worldcup 2010


Monday, 31 May 2010

world cup 1954 final

The 1954 FIFA World Cup Final was the final match of the 1954 FIFA World Cup, the fifth FIFA World Cup. The match was played at the Wankdorf Stadium in Berne, Switzerland, on 4 July 1954. The game saw the underdogs West Germany beat the largely favoured Hungary 3–2. In Germany, it is referred to as "Das Wunder von Bern" ("The Miracle of Berne"). The game was the subject of a 2003 German film of the same name.

The restored match clock has been installed in front of the Stade de Suisse as a memorial.

The Mighty Magyars
A well-known photograph of the 1954 final is installed in front of the Wankdorf's successor stadium, the Stade de Suisse.

Hungary, with their legendary Mighty Magyars, were huge favourites to win the 1954 Tournament. In the five years prior to the World Cup 1954 they had remained unbeaten in 32 games, were reigning Olympic Champions and winners of the Central European International Cup teams in 1953. In 1953 they defeated England 6–3, becoming the first non-UK team to beat them at Wembley Stadium. Shortly after that England had received another humiliating defeat, losing 7–1 to Hungary in Budapest just before the World Cup.

Drawn in the same group in the first round, Hungary and West Germany already met in the group stage. Hungary easily won this match on a 8–3 scoreline. However, as Germany would have to re-play Turkey in a play-off game, German coach Herberger fielded a reserve team. These players were not able to weather the Hungarian prowess, but by not fielding the strongest eleven, Herberger managed to obscure the real strength of the German team. In the group match against Germany, Hungarian captain Ferenc Puskás was injured and missed the following games of his team. Nevertheless, even without him playing the Magyars beat Brazil and Uruguay, the runners-up and winners of the 1950 World Cup in the quarter final and semi final, respectively. Thus, they had reached the Final, to be played at Berne's Wankdorf Stadium.
[edit] The unfancied Germans

Prior to 1954, Germany’s World Cup record was modest, a third place in the 1934 World Cup the pinnacle of their achievements. Germany was among those European nations who had not sent a team to Uruguay in 1930, citing economic reasons. After the disaster of the 1936 Summer Olympics where a hapless German team succumbed to a 0–2 loss to Norway in the quarter-final, new coach Sepp Herberger had formed a quite successful German team in 1937, nicknamed the "Breslau-Elf" (Breslau Eleven) after beating Denmark 8–0 in Breslau. Just prior to the 1938 World Cup, Austrian players were ordered to join the German team as Austria became part of the German Empire in the so called Anschluss. This "united" German team was surprisingly knocked out in the first round of the 1938 World Cup after two unsuccessful games against Switzerland.

After the Second World War, the three German states (West and East Germany and the Saar) of that time were not allowed to compete in the 1950 World Cup. Thus, the qualification games for the 1954 World Cup were the first return of the then west German national squad to international competitions. Many of the players on the German team were experienced but old, playing for the German club 1. FC Kaiserslautern who had lost the German Championship final prior to the World Cup against Hannover 96, in a 1–5 upset. That loss led the German public to give their national team only slim chances to even progress from the group stage of the tournament. However, the hard-earned 2–0 victory over Yugoslavia in the quarter final gave the team a boost leading them to a stunning 6–1 victory over Austria in the semi final.
[edit] The Match
The restored match clock has been installed in front of the Stade de Suisse as a memorial.

The Wankdorf Stadion in Berne was packed with a crowd of 64,000 people, eagerly anticipating the encounter between the two teams. The match was played in heavy rain, weather conditions the German side had christened "Fritz Walter-weather",[1] as the German team captain Fritz Walter was known for playing his best football under those conditions. When it had rained a few days before the final, German coach Sepp Herberger had sent his players out to practice during heavy rain, as if foreseeing the weather conditions.[citation needed] In addition, the Germans were equipped with footwear supplied by adidas, which had produced a hitherto unheard of design of boot with exchangeable, screw-in studs that could be adapted to any weather. This enabled the German players to wear their regular boots despite the adverse weather.

Although he was not fully fit in time, Ferenc Puskás was back in the Hungarian lineup for the final match, and he put his team ahead after only six minutes. When Zoltán Czibor added the second goal for Hungary a mere two minutes later, the pre-tournament favourites seemed destined to ease to victory over Germany, just as they had in the group, and take the trophy.

However, Germany did not give up and equalised quickly, with goals from Max Morlock (10') and Helmut Rahn (18'). Having leveled the scores, the Germans now looked a match for the Hungarians and managed to reach half time at 2–2, both teams having missed several promising chances to take the lead. In the second half, the Hungarians poured forward looking to retake the lead, but their attempts were repeatedly foiled by the German defence with goalkeeper Toni Turek pulling off several fine saves.[2]

With six minutes left and the Germans still holding out at 2–2, German striker Helmut Rahn, nicknamed "The Boss" reached the ball on a speculative German attack 20 yards in front of the Hungarian goal. Deceiving the Hungarian defender by shooting with his weaker left foot, he scored West Germany's third goal with an accurate drive to the bottom left of the goal, leaving Hungarian goalkeeper Grosics no chance. Two minutes before the end, Puskás equalised once more, but his goal was ruled off-side by the Welsh linesman Benjamin Griffiths. The match and Hungary’s unbeaten run ended in one of the biggest upsets in the history of football.

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