1974 FIFA World Cup

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1974 FIFA World Cup
Fußball-Weltmeisterschaft 1974  (German)
1974 FIFA World Cup.svg
1974 FIFA World Cup official logo
Tournament details
Host countryWest Germany
Dates13 June – 7 July
Teams16 (from 5 confederations)
Venue(s)9 (in 9 host cities)
Final positions
Champions West Germany (2nd title)
Runners-up Netherlands
Third place Poland
Fourth place Brazil
Tournament statistics
Matches played38
Goals scored97 (2.55 per match)
Attendance1,865,762 (49,099 per match)
Top scorer(s)Poland Grzegorz Lato (7 goals)
Best young playerPoland Władysław Żmuda[1]
Fair play award West Germany[1]

The 1974 FIFA World Cup was the 10th FIFA World Cup, a quadrennial football tournament for men's senior national teams, and was played in West Germany (including West Berlin) between 13 June and 7 July. The tournament marked the first time that the current trophy, the FIFA World Cup Trophy, created by the Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga, was awarded. The previous trophy, the Jules Rimet Trophy, had been won for the third time by Brazil in 1970 and awarded permanently to the Brazilians. This was the first out of three World Cups to feature two rounds of group stages.

West Germany won the title, beating the Netherlands 2–1 in the final at the Olympiastadion in Munich. This was the second victory for West Germany, who had also won in 1954. Australia, East Germany, Haiti and Zaire made their first appearances at the final stage, with East Germany making their only appearance before Germany was reunified in 1990.

Host selection[edit]

West Germany was chosen as the host nation by FIFA in London, England on 6 July 1966. Hosting rights for the 1978 and 1982 tournaments were awarded at the same time. West Germany agreed a deal with Spain by which Spain would support West Germany for the 1974 tournament, and in return West Germany would allow Spain to bid for the 1982 World Cup unopposed.

Havelange on "planned" host winner[edit]

Speaking in 2008, former FIFA president João Havelange said to Folha de Sao Paulo that the competition, along with the 1966 FIFA World Cup, was fixed so that the host country would win: "In the three matches that the Brazilian national team played in 1966, of the three referees and six linesmen, seven were British and two were Germans. Brazil went out, Pelé 'exited' through injury [following some rough defensive play], and England and Germany entered into the final, just as the Englishman Sir Stanley Rous, who was the President of FIFA at the time, had wanted. In Germany in 1974 the same thing happened. During the Brazil-Holland match, the referee was German, we lost 2-0 and Germany won the title. We [Havelange was Brazilian] were the best in the world, and had the same team that had won the World Cup in 1962 in Chile and 1970 in Mexico, but it was planned for the host countries to win".[2]


  Countries qualified for World Cup
  Country failed to qualify
  Countries that did not enter World Cup
  Country not a FIFA member

Ninety-eight countries took part in the qualifying tournament.

Some of football's most successful nations did not qualify, including 1966 champions England, France, hosts and quarter-finalists of the 1970 tournament Mexico, Spain, 1966 third-place finishers Portugal, 1970 quarter-finalists Peru, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Romania. The USSR was also disqualified after refusing to travel for the second leg of their playoff against Chile as a result of the 1973 Chilean coup d'état. The Netherlands and Poland qualified for the first time since 1938. Scotland was back in the Finals after a 16-year absence. Argentina and Chile were also back after having missed the 1970 tournament and Yugoslavia was back after missing both the 1966 and 1970 tournaments.

First-time qualifiers were East Germany (who made their only World Cup or European Championship appearance as a separate team); Australia, which were the first team from Oceania to qualify (although they would not qualify again until the next time the tournament was held in Germany, in 2006); Haiti, the first team from the Caribbean to qualify since Cuba in 1938; and Zaire, the first team from sub-Saharan Africa to reach the finals.

As of 2018, this was the last time Haiti and Zaire (now DR Congo) qualified for a FIFA World Cup tournament, as well as the last time Spain failed to qualify.

This was the first tournament in which the defending champions (in this case Brazil) played in the opening game as opposed to the hosts, although this was later changed back to the hosts for the 2006 tournament, which was also held in Germany, as the defending champions no longer had a secured spot in the tournament.

List of qualified teams[edit]

The following 16 teams qualified for the final tournament.


The tournament featured a new format. While the competition once again began with the sixteen teams divided into four groups of four teams, the eight teams which advanced did not enter a knockout stage as in the previous five World Cups but instead played in a second group stage. The winners of the two groups in the second stage then played each other in the final, with the respective runners-up from each group meeting in the third place play-off. This was one of only two times that this format was deployed (1978 being the other); in 1982 a semi-final stage was introduced after the second group stage (expanded to four groups of three) before the World Cup revived the knockout stage in 1986 which is still used to the present day.

It was decided in advance that if the host nation progressed to the second stage their matches would not take place simultaneous to the other matches but instead be held in the other timeslot (either 16:00 or 19:30 local time).[3]


Results of finalists
One of two official match footballs of the FIFA World Cup 1974 - the Adidas TELSTAR durlast. The other, was the all-white Adidas CHILE durlast

First round[edit]

The tournament was held mostly in bad weather, and the stadia had few protected places. Few western European nations had qualified, of which only The Netherlands, West Germany and Sweden made it past the Group Stage. Fans from the Eastern Communist neighbour states such as East Germany were hindered by political circumstances.

Carlos Caszely of Chile became the first player to be sent off with a red card in a World Cup match, during their match against West Germany. Red cards were formally introduced in World Cup play in 1970, but no players were sent off in that tournament.

Two teams made a particularly powerful impact on the first round. The Netherlands demonstrated the "Total football" techniques pioneered by the top Dutch club Ajax, in which specialised positions were virtually abolished for the outfield players, and individual players became defenders, midfielders or strikers as the situation required. The Dutch marked their first World Cup finals since 1938 by topping their first-round group, with wins over Uruguay and Bulgaria and a draw with Sweden. Sweden joined the Dutch in the second group round after beating Uruguay 3–0.

Poland, meanwhile, that also marked their first World Cup finals since 1938, took maximum points from a group containing two of the favourites for the tournament. They beat Argentina 3–2, trounced Haiti 7–0, then beat Italy 2–1 – a result that knocked the Italians out of the Cup and resulted in Argentina qualifying for the second group round on goal difference. Argentina would not fail to win either of their opening two games of a World Cup again until 2018.[4] While Haiti didn't do particularly well in their first World Cup finals (losing all three of their games and finishing second to last) they did have one moment of glory. In their opening game against Italy, they managed to take the lead with a goal from Emmanuel Sanon, before eventually losing 3–1 (Italy had not conceded a goal in 12 international matches). That goal proved to be a significant goal as it ended Dino Zoff's run of 1142 minutes without conceding a goal.

Group 2 was a particularly close group. With Brazil, Yugoslavia and Scotland drawing all their games against each other, it was decided by the number of goals these three teams scored when defeating Zaire. Yugoslavia hammered the African nation 9–0, equalling a finals record for the largest margin of victory. Brazil beat them 3–0. Scotland however only managed a 2–0 margin, and so were edged out of the tournament on goal difference. They were the only team that did not lose a game in the tournament as well as becoming the first ever country to be eliminated from a World Cup Finals without having lost a match.

Group 1 contained both East Germany and the host West Germany, and they both progressed at the expense of Chile and newcomers Australia. The last game played in Group 1 was much anticipated, a first ever clash between the two German teams. West Germany was already assured of progression to the second round whatever the result. In one of the most politically charged matches of all time, it was the East that won, thanks to a late Jürgen Sparwasser goal. This result forced a realignment of the West German team that would later help them win the Cup.

Second round[edit]

Coincidentally, the two second-round groups both produced matches that were, in effect, semi-finals. In Group A, the Netherlands and Brazil met after each had taken maximum points from their previous two matches. In Group B, the same happened with West Germany and Poland – so the winners of these two games would contest the final.

In Group A, two goals from the inspirational Johan Cruyff helped the Dutch side thrash Argentina 4–0. At the same time, Brazil defeated East Germany 1–0. The Dutch triumphed over East Germany 2–0 while in the "Battle of the South Americans", Brazil managed to defeat Argentina 2–1 in a scrappy match. Argentina and East Germany drew 1–1 and were on their way home while the crucial match between the Netherlands and Brazil turned into another triumph for 'total football', as second-half goals from Johan Neeskens and Cruyff put the Netherlands in the final. However the match would also be remembered for harsh defending on both sides.

Meanwhile, in Group B, West Germany and Poland both managed to beat Yugoslavia and Sweden. The crucial game between the Germans and the Poles was goalless until the 76th minute, when Gerd Muller scored to send the hosts through 1–0. The Poles took third place after defeating Brazil 1–0.


The final was held on 7 July 1974 at Olympiastadion, Munich. West Germany was led by Franz Beckenbauer, while the Dutch had their star Johan Cruyff, and their Total Football system which had dazzled the competition. With just a minute gone on the clock, following a solo run, Cruyff was brought down by Uli Hoeneß inside the German penalty area, and the Dutch took the lead from the ensuing penalty by Johan Neeskens before any German player had even touched the ball. West Germany struggled to recover, and in the 26th minute were awarded a penalty, after Bernd Hölzenbein fell within the Dutch area, causing English referee Jack Taylor to award another controversial penalty. Paul Breitner spontaneously decided to kick, and scored. These two penalties were the first in a World Cup final. West Germany now pushed, and in the 43rd minute, in his typical style, Gerd Müller scored what turned out to be the winning goal, and the last of his career as he retired from the national team. The second half saw chances for both sides, with Müller putting the ball in the net for a goal that was disallowed as offside. In the 85th, Hölzenbein was fouled again, but no penalty this time. Eventually, West Germany, European Champions of 1972, also won the 1974 World Cup.

This was the only case of the reigning European champions winning the World Cup, until Spain (champions of the UEFA Euro 2008) defeated the Netherlands in the South Africa 2010 FIFA World Cup Final. France have also held both trophies, albeit in a different order, at the same time by winning the 1998 World Cup followed by Euro 2000.

Joao Havelange (former FIFA President from 1974 to 1998) claimed that the 1966 and 1974 World Cups were fixed so that England and Germany would win respectively.[5]

This was only the second time that a team had won the World Cup after losing a match in the Finals (West Germany losing to East Germany during the group stage). The previous occasion was West Germany's earlier win in 1954.

Poland's Grzegorz Lato led the tournament in scoring seven goals. Gerd Müller's goal in the final was the 14th in his career of two World Cups, beating Just Fontaine's record of 13, in his single World Cup. Müller's record was only surpassed 32 years later, in 2006 by Ronaldo's 15 goals from three World Cups and then 8 years after, in 2014 by Klose's 16 goals from four World Cups.

Günter Netzer, who came on as a substitute for West Germany during the defeat by the East Germans, was playing for Real Madrid at the time: this was the first time that a World Cup winner had played for a club outside his home country.

This is the last of four FIFA World Cup tournaments to date with no extra-time matches. The others are the 1930, 1950, and 1962 tournaments.


The official mascots of this World Cup were Tip and Tap, two boys wearing an outfit similar to West Germany's, with the letters WM (Weltmeisterschaft, World Cup) and number 74.


West Berlin Munich Stuttgart
Olympiastadion Olympiastadion Neckarstadion
Capacity: 86,000 Capacity: 77,573 Capacity: 72,200
Berliner Olympiastadion innen.jpg Munich - Frei Otto Tensed structures - 5302.jpg
Capacity: 72,000
Parkstadion gelsenkirchen 2.jpg
Capacity: 70,100
Altes Rheinstadion.jpg
Capacity: 62,200
Hamburg Hanover Dortmund
Volksparkstadion Niedersachsenstadion Westfalenstadion
Capacity: 61,300 Capacity: 60,400 Capacity: 53,600

Match officials[edit]








For a list of all squads that appeared in the final tournament, see 1974 FIFA World Cup squads.


It was agreed by a vote by the FIFA Organising Committee on who would be seeded.[6] The four seeds, who had been the final four teams of the previous tournament, were first placed in separate groups:

Then the remaining spots in the groups were determined by dividing the participants into pots based on geographical sections. When the final draw was held, the sixteenth and final qualifier was not yet known; it would be either Yugoslavia or Spain. These teams finished with an identical record in their qualification group and following this situation, rules were changed so that tied teams had to compete in a play-off game on neutral ground.

Pot 1: Western European Pot 2: Eastern European Pot 3: South American Pot 4: Rest of The World

Final draw[edit]

The final draw took place on 5 January 1974 in Sendesaal des Hessischen Rundfunks in Frankfurt. The TV broadcast of this show was followed by an estimated 800 million people.[citation needed]

FIFA and the Local Organising Committee decided that the host nation (West Germany) and trophy holder (Brazil) would be respectively placed in Group 1 and Group 2. It was also decided that South American nations cannot play in same group during the first group stage. In other words, Argentina and Chile will not be allocated in a group seeded by Brazil or Uruguay.

Uruguay was drawn before Italy, taking a place in Group 3, and the runner up of 1970 FIFA World Cup received the seeding of Group 4. Other nations were draw one by one, pot by pot.

The "innocent hand" who made the draws was an 11-year-old boy, Detlef Lange, a member of the Schöneberger Sängerknaben, a children's choir.[7]

The great sensation of the draw was the meeting of the two "German teams" in Group 1. When FIFA President Sir Stanley Rous had announced the lot, the room was quiet for a few moments, followed by long-lasting applause. In the days following the event, a rumour began circulating that the GDR would consider a World Cup withdrawal due to a meeting with the team of the Federal Republic. However, this was quickly and officially denied by the Government of East Germany.[8]

First round[edit]

The first round, or first group stage, saw the sixteen teams divided into four groups of four teams. Each group was a round-robin of six games, where each team played one match against each of the other teams in the same group. Teams were awarded two points for a win, one point for a draw and none for a defeat. The teams finishing first and second in each group qualified for the second round, while the bottom two teams in each group were eliminated from the tournament.

Tie-breaking criteria

Teams were ranked on the following criteria:[citation needed]

1. Greater number of points in all group matches
2. Goal difference in all group matches
3. Goals scored in all group matches
4. Drawing of lots by the FIFA Organising Committee

Group 1[edit]

East German line-up v. Australia
Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  East Germany 3 2 1 0 4 1 +3 5 Advance to second round
2  West Germany 3 2 0 1 4 1 +3 4
3  Chile 3 0 2 1 1 2 −1 2
4  Australia 3 0 1 2 0 5 −5 1
Source: FIFA
14 June 1974
West Germany  1–0  Chile Olympiastadion, West Berlin
East Germany  2–0  Australia Volksparkstadion, Hamburg
18 June 1974
Australia  0–3  West Germany Volksparkstadion, Hamburg
Chile  1–1  East Germany Olympiastadion, West Berlin
22 June 1974
Australia  0–0  Chile Olympiastadion, West Berlin
East Germany  1–0  West Germany Volksparkstadion, Hamburg

Group 2[edit]

Jairzinho's goal against Zaire
Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Yugoslavia 3 1 2 0 10 1 +9 4 Advance to second round
2  Brazil 3 1 2 0 3 0 +3 4
3  Scotland 3 1 2 0 3 1 +2 4
4  Zaire 3 0 0 3 0 14 −14 0
Source: FIFA
13 June 1974
Brazil  0–0  Yugoslavia Waldstadion, Frankfurt
14 June 1974
Zaire  0–2  Scotland Westfalenstadion, Dortmund
18 June 1974
Scotland  0–0  Brazil Waldstadion, Frankfurt
Yugoslavia  9–0  Zaire Parkstadion, Gelsenkirchen
22 June 1974
Scotland  1–1  Yugoslavia Waldstadion, Frankfurt
Zaire  0–3  Brazil Parkstadion, Gelsenkirchen

Group 3[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Netherlands 3 2 1 0 6 1 +5 5 Advance to second round
2  Sweden 3 1 2 0 3 0 +3 4
3  Bulgaria 3 0 2 1 2 5 −3 2
4  Uruguay 3 0 1 2 1 6 −5 1
Source: FIFA
15 June 1974
Uruguay  0–2  Netherlands Niedersachsenstadion, Hanover
Sweden  0–0  Bulgaria Rheinstadion, Düsseldorf
19 June 1974
Bulgaria  1–1  Uruguay Niedersachsenstadion, Hanover
Netherlands  0–0  Sweden Westfalenstadion, Dortmund
23 June 1974
Bulgaria  1–4  Netherlands Westfalenstadion, Dortmund
Sweden  3–0  Uruguay Rheinstadion, Düsseldorf

Group 4[edit]

Capello (No.8) is brought down v. Haiti
Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Poland 3 3 0 0 12 3 +9 6 Advance to second round
2  Argentina 3 1 1 1 7 5 +2 3
3  Italy 3 1 1 1 5 4 +1 3
4  Haiti 3 0 0 3 2 14 −12 0
Source: FIFA
15 June 1974
Italy  3–1  Haiti Olympiastadion, Munich
Poland  3–2  Argentina Neckarstadion, Stuttgart
19 June 1974
Argentina  1–1  Italy Neckarstadion, Stuttgart
Haiti  0–7  Poland Olympiastadion, Munich
23 June 1974
Argentina  4–1  Haiti Olympiastadion, Munich
Poland  2–1  Italy Neckarstadion, Stuttgart

Second round (quarter-finals/semi-finals)[edit]

The second round, or second group stage, saw the eight teams progressing from the first round divided into two groups of four teams on the basis of the tournament regulations. Group A would consist of the winners of Groups 1 and 3, plus the runners-up from Groups 2 and 4. Group B would consist of the other four teams, namely the winners of Groups 2 and 4, plus the runners-up from Group 1 and 3. Like the first group stage, each group in the second round was a round-robin of six games, where each team played one match against each of the other teams in the same group. Teams were awarded two points for a win, one point for a draw and none for a defeat. The two teams finishing first in each group advanced to the final, while the two runners-up would meet to decide third place.

Tie-breaking criteria

Teams were ranked on the following criteria:

1. Greater number of points in all second round group matches
2. Goal difference in all second round group matches
3. Goals scored in all second round group matches
4. Higher finishing position in the table in the first round
5. Drawing of lots by the FIFA Organising Committee

All times listed below are at local time (UTC+1)

Group A[edit]

Streich heads East Germany into the lead v. Argentina
Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Netherlands 3 3 0 0 8 0 +8 6 Advance to final
2  Brazil 3 2 0 1 3 3 0 4 Advance to third place play-off
3  East Germany 3 0 1 2 1 4 −3 1
4  Argentina 3 0 1 2 2 7 −5 1
Source: FIFA
26 June 1974
Netherlands  4–0  Argentina Parkstadion, Gelsenkirchen
Brazil  1–0  East Germany Niedersachsenstadion, Hanover
30 June 1974
Argentina  1–2  Brazil Niedersachsenstadion, Hanover
East Germany  0–2  Netherlands Parkstadion, Gelsenkirchen
3 July 1974
Argentina  1–1  East Germany Parkstadion, Gelsenkirchen
Netherlands  2–0  Brazil Westfalenstadion, Dortmund

Group B[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  West Germany 3 3 0 0 7 2 +5 6 Advance to final
2  Poland 3 2 0 1 3 2 +1 4 Advance to third place play-off
3  Sweden 3 1 0 2 4 6 −2 2
4  Yugoslavia 3 0 0 3 2 6 −4 0
Source: FIFA
26 June 1974
Yugoslavia  0–2  West Germany Rheinstadion, Düsseldorf
Sweden  0–1  Poland Neckarstadion, Stuttgart
30 June 1974
Poland  2–1  Yugoslavia Waldstadion, Frankfurt
West Germany  4–2  Sweden Rheinstadion, Düsseldorf
3 July 1974
Poland  0–1  West Germany Waldstadion, Frankfurt
Sweden  2–1  Yugoslavia Rheinstadion, Düsseldorf

Knockout stage[edit]

The third place play-off was the first match in FIFA World Cup history in which a penalty shoot-out could potentially be held (in the event of the score being level after the regular 90 minutes and 30 minutes' extra time). If the teams remained tied in the final after extra time, a replay would be held. Only if the scores remained level during the replay after the regular 90 minutes and 30 minutes' extra time would penalties be used to determine the champion. At all previous World Cup tournaments, the drawing of lots had been foreseen in this situation to split the teams.

All times listed below are at local time (UTC+1)

Third place play-off[edit]

Brazil 0–1 Poland
Report Lato Goal 76'
Attendance: 77,100


Netherlands 1–2 West Germany
Neeskens Goal 2' (pen.) Report Breitner Goal 25' (pen.)
Müller Goal 43'
Attendance: 75,200
Referee: Jack Taylor (England)


With seven goals, Grzegorz Lato of Poland was the top scorer in the tournament. In total, 97 goals were scored by 53 players, with three of them credited as own goals.

7 goals

5 goals

4 goals

3 goals

2 goals

1 goal

Own goals

FIFA retrospective ranking[edit]

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.[9][10] The rankings for the 1974 tournament were as follows:

R Team G P W D L GF GA GD Pts.
1  West Germany 1/B 7 6 0 1 13 4 +9 12
2  Netherlands 3/A 7 5 1 1 15 3 +12 11
3  Poland 4/B 7 6 0 1 16 5 +11 12
4  Brazil 2/A 7 3 2 2 6 4 +2 8
Eliminated in the second group stage
5  Sweden 3/B 6 2 2 2 7 6 +1 6
6  East Germany 1/A 6 2 2 2 5 5 0 6
7  Yugoslavia 2/B 6 1 2 3 12 7 +5 4
8  Argentina 4/A 6 1 2 3 9 12 −3 4
Eliminated in the first group stage
9  Scotland 2 3 1 2 0 3 1 +2 4
10  Italy 4 3 1 1 1 5 4 +1 3
11  Chile 1 3 0 2 1 1 2 −1 2
12  Bulgaria 3 3 0 2 1 2 5 −3 2
13  Uruguay 3 3 0 1 2 1 6 −5 1
14  Australia 1 3 0 1 2 0 5 −5 1
15  Haiti 4 3 0 0 3 2 14 −12 0
16  Zaire 2 3 0 0 3 0 14 −14 0


  1. ^ a b "1974 FIFA World Cup Germany - Awards". FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  2. ^ 1966 & 1974 World Cups Were Fixed - Former FIFA President. Goal.com. 26 June 2008.
  3. ^ "Das ist der Fahrplan". Kicker – Sonderheft WM '74 (in German). May–June 1974. p. 5.
  4. ^ "Argentina on brink as Ante Rebic sparks rout to put Croatia through". 21 June 2018.
  5. ^ "1966 & 1974 World Cups Were Fixed – Former FIFA President". Goal.com. 26 June 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  6. ^ "FIFA World Cup seeded teams" (PDF). FIFA World Cup seeded teams 1930–2006.
  7. ^ [Ein Elfjähriger schreibt Fußball-Geschichte |url=http://www.zdf.de/ZDFde/inhalt/4/0,1872,3022116,00.html Archived 26 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine]
  8. ^ (de) Karl Adolf Scherer: Die Deutschen in einer Gruppe: Die Auslosung am 5. Januar 1974 aus Fußballweltmeisterschaft 1974, page 114
  9. ^ "page 45" (PDF). Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  10. ^ "FIFA World Cup: Milestones, facts & figures. Statistical Kit 7" (PDF). FIFA. 26 March 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 May 2013.

External links[edit]