Ranking 2014 FIFA World Cup Final in All-Time List

Karl MatchettFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2014

Ranking 2014 FIFA World Cup Final in All-Time List

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    Martin Meissner/Associated Press

    The 2014 FIFA World Cup final has seen Germany crowned victorious for a fourth time, beating Argentina 1-0 after extra time in Brazil.

    As a spectacle, the match was a tight and tense affair, with few goalscoring chances at either end but a good tempo and level of quality on show regardless.

    Here we take a look at how it compares with other World Cup finals down the years, grading the historical matches by their goal tally, late drama and lasting impression left down the years.

20. 1934: Italy 2-1 Czechoslovakia

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    Anonymous/Associated Press

    The 1934 World Cup featured a straight knockout competition at the final, with Italy making their way there after beating United States, Spain and Austria en-route. Czechoslovakia beat Romania, Switzerland and Germany to reach the final.

    In the final itself, two goals in the final 20 minutes sent the match to extra time, where Angelo Schiavio scored Italy's second goal to record a win for them, the second-ever holders of the World Cup title.

19. 1994: Brazil 0-0 Italy (Brazil Won on Penalties)

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    LUCA BRUNO/Associated Press

    The 1994 final was the first one to be decided by a penalty shootout, as well as the first to see a 0-0 scoreline throughout 90 minutes and extra time.

    Brazil and Italy could not be separated in the World Cup final, held in '94 in the United States, with the resulting shootout seeing Brazil emerge triumphant by a 3-2 scoreline.

    Roberto Baggio missed the vital kick for Italy.

18. 1990: West Germany 1-0 Argentina

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    Associated Press

    In 1990, West Germany emerged victorious by a single goal, scored from the penalty spot by Andreas Brehme.

    Argentina were seeking to retain the trophy they won four years prior, but Germany, instead, ended a 16-year wait for their third title.

    The match saw the first World Cup final red cards—Gustavo Dezotti and Pedro Monzon were both sent off for Argentina.

17. 2010: Spain 1-0 Netherlands

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    Martin Meissner/Associated Press

    Spain won their first-ever World Cup trophy in 2010, as they defeated Netherlands 1-0 in extra time.

    Andres Iniesta scored the only goal of the match, just a few minutes before the end of the added 30 minutes, before a penalty shootout would have been required.

    It meant a third losing final appearance for the Netherlands, who have never won the World Cup.

16. 1962: Brazil 3-1 Czechoslovakia

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    Associated Press

    Brazil successfully retained their crown in 1962 by beating Czechoslovakia 3-1 in the final, the second time the European side had tasted defeat at that stage.

    As in '58, Brazil fell behind early on and had to come back to claim the win, with Amarildo, Zito and Vava finding the back of the net for the South Americans.

    It was Brazil's second World Cup win and the second time the trophy had been retained.

15. 2006: Italy 1-1 France (Italy Won on Penalties)

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    Jasper Juinen/Associated Press

    The most memorable aspect of the 2006 World Cup was undoubtedly the headbutt by Zinedine Zidane on Marco Materazzi, the last act of the Frenchman as a professional player.

    Earlier in the game, two early goals—Zidane and Materazzi the scorers, indeed—had meant the 90 minutes ended 1-1, and extra time did not find a winner.

    David Trezeguet missed for France in the penalty shootout, and Fabio Grosso scored the final penalty, Italy winning 5-3.

14. 2014: Germany 1-0 Argentina

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    Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

    The most recent final, the 2014 event in Brazil, saw Germany end a wait since 1990 to pick up their fourth-ever title.

    Mario Gotze scored the winning goal deep in extra time after the 90 minutes had finished 0-0.

    Argentina had the better chances to score beforehand, despite Germany controlling much of the game, but could not hit the target with a single shot.

13. 1938: Italy 4-2 Hungary

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    Anonymous/Associated Press

    Four years after their first success, Italy became the first nation to win a second World Cup, and to retain their own trophy, as they won in Paris.

    The match saw three goals in the opening quarter of an hour, with Italy taking a commanding 3-1 lead into the half-time break.

    Czech captain Gyorgy Sarosi pulled one back, but Silvio Piola scored his second goal of the match with eight minutes left to secure a 4-2 win for the Italians.

12. 1982: Italy 3-1 West Germany

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    Associated Press

    Italy claimed their first World cup success in over 40 years when they won in Spain 1982, beating West Germany 3-1 in the final.

    Despite missing a penalty in a goalless first half, the Italians took control after the break as Paolo Rossi, Marco Tardelli and Alessandro Altobelli—the first substitute to score in the final—all found the net.

    A late consolation for Germany proved nothing of consequence.

11. 1930: Uruguay 4-2 Argentina

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    Anonymous/Associated Press

    Uruguay and Argentina topped their respective groups in the first-ever World Cup, scheduling a final in Montevideo.

    Despite trailing 2-1 at the break, Uruguay ran out 4-2 winners to lift the trophy for the first time.

    Santos Iriarte scored the vital third goal for his nation, with Hector Castro adding the fourth one in the final minute.

10. 1974: West Germany 2-1 Netherlands

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    Associated Press

    The 1974 final saw West Germany emerge triumphant over the "total football" Netherlands side.

    The Dutch led after a single minute as they scored a penalty, the first one ever in a World Cup final—but Germany were soon awarded one of their own, equalising in the process.

    Gerd Mueller scored what turned out to be the winning goal in a 2-1 victory.

9. 2002: Brazil 2-0 Germany

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    ITSUO INOUYE/Associated Press

    Brazil had lost the final four years earlier, but they bounced back to win in 2002, as they beat Germany 2-0.

    Striker Ronaldo was at his best for the tournament and fired Brazil to glory with both goals in the final, in Yokohama, Japan.

    Brazil won all seven matches at the tournament, winning their fifth World Cup trophy in the process.

8. 1978: Argentina 3-1 Netherlands

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    CARLO FUMAGALLI/Associated Press

    In Italy in 1978, the Netherlands reached their second successive World Cup final—and tasted defeat for a second time, too.

    Argentina beat them 3-1, thanks to a pair of extra-time goals, one from Mario Kempes and another from Daniel Bertoni, after a late equaliser from the European side had forced the additional 30 minutes.

    The victorious side had earlier progressed past their second group phase without conceding a single goal against Brazil, Poland and Peru.

7. 1998: France 3-0 Brazil

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    THOMAS KIENZLE/Associated Press

    France won their only World Cup trophy to date on home soil, tasting victory in 1998, as they beat Brazil 3-0.

    There were pre-match reports, such as this BBC one, that Brazilian striker Ronaldo had suffered a fit, and whether because of that or not, the South Americans were not at their usual level, while Zinedine Zidane and Co. were excellent.

    Zidane scored two headers, and Emmanuel Petit also scored, with Marcel Desailly seeing red late on.

6. 1966: England 4-2 West Germany

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    Associated Press

    England won the World Cup on home soil in 1966, beating West Germany, as the match became the second final to be decided in extra time.

    The German side took the lead early on, only for England to turn the game around with goals from Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters. Wolfgang Weber hit a last-minute equaliser to force extra time, whereupon Hurst proceeded to clinch his hat-trick, including a long-debated strike which hit the bar and bounced back down on—or beyond, according to the linesman—the goal line.

    A 4-2 win thus claimed England's only World Cup success to date.

5. 1958: Brazil 5-2 Sweden

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    Associated Press

    Brazil might be the most successful nation in terms of World Cup wins, but their first didn't arrive until 1958.

    Despite trailing early on against Sweden, they turned the game around to record a comfortable 5-2 win, with 17-year-old Pele scoring twice.

    His first goal of the game, a clever flick over the defender and subsequent drilled shot, remains a famous World Cup goal to date.

4. 1950: Uruguay 2-1 Brazil

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    Associated Press

    The 1950 World Cup took place in Brazil, the side who led the final group stage—there was no knockout phase—going into the final game against Uruguay.

    Despite taking the lead, Brazil couldn't secure the draw they required to win the World Cup on home soil, with the home fans witnessing the Maracanazo, the great defeat, as Alcides Ghiggia struck the winning goal 11 minutes from full time.

    Uruguay won 2-1 and ended atop of the final group by a single point.

3. 1954: West Germany 3-2 Hungary

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    Uncredited/Associated Press

    Hungary's great side of the 1950s reached the final in Switzerland in '54, facing West Germany.

    Ferenc Puskas scored after just six minutes, and Hungary soon went two goals ahead, but the Germans pulled back to 2-2 before the 20th minute of the game.

    Helmut Rahn netted the decisive fifth goal of the game inside the last 10 minutes, before Puskas saw a late would-be leveller ruled out offside.

    West Germany held out to win 3-2, thus claiming their first-ever title.

2. 1986: Argentina 3-2 West Germany

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    Associated Press

    Mexico hosted the 1986 World Cup and witnessed the brilliance of Diego Maradona, as Argentina secured a second-title triumph.

    Argentina took a two-goal lead in the match, which West Germany fought back from with two goals in the final 15 minutes.

    Maradona's through-pass to Jorge Burruchaga, however, saw Argentina score a third goal with only six minutes left to play, sealing a 3-2 win.

1. 1970: Brazil 4-1 Italy

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    Associated Press

    Brazil and Italy had both won two finals each prior to meeting in the 1970 final, where Brazil made history by being the first side to achieve three World Cup successes with a rampant 4-1 win.

    Pele, Gerson and Jairzinho all scored for Brazil, before a late Carlos Alberto effort wrapped up the win—seen by many as one of the most beautiful strikes in World Cup history, a low, driven effort after a terrific team move.

    Many viewers still see Brazil's 1970 side as the finest international team to have graced the game.