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The story of the 1982 World Cup

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Chris Bevan | 21:55 UK time, Thursday, 20 May 2010

Between now and the start of the World Cup, we will be looking back at previous tournaments with the help of some of the key characters and the BBC's archive footage. Today, we speak to the man who tried and failed to stop the great Brazil side of the 1982 finals, which ended up belonging to Italy and Marco Tardelli.

Spain, June & July, 1982

The best team might not have won the 1982 World Cup, but the best celebration definitely did.

For sheer artistry and jaw-dropping skill there have been few squads in history to match the one that Brazil coach Tele Santana took to Spain, not even in his own country's glittering past. Their names still trip off the tongue; the likes of Junior, Socrates, Falcao and Zico, while the flamboyant, attacking football they played under Santana deservedly lives long in the memory.

But, as with Hungary in 1954 and the Netherlands in 1974, Brazil's brilliant performances won the purists' plaudits and most fans' hearts but did not secure them any prizes.

Instead, the trophy went to an Italy side that lacked any comparable verve but who, through the raw emotion of Marco Tardelli's reaction to his goal in the final, still provided the iconic moment of a tournament that contained as much controversy as it did drama.

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An Italian triumph had seemed an unlikely outcome during the first round, as Enzo Bearzot's side scraped through with three draws against Poland, Peru and Cameroon. England, in their first finals for 12 years, made the fastest start, with Bryan Robson scoring after only 27 seconds in their first game against France, while upsets came from Algeria, who beat West Germany, and Northern Ireland - who famously shocked the hosts through Gerry Armstrong's strike.

Years later, I went to university with Armstrong's son, Brendan, who was always modest about his father's achievements but acknowledged how that goal on a humid evening in Valencia changed his life. It brought Gerry, then playing for Watford, international fame and led to the family returning to Spain a few months later when he joined Real Mallorca for a three-year stint. Such is the power of the World Cup.

There were no surprises, however, when Brazil faced Scotland in their second group game. Well, at least not after David Narey had put Jock Stein's side ahead with a spectacular early strike. The Brazilians responded by running riot in a 4-1 win that still leaves Alan Hansen wincing when he recalls it 28 years on.

"We watched Brazil in their first game against the Soviet Union, where they won 2-1 and were just toying with them," Hansen, who was at the heart of the Scotland defence on that night in Seville, told me. "Before we played them, we looked at their players and then looked at the heat - the game kicked off at 9pm and it was 100 degrees - and we knew it was going to be exceptionally difficult.

"Then we annoyed them by scoring first and I very quickly learned a couple of things. Firstly, the importance of having the ball in those conditions because they had it and we were chasing them so we obviously got tired very quickly and, secondly, how great - not just good - their players were.

"Effectively they only had 10 men because they had a striker called Serginho who was never a Brazilian player. He was just a big lump who couldn't run. He wasn't useless but he was as close to it as you have ever seen, not that it helped us much.

"Junior was meant to be playing left-back but he was like a centre-forward against us and I just couldn't get near to Zico, who was a phenomenal player. Through their whole team, their control of the ball and the way they played was absolutely fantastic; the skill, the touch, the technique - everything. You had to stand back in awe of how good they were."

Things got worse, not better, for Hansen, who was playing in his only World Cup. A 2-2 draw against the USSR in their last group game - with one of the Soviet goals coming after he collided with team-mate Willie Miller - meant Scotland missed out on a place in the second round on goal difference for the third World Cup in a row.

If the Scots' exit was farcical, there was a whiff of scandal about the way Algeria failed to progress. Amid angry scenes at the El Molinon Stadium in Gijon, West Germany and Austria played out a 1-0 win for the Germans - a scoreline that saw both teams progress. Allegations of a fix were universally made but never proven, although the stink led to Fifa ensuring the final games in each group would kick off simultaneously at all future tournaments.

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The second round comprised of another group stage; four groups of three teams each, with the winners going into the semi-finals. This was where England departed, unbeaten, after two goalless draws against West Germany and Spain, and where the holders Argentina, including a youthful Diego Maradona, imploded by losing twice.

The Argentines were in the same group as Italy and Brazil, who met in a decider for a place in the last four and produced an unforgettable encounter. Paolo Rossi, who had only recently resumed playing after a two-year ban for his part in a match-fixing scandal in Serie A, put Italy ahead twice. Brazil, who only needed a draw to progress on goal difference, replied each time with magnificent goals by Socrates and Falcao - whose vein-busting celebration provided another highlight - and went looking for the win, but Rossi's third goal proved decisive and Brazil were out.

Hansen has become renowned for his criticism of defensive displays in his work as a BBC pundit but even he remembers being shocked by the complacency of the Brazilians as he watched back home on Merseyside.

He told me: "Unfortunately for Brazil, they played with an attitude that it didn't matter if the opposition got three because they would get four. I really couldn't believe what I was seeing because they basically gave the Italians their goals with slack defensive play.

"They came unstuck but as far as flair, imagaination and creativity were concerned they were always the best team in Spain and they are still without a shadow of a doubt the best team never to have won the World Cup. Even subsequent Brazil sides who have won the trophy have not been in the same class."

In any other World Cup, that Brazil-Italy game would have undoubtedly been the match of the tournament but, three days later in the semi-finals, France and West Germany served up another clash of skill against spirit that was just as dramatic.

The French, with Michel Platini and Alain Giresse pulling the strings in an artful midfield, had become the neutrals' favourites following Brazil's exit but went the same way as the South Americans after continuing to attack despite leading 3-1 with 15 minutes of extra-time left. West Germany's eventual win, in the first World Cup match to be decided on penalties, was made even less popular by their goalkeeper Harold 'Toni' Schumacher's infamous challenge on Patrick Battiston with the score at 1-1 that left Battiston unconscious and knocked out three of his teeth, but saw Schumacher escape punishment.

Italy brushed aside Poland, whose talisman Zbigniew Boniek was suspended, in their semi-final and, although there was a Brazilian in the final, played in front of 90,000 fans at the Bernabeu, it was only the referee Arnaldo Cesar Coelho.

For the first hour at least, the final did not live up to what had come before. Only when Rossi - who else? - broke the deadlock on 56 minutes did the game spark into life. The Italians, who had been brilliantly negative for most of the tournament, at last began to express themselves and none more so than Tardelli, who fired home their second goal from the edge of the area before embarking on a mazy, crazy, screaming and tearful run towards the Italy bench that has become known as 'l'urlo di Tardelli' or 'the Tardelli cry'.

"After I scored, my whole life passed before me - the same feeling they say you have when you are about to die," Tardelli explained recently. "The joy of scoring in a World Cup final was immense, something I dreamed about as a kid, and my celebration was a release after realising that dream. I was born with that scream inside me, that was just the moment it came out."

The greatest celebration ever? I'll let you decide. There was no way back for West Germany, anyhow. Alessandro Altobelli put Italy 3-0 up before Paul Breitner replied with a late consolation. Italy were not the team that most people thought would win the World Cup, nor wanted to, but it was they who got their hands on the trophy.

Watch the top 10 goals of the 1982 World Cup (UK only)
Watch Brazil fight back from a goal down to hammer Scotland (UK only)
Watch Northern Ireland beat the hosts Spain(UK only)
Watch Paolo Rossi's hat-trick see off the brilliant Brazilians (UK only)
Watch the classic semi-final between France and West Germany (UK only)

Let me know your memories of 1982. On Monday, we look back at 1986, when we speak to the winner of the Golden Boot but the World Cup belonged to just one man - Diego Armando Maradona.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Oh those Brazilians! A sheer joy to watch, pure magic. It was like watching a game that had not been invented yet. Cris Freddi in his WC book described it as ,'a style of play that had supposedly vanished forever. The ball control, movement and angles of passing, all done without apparent effort, were the stuff of mythical beaches, with apparently no need for defence.' They just needed a decent centre forward, Serginho was terrible, and some defenders. Sadly that proved to be their downfall.
    Aside from that other memories include Robson's early goal versus France, the bizarre French goal (disallowed) against Kuwait and Northern Ireland beating Spain.
    Interesting to note that Italy and West Germany started so slowly but ended up in the final.

  • Comment number 2.

    Ahh, my favourite World Cup. It was the first one that I can remember so that might be a reason, but so many special moments. The Brazil team stick longest in the memory (you could have just had a top ten of their goals), but I also think it was a very very good Italy that won.
    I don't think there was a weakness in the side and there were some world class players amongst them - Zoff, Gentile (despite the thuggery), Cabrini, Tardelli, Conti and the resurgent Rossi.
    But the best for me personally was Scirea. He hardly ever gets mentioned when the great players are discussed but his status belongs alongside Beckenbaur, Moore and Passarella.

  • Comment number 3.

    I remember doing my O Levels the same time the World Cup on and running into the house after an exam just in time to see Robson score V France. Other memories...Keegan's miss, England being referred to as "The Team in Red" by Argentine TV, Interruptions to tell us what was going on in the Falklands and Lou Macari on BBC saying Austrians don't like Germans so Algeria will qualify. Great Time to be 16!

  • Comment number 4.

    Brazil were incredible. Their weakness was their centre forward Serginho and the keeper wasn't up to much.

    Zico, Falcoa, Junior, Cerezo, Socrates and Eder were players you couldn't take your eyes off.

    Easily the best team not to win the world cup in my lifetime.

    I was more upset when they went out than when England went out.

  • Comment number 5.

    What is the point of these blogs when are the reference video is available only for UK readers? I'm sure there must be a way to work around or solve the copyright issues. Motty's once a week tweet is also pointless as all videos work only for UK users..

  • Comment number 6.

    In 1982,I was in still in my mother's womb waiting to be born but even while there, I can confirm to you that that Brasil side was magical.Falcao, Zico, Socrates et al were playing like aliens. When Falcao scored and performed that celebration,I lept inside my mother's womb until she was forced to take a bed rest.Spain '82 was an incredible soccer bonanza!

  • Comment number 7.

    My memories of '82 were the brilliant Brazilians, they were so casual, when someone scored against they just didn't seem bothered. Socrates was one of those players who could've excelled in any position, I think he was a Doctor of something too. Zico's free kicks were special. What made it a great world cup for me was a really good final, better than the previous, '74 and '78.

  • Comment number 8.

    I was seven years old and we had two 18 year old Italians staying with us - my dad said they should have a "couple" of friends round to watch the final...about 25 turned up...you think Tardelli's reaction was memorable!?!?!?!

    I had never seen anything like the chaos that went on in our living room that day...still haven't to be honest.

  • Comment number 9.

    The year I finished University - finals over, no job to go to - nothing to do but settle down and watch the World Cup - shame! The abiding memory is that Brazil Italy match - probably the greatest match ever - I watched it spellbound on a little portable television in my new bedsit and at the end there was no analysis, no time to just take in the wonder of the game we had seen - the television just moved straight to the evening news!

    Scotland put us through the mill once again, no great surprise but the annoyance lives on. England started well enough but just faded away in the desperation over Keegan's injury, Northern Ireland were a revelation but it was Brazil and Italy (and Schumacher) who really put their stamp on the tournament, one for the sheer beauty of their play, the other for a resilient will to win.

  • Comment number 10.

    The France v Germany semi final was simply the greatest game of football I have ever seen. People go on about the great Brazilian team of 1982 but that French team with Platini, Durese and Tigana in midfield was equally as good.How France lost that game 4-3 is beyond me.

  • Comment number 11.

    The first WC I remember.That great Brazilian team with Junior,Socrates,Zico(the original white Pele) and my favorite player then Eder.There also seemed to be genuine goal celebrations then not the synchronised faux nonsense that plagued the game now.Witness Falcao vein bulging celebration against Italy and Tardelli going round the twist after putting Italy 2 up.A penalty that goes wide of the post is still enthusiastically hailed as a Cabrini in my house.Great tournament and one that'll forever live in my memories.The final was at the Bernabeu between Italy and Germany.Off to the bookies to put a tenner on a 3-1 Inter Champions League win even though it'll kill me!

  • Comment number 12.

    Careca got injured before the tournament. Had he played in attack instead of Serginho, then Brazil might have won the trophy. Having said that, their attacking style of play always gave the strongest opposition a chance.

  • Comment number 13.

    The football world is still paying the price for that Brazillian team not winning the world cup!! The world cup is the zenith of football for any brazillian. It is on record that Cerezo never won another Brazillian cap after he first gifted Rossi the second goal and conceded the needless corner that led to the winner - he was never forgiven back home depite playing till '92! Before Nigeria started qualifying for the world cup Nigerians always supported Brazil at the world cup.I was 12 at the time and I always remember rushing home after school to watch the Poland/Italy semis to see the TV off - no one was interested since Brazil had been knocked out.
    We used to get BBC commentaries back in Nigeria then and I still remember Motty's commentary leading to Tardelli's second in the final: "Scirea the sweeper is up in attack, it's Bergomi; it's Scirea - there's an appeal for offside not given - ; Scirea right across to Marco Tardelli!! Two nil!! One of the best intuitive commentating I have ever heard as he dragged on the 'marco tardelli' as the Juventus midfielder was controlling the ball and setting himself up to hammer home. Just as good as the celebration!

    I came in from school just in time to see Robson score against France straight from kick-off. Yet they could not find one in the second round. The France/Germany semi-final was very very good. Cracking game and atmosphere. I have always hated Schumacher since that night. Gerald Sinstadt in the commentary box in the feed we got in Nigeria was also very good. Algeria's defeat of Germany was just sensational. I have watched the match recently and I could not believe how many more the algerians could have had. The same coach they had then is who they have now I believe so England should be careful.

  • Comment number 14.

    My favourite World Cup too. Tardellis celebration still brings a tear to the eye.

    The other standout moment in the competition was Kuwait walking off the pitch after the phantom whistle from the crowd.

  • Comment number 15.

    #5 - they may be pointless to you but the rest of us really enjoy them. I see what you're getting at that they're pointless to non-UK users but the BBC is service we have to pay for as a license-fee. There would be questions raised if they then spent some of that money ensuring people in other countries could watch their content when those people haven't paid into the license fee. I understand your frustrations but you have to look at the bigger picture that the BBC can't be seen to be paying out for services for people that don't pay the license fee.

    Really enjoying the blogs anyway Chris and can't wait for the next one, Mexico 86 was the first World Cup I can remember, I was only 6 at the time but I still have a few highlights I hope you'll be showing. And I remember collecting the panini sticker album, terrific times!

  • Comment number 16.

    I still can't believe Schumacher wsn't sent off and banned for that assault on Battiston. Whe I watched it there was just a disbelief as if you were questioning what you had just seen as it was so unbelievable.

  • Comment number 17.

    Panini stickers were fantastic. My 7 year old is collecting this years - fantastic

    Vote for your favourite World Cup songs here

    http://adampsb.blogspot.com/2010/05/world-cup-theme-songs.html

  • Comment number 18.

    I remember Narey's goal, a "toe-poke" was I recall was how a certain bearded commentator called it, and thinking you didn't want to do that against Brazil - you'll only upset them. From then on it was a masterclass in ball retention and how to rip a team apart for fun.

    Then Hansens & Miller colliding, always gives me a laugh when I hear Hansen critise poor defending.

  • Comment number 19.

    The performance of some of the smaller nations was a revelation too. Cameroon, Algeria and Honduras looked decent outfits, the last two being unlucky not to progress. However the tournament did feature outclassed sides from New Zealand and El Salvador.

  • Comment number 20.

    I was working in Italy at the time and I will never forget those celebrations. It seemed every car in Italy was out in the street, driving and blowing their horns - and we joined them in a minibus full of English holiday makers and Italians. I remember the minibus just stopping, blocking the road, while we all piled into a bar for beer. No one complained - they just stopped and came in for beer too. I recall eventually getting chucked out of a night club at about 3am. It was a good night. I think ....

  • Comment number 21.

    A fantatstic world cup - the best I have seen. So many dramatic and chaotic moments - Kuwait walking off, Austria and West Germany fixing their game, Schumacher's attempted murder of Battiston, Hungary scoring 10 against El Salvador, Maradona's sending off against Brazil...The final was fantastic, the France-West Germany game fantastic (how France lost still pains me) but the Brazil-Italy game was astonishing. Both sides played astounding flowing football. The best game I have seen.
    The Brazil side were from another planet. They were so comfortable on the ball (apart from Serginho) and had immense fitness. Their one touch passing and movement is something I've never seen in any other team. From the footage I've seen of Brazil in 1970, I would consider the 1982 Brazil better, despite not winning.
    I read an article around 4 years ago saying that Brazil as a nation hasn't fully recovered from that world cup. Certainly, they haven't produced a team anywhere near as good. Although to be fair, no country has.
    I agree also with William G Stewart's comments on Scirea the Italian sweeper. He was a fantastic player and kept Franco Baresi out of the Italy team until he retired. Tragically he was killed in a car crash 7 years later at 36.

  • Comment number 22.

    Thanks to everyone for sharing your memories of 1982 and other tournaments so far.

    I just wanted to clarify a point about the video content not being available to people outside the UK. The issue with showing World Cup clips - or a lot of other action on our site - is not the BBC choosing to restrict them because people have not paid the licence fee. It is simply because the BBC only owns the rights to show them within the UK.

    The BBC's deal with Fifa - and most other governing bodies or rights-holders - allows us to show these clips on the understanding we only show them in the UK. Other broadcasters will have paid for the rights to show these clips in other areas of the world. So we have to do something called 'geo-blocking' to ensure there is no leakage into other territories.

    Where there are no rights issues - like most post-match interviews for example - we will make these available outside the UK. But for the archive footage of World Cups it is a big no-no I'm afraid.

    Despite all this I hope you are able to enjoy the stories behind the World Cups and share your memories anyway. There are plenty more to come over the next few weeks.

  • Comment number 23.

    Your article does not give a sufficient account of the Algeria-Germany-Austria incident. You failed to mention that after Germany scored, both teams were obviously not even trying (i.e. they did not even attempt to make it look like a contest). The fans started chanting "Out, Out" to both teams, and a German fan even burned his own national flag in disgust.

    2-min video on Youtube (listen to the commentator at about 1:10): watch?v=QWKjqn1mgE4

  • Comment number 24.

    10. At 08:53am on 21 May 2010, Stephen Ryan wrote:
    The France v Germany semi final was simply the greatest game of football I have ever seen. How France lost that game 4-3 is beyond me.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Me also - especially as they lost on penalties. I was only 3 and I know that.

    My memories of this World Cup come from being presented with 'Gole - The Story of the 1982 World Cup' as a 7 year old after going mad about Mexico '86. I watched this over and over again. Sean Connery's narration was excellent and I can remember buzzing off Tardelli's celebration, the Cameroon squad singing on the coach on the way to the Italy game, being able to hear a pin drop when Armstrong scored against Spain...and Schumacher's assault on Battiston being replayed from 30 angles.

    A love for football was born.

    Keep these blogs coming, can't wait for the next instalment!

  • Comment number 25.

    I always wondered what a Brazil Vs France final would have been like. Both those teams played beautiful football at the time and maybe that would have been the greatest final of all time.

  • Comment number 26.

    Its interesting you covered 1982 because that was the last time New Zealand was at the World Cup finals until this year. I am keen to see whether there will be an improved performance this time around in South Africa after a 28 year break.

    Full time analysis

  • Comment number 27.

    I would only have been about 6 months old back then so am not fortunate enough to remember any of it. Like some others here, I am not in the UK unfortunately so cannot watch the video - I must search them out on YouTube!!

    http://the-fa-premier-league.blogspot.com

  • Comment number 28.

    Grosso's celebration when scoring in the semi final to win it for Italy v Germany in 2006 was similar to Tardelli's but somehow more powerful, he looks as if he is crying and celebrating at the same time.

  • Comment number 29.

    Toninho Cerezo.. great player, but what a terrible pass...

    There is great YouTube footage of Zico again humiliating Hansen, along with his Liverpool buddies, for Flamengo. What a player... Even in 86, his first touch after coming on as a sub against France was a through ball which gained a penalty. What a game that was!! (Dare say we'll be talking about 86 soon.)

    Folks - if you like reminiscing, you might like the following thread. Any input much appreciated.

    http://www.soccer24-7.com/forum/showthread.php?p=3639744#post3639744

  • Comment number 30.

    'Sean Connery's narration was excellent' Thanks for that.There are some things i seem to think my brain made up...like a VHS cassette i remember watching on the 82 WC with Sean Connery on narration.I remember him saying Claudio Gentile grew a mustache as a disguise so the referees wouldn't recognise him.Good stuff!

  • Comment number 31.

    Great WC

    Torture: watching Scotland annoy that great Brazilian side by scoring against them and giving us all hope. Watching Alan Hansen tangle with Willie Miller in the Russia game. Willie should have played with Alex McLeish that night, they were by far the best defensive partnership (apologies Alan!).

    Well at least Scotland did have the best WC song that year (and possibly any WC year): 'I have a Dream'. The opening lines are still good today and my kids get tortured with them on winter nights, 'when the sky was a darkest blue'. Brilliant (but not for them!).

    Agony: watching Socrates (or Dr Socrates a 40-a-day smoker!!), Eder and Falcao make their exit against Italy, What a game. The best team never to win the WC? For me that was Holland in 1974. Brazil just couldn't defend. Crushed by the result at the time but supported Italy for the remainder of the tournament. They didn't have their problems to seek as a team but Rossi and their defensive partnership of Scirea (well done to those above who also mentioned him) and Gentile (a man mis-named!) were immense. Gentile's marking of Maradona was both a masterclass in defending and hand-to-hand combat (with Diego as the victim!).

    Injustice: Schumacher should have been booted out the tournament for his 'challenge' on Battiston. For me it was one of the most disgraceful scenes I've ever watched in WC football. And the ref gave a goal-kick to Germany! Unbelieveable. It was some small justice that Schumacher never got a Winners medal.

    Triumph: the Italians beating West Germany (admittedly a tired team after their semi final win) and watching a side pilloried at home by their press before the tournament, poor in the first round but who kicked on in the Brazil game to come and win it.

  • Comment number 32.

    Yes, a pretty good World Cup. The outstanding Brazil side, the Italy-Brazil game, the drama of the W. Germany-France game and seeing England in the World Cup for the first time since 1970! Scotland failing in the first round again. :-)

    But also disappointing: Brazil not winning it. England running out of steam in two boring 0-0 matches (Trevor Brooking and Kevin Keegan were, after being instrumental in helping us qualify, just past their respective primes). Schumacher getting away with that forearm smash. And a very negative Italy side winning it.

    But, overall, good entertainment.

    A couple of quibbles though: i) Can you *please* stop talking about teams "expressing themselves". Teams, most particularly Italian teams, exist to win (something they are very successful at). ii) When you went to university with Gerry Armstrong's son you might recall learning that it should be: "The second round comprised another group stage" and not "The second round comprised OF another group stage". :-)

  • Comment number 33.

    30. At 11:53am on 21 May 2010, redandblackT-The legend of Herbert Kilpin wrote:
    'Sean Connery's narration was excellent' Thanks for that.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    I thought you were being sarcastic. ;-)

    Kevin Keegan missing a crucial sitter against Spain - probably because the ball bounced off his ridiculous barnet - also sticks in my mind.

    3 weeks and counting...

  • Comment number 34.

    Spain 1982 was a welcome return to World Cup Finals action for England after an absence of 12 years.

    The England team had some fine players under manager Ron Greenwood, including Peter Shilton, Mick Mills, Bryan Robson and Ray Wilkins.

    They topped their Group stage ahead of France but failed to progress past the second Group stage, losing out to the West Germans, despite remaining unbeaten in the Finals.

    Perhaps if Glenn Hoddle was used more the results might have been different, as he was the most talented English player of his generation.

    Full tournament details from Spain 1982 here:

    http://www.myfootballfacts.com/FIFAWorldCupFinals1982Spain.html

  • Comment number 35.

    I was three and a half years old, mum and dad sat me in front of the new telly, and apparently I watched the final in awe.

    It will always be a special final for all Italians, we remember fondly the elderly President (Pertini) pumping the fist on the VIP stands of the Bernabeu after Rossi's first goal in the final.

    And the broken voice of the tv commentator saying "Campioni, Campioni, Campioni del Mondo" at the final whistle as all hell broke loose on the streets of Italy.

    Rossi and Tardelli in particular became national treasures. Bearzot (the coach) turned into a legend (we forgive -or forget- him for Mexico '86). Countless kids grew up football-mad and reciting the final's team line-up (zoff, bergomi, cabrini, gentile, collovati, scirea...) like a prayer.

    Winning in Germany was great, but not quite as great.
    Spain '82 shaped the psyche of the nation for a generation.

  • Comment number 36.

    This was the first World Cup I can remember, I was 7 at the time, and as I'm from Northern Ireland it's one that sticks in my mind, especially as I'm from Newry, the birthplace of the great Pat Jennings and although people in Newry would tend to support the Republic, people were keen that Pat would have a good World Cup. The game against Spain is etched in my mind, especially John Motson's commentary on Gerry Amrstrong's goal "and Arconada's missed it and ARMSTRONG!!..." still gives me goosebumps! It was a real backs against the wall display for the North, especially when Mal Donaghy got sent off, Pat produced some stunning saves to keep the Spaniards at bay especially one right at the death! He was injured for the first second round game against Austria which was a 2-2 draw, had he been fit then he might have kept one of them out. After all that it was a real anticlimax when a clearly exhausted team were well beaten by the French in their final game.

    The French were a superb side with Platini, Tigana, Giresse, Six and Rochetau, what happened in that semi-final was an absolute disgrace and Schumacher should have been in jail. Given some of the "incidents" that his F1 namesake has been involved in I wonder if it is something to do with that name!

    Brazil v Italy is for my mind the finest game of football I've ever seen. Everyone wanted a Brazil v France final given the superb football each team played. But the Brazilians imploded thanks to some defensive insanity. As was said above, Caraeca got injured just before the finals and had he been playing upfront with Eder then they may well have had too much for even Italy. As well as having a total pudding of a centre-forward they weren't helped by having a classic Brazilian goalie, i.e. rubbish! Had Taffarel been born 10 years earlier then you could well have had the greatest team ever!

    The Italians are unfairly pilloried in my view for being too defensive but they played to their strengths and had a number of key players either injured or unfit but they had some brilliant players, as well as Rossi, Bruno Conti and Antonio Cabrini stood out for me and of course the legendary Roberto Gentile, probably the hardest man ever to play football and whose nullification of Maradona in the first second round game with a serious of sly punches and pinches on the referee's blind side is a perfect demonstration of the Dark Arts of the Beautiful Game!! It was probably the treatment Gentile meeted out to him which was why Maradona lost his cool against Brazil and was red carded.

    After Schumacher's thuggery I think most neutrals were supporting Italy in the final and I guess justice was done when they ran out easy winners. In all a great finals with some superb football and sadly probably the two best teams never to win the World Cup.

  • Comment number 37.

    Red_Rooster
    Haha!No way mate!What made the Schumacher challenge even worse,if that's possible,is that Battiston was a substitute.So after that Schumacher's GBH he had to be substituted himself meaning France had used up an extra sub.Hopefully that last sentence made sense...I've had a little wine this afternoon.

  • Comment number 38.

    The 1982 World Cup was not the best I've seen - and I've watched them all in detail since 1970 - but was nonetheless a hugely absorbing competition. There were some cracking matches: the aforementioned Italy vs Brazil and France vs W Germany, but also N Ireland's games against Spain (particularly) and Austria; England's false dawn against the French; New Zealand giving the Scots a fright; any match involving that magnificent Brazil side; the final itself with a resurgent Italy having finally showed what they could do.

    Other memories? How about the BBC and ITV completely blacking out the opening fixture between Belgium and holders Argentina for, I imagine, the simple reason that the latter were involved and the Falklands conflict was only officially to cease the day after. With highlights also blocked (in these pre-multi-channel days) there was no other way of watching the game - and with the Beeb's ban extending to radio, I had to listen in to a French station to stay informed! (At least one UK journalist took a ferry to Calais to see the game, I recall reading.) Foolish of the Beeb, especially given that the Belgians actually beat Maradona et al.

    Unfortunately, I guess the appalling treatment of Algeria is what sticks in my mind most of all, however. I remember Jupp Derwall, the West German coach, vowing that he would fly his squad home should they lose the two sides' group fixture in Gijon: cue the Algerians' magnificent 2-1 win - one of the greatest upsets in WC history. Sadly, the Germans stayed put to 'play' Austria and (allegedly) cheat the Algerians out of a deserved place in Round Two. If your own TV presenters are cursing you in live commentary - not to mention your fans burning flags in the stands - then something needs looking at, no? Shamefully, FIFA, presumably worried about upsetting such senior members of their fraternity, never addressed the scandal. So, the Germans lived to fight on and kick France out at the semi final stage, Harald Schumacher's unpunished kung fu kick on Patrick Battiston running that earlier outrage pretty close.

    With some kind of justice meted out by the Italians in that memorable final second half, the Germans now probably choose to forget the 1982 tournament as hardly their finest hour...

  • Comment number 39.

    The first world cup I remember in full, I was twelve at the time. I am honoured to have seen, for me, the greatest football team ever to grace the planet. Even now twenty eight years on I still get an immense thrill from watching that Brazilian side - that is how football should be played!!!

  • Comment number 40.

    Was only aged 2 so can`t remember this one sadly. I have since been able to fully appreciate it thanks to videos and highlights. Some great games(i have full games of Brazil-Italy,Germany-france,England-france and Argentina-Brazil) and the setting was superb. Spain is a proper football country and the stadia was great except for the Sarria being chosen to host Brazil v Italy. Zico was magic, Rossi deadly, and Grmany relentless! I pray 2010 has a hint of the greatness that was on show in the knock-outs and doesnt follow the theme of the last 2 world cups! Roll on 1986 Blog!

  • Comment number 41.

    Only in my Mum's womb at this point - the first time I heard of this particular tournament was in a "the year you were born" book I read as a kid that talked about England going out to Spain in the second round after a goalless draw with Spain - which didn't make sense as I 'knew' the second round of the World Cup was a knockout game.

    Anyway, talking about England I always get the impression that this was one of our better squads. I mean we whacked what would have been a seriously good France side and drew with one of the finalists. What did go wrong in that Spain match though?

    The always comes accross as one of the better World Cups.

  • Comment number 42.

    Undoubted highlight: Narey's goal. One of the best I've ever seen.

  • Comment number 43.

    I was 14 years old, and I remember almost everything you describe, in detail. The great Tardelli Hurl, is what they call it. Now he is with my National team it brings back great great memories, I remember Socrates, he smoked 80 a day and was a surgeon. He had a trial for St Pats in Ireland and was told to bugger off when he was a medical student. I suppose he was too good and they just couldn't see it. I remember the german goalkeeper, I am not sure if it was the same world cup or the one after when one of the german guys who got booked for spitting had his knee cap displaced up his thigh?
    All in all it was then my true romance with International football began.

  • Comment number 44.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 45.

    Alan Hansen is deluding himself if he thinks that Brazil'82 were the best team never to win the World Cup.

    The 1974 Dutch team lost to West Germany after conceding a comically dubious penalty, and the 1954 Hungary team lost to a West Germany team it had already beaten 8-3 earlier in the tournament. Not only did Hungary suffer some baffling refereeing decisions, but there were whispers of performance-enhancing drug use by the Germans, many of whom went on to die early.

    The 1982 Brazilians were great to watch, but their defence was a joke.

    Incidentally, we conspiracy theorists to this day suspect that the Cameroon team which exited unbeaten was actually the victim of creative refereeing which allowed Italy through ahead of them on goals scored after they finished level on points and goal difference. The 1982 Cameroon team was far superior to the legendary 1990 team and seemed to receive an awful lot of strange decisions.

  • Comment number 46.

    Yes, it was a great World Cup. Poignantly so when you make comparisons with today.

    Then: Difficult, even for an English person, to do anything except admire Michel Platini the French footballer.
    Now: Platini the career-politician and petty bureaucrat. How far he has fallen.

    Then: A talented Spanish side, who were easy to dislike, getting their just deserts: Nothing, except getting beaten at home by Ireland.
    Now: An even more talented Spanish side who are deservedly European Champions and popular favourites.

    Then: An unfancied Italian side giving a football-lesson by showing the way to beat "unstoppable" teams like Brazil (and twenty eight years later Inter-Milan have just done the same thing to Barcelona).
    The Italians were deserving winners of the competition.

    Then: Forgettable England performances by forgettable English players.
    Today: Too many of us still label averagely-talented English players as "World Class".

    Schumacher's assault on Battiston.... Possibly the most notorious foul in the history of football. A demonstration of the worst kind of human behaviour. I like to think he might find himself in court (or prison) if he did the same thing today.
    Yet Battiston later demonstrated the best kind of human behaviour by inviting Schumacher to his wedding.

  • Comment number 47.

    255. At 4:37pm on 21 May 2010, you wrote:
    ANNOUNCEMENT

    HERE ARE THE RESULTS OF THE FOOTIE THEME SONGS POLL

    In 4th Place with 7 votes the chessy harmonics of the England squad in Back Home

    In 3rd place with 8 votes the thumping synth tunes of the Pet Shop Boys remix of Jerusalem

    In 2nd place with 19 votes the ever cheerful World In Motion

    The winners with an incredible 50 of the 80 votes cast was the Lightning Seeds with Baddiel & Skinner football anthem Three Lions

    I thought about putting Go West on there but it is the tune not the lyrics that football appropriated so it was left alone.

    There is another blog that everyone including JDR will love as it is funny yet informative and strangely well written if I do say so myself. And I do so there

    http://adampsb.blogspot.com/2010/05/know-wot-i-mean-arry.html

    Visit there or be square

  • Comment number 48.

    I was at Grammar school during this world cup and was at that perfect age where I could appreciate every flick and pass and not have to worry about getting up to go to work the next day.
    The Italy Brazil game still gives me chills when I think about it. There were a handful of games from my childhood where I felt genuinely scared and intimidated by the physical presence of the players and the mood of the crowd when watching the game on tv (Sunderland v Man U from 1974, 3-3 draw also comes to mind): this was a true 'clash of the titans' contest and it obviously lived up to the pre-match hype.
    Surely one of the most memorable world cups, not sure if '86 was better - 1974 was my first 'proper' world cup. But my biggest regret is not being able to remember 1970, which I suspect might've been my favorite.

  • Comment number 49.

    Italy have a habit of grinding their way through the early stages with luck or boredom and saving it for the final, Didnt that happen 4 yrs ago too?

  • Comment number 50.

    The France - W Germany semi is the best game I've ever seen, it was incredible drama.
    Remember the tournament as much for the Solidarnosc banners at practically every game.

  • Comment number 51.

    In 1982 I would have only been 5 nearly 6, however I seem to be able to remember that horrendous Sschumacher challenege. Is that possible at that age? Maybe I've seen it since. I do know that it robbed France of their deserved place in the final.

    Ever since seeing Platini in the WC I have admired his skill and ability. Shame he seems to be so anti the PL and England in general, although he did say we could survive the Triesman scandal, even if he was privately rubbing his hands in glee!

    The first WC I can remember properly is 1986, with Lineker and his bandaged arm and THAT goal by Marardona (I'm a Maradona fan so I mean the second one, which in my book is the greatest WC goal ever). But that did not prepare me for the heartbreak of Italia 90. If only at 14 I realised that reaching the semis was not something that just happended every time the WC came round. I still remember lying on my lounge floor crying when Waddle missed his pen but trying not to show all my family who were in the room!

  • Comment number 52.

    The defining moment actually was Italy's win over Brazil. Italy had been "brilliantly negative" as you rightly wrote up to THAT moment. Then they took the Brazilians on with some breathtaking dribblings of their own. It was there and then that we youngsters learnt to understand Italy's magic: They CAN play like Brazil, but mostly won't do it but stick to the Catnennacio tactic. That's why they have their fantastic record, and no "overseas" players involved (unlike France, England).

  • Comment number 53.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 54.

    Yes, Socrates is a qualified doctor, and continues to be associated with the game, while doing a lot of valuable social work.
    Brazil were without not 1 but 2 top strikers (Reinaldo and Careca), both injured, and Serginho was never in their class, tho' he did okay at club level. Likewise Cerezo, who came good later for São Paulo but is generally blamed for Brazil's exit (along with their stubborn insistence on not settling for a mere draw). If Maradona hadn't crippled the excellent holding midfielder Batista with that waist-high challenge, things would probably have been very different.
    England had a good team, which deservedly beat an excellent French side, but suffered as usual from ultra-conservative management, which - needing only a win against a weak Spanish side we'd already outplayed in a recent away friendly - preferred to field the injured Keagan and Brooking rather than the budding partnership of Hoddle and Francis. Then we'd have been in the semi-final, with as good as team as any of the others left in the competition.
    Ireland, Scotland, Cameroon and Algeria all bring back pleasant memories - will we ever have 3 home countries in a WC again, I wonder? And well done Spain for staging an excellent event.

  • Comment number 55.

    No mention of Eder the brilliant brazilian left winger who was equally as good as zico but never gets remembered

  • Comment number 56.

    BLRBrazil: I'd settle for England and Scotland both making the finals to be honest.

  • Comment number 57.

    "The best team might not have won the 1982 World Cup" erm... yes it did, I'm Italian and I get really annoyed when I constantly here this statement about the 1982 World Cup, how were Brazil the best team of this particular World Cup? We beat them fair and square 3-2, in fact it should have been 4-2 but we had a perfectly legit goal wrongly ruled out for offside, maybe if we had won by two clear goals we could then lay claim to being the best team of the '82 World Cup... Italy didn't lose a single game at this World Cup, we started off slow but with the World Cup it's not how you start that's important it's how you finish and we finished in mighty fine fashion, thrashing a very good West Germany team, after beating one of Europe's finest teams in Poland (they had Lato and Boniek two of the best players in the world at that time), we also comfortably beat Argentina. Brazil on the other hand played some fancy stuff in the opening round, but were undone by a superior Italian team when it counted most, so yes Italy won the World Cup on merit, it's pretty hard to fluke a World Cup win to be honest though.

  • Comment number 58.

    @57

    'yes Italy won the World Cup on merit'

    I would agree with this statement, Italy grew throughout the tournament and were deserving winners. Even in the first group stage, they played well but missed chances.

    Boniek missing the semi-final helped but by then all the momentum was with them. Defeating four quality opponents in a row was no mean feat (Ok, maybe Argentina were not that good).

  • Comment number 59.

    A very important POINT is missing from this 1982 Report. I would like to remind you that Germany and Austria cheated in their last first round game. Both qualified at the expense of ALGERIA who beat Germany in 1982.
    BIG historic shame for such advanced contries.
    Since then FIFA then Changed the rules to play the last round group games the same day at the same time.

    Also this Year FIFA Banned Feinting At Penalty Kicks, as used by Egypt against Algeria in CAF.

  • Comment number 60.

    ITALY 3 BRAZIL 2

    This “juggernaut” ‘82 clash would surely rank in anyone’s all-time top 5 world cup matches.

    Yes, I remember it all as if it were yesterday (and watched the whole game again recently on ESPN Classic).

    That great Brazilian team were beginning to hit top-form, overwhelming world cup favourites needing only a draw to progress. Plenty of quality in the Italian team too and they were having none of the pre-match predictions. The Seville stadium bathed in glorious Spanish sunshine resembling a giant sunflower with all those yellow shirts in the crowd. Syncopated rhythms of the mass samba orchestra’s accompanying slick Brazilian passing movements a compellingly exotic soundtrack to my young ears. Electric atmosphere and what a match.

    Rossi’s bullet header gives Italy the early lead. Brazil hit back immediately - Socrates deliciously sliding the ball past Zoff at the near post. Brazil take command... . Italy defensive “enforcer” Gentile sticks to Zico like glue, literally tearing the Brazilian captain’s shirt off his back in one attack. “Playboy” Brazil winger Eder is tightly marked and ineffectual, his opposite number the skillful Bruno Conte a handful for the Brazilian defence. Sloppy defending just before half-time gifts Rossi and Italy a 2-1 lead. Brazil push and probe an impregnable Italy defence in the second half, equalising with a left-foot cracker from Falcao. Brazil concede a corner and Rossi’s lightning turn and shot in a packed penalty box poaches Italy the lead again. The boys from Brazil go in desperate search for a third equaliser. Led in attack by the hapless Serghino, that side was surely a world class centre-forward away from being the equal of the legendary 1970 team. In the closing stages Zoff makes numerous point-blank saves, Italy break fast on the counter-attack and look certain to score on three separate occasions. Italy hold on to a deserved and famous 3-2 victory. The yellow-shirted samba bands fall silent, and “sexy football” is eliminated from the 1982 world cup.

  • Comment number 61.

    #38 I didn't know that about British TV not showing the opening match because of the Falklands. That war cast a shadow over the tournament as the organizers were worried about Argentina might have to play one of the 3 Home Nations especially England. It was also a factor behind Argentina's poor showing that year. I remember seeing an interview with Maradona in which he said that while they were preparing in Argentina they were fed propaganda by their government about how they were winning the war but when they got to Spain and got uncensored news they realized they had been lied too and this was hugely demoralizing to the team. Maradona remarked scornfully "They told us we'd shot down a Sea Harrier, we couldn't shoot down a big bird!" But even without the war Argentina wouldn't have defended their trophy, the 1978 team was past it's best and too much was respected from Maradona, however his moment would soon come!!

  • Comment number 62.

    Best team to never win the WC? Has to be Holland in 74 and possibly in 78. Brazil could not defend.

  • Comment number 63.

    But people of a certain age still say Brazil of 1950 were the best team never to win the world cup.....That was due to an even better team, Urugauy.
    You dont win the World Cup against Brazil...in Brazil due to luck. If anyone cares to watch it on You tube, look for the prescence of Obdulio Varela, The Uruaguayan captain at number 5.....awesome!!

  • Comment number 64.

    ' But people of a certain age still say Brazil of 1950 were the best team never to win the world cup.....That was due to an even better team, Urugauy.
    You dont win the World Cup against Brazil...in Brazil due to luck. If anyone cares to watch it on You tube, look for the prescence of Obdulio Varela, The Uruaguayan captain at number 5.....awesome!!'

    Far too young to recall this but I have read about it. Varela was outstanding, an all-time great surrounded by other excellent players. And Uruguay faced another Brazilian side that looked terrific going forward but was suspect in defence.

  • Comment number 65.

    This world cup had more drama than any other.

    You had the disgrace of West Germany and Austria conspiring to send home poor Algeria.

    The holders losing on the opening day to a goal 10 yards offside.

    Maradona being sent off against Brazil after a terrible stamp on Batista's crown jewels.

    In an epic semi that finishes 3-3 after the French led 3-1 in extra time, Shumacher breaks Battison's neck and becomes a pantomime villan after he saves in the penalty shoot out.

    Brazil destroying everyone and bookies offering them at odds one with 12 teams still left go out after poor defending and a glaring miss by Serginho. John Motson said in commentary it was 'the sort of miss a Sunday League footballer would be ashamed of'.

    You also had the record win in world cup finals match 10-1 to Hungary vs hapless El Salvador.

    Another big stink when a billionaire crown prince from Kuwait walked onto the pitch demanding a goal to be disallowed. THe ref had given the goal an INCREDIBLY the ref let the Shiek talk to him and the linesman.

    Nobody knows what was said but the goal was then disallowed which enraged the French.

    My money is on 'Do you like Bentleys or Ferraris?'

  • Comment number 66.

    Hello.
    Just wanted to say what a great blog this is. Its great to relive the best moments from the world cups past, especially when the Azzurri win.
    Can i make one suggestion? 'L'urlo di Tardelli' translates better as Tardelli's roar. This is semantics but to me cry sounds a little wimpy and childishly emotionional and that is not what happened at that moment.

    Lastly, are you planning on showing the full 1 hour BBC highlights package for the 1990 and 1994 world cups. I really enjoyed those programs when they were first screened and surly i'm not the only one who would like to see them again?
    Thanks

  • Comment number 67.

    The put those up(and similar programs for other tournaments including '82) in the run up to the '06 World Cup. Presume they're still searchable.

  • Comment number 68.

    Spain 82 was a good tournament, but my favourite world cup tournaments was 1970/74 when we had the great Brazil side that included PELE and the great Dutch side that contained total football,

  • Comment number 69.

    And Arconada....Armstrong!
    Those words will forever live with me

    Northern Ireland also had a goal incorrectly ruled out for offside where we would have taken the lead against the French, and we would have then produced another backs to the wall master class to get into the semi final.
    There we would have played West Germany who we beat home and away in 1983 so we would have done them easy.
    So there you have it, bar one incorrect call by a linesman Northern Ireland would have been in the World Cup final :-)!

  • Comment number 70.

    What a Team, Zico is one with highest number of matches for Brazil and most goals scored. Falcão had led his team Internacional to the tri-champíonship in Brazil, and became known as "King of Rome", for having led the Roma, from Italy, to the scudetto. Sócrates, a physician with name of philosopher, combined talent and intelligence. Toninho Cerezzo, besides skillful, was said to have an extra pair of lungs. Falcão, Zico and Sócrates appeared in the list of 10 best players of the 1982 Cup.
    The team had still the powerful shots of left-forward Éder, the abilities of Júnior, the experience of Oscar.

    There were a few weak links. The goalkeeper, Valdir Peres, didn't inspire much confidence even among fans of his team, São Paulo. Many defended that Leão, who had played in the cups 1974 and 1978, and would still play in 1986, should have played in Spain.
    The center-forward, Serginho, was tamed by Telê Santana; Serginho was more a kind of bad boy, used to playing tricks with the nerves of the adversaries to create goals opportunities; in the team of Telê, this kind of attitude was prohibited; Serginho, one of the best strikers of his time, lost much of his potential. The favourite of Telê for the position was Careca, who would play later in the cups of 1986 and 1990; Careca suffered a serious injury already in Spain, and had to be substituted by Roberto Dinamite, who had been Brazil's striker in the 1978 Cup; rumours of the epoch said that Roberto's wife had links with black magic, and had arranged for Careca's contusion.

    Before the Cup, there was some discussion in Brazil whether the four cracks should play together, as they were all offensive. Matters were complicated by the fact that Cerezzo could not play the first match (he had been expulsed in a previous official match); his substitute, Paulo Isidoro, was doing a good job in occupying the right-forward position; by putting all four together, there would be no one occupying that position.

    looks like they join Holland in teams that should have made it!

    blogging the world cup!
    www.england-world-cup-games.com

  • Comment number 71.

    This is to CLIVEETA. In regards to italy grinding out results in 2006, how?????? we conceded only one goal up to the final, which was an own goal. Wone every game apart from our second which was a draw. It pains me to always hear of italy "grinding" results or being "negative", only a few teams in football play with free flowing football and football is not just about scoring goals its about defending being clever and winning!
    It's funny though that despite italy being so negative and boaring we have been involved in countless memorable moments ie beating brazil 3-2 in this tourno and battering germany 3-1 after being 3-0 up AND missing a penalty early on. Tardelli's celebration, grosso's celebration also del piero's celebration in the same game. In 1990 the baggio "oh yes" goal, toto schillachi the game against argentina!! Ountless moments in 1994, now we did scrape through to the semi's. And who can forget the game in 2006 against germany!! We were abused by all the german newspapers, i was there based in hamburg and they hated us yet we produced one of the most memroble semi-finals of great football by both sides and two fantastic goals.
    Also yes this was probably one of the best teams not to win the world cup but people are forgetting that this was a fantastic italian team also. Every position was strong. The 1990 team of italy also was one of the best teams not to win a world cup, the names of that team still sends shivers down my spine.

    The route to 2006 sucess or as you would bluntly put it grinding!!

    italy v ghana - 2-0
    italy v usa - 1-1
    italy v czech 2-0

    italy v australia 1-0
    italy v ukraine 3-0
    italy v germany 2-0

    yes in the final we only performed in the first half but the germany game took it out of them. if thats grinding out a tourno then you really need to watch it again. the only games we grinded out the result was usa, down to 10men and australia down to 10men so think a learn before you critise.

  • Comment number 72.

    Hi,

    This was the first WC beamed 'live' to Indian viewers and I can never forget this edition for the simple reason that since then the WC editions which I have seen on the telly have never measured up to this barring the Maradona magic in 1986.

    Talking about Germany not many in this forum have mentioned Karl Heinz Rumminigge - a superb striker - and the classy Paul Breitner. Brazil had the best foot magicians of all but failed to climb the winners' podium while the French midfield was simply superb. Unfortunately it was shown that mere magical football does not win you the game's most coveted crown.

    Italy had easily the best defenders with their goalkeeper to back them and in Paulo Rossi had perhaps the most opportunistic striker in the tournament.

    My only regret is that after this edition the Brazil sides that have played in the succeeding WCs have never captured my attention. The list includes their champion sides of 1994 and 2002.




  • Comment number 73.

    A couple of people have mentioned New Zealand's participation.

    They were in a pretty tough Group and not too outclassed for first timers.

    My brother was at the game New Zealand v Scotland and told me that when Scotland conceded two quick goals ( so that a 3-0 lead was suddenly 3-2 )there were some very quiet Scotsmen indeed in the stadium - sudden horror at memories of Argentina.

    The backstory to New Zealand's qualification for 1982 was the real triumph - their last qualifier was in January 1982 well after everyone else had finished. By that time they had played more games travelled more miles and scored more goals than any other qualifier before them ( a bit of a contrast to this time around ). They needed to beat Saudi Arabia away by 6 clear goals in their last match to qualify. That they had only drawn with the Saudis 2-2 in NZ may give you some idea of how difficult this seemed. Miraculously the were 5-0 up at half time - tragically they couldn't get the sixth hence the playoff against China in Singapore. The Chinese management had the gall ( or maybe an excellent ironic sense of humour ) to say that we had bribed the Saudis! There may actually have been some bribery earlier in the qualifiers but most New Zealanders recall a certain ref, a reported briefcase full of cash and two very dubious penalty decisions.

    All of this in the same year that our normally fairly tranquil streets saw riot police and protesters clash as the country tore itself apart over the Springbok Tour - a Tour that was won with the last kick of the match on a pitch ringed with barbed wire and police, that had been attacked during the game by a light plane dropping flower bombs ( one of which knocked over our prop ) and where TV coverage was interrupted because protesters attacked the TV transmitters.

    Sometimes the results don't always tell the real story.

    Sean Connery's narration of Gole is excellent. If I recall correctly he says that after the Poles are knocked out their fans can get on with "the sherioush work of defecting".

    One of the best tournaments ever.

  • Comment number 74.

    Italy-Brazil
    The best game of football I have ever seen. A great Brazil side, but an even better Italy. A master class from Bruno Conti, Paolo Rossi....the whole team.

  • Comment number 75.

    75. The best Italian players were Antognoni and Conte in this WC.

    Tardelli, Scirea, Rossi, Gentile etc all made the big visible impacts but the most crucial aspect of the Italian team was its ability in speed on the counter attack and this was largely due to the vision of Antognoni (his passing was exceptional) and the speed of Conte (down the wing).

    See the Italy goals against Argentina (1st & 2nd goal), Poland (2nd goal) and Germany (3rd goal) and you will see how crucial Antognoni and Conte were to the Italy side, without them the play would have all been through Tardelli to link with the strikers and it wouldnt have worked because Tardelli was more of a defensive midfielder who could sprint to assist attacks rather than create attacks from deep positions.

    It was tragic that Antognoni didnt play the final due to injury. Also note that Antognoni had a goal wrongly scrapped by the ref in the Brazil game for an offside so the score should have been Italy 4 Brazil 2 which would have reflected more of a 'thorough beating' than just 'a win'.

    It was a really well balanced Italy team in 82 from defence to attack and thats why they beat Brazil who were totally unbalanced in terms of their poor defence. Italy knew this and many of the Italian players were fearful of only one team in that WC which was France because it was clear France were technically very strong and balanced (after their blip against England. If not for loosing their heads in the second half against Germany, France would have no doubt gone on to out play and beat Italy in the final.

    The deal made of the Brazil 82 team is really quite laughable because essentially their group had Scotland and New Zealand in it (hardly strong physical presence teams with great technical ability on the world stage!!) and into round two, their only real credible result was against an Argentina side who had already imploded and lost against Belgium....(yes Belgium) in the group stage and were clearly an un united squad with a few two many egos and too much pressure placed on Diego.

    The first time Brazil came across a strong opponent was Italy and they lost. So the best team not to win 82 was certainly not Brazil but in fact France.

  • Comment number 76.

    'The deal made of the Brazil 82 team is really quite laughable because essentially their group had Scotland and New Zealand in it (hardly strong physical presence teams with great technical ability on the world stage!!)'

    In 82' Scotland has a good team mr ignorance. They might be rubbish now, but back then a few of those 'lacking great technical ability' had helped Liverpool to the odd European Cup. Alan Hansen, Graeme Souness and Kenny Dalgish were all excellent players.

  • Comment number 77.

    I was working in the North Sea for the entire duration of the 82 world cup, and could only get the results on the radio. Didn't see a single goal, so when I got home mid July, got the video and watched it over and over for hours!

    Favoutite moments - Brazil V Italy, Tardelli in the final, Brazils goals Vs Poland (I think), Algeria beating Germany, Germany V France in the semi final, fantastic stuff - happy memories!

  • Comment number 78.

    1982 World Cup was the first one I remeber. The openning game was I think Italy Cameron and it was 0-0 and boring. Than the flair Italians brought to the games was amazing. auto insurance quotes. There was a seen in the Italy-Brazil game that at the end Gentile ripped Zico's shirt in the penalty area and no penalty was given. I think that was the defining moment of the finals.

  • Comment number 79.

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  • Comment number 81.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 82.

    Bravo, as always a beautifully written article!
    colored contacts

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  • Comment number 84.

    I will take part in this. Especially helping all the children that live in the street. They don’t have choice. Their mother left them therte and this is something they need to face from their young age. As a big foundation that really cares bout the things that happen in this world especially bout the social life, they really do have a good program. You can check that program here at the site section. Otherwise just email and they'll get back to you. [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 87.

    It is memorable world cup and doing there are many recodes made by all the teams.chicken coopsItaly became the first team to advance from the first round without winning a game, drawing all three (while Cameroon were eliminated in the same way), and also the only World Cup winner to draw or lose three matches at the Finals. By winning, Italy equalled Brazil's record of winning the World Cup three times. Italy's total of twelve goals scored in seven matches set a new low for average goals scored per game by a World Cup winning side (subsequently exceeded by Spain in 2010), while Italy's aggregate goal difference of +6 for the tournament remains a record low for a champion, equalled by Spain.Italy's 40-year-old captain-goalkeeper Dino Zoff became the oldest-ever player to win the World Cup. This was the first World Cup in which teams from all six continental confederations participated in the finals, something that would not happen again until 2006.

  • Comment number 88.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 89.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 90.

    Italy were absolutely immense in 82. They may not have been everyone's favourites, but they were certainly mine (not least because my best mate at the time was supporting Brazil). Good times. :)

  • Comment number 91.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 92.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 93.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]I loved the World Cup of 82, it was the first World Cup I consciously viewed. Didn't know much about Brazil or Italy in those times, but I certainly remember the final of Germany against Mexico. HUGE game for the mind of a 9 year old. The screams of "RUDI" echoed through our block then! :)

  • Comment number 94.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 95.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 96.

    This was my favorite World Cup - Cabrini, Tardelli, Conti were great.

  • Comment number 97.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 98.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 99.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 100.

    the reason why england will never win the world cup is coz they all think they all think they r great example barton gerrard terry green

 

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