FIFA HISTORY
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FIFA WORLDCUP 1982

From June 13 to July 11, the twelfth World Cup was held in Spain. The FIFA World Cup finals were extended from 16 to 24 teams, which was a normal result of the increased number of countries competing in the qualifying rounds (a total of 103 teams for the 1982 World Cup in comparison with 57 twenty years earlier). Particularly notable were the increased proportions of African and Asian countries (in 1994 FIFA decided to give yet another place to Africa).

Background

Argentina was the defending champion when they arrived in Spain. Mario Kempes, the previous tournament’s star, was not in the same shape. But a new young star, Diego Maradona, was about to make his mark on the world stage. Unfortunately for Argentina, Maradona’s abilities were hampered by brute defending, and his vengeance, fueled by indignation, resulted in a red card.

Format

Argentina was the defending champion when they arrived in Spain. Mario Kempes, the previous tournament’s star, was not in the same shape. But a new young star, Diego Maradona, was about to make his mark on the world stage. Unfortunately for Argentina, Maradona’s abilities were hampered by brute defending, and his vengeance, fueled by indignation, resulted in a red card.

Cities and arenas

The 1982 World Cup was held in 17 stadiums across 14 cities in Spain. Despite having the largest capacity, the final was held at the Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid..

Tournament

In 1982, there were some underdog sensations that rocked European giants. Cameroon did not lose a single game, but was unfortunate to lose to Italy – the eventual champions – by the tiniest goal difference advantage. Honduras drew their first match against the host country, Spain. Algeria’s 2-1 victory over West Germany was another unexpected outcome (one of the biggest favourites after winning the UEFA Euro 1980). Algeria will suffer the same fate as Cameroon, being disqualified due to a goal difference.

The dreams of Spain’s home nation were shattered by a disappointing side. They would not have won the second match if the referee had not awarded them a highly questionable penalty and then allowing the penalty kicker to take it again after he missed the first time.

Brazil and France were, without a doubt, the most exciting players. A strong Brazil (with players like Zico, Socrates, and Falco) may have obliterated Argentina’s odds of progressing further, but after a sloppy defeat to Italy, the Brazilians were also eliminated from the knockout stage.

Italy and West Germany, two less exciting clubs, will achieve decent results and eventually compete for the cup. The West German football team does not exactly enchant the world of football. After an early goal, particularly in the match against Austria, there were almost no measures, as both teams could play on the result and advance (the rule that the last two matches in the group were played simultaneously was still not implemented).

The final has been dubbed the greatest World Cup match ever. Both teams have stars who are considered to be among the best in the game today. Jnior, Sócrates, and Zico were among the Brazilian players, while Dino Zoff, Marco Tardelli, and Paulo Rossi were among the Italians.

Results

Poland, West Germany, Austria, Belgium, Argentina, England, France, Northern Ireland, Spain, Brazil, and the Soviet Union advance from the first to the second group phase.

Poland, West Germany, Italy, and France qualified to the knockout stage after winning their groups in the second group round.

In the semi-finals, Italy will defeat Poland and West Germany would defeat France. In the third price series, Poland defeated France, and Italy defeated West Germany 3-1 in the final.

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