edition, it happens that for the first time a red card is issued to a player in a match directly, without yellow in between. The rule was established in the previous World Cup but not having been expelled in that contest, its premiere was produced for this event. The first was the Chilean Carlos Caszely in his first World Cup match against the local team.
Germany was the country that began the Second World War, a conflict in which millions of people would die and which would cause enormous material losses, from which Europe would take 20 years to recover. With this background and the still alive memory of its leader Adolf Hitler, it seemed that Germany would not be chosen to host a World Cup until after 2000, but FIFA President João Havelange believed that it was unfair and exaggerated that Germany it did not host the World Cup in the 70s, as the reality of the country and the general thinking of the Germans themselves repudiated the Nazi past and wanted an opportunity to make up for the mistakes. In addition, they had obtained a world-wide title in 1954, and had arrived very far in 1958, 1966 and 1970.
Federal Germany won its right to hold its first FIFA World Cup at the 35th FIFA Congress, held in London on July 6, 1966, in which the venues for the next two championships were also assigned.
A surprise of this world-wide one was the participation of the two German selections: the one of Federal Germany and the one of Democratic Germany, that arose in 1948.
The other candidature that opted for the celebration of the World Cup was that of Spain, which although it did not achieve its goal for 1974, was assigned as the venue for the 1982 World Cup, since Argentina had been for the 1978 World Cup.