- Uruguay score three in the second half of the final to win 4-2, a loss not taken too well in Argentina where fans in Buenos Aires attack the Uruguayan Embassy
- The only edition where the defending champions refuse to participate as several European nations had declined to come over when they hosted it in 1930
- In the last World Cup before the war, Italy becomes the first nation to successfully defend the Jules Rimet trophy, the other being Brazil
- The final, dubbed the Maracanazo (“The Maracanã Blow”), sees Uruguay defeat Brazil at home with Alcides Ghiggia’s goal exposing the Maracana to stunned silence
- One of the greatest sides never to win the cup, Hungary are denied the ‘The Miracle of Bern’ when a Ferenc Puskas goal is disallowed with Germany leading 3-2 in the 87th minute
- A final which sees the greatest number of goals (including the oldest and youngest goal-scorers) also sees Brazil beat Sweden 5-2 and the world take notice of a 17-year-old by the name of Pele
- As good if not better than Pele according to Brazilians, this is Garrincha’s World Cup after Pele is injured against Czechoslovakia
- Known as the ‘Black Panther’, Eusebio is the highlight of this edition which features five goals put past North Korea after Portugal are 0-3 down at the halfway mark
- Brazil get to keep the Jules Rimet trophy after winning it for a third time, and a replacement is sent for. The original however, is stolen in 1983 and hasn’t been recovered till date.
- Another case of one of the greatest sides to miss out, a Johan Cruyff-inspired Oranje cruise to the final while displaying what is later called ‘Total Football’
- A controversial World Cup with a politically unstable Argentina winning. Mario Kempes stars in a 6-0 rout of Peru in the second round
- A beautiful Brazilian side embellished with the likes of Socrates and Zico stumble into Paolo Rossi to the disappointment of football fans worldwide, except Italy of course
- The ‘hand of God’ is just one nifty trick up Diego’s sleeve; he also scores a goal dubbed the ‘goal of the century’ in the same game against England. Time stands still on both occasions.
- The misery continues for the English cameras zooming in on a teary-eyed Paul ‘Gazza’ Gascoigne after being bundled out 4-3 on penalties by West Germany in the semis
- The Brazilians start to have fun again and Bebeto celebrates scoring against the Netherlands by rocking an imaginary cradle, a celebration which has inspired many goal-scorers since
- Keeping the pitch above politics in France, the Iranian team greet their opponents, the USA, with bouquets
- A tale of extremes. While Ronaldinho’s free-kick against England leaves many wide-eyed, Rivaldo makes sure everyone cringes with his shenanigans against Turkey. Both work.
- Materrazi apparently murmurs insults to Zidane before it happens. What transpires is probably one of the worst ways for a footballer of Zizou’s ilk to bow out of the final.
- A year after his friend, the Espanyol defender Dani Jarque, dies of a heart attach, the soft-spoken Andres Iniesta pays his tribute in the best manner possible: a World Cup final winner