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1966 FIFA World Cup
World Cup 1966

1966 FIFA World Cup official logo
Tournament details
Host country  England
Dates 11 July – 30 July
Teams 16 (from 5 confederations)
Venue(s) (in 7 host cities)
Final positions
Champions  England (1st title)
Runner-up  West Germany
Third place  Portugal
Fourth place  Soviet Union
Tournament statistics
Matches played 32
Goals scored 89 (2.78 per match)
Attendance 1,635,000 (51,094 per match)
Top scorer(s) Portugal Eusébio (9 goals)

The 1966 FIFA World Cup, the eighth staging of the World Cup, was held in England from 11 July to 30 July. England was chosen as hosts by FIFA in August 1960 to celebrate the centenary of the standardisation of football in England. England won the final, beating West Germany 4–2, giving them their first (and to date, only) World Cup win, and becoming the first host to win the tournament since Italy in 1934.



Qualifying countries

The 1966 World Cup was the subject of bitter disagreement before a ball was ever kicked. Sixteen African nations boycotted the tournament in protest of a 1964 FIFA ruling that required the champion team from the African zone to enter a playoff round against the winners of either the Asian or the Oceania zone in order to win a place at the finals. The Africans felt that winning their zone should have been 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.



First round

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 nation wide hunt for the icon ensued. It was later discovered wrapped in some 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 Preston, where it is on display.

The format of the 1966 competition remained the same as 1962: 16 qualified teams were divided into four groups of four. The top two teams in each group advanced to the quarter-finals. 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.[1]

Despite achieving record attendances for the time, 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. 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.

In the northwest of England, Old Trafford and Goodison Park played host to Group 3 which saw the World Champions Brazil finish in third place behind Portugal and Hungary and controversially eliminated along with Bulgaria. Brazil were defeated by Hungary and Portugal in controversial wins. 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 USSR. Chile finished bottom of the group.

Quarterfinals, Semifinals, 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 handstop by Schnellinger on the goal line and then had sent off two players from Uruguay: Horacio Troche and Héctor Silva[2]. It appeared as though the surprise package North Korea might do the same to Portugal when after 22 minutes they were in the 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 with José Augusto adding a fifth in the 78th minute, one of the most incredible comebacks was complete.

Meanwhile in the other two games, Ferenc Bene's late goal for Hungary against the USSR, 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.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, even today, is called el robo del siglo (the robbery of the century) in Argentina.[3]

At this point, all semifinalists were from Europe. The first semifinal between England and Portugal was controversial as well. Liverpool was the original venue for the first semifinal. However, due to intervention of the English officials, the venue changed to Wembley.[4] Bobby Charlton scored both goals in England's triumph against Portugal. Portugal's goal came from a penalty kick in the 82nd minute after a handball by Jack Charlton on the goal line.[5] The other semi-final also finished 2–1: Franz Beckenbauer provided the winning goal for West Germany as they beat the USSR. Portugal went on to beat the USSR 2-1 to take third place.


London's Wembley Stadium provided the venue for the final, and 98,000 people crammed inside to watch. After 12 minutes 32 seconds Helmut Haller had 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 managed to poke it across the line, with England appealing in vain for handball as the ball came through the crowded penalty area.

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 score sheet again; his shot hit the crossbar, and bounced down and hit the ground either onto or just over goal line. Whether the ball actually crossed the goal line or not has been a matter of discussion for decades, and this goal, known as the "Ghost Goal", has become part of World Cup history. Recent digitally-enhanced footage is said to clearly illustrate that Geoff Hurst's second goal did not cross the line [1]. In the last minute it was Hurst again, who dribbled easily through the German half to net his third goal, just as the gathered crowd invaded the pitch to celebrate with the team, thus cementing the victory for England with another goal. This made Geoff Hurst the only player ever to have scored three times in a World Cup final.

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!".

England received the recovered Jules Rimet trophy from the Queen and were crowned World Cup winners for the first time.


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.

London Liverpool Sheffield Sunderland
Wembley Stadium Goodison Park Hillsborough Stadium Roker Park
Wem.jpg Goodisonview1.JPG Hillsborough Clock.JPG Roker Park August 1976.jpg
London Birmingham Manchester Middlesbrough
White City Stadium Villa Park Old Trafford Ayresome Park
White City Stadium 1908.jpg Villaparkfromtopofholte.jpg Stretford end 1992.JPG East Stand, Ayresome Park.jpg

Match officials

  • United Arab Republic Ali Kandil
South America
  • Uruguay José María Codesal
  • Argentina Robert Goicoechea
  • Brazil Armando Marques
  • Peru Arturo Yamasaki


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


First round

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: 87,000
Referee: Istvan Zsolt (Hungary)

13 July 1966
19:30 BST
France  1 – 1  Mexico Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 69,000
Referee: Menachem Ashkenazi (Israel)
Hausser Goal 62' Report Borja Goal 48'

15 July 1966
19:30 BST
Uruguay  2 – 1  France White City Stadium, London
Attendance: 40,000
Referee: Karol Galba (Czechoslovakia)
Rocha Goal 26'
Cortés Goal 31'
Report De Bourgoing Goal 15' (pen.)

16 July 1966
15:00 BST
England  2 – 0  Mexico Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 92,000
Referee: Concetto Lo Bello (Italy)
B. Charlton Goal 37'
Hunt Goal 75'

19 July 1966
16:30 BST
Mexico  0 – 0  Uruguay Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 61,000
Referee: Bertil Lööw (Sweden)

20 July 1966
19:30 BST
England  2 – 0  France Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 98,000
Referee: Arturo Yamasaki (Peru)
Hunt Goal 38'75' Report

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 was placed first due to superior goal average.
12 July 1966
19:30 BST
West Germany  5 – 0  Switzerland Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield
Attendance: 36,000
Referee: Hugh Phillips (Scotland)
Held Goal 16'
Haller Goal 21'77' (pen.)
Beckenbauer Goal 40'52'

13 July 1966
19:30 BST
Argentina  2 – 1  Spain Villa Park, Birmingham
Attendance: 48,000
Referee: Dimiter Rumentchev (Bulgaria)
Artime Goal 65'77' Report Roma Goal 71' (o.g.)

15 July 1966
19:30 BST
Spain  2 – 1  Switzerland Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield
Attendance: 32,000
Referee: Tofik Bakhramov (Soviet Union)
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: 51,000
Referee: Konstantin Zečević (Yugoslavia)
Albrecht Red card 65' Report

19 July 1966
19:30 BST
Argentina  2 – 0  Switzerland Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield
Attendance: 31,000
Referee: Joaquim Campos (Portugal)
Artime Goal 52'
Onega Goal 79'

20 July 1966
19:30 BST
West Germany  2 – 1  Spain Villa Park, Birmingham
Attendance: 51,000
Referee: Armando Marques (Brazil)
Emmerich Goal 39'
Seeler Goal 84'
Report Fusté Goal 23'

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 Goodison Park, Liverpool
Attendance: 48,000
Referee: Kurt Tschenscher (West Germany)
Pelé Goal 15'
Garrincha Goal 63'

13 July 1966
19:30 BST
Portugal  3 – 1  Hungary Old Trafford, Manchester
Attendance: 37,000
Referee: Leo Callaghan (Wales)
José Augusto Goal 1'67'
Torres Goal 90'
Report Bene Goal 60'

15 July 1966
19:30 BST
Hungary  3 – 1  Brazil Goodison Park, Liverpool
Attendance: 52,000
Referee: Ken Dagnall (England)
Bene Goal 2'
Farkas Goal 64'
Mészöly Goal 73' (pen.)
Report Tostão Goal 14'

16 July 1966
15:00 BST
Portugal  3 – 0  Bulgaria Old Trafford, Manchester
Attendance: 26,000
Referee: José María Codesal (Uruguay)
Vutsov Goal 17' (o.g.)
Eusébio Goal 38'
Torres Goal 81'

19 July 1966
19:30 BST
Portugal  3 – 1  Brazil Goodison Park, Liverpool
Attendance: 62,000
Referee: George McCabe (England)
Simöes Goal 15'
Eusébio Goal 27'85'
Report Rildo Goal 70'

20 July 1966
19:30 BST
Hungary  3 – 1  Bulgaria Old Trafford, Manchester
Attendance: 22,000
Referee: Robert Goicoechea (Argentina)
Davidov Goal 43' (o.g.)
Mészöly Goal 45'
Bene Goal 54'
Report Asparuhov Goal 15'

Group 4

Team Pld W D L GF GA GAv Pts
 Soviet Union 3 3 0 0 6 1 6.00 6
 Korea DPR 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  Korea DPR Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough
Attendance: 22,000
Referee: Juan Gardeazábal Garay (Spain)
Malofeyev Goal 31'88'
Banishevskiy Goal 33'

13 July 1966
19:30 BST
Italy  2 – 0  Chile Roker Park, Sunderland
Attendance: 30,000
Referee: Gottfried Dienst (Switzerland)
Mazzola Goal 8'
Barison Goal 88'

15 July 1966
19:30 BST
Chile  1 – 1  Korea DPR Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough
Attendance: 16,000
Referee: Ali Kandil (United Arab Republic)
Marcos Goal 26' (pen.) Report Pak S. Goal 88'

16 July 1966
15:00 BST
Soviet Union  1 – 0  Italy Roker Park, Sunderland
Attendance: 27,800
Referee: Rudolf Kreitlein (West Germany)
Chislenko Goal 57' Report

19 July 1966
19:30 BST
Korea DPR  1 – 0  Italy Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough
Attendance: 18,000
Referee: Pierre Schwinte (France)
Pak D. Goal 42' Report

20 July 1966
19:30 BST
Soviet Union  2 – 1  Chile Roker Park, Sunderland
Attendance: 22,000
Referee: John Adair (Northern Ireland)
Porkujan Goal 28'85' Report Marcos Goal 32'

Knockout stage

Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
23 July - London        
  England  1
26 July - London
  Argentina  0  
  England  2
23 July - Liverpool
    Portugal  1  
  Portugal  5
30 July – London
  Korea DPR  3  
  England (a.e.t.)  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  
  Soviet Union  2   Portugal  2
  Hungary  1     Soviet Union  1
28 July - London


23 July 1966
15:00 BST
Portugal  5 – 3  Korea DPR Goodison Park, Liverpool
Attendance: 51,780
Referee: Menachem Ashkenazi (Israel)
Eusébio Goal 27'43' (pen.)56'59' (pen.)
José Augusto Goal 80'
Report Pak S. Goal 1'
Lee Goal 22'
Yang Goal 25'

23 July 1966
15:00 BST
West Germany  4 – 0  Uruguay Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield
Attendance: 34,000
Referee: Jim Finney (England)
Haller Goal 11'83'
Beckenbauer Goal 70'
Seeler Goal 75'
Report Troche Red card 49'
Silva Red card 54'

23 July 1966
15:00 BST
Soviet Union  2 – 1  Hungary Roker Park, Sunderland
Attendance: 22,100
Referee: Juan Gardeazábal Garay (Spain)
Chislenko Goal 5'
Porkujan Goal 46'
Report Bene Goal 57'

23 July 1966
15:00 BST
England  1 – 0  Argentina Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 90,000
Referee: Rudolf Kreitlein (West Germany)
Hurst Goal 78' Report Rattin Red card 35'


25 July 1966
19:30 BST
West Germany  2 – 1  Soviet Union Goodison Park, Liverpool
Attendance: 38,300
Referee: Concetto Lo Bello (Italy)
Haller Goal 42'
Beckenbauer Goal 67'
Report Chislenko Red card 47'
Porkujan Goal 88'

26 July 1966
19:30 BST
England  2 – 1  Portugal Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 95,000
Referee: Pierre Schwinte (France)
B. Charlton Goal 30'80' Report Eusébio Goal 82' (pen.)

Third place match

28 July 1966
19:30 BST
Portugal  2 – 1  Soviet Union Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 88,000
Referee: Ken Dagnall (England)
Eusébio Goal 12' (pen.)
Torres Goal 89'
Report Malofeyev Goal 43'


30 July 1966
15:00 BST
England  4 – 2
 West Germany Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 98,000
Referee: Gottfried Dienst (Switzerland)
Hurst Goal 18'101'120'
Peters Goal 78'
Report Haller Goal 12'
Weber Goal 89'
 1966 FIFA World Cup Winners 

First title


9 goals

6 goals

4 goals

3 goals

2 goals

1 goal

Own goals

  • Bulgaria Ivan Davidov (for Hungary)
  • Bulgaria Ivan Vutsov (for Portugal)

Other facts

  • The World Cup victory by England was ranked second of the 100 Greatest Sporting Moments in 2002 by Channel 4.
  • This World Cup was claimed to be the origin of the fierce rivalry between the English team and Argentina, and between England and Germany, due to the two controversial matches.[citation needed]
  • The Game of Their Lives is a 2002 documentary film directed by Daniel Gordon and his executive Nicholas Bonner about the seven surviving members of North Korean national football team who participated in the 1966 World Cup. North Korea's victory over the Italian team propelled the North Koreans into the quarter-final, the first time an Asian squad had advanced so far in a World Cup.


  1. ^ History of the World Cup Final Draw
  2. ^ Mundial de Inglaterra 1966 - SIGUEN LOS CHOREOS A SUDAMÉRICA
  3. ^ Mundial de Inglaterra 1966 - EL ROBO DEL SIGLO
  4. ^ Mundial de Inglaterra 1966 - Y POR SI TODO ESTO FUERA POCO

External links

Simple English

The 1966 FIFA World Cup was the eighth FIFA World Cup. It was held in England from July 11 to July 30. England was chosen as hosts by FIFA to celebrate 100 years of football in England. England won the final beating West Germany 4-2. This was England's first (and so far only) World Cup win. England also became the first host to win since Italy won it in 1934. Later Germany , Argentina and France won it at their homes.





North and Central America

South America


Round 1

Group A

1England-0-02-02-03210405Round 2
2Uruguay0-0-0-02-13120214Round 2

Group B

1West Germany-0-02-15-03210715Round 2
2Argentina0-0-2-12-03210415Round 2

Group C

1Portugal-3-13-13-03300926Round 2
2Hungary1-3-3-13-13201754Round 2

Group D

1Soviet Union-3-01-02-13300616Round 2
2Korea DPR0-3-1-01-13111243Round 2

Round 2



3rd place


England won the championship.



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