WEST GERMANY'S SWEET
Switzerland was the obvious choice of venue
for the fifth World Cup. FIFA's headquarters were in Zurich and 1954 marked
the 50th anniversary of its formation. The Swiss had been granted the tournament
at FIFA's first post-war congress in 1946, and they had spent eight years
building new stadiums for the great occasion. They did not live up to their
promise and were not really up to the organizational requirements of such
a tournament. Nevertheless, the competition proved to be a financial success,
despite the fact that most stadiums had small capacities. The tournament
received limited TV coverage for the first time and the Swiss showed a
piece of marketing know-how by having special commemorative coins minted.
FIFA now had a new president, Rodolphe Seeldrayers of Belgium, and once
more the governing body found it necessary to change the format, reverting
to a pool and knock-out system. The 16 teams were divided into four groups
with two teams in each group seeded. The two seeded teams, strangely enough,
did not need to play eachother in the group. Also remarkable was that extra
time was needed if the scores were level in the group matches!
In this first World Cup held in Europe after World War II, Hungary were
the new force to be reckoned with. They banged in goals with a frequence
never seen before in a World Cup. They beat West Germany 8-3 and South
Korea 9-0. Never has a team been a bigger favourite to win the cup than
this. The world was introduced to players like Puskas, Kocsis, Hidegkuti
and Czibor. Another team among the favourites was Uruguay. They still hadn't
lost a match in World Cup history at this stage and their run continued
also after the groupstage after beating Czechoslovakia and Scotland.
The quarterfinal match between Austria and Switzerland brought a new World
Cup record. Austria won 7-5, that's the highest number of goals ever in
a World Cup match, it's still unbeaten. Uruguay beat England 4-2, and Hungary
beat Brazil by the same score in one of the most brutal matches ever. It's
later dubbed "The Battle of Berne", as three players got sent off and the
fighting continued also after the final whistle. West Germany who had recovered
after they got trashed by Hungary in the first round, beat Yugoslavia.
The semifinal between Hungary and Uruguay, who participated in a World
Cup on European soil for the first time, is regarded to be one of the best
ever in a World Cup. Hungary won 4-2 after extra-time and with that, Uruguay's
unbeaten run was broken. The Germans had hit topform and trashed their
neighbours Austria by 6-1 and the stage was set for a great final. Austria
recovered quickly and surprisingly beat Uruguay and secured the bronzemedals.
The final turned out to be dramatic. Hungary were leading 2-0 early on
and everything looked safe, but then West Germany in well-known style pulled
back both goals and scored a winner to win their first World Cup. Read
more about the final by clicking on the "Final" link in the left column.
Sandor Kocsis (HUN) 11 goals
Max Morlock (GER) 6 goals
Josef Hügi (SWI) 6 goals
Erich Probst (AUT) 6 goals
Number of games 26
Total Goals scored 140
Average per game 5,38
Own goals 4
Total attendance 943,000
Average attendance 36,269
WORLD CUP 1954 STANDINGS
P W D L Goals Pts
1.West Germany C 6* 5 0 1 25-14 10
2.Hungary F 5 4 0 1 27-10 8
3.Austria SF 5 4 0 1 17-12 8
4.Uruguay SF 5 3 0 2 16- 9 6
5.Brazil QF 3 1 1 1 8- 5 3
6.England QF 3 1 1 1 8- 8 3
7.Yugoslavia QF 3 1 1 1 2- 3 3
8.Switzerland QF 4* 2 0 2 11-11 4
9.Turkey 1R 3* 1 0 2 10-11 2
10.Italy 1R 3* 1 0 2 6- 7 2
11.France 1R 2 1 0 1 3- 3 2
12.Belgium 1R 2 0 1 1 5- 8 1
13.Mexico 1R 2 0 0 2 2- 8 0
14.Czechoslovakia 1R 2 0 0 2 0- 7 0
15.Scotland 1R 2 0 0 2 0- 8 0
16.South Korea 1R 2 0 0 2 0-16 0
* These teams have been involved in play-off
matches. Switzerland had only 2 pts originally
before winning that first round play-off and is
therefore last of the quarterfinalists. Italy and
Turkey had best records before they lost the
play-offs and are therefore still best of the first
round teams despite the negative goal difference.
*The pointsystem used from 1930 to 1990 was
2 pts for a win and 1 pt for a draw.
Everything about the route to this World Cup
Kocsis - the center forward of the great Hungarian team which many
thought would win the cup. they eventually had to settle for silver medals,
but none could prevent Kocsis from winning the Golden Boot as topscorer
on 11 goals.
Info on how
the World Cup was founded and about the trophy as well.
on every match in every tournament.
Interesting columns about the past, present and future of the World Cup.
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of many of the most influential players in history.
An A-Z collection
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A big collection
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since it was introduced in 1966.
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