The 1954 FIFA World Cup was held in Switzerland from June 16 to July 4, 1954. In all, 16 teams competed in the tournament’s final round, which consisted of 26 matches. The World Cup was being held for the fifth time, and it will be the first to be televised on television.


The current winners Uruguay was one of the teams; their national team had dominated the tournament on all previous occasions. Hungary, however, the overwhelming force in European football at the time, arrived in Switzerland as the favourite. One of their stars was the famous Ferenc Puskás, who was injured in the group stage against West Germany but recovered in time for the knockout stage.

The fact that Scotland, South Korea, and Turkey had all qualified for the World Cup final for the first time was also noteworthy (the former great power in football, Scotland, had only been a member of FIFA since 1949). Germany, who had been barred from competing in the previous World Cup due to its conduct during World War II, was welcomed back to the FIFA World Cup.

The feeling in Switzerland was nothing like what it had been in Brazil four years before. It was a stark contrast to the raucous crowd that had crowded the huge Maracan. It might seem odd that such a small country as Switzerland will host the world’s largest football competition, but it was one of the few European countries that had escaped the brunt of the recent conflict.


The system consisted of a first round of four four-team groups, with two teams advancing to the final knockout round. The tournament’s set-up was unusual in that each team only played two group matches and will only face two of the three teams. The teams that will compete would be decided by their ranking. The concept, unsurprisingly, would be panned. The notion that it didn’t matter whether a team finished first or second in their category when they were named opponents in the Quarter-finals was often criticised. As a result, a very plausible final between Hungary and Brazil will take place in the Quarter-finals.

Cities and arenas

The matches will be held in six cities and six stadiums (for an overview, see the “Cities and Stadiums” box). The Wankdorf Stadium in Bern has the largest capacity, with over 64,000 seats, and the final will be held there.The matches will be held in six cities and six stadiums (for an overview, see the “Cities and Stadiums” box). The Wankdorf Stadium in Bern has the largest capacity, with over 64,000 seats, and the final will be held there.


With an unprecedented 5.38 goals per match, the tournament will set the record for the highest goals total in a World Cup. The game between Austria and Switzerland in the quarter-finals will see the most goal production: 7-5 after 90 minutes (12 goals in one match are still a record in the tournament). Another factor was South Korea’s poor performance, which included 16 goals conceded. Over five goals per match has never been seen before, and it will not be seen again.

Hungary met Brazil in the quarter-finals, in a match described as a moral final. The most lasting memory of the game, though, was not one of sportsmanship, but of aggressive clashes on the pitch. Three players were sent off in the “Battle of Berne,” which involved clashes on the sidelines after the final whistle and started with Brazilians attacking Hungarian players in their locker room.

West Germany may be one of the most powerful football nations, but their squad in the 1954 World Cup missed significant credentials, and their Quarter-final victory over Yugoslavia was a huge shock. The 6-1 win over Austria in the Semi-final was much more impressive. Despite the victory over Austria, Germany was supposed to have no chance against Hungary in the final. It would be a miracle if anything more happened.

Hungary would take a 2-0 lead, but German morale and a dirty pitch that didn’t fit Hungary’s passing style led to “The Miracle of Bern,” as it is now known. West Germany won the tournament after defeating Hungary in a close game by a score of three goals to two.


Brazil, Yugoslavia, Hungary, West Germany, Uruguay, Austria, England, and Switzerland will progress to the knockout stage after completing the group stage.

In the Quarter-finals, West Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Uruguay will advance to the Semi-finals. After extra time, West Germany would beat Austria 6-1, and Hungary would defeat Uruguay.

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