2006 – Germany

World Cup 2006 Final

2006 World Cup champion: The Italian team with captain Fabio Cannavaro holding the FIFA World Cup trophy

World Cup 2006 Facts

World Cup 2006 Poster

2006 World Cup poster

  • Date: 9 June – 9 July
  • Final: Italy – France 5-3 (penalties)
  • 3rd place: Germany – Portugal 3-1
  • Teams: 32
  • Stadiums: 12
  • Host cities: 12
  • Matches played: 64
  • Goals: 147
  • Attendance: 3,359,439
  • Top scorer: Miroslav Klose (Germany) (5 goals)

World Cup 2006 Background

5 countries initially showed interest in hosting the 18th World Cup. The countries were Germany, South Africa, England, Morocco and Brazil. At the end only 4 countries placed their bid since Brazil withdrew. 3 voting rounds were needed before the winner was announced which was a first. Both England and Morocco were eliminated with 0 votes. The winner would be Germany or South Africa.

On July 6 2000 in Zürich, FIFA announced Germany would host the 2006 World Cup. Germany (12 votes) received 1 vote more than South Africa (11 votes). However South Africa was considered as the favourite and it was believed bribery was involved regarding the choice of Germany. New Zealand member Charlie Dempsey was supposed to vote for South Africa, but didn’t in the end. If he had voted, the points would be equal and FIFA president Sepp Blatter would have to make the final decision. It was widely believed he would vote for South Africa. But Charlie Dempsey didn’t vote since according to him he couldn’t handle the pressure that was resting on his shoulders.

Anyhow, South Africa would have their chance to host a World Cup 4 years later.

World Cup 2006 Background

12 host cities in Germany

World Cup 2006 Participants

2 less countries entered the 2006 World Cup qualifications in comparison with the qualifications of the previous World Cup. A total of 197 countries tried to qualify for the first World Cup hosted in Europe in the new millennium.

There was 1 significant chance in the amount of countries which could qualify for Germany 2006. For the first time in 72 years the defending champion of the previous World Cup had to qualify for a World Cup. This meant Brazil, the 2002 World Cup champion did not qualify automatically. The first and only time the previous World Cup winner had to qualify was back in the 1934 World Cup. The 1930 World cup didn’t know any qualification rounds. From the 1938 World cup till the 2002 World Cup, the defending champion always qualified automatically together with the host country.

This means there were 31 places in total countries could qualify for. Germany qualified automatically as the 2006 World Cup host.

13 places for Europe excluding Germany were allocated to the following countries: Poland, England, Sweden, Netherlands, Serbia and Montenegro, Portugal, Italy, Czech Republic, Croatia, Switzerland, France, Spain and Ukraine.

European countries Czech Republic, Serbia and Montenegro and Ukraine qualified for the first time. All 3 countries however did participate before in a World Cup as part of another country. Serbia and Montenegro participated before as Yugoslavia, Ukraine as part of Soviet Union and Czech Republic as a part of Czechoslovakia. Soviet Union broke up in 1991, Yugoslavia broke up in 1992, and Czechoslovakia in 1993.

5 places for Africa were allocated to the following countries: Ivory Coast, Angola, Ghana, Togo and Tunisia. 4 of them Ghana, Angola, Togo and Ivory Coast qualified for the first time.

4 places for South America were allocated to the following countries: Ecuador, Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil.

4 places for Asia were allocated to the following countries: Iran, Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia.

3 places for North/Central America and Caribbean countries were allocated to the following countries: Costa Rica, United States and Mexico.

2 intercontinental play-offs had to be played by 4 countries which didn’t qualify directly: CONCACAF country Trinidad and Tobago against AFC country Bahrain and CONMEBOL country Uruguay against OFC country Australia.

Both Trinidad and Tobago and Australia won these play-offs and therefore qualified last minute for the 2006 World Cup. Trinidad and Tobago qualified for the first time and Australia qualified as an OFC country for the last time.

This was the first time since the 1982 World Cup that countries from all 6 continents participated together in a World Cup.

World Cup 2006 Match Ball

2006 World Cup match ball “+Teamgeist”

World Cup 2006 Groups

The rules and the format of the 1998 and 2006 World Cups stayed the same in the 2002 World Cup. The only change was the absence of the Golden Goal rule. This rule meant a knockout match was immediately over when a goal was scored in the 30 minutes of extra time. With the absence of this rule which was introduced in France ’98, the full 30 minutes had to be played even if a goal was scored. The match simply continued till the full 30 minutes were completed. The teams have to take penalties in case the score is still a draw.

Other known aspects of the France ’98 and South Korea/Japan 2002 format were also used in this World Cup. Only 2 teams per group would advance to the Round of 16. From this stage on, the knockout stage starts. The Quarter-Final and Semi-Final had to be won before reaching the Final. If the Semi-Final was lost, the team had to play the match for the third place.

The 8 seed countries were Brazil, England, Spain, Mexico, France, Germany, Argentina and Italy. They were kept apart from each other and were placed in different groups.

The groups were as followed:

Group AGroup BGroup CGroup D
Costa Rica
Trinidad and Tobago
Ivory Coast
Serbia and Montenegro
Group EGroup FGroup GGroup H
Czech Republic
United States
South Korea
Saudi Arabia
World Cup 2006 Logo

2006 World Cup logo

World Cup 2006 Stadiums

12 stadiums were used in 12 host cities.  For the 1974 World Cup which was also hosted by West Germany, a total of 9 stadiums were used. Only  5 of them were used again for the 2006 World Cup. The stadiums in the host cities West Berlin, Dortmund, Frankfurt, Hanover and Stuttgart were used again.

 An interesting aspect regarding many of these stadiums is their names. FIFA didn’t allow sponsorship of the stadiums unless the sponsors were official FIFA sponsors. Therefore several sponsor names on the stadiums had to be temporary removed or covered. Because of this FIFA rule, many 2006 World Cup stadiums received the temporary name ‘World Cup Stadium’ plus the city name.

The following 12 cities and 12 stadiums were used in Germany:

Location: Berlin
Opened: 1936
Capacity: 74,176
Matches: 6
Status: Is the 2nd biggest stadium in Germany and was renovated for the World Cup
FIFA World Cup Stadium, Dortmund
Location: Dortmund
Opened: 1974
Capacity: 67,000
Matches: 6
Status: Is officially named Signal Iduna Park and is the biggest stadium in Germany
FIFA World Cup Stadium, Munich
Location: Munich
Opened: 2005
Capacity: 66,016
Matches: 6
Status: Goes by the name Allianz Arena and looks like a "Schlauchboot" (inflatable boat)
Location: Stuttgart
Opened: 1933
Capacity: 54,267
Matches: 6
Status: Goes by the name Mercedes-Benz Arena and was renovated many times in the 00s
FIFA World Cup Stadium, Gelsenkirchen
Location: Gelsenkirchen
Opened: 2001
Capacity: 53,804
Matches: 5
Status: Goes by the name Veltins-Arena and has a retractable roof and pitch
FIFA World Cup Stadium, Frankfurt
Location: Frankfurt
Opened: 1925
Capacity: 48,132
Matches: 5
Status: Goes by the name Commerzbank-Arena and was redeveloped as a football-only stadium for the World Cup
FIFA World Cup Stadium, Hannover
Location: Hannover
Opened: 1954
Capacity: 44,652
Matches: 5
Status: Goes by the name HDI-Arena and finally underwent a renovation due to the World Cup
Location: Leipzig
Opened: 1956
Capacity: 44,199
Matches: 5
Status: Goes by the name Red Bull Arena and is the largest football stadium in the former East Germany
Fritz Walter Stadion
Location: Kaiserslautern
Opened: 1920
Capacity: 43,450
Matches: 5
Status: Named after the German captain who won the 'Miracle of Bern' and underwent extensive renovations for the World Cup
Fritz Walter Stadion
Location: Nuremberg
Opened: 1928
Capacity: 41,926
Matches: 5
Status: Goes by the name Grundig-Stadion and has been renovated in late 80s and early 00s for the World Cup
FIFA World Cup Stadium, Cologne
Location: Cologne
Opened: 1923
Capacity: 46,134
Matches: 5
Status: Goes by the name RheinEnergieStadion and has been renovated early 70s and early 00s for the World Cup
FIFA World Cup Stadium, Hamburg
Location: Hamburg
Opened: 1998
Capacity: 51,055
Matches: 5
Status: Goes by the name Imtech Arena and has replaced the Volksparkstadion

World Cup 2006 Schedule

Group A matches
Date Home Team Results Away Team
09 June Germany 4:2 (2:1) Costa Rica
09 June Poland 0:2 (0:1) Ecuador
14 June Germany 1:0 (0:0) Poland
15 June Ecuador 3:0 (1:0) Costa Rica
20 June Ecuador 0:3 (0:2) Germany
20 June Costa Rica 1:2 (1:1) Poland
Group A results
TeamPlayedWonDrawLostGoals ForGoals AgainstPoints
Costa Rica3003390
Group B matches
Date Home Team Results Away Team
10 June England 1:0 (1:0) Paraguay
10 June Trinidad and Tobago 0:0 Sweden
15 June England 2:0 (0:0) Trinidad and Tobago
15 June Sweden 1:0 (0:0) Paraguay
20 June Sweden 2:2 (0:1) England
20 June Paraguay 2:0 (1:0) Trinidad and Tobago
Group B results
TeamPlayedWonDrawLostGoals ForGoals AgainstPoints
Trinidad and Tobago3012041
Group C matches
Date Home Team Results Away Team
10 June Argentina 2:1 (2:0) Côte d’Ivoire
11 June Serbia and Montenegro 0:1 (0:1) Netherlands
16 June Argentina 6:0 (3:0) Serbia and Montenegro
16 June Netherlands 2:1 (2:1) Côte d’Ivoire
21 June Netherlands 0:0 Argentina
21 June Côte d’Ivoire 3:2 (1:2) Serbia and Montenegro
Group C results
TeamPlayedWonDrawLostGoals ForGoals AgainstPoints
Côte d’Ivoire3102563
Serbia and Montenegro30032100
Group D matches
Date Home Team Results Away Team
11 June Mexico 3:1 (1:1) Iran
11 June Angola 0:1 (0:1) Portugal
16 June Mexico 0:0 Angola
17 June Portugal 2:0 (0:0) Iran
21 June Portugal 2:1 (2:1) Mexico
21 June Iran 1:1 (0:0) Angola
Group D results
TeamPlayedWonDrawLostGoals ForGoals AgainstPoints
Group E matches
Date Home Team Results Away Team
12 June Italy 2:0 (1:0) Ghana
12 June USA 0:3 (0:2) Czech Republic
17 June Italy 1:1 (1:1) USA
17 June Czech Republic 0:2 (0:1) Ghana
22 June Czech Republic 0:2 (0:1) Italy
22 June Ghana 2:1 (2:1) USA
Group E results
TeamPlayedWonDrawLostGoals ForGoals AgainstPoints
Czech Republic3102343
Group F matches
Date Home Team Results Away Team
13 June Brazil 1:0 (1:0) Croatia
12 June Australia 3:1 (0:1) Japan
18 June Brazil 2:0 (0:0) Australia
18 June Japan 0:0 Croatia
22 June Japan 1:4 (1:1) Brazil
22 June Croatia 2:2 (1:1) Australia
Group F results
TeamPlayedWonDrawLostGoals ForGoals AgainstPoints
Group G matches
Date Home Team Results Away Team
13 June France 0:0 Switzerland
13 June Korea Republic 2:1 (0:1) Togo
18 June France 1:1 (1:0) Korea Republic
19 June Togo 0:2 (0:1) Switzerland
23 June Togo 0:2 (0:0) France
23 June Switzerland 2:0 (1:0) Korea Republic
Group G results
TeamPlayedWonDrawLostGoals ForGoals AgainstPoints
Korea Republic3111344
Group H matches
Date Home Team Results Away Team
14 June Spain 4:0 (2:0) Ukraine
14 June Tunisia 2:2 (1:0) Saudi Arabia
19 June Spain 3:1 (0:1) Tunisia
19 June Saudi Arabia 0:4 (0:2) Ukraine
23 June Saudi Arabia 0:1 (0:1) Spain
23 June Ukraine 1:0 (0:0) Tunisia
Group H results
TeamPlayedWonDrawLostGoals ForGoals AgainstPoints
Saudi Arabia3012271
Round of 16
Date Home Team Results Away Team
24 June Germany 2:0 (2:0) Sweden
24 June Argentina 2:1 a.e.t. (1:1, 1:1) Mexico
25 June England 1:0 (0:0) Ecuador
25 June Portugal 1:0 (1:0) Netherlands
26 June Italy 1:0 (0:0) Australia
26 June Switzerland 0:0 a.e.t. 0:3 PSO Ukraine
27 June Brazil 3:0 (2:0) Ghana
27 June Spain 1:3 (1:1) France
Date Home Team Results Away Team
30 June Germany 1:1 a.e.t. (1:1, 0:0) 4:2 PSO Argentina
30 June Italy 3:0 (1:0) Ukraine
01 July England 0:0 a.e.t. 1:3 PSO Portugal
01 July Brazil 0:1 (0:0) France
Date Home Team Results Away Team
04 July Germany 0:2 a.e.t. Italy
05 July Portugal 0:1 (0:1) France
Third place
Date Home Team Results Away Team
08 July Germany 3:1 (0:0) Portugal
Date Home Team Results Away Team
09 July Italy 1:1 a.e.t. (1:1, 1:1) 5:3 PSO France

World Cup 2006 Memorable Matches

Group Matches

Group A

Germany – Costa Rica 4-2
FIFA WM Stadion München, Munich – attendance: 66,000

Germany against Costa Rica is the highest scoring opening match in World Cup history. 6 goals in total have been scored. As expected, Germany scored most of them. German midfielder Philipp Lahm scored the first goal of the tournament. Paulo Wanchope from Costa Rica equalized pretty quick 6 minutes later. German striker Miroslav Klose responded with a goal in both halfs. Wanchope scored his 2nd goal afterwards which changed the score into 3-2. Costa Rica searched for the equalizer but German midfielder Torsten Frings ended their search. He scored the 4th goal for Germany resulting in the 4-2 final score. Germany advanced together with Ecuador which only lost the match against Germany.

Group B

England – Trinidad and Tobago 2-0
FIFA WM Stadion Nürnberg, Nuremberg – attendance: 41,000

Trinidad and Tobago played their first World Cup. They managed to draw against Sweden which alone deserved a little celebration. When playing against England, it seemed they would create another surprise by at least not losing again. But this apparently wasn’t meant to be. After 83 minutes England finally succeeded in scoring. Peter Crouch was the goal scorer. Steven Gerrard soon after scored the 2nd goal for England. Trinidad and Tobago lost with 2-0, a score that would be a final score of their last group match against Paraguay as well. Both European countries Sweden and England advanced.

Group C (Group of Death)

Netherlands – Argentina 0-0
FIFA WM Stadion Hamburg, Hamburg – attendance: 49,480

A tough group this was for Ivory Coast and Serbia and Montenegro. Argentina and the Netherlands are strong teams and it was expected this match would be a feast to watch. This is the 4th time they played a World Cup match against each other. The Netherlands won in 1974 and 1998. Argentina won in 1978. This time there was no winner. 0 goals have been scored. Both countries did defeat Ivory Coast and Serbia and Montenegro. When Argentina played against Serbia and Montenegro, they scored a memorable goal, which contains 26 passes before it was finally scored by Esteban Cambiasso! Excellent teamwork this was! As expected, Netherlands and Argentina advanced. Both countries ended up having equal points, so the goal difference rule determined who would top the group. It was Argentina to top Group C.

Amazing team work before Cambiasso scores! (Argentina – Serbia and Montenegro 6-0)

Group D

Angola – Portugal 0-1
FIFA WM Stadion Köln, Cologne – attendance: 45,000

In comparison to the 2002 World Cup, Portugal won every group match this time. The first match was against Angola, a previous colony of Portugal. This was the only group match Angola lost. Portuguese striker Pauleta was the player who scored the first and last goal of the match. Pauleta by the way was Portugal’s all-time top scorer (47 goals) before Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 48th goal in March 2014. Portugal topped the group and easily advanced to the Round of 16. Although Angola lost only 1 group match and drew 2 matches, Mexico finished on the 2nd place of the group. Mexico lost only 1 match as well but won against Iran.

Group E

Italy – USA 1-1
Fritz-Walter-Stadion, Kaiserslautern – attendance: 46,000

This is the only match which Italy drew. The other 2 group matches were won with 2-0. Italian striker Alberto Gilardino scored the first goal of this match. The 1-1 goal by USA is the only goal which has been scored against Italy in the group stage. But interestingly enough this was an own goal scored by Italian center back Cristian Zaccardo. Italy topped Group E and it was Ghana that joined them to the next round! Ghana played their first World Cup and managed to defeat both Czech Republic and USA. As was the case with African countries Nigeria in 1994 and Senegal in 2002, Ghana advanced to the Round of 16 in their very first World Cup.

Group F

Australia – Japan 3-1
Fritz-Walter-Stadion, Kaiserslautern – attendance: 46,000

This would turn out to be a memorable match for Australia. In a good way! Although initially the match didn’t start positive for Australia due to goal by Japanese midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura. The Australia team was coached by Guus Hiddink who coach South Korea to the 2002 World Cup Semi-Final. The country was confident the team could pull off something unique in this World Cup. And they did! Only after 84 minutes of play time, Tim Cahill scored the first goal ever for Australia in a World Cup. He even succeeded in scoring a 2nd goal 5 minutes later. In injury time Australia was awarded a penalty which was successfully taken by John Aloisi. In 8 minutes time Japan lost the 1-0 score and lost the match due to a 3-1 score. Australia advanced together with Brazil which topped the group.

Group G

France – South Korea 1-1
Zentralstadion, Leipzig – attendance: 43,000

South Korea wasn’t as powerful as 4 years earlier. Although they won 1 group match, they didn’t make it to the Round of 16. They managed to beat Togo but not Switzerland and France. Thierry Henry scored within 10 minutes time the first goal. Park Ji-Sung equalized only in the last 10 minutes of the match. France finished 2nd in Group G below Switzerland. France didn’t lose any matches but South Korea lost against Switzerland. No country was able to beat or score any goal against Switzerland. Switzerland did draw 0-0 against France.

Group H

Spain – Ukraine 4-0
Zentralstadion, Leipzig – attendance: 43,000

As they did in the 2002 World Cup, Spain won every group match. Their biggest win was this match against Ukraine. Xabi Alonso, David Villa (2x) and Fernando Torres scored all 4 goals. Villa’s 2nd goal was a penalty. Although Ukraine lost with 4-0, they managed to advance to the next round anyway. Ukraine took advantage of the 2 weaker opponents Tunisia and Saudi Arabia. Both Tunisia and Saudi Arabia lost to Ukraine and Spain.

Round of 16

England – Ecuador 1-0
Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion, Stuttgart – attendance: 52,000

Ecuador qualified for the 2nd time for a World Cup. With 2 group wins they impressed the world by reaching the Round of 16. England won 2 matches and drew 1 group match. Although England had the advantage of more World Cup experience, they had a hard time beating Ecuador. A free kick by David Beckham was necessary to score the winning goal and to eliminate Ecuador. Unfortunately for Ecuador they couldn’t find an equalizer and lost the match. Their next World Cup appearance will be in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. England managed to advance due to a classic Beckham free kick. But England’s classic feared penalty shootout in the Quarter-Final against Portugal, would again cause their elimination.

Portugal – Netherlands 1-0 (Battle of Nuremberg)
Frankenstadion, Nuremberg – attendance: 41,000

The most infamous Round of 16 match of the 2006 World Cup: Portugal against the Netherlands. A record amount of cards were handed out. 4 red cards and 16 (!!) yellow cards! Both teams were playing in such an aggressive manner which was not seen before. Players screamed, pushed each other and performed aggressive fouls. Dutch defender Khalid Boulahrouz against Cristiano Ronaldo and Portuguese midfielder Deco against Dutch center back John Heitinga for example. Portuguese Luís Figo and Mark van Bommel had an aggressive argument and Boulahrouz had one with Simão. This was simply 1 of the most terrible messy World Cup matches ever. After this match both teams became rivals in future tournaments. It is the Netherlands which ended up losing this match. Portuguese midfielder Maniche scored the only goal of the match for Portugal. Portugal advanced but without the suspended Deco and Costinha. The Netherlands after having missed the 2002 World Cup, was already eliminated in the Round of 16 stage. This was the last time so far the Netherlands and Portugal encountered each other in a World Cup.

Italy – Australia 1-0
Fritz-Walter-Stadion, Kaiserslautern – attendance: 46,000

Australia advanced for the first time in World Cup history. They played a good match against the then soon to be World Cup champion Italy. The score remained 0-0 for 90 minutes. Italian center back Marco Materazzi received the red card in the 50th minute, but Australia couldn’t score the winning goal. Only 5 minutes after injury time, when everybody thought extra time had to be played, something happened. This something wasn’t in Australia’s favour. The referee awarded Italy a penalty which striker Francesco Totti successfully scored. The match was immediately over and Italy advanced. Guus Hiddink the trainer of Australia almost succeeded in bringing a country for a 3rd time in a row to the Semi-Final. He succeeded in 1998 with the Netherlands and in 2002 with South Korea. But this time Italy prevented a Semi-Final for Australia.

Switzerland – Ukraine 0-0 (0-3)
FIFA WM Stadion Köln, Cologne – attendance: 45,000

Switzerland made it to the Quarter-Finals 3 times already. But all 3 times were way back in 1934, 1938 and 1954! Ukraine never reached a Quarter-Final before. Ukraine participated in their first World Cup so it was an impressive performance to reach the Round of 16. So this match would enter history one way or another. 0 goals were scored in 120 minutes. This meant the first penalty shootout of the tournament needed to be taken. It turned out after 52 years, Switzerland wasn’t going to reach another Quarter-Final. It ended up being Ukraine to reach the Quarter-Final for the very first time. Andriy Shevchenko is the only player to have missed the penalty for Ukraine. But Artem Milevskiy, Serhiy Rebrov and Oleh Husyev all scored their penalty. From Switzerland’s side all 3 players missed: Marco Streller, Tranquillo Barnetta and Ricardo Cabanas. For the first time in World Cup history a country managed to miss every penalty. Switzerland also became the first country to be eliminated without conceding any goals in the tournament (excluding the penalty shootout).


Germany – Argentina 1-1 (4-2)
Olympiastadion, Berlin – attendance: 72,000

2 rivals Germany and Argentina. The last time both teams encountered each other was in the 1990 World Cup Final. Argentina wanted to take revenge for losing this Final due to 1 penalty by Andreas Brehme. Roberto Ayala scored the first goal of the match in the beginning of the 2nd half. But Germany, making practically a habit of it, equalized a few minutes before the match ended. It was striker Miroslav Klose who extended the match to extra time. Due to this goal Klose became the 2006 World Cup top scorer with 5 goals. No goals were scored so both teams had to take the penalty shootout. It would turn out a memorable one since both teams never lost a penalty shootout before in a World Cup! Both teams won a World Cup penalty shootout 3 times! But there is a first time for everything, and it was Argentina which had to experience this in this Quarter-Final. German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann appeared to have a note hidden in his sock which shows the directions the Argentinian players normally take. He chose the right direction every time. Every German player scored a penalty: Oliver Neuville, Michael Ballack, Lukas Podolski and Tim Borowski. But from Argentina only Julio Ricardo Cruz and Maxi Rodríguez scored. Roberto Ayala and Esteban Cambiasso saw their penalty stopped by Lehmann. Cambiasso saw Lehmann looking at that note which could have made him even more nervous! Argentina lost again and Germany advanced. Both teams did clash after the penalty shootout where even violent conduct took place. Argentina defender Leandro Cufré received the red card due to violent conduct towards German player Per Mertesacker. He became the first and only player so far in World Cup history to have received a red card after a match was already over.

England – Portugal 0-0 (1-3)
FIFA WM Stadion Gelsenkirchen, Gelsenkirchen – attendance: 52,000

Of the 3 previous World Cups Portugal played, they met England twice: in 1966 and 1986. In 1966 Portugal lost and in 1986 England lost. Their 3rd World Cup encounter is one of the most memorable matches of the 2006 World Cup. No goals were scored in normal and extra time, but English striker Wayne Rooney and his Manchester United team-mate at the time Cristiano Ronaldo, caused some controversy. When Rooney stamped on Portuguese defender Ricardo Carvalho, Ronaldo  ran to the referee and appeared to call for Rooney to be sent off. The referee gave in and Rooney received the red card for his behaviour. Aside Rooney’s action towards Caravalho, Ronaldo caused another controversy by winking at the Portugal bench after the red card was given. The led English media and supporters to blame Ronaldo for Rooney’s sending off. Due to the wink, Ronaldo was deprived of the World Cup’s Best Young Player Award due to negative feed back from England supporters. At the end of 30 minutes of extra time, the penalty shootout had to decide who would advance to the Semi-Finals. Unfortunately for England, this would be the 3rd and last time so far a penalty shootout was lost. Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher missed. Goalkeeper Ricardo stopped all 3, which is a  World Cup record. Only Owen Hargreaves scored his penalty kick. From Portugal’s side Hugo Viana and Petit missed. Simão, Hélder Postiga and Cristiano Ronaldo scored successfully. England has never won a penalty shootout yet in a World Cup.

Brazil – France 0-1
FIFA WM Stadion Frankfurt, Frankfurt – attendance: 48,000

Brazil encountered France for the 4th time in World Cup history. Brazil only defeated France in 1958. France eliminated Brazil in the 1986 Quarter-Final and in the 1998 Final. The question was would Brazil finally be able to beat France again in a World Cup? The answer was no. Only 1 goal decided this match. It was Thierry Henry who scored a goal coming from a free kick. The controversial aspect about this goal, is the serious mistake made by defender Roberto Carlos. During the free kick he appeared to be busy with tying his shoes. When Henry ran towards the goal, Roberto Carlos was still busy with his laces. Henry had all the space to score a header which he did. Unfortunately for Brazil they weren’t able to equalize. Star player Ronaldo, who scored his 15th (last) World Cup goal against Ghana in the Round of 16, wasn’t as fit as in 1998 or 2002. Brazil was eliminated by France again. Roberto Carlos announced his retirement after the World Cup due to the criticism from local media and fans regarding his failure to mark Thierry Henry in this match.


Germany – Italy 0-2
FIFA WM Stadion Dortmund, Dortmund – attendance: 65,000

Since Brazil and Argentina were eliminated, the last 4 countries were all European. Germany and Italy have played each other multiple times, but Germany never managed to beat Italy. The last time they encountered each other in a World Cup was back in the 1982 Final. Italy won with 3-1. For a long time in this Semi-Final match any team could reach the Final. For 90 minutes no goals were scored but Italy was highly in the attacking mode. Then in extra time 2 goals were scored by Italy in a time span of 3 minutes! Something that doesn’t happen often against Germany! After the first goal all the Germans were going for the equalizer, which created room for the 2nd goal. Italians Fabio Grosso and Alessandro Del Piero scored the winning goals. Again Germany didn’t succeed in beating Italy for the first time.

Portugal – France 0-1
FIFA WM Stadion München, Munich – Attendance: 66,000

This was the first time both countries met in a World Cup. Portugal advanced for the first time to the Semi-Final since the 1966 World Cup. Unlike the 1966 World Cup, Portugal successfully defeated England but in the Quarter-Final. The penalty shootout had to determine the winner which England failed again. Unfortunately for Portugal, France didn’t let them create any passage to the Final. As was the case in France’s previous match against Brazil, only 1 goal decided this match. But this time the goal was a penalty. It was star player Zinedine Zidane who took the penalty successfully. Portugal couldn’t find the equalizer and was therefore eliminated in the Semi-Final stage for a 2nd time.

World Cup 2006 Final

France against Italy. It was the first time they encountered each other in a World Cup Final. It was the 2nd time for France to reach a Final and for Italy it was already the 6th time. The Final would be the 4th Final which only consisted of European countries. The last all-European Final was back in Spain ‘82. This is also the first Final since Argentina ’78, which didn’t include Brazil nor Germany.

Italy won all matches before reaching the Final except for the group match against USA which ended in 1-1. In the Round of 16 against Australia, Italy was lucky by having awarded a last minute penalty before the end of the match. Against Germany in the Semi-Final they were lucky again. The only 2 goals were scored in the last minutes of extra time.

World Cup 2006 Final

The 2006 Italian team

France’s road to the Final was not that smooth either. They ended up 2nd in their group due to 2 draws against Switzerland and South Korea. In the Semi-Final a penalty was needed in order to beat Portugal.

This is the 5th time France and Italy encountered each other in a World Cup. Italy won the first 2 encounters in 1938 and 1978. France won the last 2 encounters in 1986 and 1998.

World Cup 2006 Final

Special 2006 World Cup Final match ball “+Teamgeist Berlin”

On the 9th of July, in the Olympiastadion in Berlin with an attendance of 69,000, a memorable Final was about to take place. French player Zinedine Zidane took a successful penalty in the 7th minute of the match. In that same half Marco Materazzi equalized pretty fast in the 19th minute. During the 2nd half and extra time no goals were scored, resulting in the 2nd penalty shootout in World cup Final history.

Although no goals were scored in extra time, a very memorable incident occurred: an incident that is considered as THE shocking moment in World Cup history. The moment involved the 2 goal scorers Zidane and Materazzi. Materazzi pulled Zidane’s jersey before Zidane walked away from him. Zidane suddenly turned around since Materazzi started to provoke him. Zidane responded with a headbutt in Materazzi’s chest. Materazzi was knocked on the ground and the referee had to give Zidane the red card. It appears he hasn’t seen the incident and it was the 4th official to inform the referee through the headset about the headbutt.

World Cup 2006 Final

Zidane unleashes his anger after insult from Materazzi

The image of Zinedine Zidane passing by the FIFA World Cup trophy when walking off the field became legendary. It appeared the reason for the headbutt is the fact that Materazzi stated the following: “I prefer the whore that is your sister“. This was his response after Zidane stated “If you want my shirt, I will give it to you afterwards” when Materazzi pulled his jersey. Materazzi claimed he didn’t even know Zidane had a sister and Zidane later regretted the offence but would never apologize to Materazzi. This was his last match for France, since he retired from international football after the 2006 World Cup.

World Cup 2006 Final

Zidane walking of the field after receiving the red card

France had to enter the penalty shootout without Zidane. Italian player Adrea Pirlo and French player Sylvain Wiltord scored the first penalty for their country. It was the 2nd French penalty taken by David Trezeguet which hit the crossbar and goal line resulting in a missed penalty.

This was the first and last penalty which didn’t enter the goal. The Italians Marco Materazzi, Daniele de Rossi, Alessandro Del Piero scored their penalty. The 2 other penalties from France were scored by Eric Abidal and Willy Sagnol. It was Italian Fabio Grosso who scored the last winning penalty, resulting in Italy winning the 2006 World Cup.

World Cup 2006 Final

Fabio Grosso scored the last winning penalty

Italy won a World Cup again after 24 years for the 4th time. Italy is now 2nd best country in World Cup history after Brazil. It was also the first time Italy won a penalty shootout in a World Cup. They lost 3 previous penalty shootouts including the USA ‘94 Final.

Zinedine Zidane ended up being awarded with the Golden Ball despite the headbutt. The Golden Ball poll was conducted at half time during the Final, before the headbutt incident occurred. Therefore the incident couldn’t be taken into account. The question is whether he would win the award anyway if the poll was conducted after the Final…

World Cup 2006 Final

Italy = Blue (Coach: Marcello Lippi)
France = White (Coach: Raymond Domenech)

World Cup 2006 Mascot

World Cup 2006 Mascot

2006 World Cup mascot Goleo VI and Pille

For the 2006 World Cup FIFA introduced an animal again, an animal that we have seen before as a World Cup mascot. It was a lion, but not just any animated or illustrated lion as has been used as the first World Cup mascot in 1966. It was a 7.5 feet ‘real life’ plush lion who goes by the name Goleo VI. The name comes from his father’s encouraging cries of ‘Go Leo Go!’ during football matches (leo means lion in Latin). Goleo IV is created by American company Jim Henson Company which is responsible for The Muppets. He is controlled by a puppet master inside the costume. Goleo VI only wears a white classic German jersey with the number 06 referring to the 2006 World Cup and the fact that he was the 6th applicant for the position of the official mascot. On the back of the jersey you can read the number 06 and his name. Goleo VI was not the only character; he is accompanied by sidekick Pille, a talking football who knows everything there is to know about football. There were some criticism regarding Goleo VI, such as why he wasn’t wearing any pants and why a lion was chosen in the first place. A lion is not a German symbol but rather a Dutch and English symbol. However in a 2008 FIFA.com poll, Goleo VI was voted the most popular World Cup mascot with 28.5% of the last 5 World Cups before South Africa 2010 (1990 – 2006).

World Cup 2006 Songs

The 2006 World Cup anthem has all the features of a true anthem. It is sung by German musician Herbert Grönemeyer featuring Amadou & Mariam, a musical duo from Mali. This epic tune is named Zeit Dass Sich Was Dreht (Celebrate The Day) and has Latin and African influences. It is sung in German, French, English and Mambara, the language of Mali. Not only the tune is powerful, the video is just as epic, grasping the sentiment and feeling only a World Cup provides. Legendary moments in World Cup history are passing by in the video.

Unlike the upbeat tempo in Anastacia’s Boom in 2002 and Ricky Martin’s La Copa de la Vida in 1998, the 2006 World Cup had a very different type of official song. The song, sung in English and Spanish is called The Time of Our Lives and is much calmer and emotional. It is English multinational operatic pop vocal group Il Divo who sings the official song featuring famous American R&B singer Toni Braxton. They both performed The Time of Our Lives during the opening ceremony of the 2006 World Cup. The single was received well in several European countries.

World Cup 2006 Records

  • 8 countries qualified for the first time: Angola, Ivory Coast, Czech Republic, Ghana, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine and Serbia and Montenegro
  • First time Serbia and Montenegro qualified since Federal Republic of Yugoslavia changed its name to Serbia and Montenegro in 2003
  • First time Ukraine participated since the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991
  • First time Czech Republic participated since the break-up of Czechoslovakia in 1993
  • The Best Young Player Award was awarded for the first time
  • Italy won a World Cup for the 4th time after 24 years, becoming the 2nd best country in World Cup history after Brazil
  • Italy is the 2nd country to have won a World Cup 4 times
  • This is the first all-European Final since Spain ’82
  • First time since 1982 all 4 Semi-Finalists are European teams
  • 2nd time in World Cup history a Final ended in a penalty shootout
  • From Germany 2006 on, the defending champion of a previous World Cup had to qualify for a World Cup
  • First time countries of all 6 continents participated together
  • Brazilian player Ronaldo scored his 15th World Cup goal in the Round of 16 match against Ghana, surpassing former top goalscorer German Gerd Müller (14 goals) and making him the new number 1 World Cup top goalscorer
  • French midfielder Zinedine Zidane is the 4th player to have scored a goal in 2 World Cup Finals (1998, 2006)
  • French midfielder Zinedine Zidane became the 2nd player to have been sent off in 2 different World Cups (1998 and 2006)
  • A record amount of yellow (345) and red (28) card were handed out
  • The Round of 16 match Portugal – Netherlands contains the highest amount of yellow cards (16) and red cards (4) in World Cup history handed out in a match
  • Australia is the first Oceanian country to advance to the 2nd round
  • A record amount of 11 different players of the Italian team have scored a goal (Pirlo, Laquinta, Gilardino, Materazzi, Inzaghi, Totti, Zambrotta, Toni, Grosso, Del Piero, De Rossi)
  • Germany against Costa Rica (4-2) is the highest scoring opening match in World Cup history
  • Italian player Alessandro Del Piero scored the latest record goal from kickoff in the 121st minute ( against Germany)

  • Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is the 2nd goalkeeper to have only conceded 2 goals before becoming World Cup champion
  • Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is also the only World Cup winning goalkeeper to not have conceded a goal in open play throughout the whole tournament (one goal coming from an own goal after a free-kick, and the 2nd from a penalty)
  • Trinidad and Tobago is the only country in World Cup history so far to have scored more own goals than normal goals: 1 own goal has been scored (in group match against Paraguay) and 0 normal goals
  • First time in World Cup history no hat-tricks were scored in a World Cup
  • Switzerland became the first and last country so far tho have missed every penalty in the penalty shootout (in Round of 16 match against Ukraine)
  • Swiss goalkeeper Pascal Zuberbühler kept goal throughout every minute of Switzerland’s 4 matches, 0 goals have been conceded: a record
  • Argentina lost their first penalty shootout in the Quarter-Final match against Germany
  • Argentina dedender Leandro Cufré is the only player in World Cup history to have received a red card after a match was already over, which was against Germany in the Quarter-Final with the reason being violent conduct towards German player Per Mertesacker
  • Brazil has the record of having won 11 consecutive World Cup matches: 7 matches were won in 2002 and 4 in this World Cup
  • The most own goals have been scored in this World Cup together with the 1954 and 1998 World Cups: 4 own goals
  • The fastest own goal in World Cup history has been scored by Paraguayan Carlos Gamarra in the 3rd minute, in the group match against England
  • First time and last time so far in World Cup history, an own goal (by Paraguay in the match against England) was the only goal scored in a World Cup match
  • Swedish player Marcus Allbäck scored the 2000th World Cup goal in the group match against England (2-2)
  • First time both the first and last goal have been scored by defenders: Germany player Philipp Lahm who scored against Costa Rica in the opening match and Marco Materazzi who scored the last goal in the Final (before the penalty shootout)
  • First time more than 1 voting round was needed to determine the host country

Did You Know

  • First World Cup since 1934 where the previous World Cup winner had to qualify
  • First Final since 1978 which didn’t include Germany nor Brazil
  • Italy also played the Final where the first Final penalty shootout occurred, in USA ’94 against Brazil
  • First time since 1970 that the host country played the first match
  • ‘A time to make friends’ (in German: Die Welt zu Gast bei Freunden) was the official slogan of the 2006 World Cup, expressing Germany’s hospitality towards the players and fans
  • English referee Graham Poll accidentally handed out 3 yellow cards instead of 2 to Croatian Josip Šimunić before sending him off in the group match against Australia
  • Miroslav Klose won the Golden Boot with the lowest amount of goals (5) since the 1962 World Cup
  • +Teamgeist match ball is named Teamgeist (team spirit), something the Germans are known for in World Cup history
  • The name of the match ball +Teamgeist contains a + since Teamgeist alone could not be trademarked
  • +Teamgeist match ball contains a revolutionary amount of 14-panels rather than 32 which was standard since 1970
  • +Teamgeist match ball is claimed to be rounder, more precise and consistent, and doesn’t get heavier in wet weather
  • gold colour version of the +Teamgeist match ball was used for the Final called +Teamgeist Berlin (the Final was held in Berlin)
  • +Teamgeist match ball was criticized by many top players before the World Cup
  • The 2006 World Cup was an outstanding success and is 1 of the most watched events in television history with an estimated 26.29 billion non-unique viewers
  • This World Cup also had a positive impact on Germany with an increase in collective patriotism although they didn’t reach the Final
  • Dutch brewery company Bavaria distributed orange ‘Leeuwenhosen’ clothing with the company logo for the Dutch supporters, however they were not allowed in the stadium since Bavaria was not an official World Cup sponsor, and therefore they had to undress and watched the match in their underpants
  • FIFA Fan Fest showing live matches on huge screens in open urban areas was introduced and subsidized by sponsors, every upcoming World Cup would now organize a FIFA Fan Fest in all the host cities
  • To banish all evil spirits, a shaman from Ecuador visited all the stadiums before the tournament started

World Cup 2006 FIFA Awards

  • Golden Ball: Zinedine Zidane (France)
  • Silver Ball: Fabio Cannavaro (Italy)
  • Bronze Ball: Andrea Pirlo (Italy)
  • Golden Boot: Miroslav Klose (Germany) (5 goals)
  • Silver Boot: Hernán Crespo (3 goals)
  • Bronze Boot: Ronaldo (3 goals)
  • Best Young Player Award: Lukas Podolski (21 years old) (Germany)
  • FIFA Fair Play Trophy: Brazil/Spain
  • Yashin Award: Gianluigi Buffon (Italy)
  • Most Entertaining Team: Portugal
World Cup 2006 FIFA Awards

Zinedine Zidane (France)

World Cup 2006 FIFA Awards

Miroslav Klose (Germany)


World Cup 2006 FIFA All-Star Team

The 2006 FIFA All-Star Team contains the highest amount of players. A total of 23 players from 7 countries! Of the 23 players, 7 belong to Italy. Together with Uruguay in the 1930 team, both are included with the highest amount of players. You have to remember though the 1930 All-Star Team contains only 11 players. French players Lilian Thuram and Zinedine Zidane and German players Michael Ballack and Miroslav Klose were included for a 2nd time. German player Philipp Lahm would be included again in the next All-Star Team. Of the 7 countries, both Italy and Germany are the only teams to have included a player in every position.

Gianluigi Buffon (Italy)
Jens Lehmann (Germany)
Ricardo (Portugal)
Roberto Ayala (Argentina)
John Terry (England)
Lilian Thuram (France)
Philipp Lahm (Germany)
Fabio Cannavaro (Italy)
Gianluca Zambrotta (Italy)
Ricardo Carvalho (Portugal)
Zé Roberto (Brazil)
Patrick Vieira (France)
Zinedine Zidane (France)
Michael Ballack (Germany)
Andrea Pirlo (Italy)
Gennaro Gattuso (Italy)
Luís Figo (Portugal)
Maniche (Portugal)
Hernán Crespo (Argentina)
Thierry Henry (France)
Miroslav Klose (Germany)
Luca Toni (Italy)
Francesco Totti (Italy)

World Cup 2006 in Action

2006 FIFA World Cup Intro

World Cup 2006 Highlights

Italy’s road to World Cup 2006

World Cup 2006 Top 10 Goals

FIFA World Cup All The Goals Of Germany 2006

2006 World Cup Opening Ceremony-1

2006 World Cup Opening Ceremony-2

2006 World Cup Opening Ceremony (film used in the stadium)

The Grand Finale – Official 2006 World Cup Movie (in Portuguese)

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