World Cup 2014: Brazil is greatest tournament in BBC vote

The 2014 World Cup in Brazil has been voted the greatest in the tournament's history by BBC Sport readers.

This summer's World Cup, which has seen great goals, gritty underdog displays and shock results, came out on top in Friday's Sportsday vote with 39%.

Best World Cup vote

In total Brazil topped six of the nine categories readers voted on.

Mexico 1986 was voted the most controversial World Cup and the one with the best stage for great players. Germany was voted best host for 2006.

Nine votes were run on the BBC Sport website from 08:00 to 14:30 BST on Friday with tens of thousands of you taking part. The results are not intended to provide a definitive view of World Cup history - they are simply a sample of our readers' opinions. Here are the voting categories:

  • The best goals
  • The biggest controversy
  • The most contenders
  • The best underdogs
  • The best late drama
  • The best stage for great players to shine
  • The most unforgettable match
  • The best hosts
  • The best overall World Cup since the first in 1930.

This year's World Cup has seen 167 goals scored in 62 games, with spectacular finishes including Robin van Persie's diving header against Spain for the Netherlands, Colombia forward James Rodriguez's long-range effort against Uruguay, Lionel Messi's curler against Iran for Argentina and Australia veteran Tim Cahill's volley against the Netherlands.

Top three World Cup group stage goals

It is of little surprise then, that Brazil 2014 also ran away with readers' votes on the tournament with the best goals scored, as it took 44.1%.

Mexico 1986 had the second-highest number of votes (28.1%), with France 1998 third (18.1%), Germany 2006 (6.2%) and USA 1994 (3.5%) fourth and fifth respectively.

Brazil 2014 was also voted the most competitive in World Cup history, with 55.9% of readers recognising a tournament that has seen the likes of Chile, Costa Rica and Colombia excel, as well as plenty of closely-fought contests.

There have been few heavily one-side contests with, surprisingly, only the likes of Brazil, Spain and Portugal on the end of hefty defeats.

Brazil's loss - the shock 7-1 demolition by Germany in the semi-finals - made it the overwhelming winner of the best match at a World Cup, taking 49.7% of the vote, ahead of England's 1966 World Cup final win against West Germany (14%).

Highlights: Brazil 1-7 Germany

However, the overall competitive nature of this summer's tournament meant readers also felt it produced the best underdog results.

Costa Rica topping a group which contained former World Cup winners Uruguay, Italy and England, coupled with their run to the quarter-final, and an equally impressive run by Colombia, along with determined displays from Algeria and the United States was enough to see 2014 take 48.2%.

The 2002 tournament in South Korea and Japan, which saw Turkey finish third and the Koreans fourth, took the second-highest share of the votes with 29.4%.

The late drama category was the closest of the six that Brazil 2014 came out on top of, as it collected 38.6% of votes.

Former Celtic man Georgios Samaras scored a dramatic last-minute penalty against Ivory Coast to send Greece into the knockout stage, while the Netherlands scored two late goals to sink Mexico and Messi grabbed a late winner against Iran.

World Cup 2014: Samaras penalty secures last 16 spot for Greece

In total, seven games have gone to extra-time while fans have been treated to four tense penalty shootouts, and that was enough to convince Sportsday readers that this summer has been a tournament featuring more drama than the 1966 World Cup in England.

That tournament, of course, saw West Germany score a late equaliser in normal time of the final, only for Geoff Hurst to then seal England's first and only World Cup win in extra-time.

The comfortable winner of the most controversial World Cup vote was Mexico 1986, a tournament that saw Diego Maradona score the 'Hand of God' goal against England as Argentina won 2-1 in the quarter-final.

Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona's 'Hand of God' goal against England in 1986 was voted the most controversial incident in World Cup history by BBC Sportsday readers

That tournament collected 47.7% of votes, with Spain 1982, a tournament where a 1-0 win for West Germany against Austria was enough to see those two sides progress at the expense of Algeria, taking 19.6%.

Maradona may have been the centre of controversy in 1986, but his many dazzling displays in that tournament means it was voted as the best World Cup in terms of where the big players performed, claiming 32% of votes. Zinedine Zidane's magical performances in France 1998 saw that World Cup claim the second-highest amount of votes with 17.7%.

Finally, 30.2% of readers voted the 2006 World Cup in Germany as the best-staged tournament.

Perhaps surprisingly, though, was Brazil 2014 being voted the second best with 22.8% of the votes, given the question marks over the readiness of stadiums in the run-up to the tournament.

See what readers were saying about the greatest World Cup in Friday's Sportsday.

Vote results in full:

Greatest-ever World Cup

1. Brazil 2014 - 39.0%

2. Italia 1990 - 10.5%

3. England 1966 - 8.8%

4. France 1998 - 8.4%

5. Germany 2006 - 8.1%

6. Mexico 1970 - 4.7%;7. Korea/Japan 2002 -3.9%;8. Mexico 1986 -3.6%;9.Spain 1982 -3.3%;10. USA 1994 -3.0%;11. S Africa 2010 -2.5%;12. Uruguay 1930 -1.1%;13. W Germany 1974 -0.8%;14. Argentina 1978 -0.7%;15. Switzerland 1954 -0.6%;16. Sweden 1958 -0.4%;17. France 1938 -0.3%; 18. Chile 1962 -0.1%;19. Italy 1934 -0.1%;20. Brazil 1950 -0.1%.

Best goals at a World Cup

1. Brazil 2014 - 44.1%

2. Mexico 1986 - 28.1%

3. France 1998 - 18.1%

4. Germany 2006 - 6.2%

5. USA 1994 - 3.5%

Most competitive World Cup

1. Brazil 2014 - 55.9%

2. Mexico 1986 - 18.2%

3. South Korea/Japan 2002 - 16.8%

4. Germany 2010 - 9.1%

Controversial results

1. Mexico 1986 - 47.7%

2. Spain 1982 - 19.6%

3. Brazil 2014 - 19.5%

4. England 1966 - 9.8%

5. Chile 1962 - 3.4%

Best underdog results

1. Brazil 2014 - 48.2%

2. South Korea/Japan 2002 - 29.4%

3. Italy 1990 - 10.9%

4. S. Africa 2010 - 3.4%

5. Germany 2006 - 3.2%

6. Spain 1982 - 2.5%

7. Mexico 1986 - 2.4%

Late drama

1. Brazil 2014 - 38.6%

2. England 1966 - 27.3%

3. Italy 1990 - 21.8%

4. Germany 2006 - 8.4%

5. Mexico 1986 - 3.9%

Greatest players

1. Mexico 1986 - 32.0%

2. France 1998 - 17.7%

3. Mexico 1970 - 17.5%

4. South Korea/Japan 2002 - 16.6%

5. West Germany 1974 - 8.3%

6. Brazil 2014 - 5.5%

7. Spain 1982 - 2.4%

Most unforgettable match

1. Brazil 2014 - 49.7%

2. England 1966 - 14.0%

3. Spain 1982 - 7.7%

4. Mexico 1986 - 7.6%

5. Italy 1990 - 6.9%

6. Mexico 1970 - 5.8%

7. France 1998 - 3.9%

8. Argentina 1978 - 2.9%

9. West Germany 1974 - 1.4%

Best hosts

1. Germany 2006 - 30.2%

2. Brazil 2014 - 22.8%

3. South Korea/Japan 2002 - 12.5%

4. Italy 1990 - 11.8%

5. France 1998 - 9.7%

6. England 1966 - 8.6%

7. Mexico 1986 - 4.4%

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