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Showing posts from 2022

1954 World Cup Final: The Miracle of Bern

Ask any England football fans their favourite chant and often the politically incorrect little ditty, ‘Two World Wars and one World Cup’ is trotted out. It is a dubious fusion of sport and politics supposedly meant in the spirit of jovial banter; a reference to a football match in July 1966 and the great conflagrations engulfing the planet in the early and mid-twentieth century. Germany emerged from the horrors of the Nazi regime a beaten nation in war; a divided nation and one in the paroxysms of its people suffering shame and humiliation. Football changed the German people’s self-image. England’s victory over West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final was a rare success for the English. West Germany and then a re-unified Germany grew into a dominant World footballing superpower during the post-war decades, a success story reflecting its immense social and economic recovery over the same period. Arguably it all began in neutral Switzerland. It began with a game still laced with controve

Football, politics and guilt through the lens of the 1978 World Cup | @MatthewJBowen7

"Keep politics out of football" is often a phrase you hear from some corners of football. However, you can't. Football is inextricably tied to politics throughout the history of the beautiful game. One notable example of this is the 1978 World Cup, hosted and won by Argentina during a time of domestic turmoil.  @MatthewJBowen7 has investigated the tournament for us: Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano once wrote ‘How is football like God? Each inspires devotion among believers and distrust among intellectuals.’ Substitute religion or God for politics or a specific political figure and the quote still resonates.  On the 25th of June 1978, Argentinian striker Mario Kempes slotted the ball past Dutch goalkeeper Jan Jongbloed to score the winning goal of the FIFA World Cup. The full-time whistle blew and with a score line of 3-1, Argentina was crowned champions of the world. However, despite hosting, and winning, the most prestigious sporting competition on the planet, Argentin

Argentina vs Netherlands: A World Cup Rivalry

The World Cup quarter-finals have provided football fans around the world with some mouth-watering fixtures featuring some of the game's most decorated and revered nations. With the Netherlands facing Argentina in Lusail on Friday, the memories of supporters from both nations and beyond will look back to the heroics of Bergkamp, Kempes and Mascherano. With the two nations 12,000km apart, you could be forgiven for believing the two sides to have little history, but the World Cup has given this rivalry its platform to flourish, changing the shape of football forever. Match 1 - Netherlands 4-0 Argentina, Gelsenkirchen (1974) Perhaps surprisingly, the first meeting between the two nations at a World Cup came in 1974, 40 years after the tournament's beginnings in Uruguay (1930). Prior to the 1974 edition of football's greatest competition, the Netherlands could only boast a very modest and disappointing record in the international game. Successive first round exits in 1934 and 1

TFHB Podcast: World Cup 2022 Preview

The Football History Boys are back for a World Cup preview podcast. Join us as we chat about our disappointment of where this World Cup will take place, reminisce of our interaction with disgraced former FIFA executive Chuck Blazer, discuss our favourite World Cup matches of all time, share our hopes for Wales at the tournament, run through our World Cup wallchart of predictions & invent a new game! We also hear your predictions for the tournament ahead as well as your memories of World Cups past. Make sure you get in touch with your thoughts over on Twitter:  @TFHBs . Check out the podcast in all your usual places: Spotify Apple Anchor Google Overcast Pocket Casts Check out our most recent episode of the podcast, where we spoke to Chris Evans about his new book, ' How to Win the World Cup '. This podcast references parts of our second book - The History of Football in 90 Minutes (Plus Extra-Time) - you can purchase it here!

Canada at the World Cup: A (Very) Brief History

Canada, the polite neighbours to the north of the United States of America, are appearing at the 2022 Qatar World Cup for only the second time in their long history of Association Football. Their first and only appearance to date was in 1986 when the tournament took place down Mexico way. A tournament remembered for Diego Maradona; Gordon Strachan trying to jump pitchside advertising; Gary Lineker's hat-trick; Ray Wilkins red card and Josimar ruining Pat Jennings' birthday. Yet Canada added some CONCACAF syrup to proceedings, being drawn as bottom seed with the then reigning European Champions France led by Michel Platini, the always dangerous Soviet Union and another Eastern bloc power of Hungary. As history shows, Canada did not muster any points or goals in their three group stage matches, yet they were not humiliated. In their opening game, they held France to a one-nil scoreline, only conceding in the 78th minute to a Jean-Pierre Papin goal. Following a period of intense t

What was the greatest World Cup?

SuperSurvey ©The Football History Boys, 2022

TFHB Podcast: How To Win The World Cup

The Football History Boys are joined by journalist and author  @ChrisEvansWrite to discuss his new book, 'How to Win the World Cup: Secrets and Insights from International Football’s Top Managers'. Join us as we chat the difference between international and club management, the perils of qualification campaigns, the curse of attempting to retain the trophy and World Cup managerial controversies. We also hear Chris' predictions for the tournament ahead with less than two weeks to go till it all kicks off. Make sure you get in touch with your thoughts over on Twitter: @TFHBs , and don't miss out on Chris' book, at publishers Bloomsbury and retailers  Amazon  & Waterstones . Check out the podcast in all your usual places: Spotify Apple Anchor Google Overcast Pocket Casts Check out our most recent episode of the podcast, where we reviewed and celebrated Wales' qualification campaign .  ©The Football History Boys, 2022

World Cup's Greatest Shocks: North Korea 1-0 Italy, 1966

There are plenty of reasons why football has grown to become the world's most popular sport. The game's simplicity means it can be played by almost anyone, anywhere. Its incredible fanbases have helped to create unbeatable atmospheres, but it is arguably in the sport's unpredictability that truly sets it aside. Gareth and I have compiled a list of 10 of the Men's World Cup's greatest shocks. Covering almost 100 years of football history, the following upsets can tell us more than just what happened over the course of 90 minutes. North Korea 1-0 Italy, 1966 The 1966 World Cup is one of the most discussed, dissected and analysed tournaments in the history of sport. A truly ‘national experience’, it was the first edition of the competition to feature extensive coverage on television and in the wider media.[1] The 1966 World Cup reflected the changes in wider society and helped to reinvent the image England, and the wider UK had created for itself. If, for English fans,