1974 – West Germany

World Cup 1974 Final

1974 World Cup champion: The West German team with captain Franz Beckenbauer holding the new FIFA World Cup trophy for the first time

World Cup 1974 Facts

World Cup 1974 Poster

1974 World Cup poster

  • Date: 13 June – 30 July
  • Final: Netherlands – West Germany 1-2
  • 3rd place: Brazil – Poland 0-1
  • Teams: 16
  • Stadiums: 9
  • Host cities: 9
  • Matches played: 38
  • Goals: 97
  • Attendance: 1,774,022
  • Top scorer: Grzegorz Lato (Poland) (7 goals)

World Cup 1974 Background

Choosing the host country for the 2nd World Cup of the 70s went pretty much harmonic. On July 6 1966 in London, 3 host cities have been announced, which each would host the 1974, 1978 and 1982 World Cup.

Both Spain and West Germany were interested in both the 1974 and 1982 World Cup, since the 1978 World Cup would be held in South America. As a logical result, Spain decided to withdraw their bid for the 1974 World Cup, and West Germany withdrew their bid for the 1982 World Cup. This meant West Germany was chosen to host the 10th World Cup for the first time.

World Cup 1974 Background

9 host cities in West Germany

World Cup 1974 Participants

99 countries tried to qualify for the 1974 World Cup. As in previous World Cups, only 14 places of the 16 would be allocated. Brazil was automatically qualified since they won the 1970 World Cup, and West Germany automatically qualified as the host country.

8 places for Europe excluding West Germany were allocated to the following countries: East Germany, Yugoslavia, Scotland, Netherlands, Sweden, Bulgaria, Poland and Italy. East Germany qualified for the first time and the Netherlands and Poland qualified for the first time since 1938.

2 places for South America excluding Brazil were allocated to the following countries: Uruguay and Argentina.

1 place for Africa was allocated to country Zaire (now known as Democratic Republic of the Congo) which qualified for the first time. Zaire became the first sub-Saharan African country to have qualified for a World Cup.

1 place for North/Central America and Caribbean was allocated to country Haiti which qualified for the first time.

1 place for Oceania was allocated to country Australia which also qualified for the first time. Australia is also the first OFC country to have qualified for a World Cup.

1 intercontinental play-off had to be played by 2 countries which didn’t qualify directly: UEFA country Soviet Union against CONMEBOL country Chile. Chile won the play-off and therefore qualified last minute for the 1974 World Cup. The reason why Chile won is because Soviet Union refused to play the 2nd leg due to the 1973 Chilean coup d’état. The match was played though, with only 11 Chile players on the field. The captain simply walked the ball in the net.

No Asian (AFC) country was able to qualify for the 1974 World Cup.

World Cup 1974 Match Ball

1974 World Cup match ball “Telstar Durlast” – Identical to the 1970 match ball

World Cup 1974 Groups

As in the previous World Cups with 16 teams, they were divided in 4 groups. The round-robin format was implemented again; meaning all teams in a group had to play against all other group members. 1 point was rewarded for a draw and 2 points for a win. 2 teams would advance to the next round.

However the 1974 World Cup introduced a different format for the next round that hasn’t been used before in previous World Cups. No Quarter-Finals or Semi-Finals stages were played. Instead the 2nd round was again a group stage. The 8 teams making it to the 2nd round were divided in 2 groups of 4 teams each. The winner of each group would play against each other in the Final. The teams reaching the 2nd place of each group encountered each other in the match for the third place.

This format which included the group stage in the 2nd round would be implemented again in a few upcoming World Cups.

FIFA Organising Committee chose for the following 4 countries to be seed teams: Brazil, Italy, Uruguay and West Germany. Each team was placed in a different group.

The groups were as followed:

Group 1Group 2Group 3Group 4
East Germany
West Germany
World Cup 1974 Logo

1974 World Cup logo

World Cup 1974 Stadiums

9 stadiums were used in 9 host cities during the 1974 World Cup. All 9 cities were located in West Germany. The city Berlin is the only East Germany city that was used, however only the west side. Only the west side was used since this part of Berlin belonged to West Germany as well.

The following 9 cities and 9 stadiums were used in Germany:

Location: Munich
Opened: 1972
Capacity: 80,000
Matches: 5
Status: The 'Alps' stadium is in full use but was ignored for the 2006 World Cup
Location: West Berlin
Opened: 1936
Capacity: 86,000
Matches: 3
Status: Renovated in 1974 and in 2006 for the 2006 World Cup
Location: Hamburg
Opened: 1953
Capacity: 62,000
Matches: 3
Status: Is replaced with a new stadium, the Imtech Arena and has been used for the 2006 World Cup
Location: Dortmund
Opened: 1974
Capacity: 54,000
Matches: 4
Status: Officially named Signal Iduna Park and is renovated multiple times in the 90s and 00s for the 2006 World Cup
Location: Düsseldorf
Opened: 1925
Capacity: 67,000
Matches: 5
Status: Demolished in 2002
Location: Gelsenkirchen
Opened: 1973
Capacity: 72,000
Matches: 5
Status: Closed down in 2008 and is partially demolished
Location: Frankfurt
Opened: 1925
Capacity: 61,000
Matches: 5
Status: Officially called the Commerzbank-Arena and has been upgraded in the 50s, 70s and 2005 for the 2006 World Cup
Location: Hanover
Opened: 1954
Capacity: 65,000
Matches: 4
Status: Goes by the name HDI-Arena and was redeveloped for the 2006 World Cup
Location: Stuttgart
Opened: 1933
Capacity: 71,000
Matches: 4
Status: Goes by the name Mercedes-Benz Arena and has been renovated in the 00s for the 2006 World Cup

World Cup 1974 Schedule

Group 1 matches
Date Home Team Results Away Team
14 June Germany FR 1:0 (1:0) Chile
14 June German DR 2:0 (0:0) Australia
18 June Australia 0:3 (0:2) Germany FR
18 June Chile 1:1 (0:0) German DR
22 June Australia 0:0 Chile
22 June German DR 1:0 (0:0) Germany FR
Group 1 results
TeamPlayedWonDrawLostGoals ForGoals AgainstPoints
Germany DR3210415
Germany FR3201414
Group 2 matches
Date Home Team Results Away Team
13 June Brazil 0:0 Yugoslavia
14 June Zaire 0:2 (0:2) Scotland
18 June Scotland 0:0 Brazil
18 June Yugoslavia 9:0 (6:0) Zaire
22 June Scotland 1:1 (0:0) Yugoslavia
22 June Zaire 0:3 (0:1) Brazil
Group 2 results
TeamPlayedWonDrawLostGoals ForGoals AgainstPoints
Group 3 matches
Date Home Team Results Away Team
15 June Sweden 0:0 Bulgaria
15 June Uruguay 0:2 (0:1) Netherlands
19 June Netherlands 0:0 Sweden
19 June Bulgaria 1:1 (0:0) Uruguay
23 June Bulgaria 1:4 (0:2) Netherlands
23 June Sweden 3:0 (0:0) Uruguay
Group 3 results
TeamPlayedWonDrawLostGoals ForGoals AgainstPoints
Group 4 matches
Date Home Team Results Away Team
15 June Italy 3:1 (0:0) Haiti
15 June Poland 3:2 (2:0) Argentina
19 June Argentina 1:1 (1:1) Italy
19 June Haiti 0:7 (0:5) Poland
23 June Poland 2:1 (2:0) Italy
23 June Argentina 4:1 (2:0) Haiti
Group 4 results

TeamPlayedWonDrawLostGoals ForGoals AgainstPoints

Second round

Group A matches
Date Home Team Results Away Team
26 June Netherlands 4:0 (2:0) Argentina
26 June Brazil 1:0 (0:0) German DR
30 June Argentina 1:2 (1:1) Brazil
30 June German DR 0:2 (0:1) Netherlands
03 July Argentina 1:1 (1:1) German DR
03 July Netherlands 2:0 (0:0) Brazil
Group A results
TeamPlayedWonDrawLostGoals ForGoals AgainstPoints
Germany DR3012141
Group B matches
Date Home Team Results Away Team
26 June Yugoslavia 0:2 (0:1) Germany FR
26 June Sweden 0:1 (0:1) Poland
30 June Poland 2:1 (1:1) Yugoslavia
30 June Germany FR 4:2 (0:1) Sweden
03 July Poland 0:1 (0:0) Germany FR
03 July Sweden 2:1 (1:1) Yugoslavia
Group B results
TeamPlayedWonDrawLostGoals ForGoals AgainstPoints
Germany FR3300726
Match for third place
Date Home Team Results Away Team
06 July Brazil 0:1 (0:0) Poland
Date Home Team Results Away Team
07 July Netherlands 1:2 (1:2) Germany FR

World Cup 1974 Memorable Matches

Group Matches

Group 1

West Germany – East Germany 1-0
Volksparkstadion, Hamburg – attendance: 60,350

A very unique match this was. East Germany played a World Cup for the first and last time. This was therefore the first and last time West and Easy Germany encountered each other in a World Cup. This match is considered as 1 of the most political charged matches in World Cup history. It was Easy Germany which won the match by a goal from Jürgen Sparwasser. Ironically , this was the only match West Germany lost in this tournament. East Germany topped the group and advanced together with neighbour West Germany.

Group 2

Zaïre – Brazil 0-3
Parkstadion, Gelsenkirchen – attendance: 35,000

Zaïre played their first and only World Cup in 1974. Brazil won with not to much difficulty. 3 goals were scored in total by Jairzinho, Rivelino and Valdomiro. 1 of the most surprising and funny World Cup moments occurred in this match.  A free kick was awarded to Brazil. For some reason, defender Ilunga Mwepu from Zaïre ran out of the defensive wall and shot the ball away, before any Brazilian player could touch it! A strange moment this was! He later stated he did this on purpose in order to receive the red card. The act was a protest against his country’s authorities who didn’t want to pay the players. The referee however, punished him with a yellow card.  Zaïre was eliminated but which group 2 teams would advance? It was a close call. 3 countries Brazil, Yugoslavia and Scotland ended up with 4 points. The matches ended all in a draw except for the matches against Zaïre. Yugoslavia crushed Zaire with 9-0, so when implementing the goal difference rule Yugoslavia topped the group easily. Brazil ended up with a higher goal difference than Scotland and occupied the 2nd place. This was the first time Brazil advanced while having finished on the 2nd position instead of the first position in a group. Scotland ended up on the 3rd place and was eliminated due to this goal difference rule. However this would not be their first time….

Group 3

Netherlands – Sweden 0-0
Westfalenstadion, Dortmund – attendance: 53,700

The Netherlands was playing 1 of their best World Cups. With the invention of Total Football, where each player should be able to play any position, they surprised every opponent. This was the only match where no goals were scored by the Netherlands. But it does contain 1 memorable moment! It was in this match against Sweden where forward Johan Cruijff showed the world his famous ‘Cruijff turn’! It was Swedish defender Jan Olsson who was fooled by this now infamous move. Both countries advanced to the next round.

Group 4

Poland – Argentina 3-2
Neckarstadion, Stuttgart – attendance: 31,500

The Netherlands wasn’t the only country that impressed the world during the 1974 World Cup. Poland was the other country which showed impressive play and won each match. Only their last match against West Germany which resulted in elimination, was lost. In this exciting match against Argentina, 5 goals were scored in total. Polish winger Grzegorz Lato scored the first goal in the 7th minute. His team mate Andrzej Szarmach scored the 2-0 1 minute later. These were the only goals scored in the first half. In the 2nd half 3 goals were scored in a time span of 6 minutes! Ramón Heredia scored first for Argentina which was quickly corrected by a goal from Grzegorz Lato 2 minutes later. Argentinian striker Carlos Babington scored the 2nd goal for Argentina 4 minutes later. They couldn’t score the equalizer so Poland won. Both countries advanced to the next round. Poland’s win against Italy resulted in a quick elimination for Italy. Italy and Argentina had the same amount of points but Argentina advanced due to the goal difference rule.

Second Round

Group A

Argentina – Brazil 1-2
Niedersachsenstadion, Hanover – attendance: 38,000

This was the first time rivals Argentina and Brazil met in a World Cup. Due to their rivalry, a match between both teams is also called Battle of the South Americans. Brazil won this match with 2 goals scored by Rivelino and Jairzinho. Before Jairzinho scored in the 2nd half, the score was temporary 1-1 due to a goal by Argentinian Miguel Ángel Brindisi. Argentina could not find the equalizer. Argentina also lost against the Netherlands and drew against East Germany. They were therefore eliminated.

Netherlands – Brazil 2-0
Westfalenstadion, Dortmund – attendance: 52,500

This match is not only known for the first Dutch triumph ever over Brazil. The match is also remembered for the hard defense the players were using. The Netherlands nevertheless, won this match with their impressive Total Football. Johan Neeskens and Johan Cruijff were the goalscorers. Brazil was eliminated and wasn’t as powerful as they used to be 4 years earlier in the 1970 World Cup. Although both teams met each other for the first time in a World Cup, it was certainly not the last time.

Brazilians duck for Rivelino’s free kick! Against East Germany (1-0)

Group B

West Germany – Sweden 4-2
Rheinstadion, Düsseldorf – attendance: 66,500

West Germany was pretty lucky by finishing on the 2nd place of their group. They now avoided Brazil, Argentina and the Netherlands which were placed in Group A. Of all Group B matches, the highest amount of goals were scored in this match. West Germany showed clear superiority when it comes to football and scored 4 goals in the 2nd half. The goals were scored by 4 different players Wolfgang Overath, Rainer Bonhof, Jürgen Grabowski and Uli Hoeneß. Hoeneß scored a penalty. Sweden was able to score the only goal of the first half by Ralf Edström. Striker Roland Sandberg scored the 2nd goal for Sweden but could not prevent Sweden from being eliminated from the tournament.

Poland – West Germany 0-1
Waldstadion, Frankfurt – attendance: 59,000

Both West Germany and Poland managed to beat Yugoslavia and Sweden. This was the crucial match: who will advance to the Final? It ended up being West Germany. But the match wasn’t an overall spectacle. Rainstorms made the pitch hard to play on and the match was delayed. The Local fire department was called to soap up the water but this didn’t improve much. The unplayable pitch created a lifeless match were only 1 goal was scored. It was German Gerd Müller who scored the only goal. The score could have been 2-0, since West Germany was awarded a penalty before Muller’s goal. But penalty taker Uli Hoeneß missed, which was the first German penalty miss in World Cup history. West Germany advanced and Poland played the match for the third place. Poland won against Brazil with 0-1. It was legendary Polish winger Grzegorz Lato who scored the 0-1 and became the 1974 World Cup top scorer with 7 goals.

World Cup 1974 Final

The Netherlands, finally back in a World Cup since 1938. In their 3rd World Cup participation in 1974, they impressed the world with their unique way of football play called ‘Total Football’. This unique play is invented by then Dutch trainer Rinus Michels. Total Football meant the ability for every player to switch positions quickly during the match. The Netherlands performed magnificently and won every match except for the group match against Sweden which ended in a draw.

With confidence they entered the Final against their famous rival West Germany with captain Franz Beckenbauer. Unlike the Netherlands, West Germany lost 1 match in the group stage which was ironically against East Germany.

World Cup 1974 Final

The 1974 German team

This was the very first time West Germany played against the Netherlands in a World Cup.

The Final was held on the 7th of July, in the Olympiastadion in Munich with 75,200 attendees. The match was delayed since the corner and center line flags were missing. The officials have forgotten to place the flags back in their position after the opening ceremony.

World Cup 1974 Final

Johan Neeskens scoring the first penalty in a World Cup Final

Johan Cruijff against Franz Beckenbauer. Would the Dutch Total Football dominate the strong and always focused Germans? The match started spectacularly with a penalty before West Germany even touched the ball (2′). It was Johan Neeskens who successfully scored the first penalty ever awarded in a World Cup Final.

West Germany however was granted the same opportunity 23 minutes later. The referee awarded the Germans a penalty and this time it was Paul Breitner who changed the score to 1-1 (25′). The 2nd and final goal of the match was scored just before the 15 minutes break. Gerd Müller became the Germany’s hero by scoring the 2nd goal (43′), which at the same time would be his last goal for the West German team.

World Cup 1974 Final

Johan Cruijff taking on Berti Vogts and Uli Hoeneß

Gerd Müller scored a goal in the 2nd half, but this was considered off-side by the referee. The Netherlands were not able to score the equalizer which meant West Germany became World Cup champion. They were the first team to win the new FIFA World Cup trophy since the Jules Rimet trophy was kept by Brazil after winning the 1970 World Cup.

For the 4th time in World Cup history, a country has won the World Cup for the 2nd time. West Germany became the 4th country to win a World Cup as a host country. They have won a World Cup before which was 20 years earlier in 1954. Gerd Müller scored his 14th goal in the Final. He surpassed French player Just Fontaine, who was the all-time World Cup top scorer with 13 goals which were all scored in the 1938 World Cup. Gerd Müller would stay all-time World Cup top scorer till the 2006 World Cup. It was in that World Cup where Brazilian Ronaldo sets a new record with 15 goals.

World Cup 1974 Final

The rivalry between both teams really begun due to this match

An interesting fact is that West Germany won the World Cup with having lost 1 match in the group stage. This is the 2nd time this has happened in World Cup history. Coincidentally, the first time was also West Germany but in the 1954 World Cup to Hungary.

West Germany would play their next Final 8 years later, and the Netherlands in the next World Cup to come.

World Cup 1974 Final

West Germany = White (Coach: Helmut Schön)
Netherlands = Orange (Coach: Rinus Michels)

World Cup 1974 Mascot

World Cup 1974 Mascot

1974 World Cup mascot Tip and Tap

Probably due to the popularity of Juanito the 1970 World Cup mascot, FIFA chose to introduce humans again as a World Cup mascot. This time it wasn’t 1 boy but 2 boys who go by the name Tip and Tap. They like to play football and it is Tip who is holding a white football. They wear the German kit without East Germany or West Germany references. The jerseys have WM 74 on them, where WM stands for Weltmeisterschaft (World Cup). As Tip and Tap hug each other, they represent harmony, unity and fair play. Tip and Tap could each represent West Germany and East Germany, forecasting the unity of Germany in 1990.

World Cup 1974 Song

After the absence of a song for the 1970 World Cup, the World cup fans became happy again after the introduction of the 1974 World Cup song. This time it was a woman who sang and performed the song in Polish which is called Futbol. This woman is famous Polish singer Maryla Rodowicz who performed the song during the opening ceremony in Munich. It is so far the only Polish song which was used as an official World Cup song.

World Cup 1974 Records

  • 4 countries qualified for the first time: East Germany, Haiti, Australia and Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo)
  • Australia is the first OFC country to have qualified for a World Cup
  • Zaire is the first Sub-Saharan country to have qualified for a World Cup
  • East Germany qualified for the first and last time for a World Cup
  • This is the 2nd time West Germany won the World Cup
  • West Germany is the 4th country to have won the World Cup 2 times
  • West Germany is the 4th country to win a World Cup as a host country
  • This is the 2nd time a country has won the World cup after having lost 1 match (the first time was West Germany as well in 1954)
  • The 2 penalties awarded in the Final were the first awarded penalties in a World Cup Final
  • Johan Neesken’s penalty in the Final is the quickest goal ever scored in a Final (90 seconds)
  • The first penalty of the Final (scored by Johan Neeskens) is the quickest World Cup penalty ever awarded: in the first minute before opponent Germany even touched the ball
  • 4th and last World Cup so far where no extra-time matches have been played
  • Scotland is the first country to have been eliminated after the first round without losing any matches (due to the goal difference rule)
  • Carlos Caszely from Chile is the first player who has been sent off by a red card, in the group 1 match against West Germany
  • German Franz Beckenbauer is the 2nd person to have won the World Cup Final as a player (1974) and as a coach (1990)
  • German Franz Beckenbauer is the only person however to have won the World Cup Final as a captain and as a coach

Did You Know

  • First time the new FIFA World Cup trophy created by Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga was awarded to the World Cup champion
  • First time team numbers were used on team shorts
  • Australia would only qualify for their next World Cup in 2006
  • The World Cup Final is the first Final which was not played in the host’s capital city
  • First time England failed to qualify since their first World Cup participation in 1950
  • First time the previous World Cup winner played the first match which would continue till the 2002 World Cup
  • The Golden Team of the Netherlands is considered as 1 of the few greatest teams to have never won a World Cup
  • Ernst Jean-Joseph from Haiti was involved in the first doping scandal in World Cup history, he was tested positive after the match against Italy and was suspended from the 1974 World Cup
  • Italian keeper Dino Zoff didn’t let any ball enter the goal for 1142 minutes between 1972 and 1974 (a record), until  Emmanuel Sanon from Haiti scored a goal in the first round match
  • The 1974 World Cup poster is the first poster to include multiple languages
  • Telstar Durlast match ball is identical with the 1970 World Cup Telstar match ball
  • The design of the Telstar and Telstar Durlast match balls have become the stereotypical look for a match ball

World Cup 1974 FIFA Awards

  • Golden Ball: Johan Cruijff (Netherlands)
  • Silver Ball: Franz Beckenbauer (West Germany)
  • Bronze Ball: Kazimierz Deyna (Poland)
  • Golden Boot: Grzegorz Lato (Poland) (7 goals)
  • Silver Boot: Andrzej Szarmach (Poland), Johan Neeskens (Netherlands) (5 goals)
  • Bronze Boot: Ralf Edström (Sweden), Gerd Müller (West Germany), Johnny Rep (Netherlands) (4 goals)
  • Best Young Player Award: Władysław Żmuda (20 years old) (Poland)
  • FIFA Fair Play Trophy: West Germany
World Cup 1974 FIFA Awards

Johan Cruijff (Netherlands)

World Cup 1974 FIFA Awards

Grzegorz Lato (Poland)


World Cup 1974 FIFA All-Star Team

This is the first FIFA All-Star Team to include players from the Netherlands and Poland. For Chile this is the last time so far to be included. Instead of 11 players, this is the only All-Star Team together with the 1990 Team to include 12 players. The 1974 All-Star team also contains German player Franz Beckenbauer for the last time. It is the 3rd time he is included in an All-Star Team. He is the only player together with Brazilian Djalma Santos to be included in 3 All-Star Teams.

Sepp Maier (West Germany)Berti Vogts (West Germany)
Ruud Krol (Netherlands)
Franz Beckenbauer (West Germany)
Paul Breitner (West Germany)
Elías Figueroa (Chile)
Wolfgang Overath (West Germany)
Kazimierz Deyna (Poland)
Johan Neeskens (Netherlands)
Rob Rensenbrink (Netherlands)
Johan Cruijff (Netherlands)
Grzegorz Lato (Poland)

World Cup 1974 in Action

1974 FIFA World Cup Highlights Part 1

1974 FIFA World Cup Highlights Part 2

Greatest goals

Greatest goals 2

Heading for Glory – Official 1974 World Cup Movie (in Portuguese)

Share with World Cup Fans!

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Delicious
  • Reddit