England World champion 1966

Queen of the seas …

At the moment of maximum triumph (after two brilliant victories in the World Cups) it seemed that the sun over Brazil would never set. But four years later the wizards of the ball did not even get on the podium. In contrast, several countries did so for the first time in their history.

In 1966, England, the official cradle of football, debuted as host of the World Cup that took place from July 11 to 30. Almost every game of the contest had the maximum audience which allowed to establish a record of public attendance, unbeatable for almost 30 years.

The tournament was held in eight stadiums, among them the fabulous Wembley, the newest one at that time.

The group stage gave the first surprise. Brazil, winner of two previous tournaments, could not qualify for the next phase. And that Pele and Garrincha gave him the only victory over Bulgaria. Brazil was overtaken by Portugal, led by the great Eusebio, and Hungary. Another unexpected result occurred in group 4 where the USSR and North Korea were imposed on Italy and Chile.

However, in the qualifiers North Korea lost to Portugal already in the first round. This match was one of the best matches of his life for Eusebio, outstanding striker. He scored 4 goals, two of them penalty thanks to which his team could win when he was losing 0 to 3. At that time, in another match, the future winner of the tournament, the English team, won Argentina thanks to the goal of Hurst in the minute.

In the semifinal England had to play with Portugal. Two goals by Bobby Charlton (who in that same year won the Golden Ball), allowed the English to reach the final (Eusebio scored a goal for Portugal). In another semifinal the team of the Federal Republic of Germany prevailed to the selection of the USSR 2 to 1.

World Cup 1966. Final
England – West Germany

England: Gordon Banks, George Cohen, Jack Charlton, Bobby Moore (C), Ray Wilson, Nobby Stiles, Alan Ball, Bobby Charlton, Martin Peters, Geoff Hurst, Roger Hunt. Coach: Alf Ramsey

West Germany: Hans Tilkowski, Horst-Dieter Höttges, Willi Schulz, Wolfgang Weber, Karl-Heinz Schnellinger, Franz Beckenbauer, Wolfgang Overath, Helmut Haller, Uwe Seeler (C), Sigfried Held, Lothar Emmerich. Coach: Helmut Schön

Referee: Gottfried Dienst (Switzerland)

Result: 4: 2 (Haller 12 ‘, Hurst 18’, Peters 78 ‘, Weber 89’, Hurst 101 ‘, 120’)

July 30, 1966

Wembley, London, United Kingdom

96,924 spectators

Top scorers:

Eusébio (Portugal) 9

Helmut Haller (West Germany) 6

Geoff Hurst (England) 4

Ferenc Bene (Hungary) 4

Valeri Porkuyán (USSR) 4

Franz Beckenbauer (West Germany) 4

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