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FIFA World Cup History

Germany 1974 FIFA World Cup

1974 World Cup Betting

Year: 1974

Participants: 16

Countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, East Germany, Haiti, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Scotland, Sweden, Uruguay, West Germany, Yugoslavia, Zaire

Championship: West Germany 2, Netherlands 1

Top goal scorer: Grzegorz Lato, Poland (7)

In 1974, teams met in Germany to compete for a new trophy: the FIFA World Cup. Also new were the tight security measures at the tournament, brought into effect because of the assassination of Jewish athletes at the Munich Olympics two years earlier.

The opening ceremonies were held on June 13. Pele was on hand, even though he had decided not to play in what would have been his fifth World Cup. The action kicked off with defending champion Brazil playing Yugoslavia to a 0-0 tie -- hardly an exciting opener. . . .

This tournament became known as the "World Cup of Quality," with three outstanding teams in Holland, Poland and West Germany. . . .

One of the biggest showdowns of the tournament was the Brazil-Holland game played on July 3. Brazil, missing its potent offense of years past, fell to the speedy Dutch team 2-0.

In the championship game, Holland scored on a penalty kick before West Germany even touched the ball, but the Germans came back for a 2-1 victory in front of 79,000 fans in Munich. . . .

In a futile effort to boost his country's performance, Zaire's President Motubo awarded each of his players with a car, a trip for two to anywhere in the world and a house just for qualifying. Perhaps he should have held out a little longer: When Zaire got to Germany, it lost to Scotland 2-0, Brazil 3-0 and was trounced by Yugoslavia 9-0.

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