The Copa do Mundo, or FIFA World Cup has been celebrated 19 times since its opening tournament in 1930. It has been won by eight different teams, including 9 South American teams, and 11 European nations.
Below is a year-by-year account of all FIFA World Cup games that were between 1978 and 2014:
The 1978 World Cup was celebrated by host country Argentina over a 3-1 victory against the Netherlands. The game remained tight until the South Americans delivered 2 goals during extra time. However, Argentina finished the tournament despite a huge scandal.
Having tied with fellow South American team Brazil during the group stages, Argentina needed to finish four goals ahead of Peru to progress to the next stage. That game ended with a 6-0 scoreline and eventually moved them to the final stages. The result created controversies that surrounded the Argentinian football team with rumors of match-fixing.
The Italians claimed their third World Cup title. Although the team had to thread the needle a few times during the elimination round, they managed to reach the final game. The first half of the final game did not get spectators on the edge of their seats, as Italy missed a penalty kick that would have opened the score sheet.
However, Italy managed to bust the net on the 56th minute and followed it up with two more goals to lead 3-0. The Germans were able to score a goal to contest the match but failed to deliver, which ended the game at 3-1.
1986 was the year of Argentina and one of the finest football players to grace the sport, Diego Maradona. With his unparalleled footwork and shooting abilities, he led his country from the elimination round all the way to the final. However, he also attracted controversies after scoring a goal against England in the quarter-finals with the use of his hand—now known as the ‘Hand of God’.
Nonetheless, Maradona proved his brilliance and led Argentina to a 3-2 victory over the Germans to claim the 1986 World Cup trophy.
The Germans once again retaliated as they claim their third World Cup title in 1990. West Germany once again faced the Argentinians and scoring through a penalty kick.
Finishing with a 1-0 scoreline, the final match was criticized for its defensive plays that mimic strategies played in the card game three thirteen. This was seen as anti-football and was considered to be the poorest World Cup final to date.
Held in the United States, the 1994 World Cup final is the fourth occasion that Brazil would step over the highest honor in football. In the final match, neither the South Americans nor the Italians scored, which forced the game into a penalty shootout.
Both teams missed their first opportunities, but Brazil converted the two following kicks while Italy suffered two poor penalty kicks to lose 3-2. The biggest disappointment of the entire tournament came to Italian football maestro Roberto Baggio, who led his team throughout the tournament only to finish with a poor penalty in the final game.
The 1998 tournament was the first World Cup to be competed between 32 teams and it was the French football specialists who claimed the trophy. France survived the quarterfinals through a penalty shootout against Italy and took down Croatia in the semi-finals with a 2-1 score. The team would eventually face football powerhouse Brazil.
French football legend Zinedine Zidane was recognized a hero for his efforts that led to two goals in regulation. In addition, Emmanuel Petit seals the victory tight after stoppage period. The match ended 3-0 to give France its first World Cup title.
The 2002 World Cup was the first tournament to be held in Asia and witnessed Brazil claim the trophy once again. Ronaldo scored both of the team’s goals to pull away from the Germans in the final match. Meanwhile, this World Cup is the first to be hosted by two nations: Korea and Japan.
Celebrated in Germany, the 2006 World Cup was the fourth that the Italians bagged. They saw France surge pass them, but broke the deadlock after extra time to force a penalty shootout. The Italians won the shootout by a 5-3 score to claim another championship in Italian football team history.
The final match of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa was a derby by two football giants: Spain and Netherlands. It was a high-pressure match and at the same time defensive, but the Spanish took over after extra time after a goal from Iniesta.
After a demolition job against World Cup favorite Brazil that finished 7-1, the Germans went on to the finals to face an Argentinian team led by football prodigy Lionel Messi.
With no room for error and tight defenses on both sides, an incredible goal by Mario Gotze broke the deadlock 23 minutes into the extra time, leading Germany to win the 2014 World Cup title after a 24-year drought and to become the first European team to win the Mundial in the Americas.