World Cups Past - The 1960's

Published: May 07, 2014 05:29am EDT
By Jason Bardwell, Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated May 07, 2014 @ 05:29am EDT


The final countdown to the World Cup has now begun and we are little over a month away now from the kick off in Brazil on June 12th. The USA will take the field against Ghana four days later at the Arena das Dunas, Natal. Drawn in a group which also include Portugal and Germany it is vital Klinsmann’s team hit the ground running. 

Over the next few days I will look at the United States participation in all the World Cups throughout the history of the competition dating back to the 1930's. Obviously there was no World Cup’s in the 1940's with the ones scheduled for 1942 and 1946 cancelled due to the Second World War. 

Last week, I looked at the World Cups through the 1930's, one of which included a local Baltimore man, and then the 1950's, and that fantastic result against the English! Today it will be the turn of the 1960's and although the US didn’t field a side in that decade, as an Englishman the 1966 World Cup is something my people cling too!



Once again there were four groups with four teams in each as sixteen teams battled it out for the World Cup in Chile. As I had said in my introduction, the USA did not qualify for the World Cup this time around. Mexico were the sole team representing North America. 

The World Cup would be most remembered though for a hate filled match between the hosts and Italy. Dubbed ‘The Battle of Santiago’ tensions were escalated when Italian journalists had described Santiago in less than glowing terms. To be fair Santiago had only just been subject of a massive earthquake only two years before. Tensions were so high that the journalists in question had to leave the country, and another one who resembled one of the men, was beaten up in a local bar. 

The first foul happened twelve seconds after the kickoff and an Italian player, Georgio Ferrini was sent off after the twelfth minute but refused to leave the pitch. Punches were thrown initially after the sending off and was missed by the English referee and so subsequent punches were thrown afterwards. Much naughtiness ensued and the police had to intervene. Chile won the match 2-0, progressed out of the group, and the referee no doubt had to lay down for a bit. 

The referee on that day, Ken Aston, actually went on to invent the red and yellow cards. I am not sure if it was as a result of the game directly but I think it might have an affect.

Chile would eventually be knocked out by the eventual winners Brazil in the Semi Final but did secure third place after a 1-0 victory against Yugoslavia. 

England had been knocked out by Brazil previous to Chile and Mexico didn’t even get out of the Group Stages. Funnily enough ESPN just had their own program on the player of that tournament, Brazilian Garrincha. Certainly a Brazilian great although he is not the first name on the lips with Pele around. After football finished his life took a nose dive as he suffered financial and marital issues and at the time of his death in 1983 he was a mental and physical wreck and he died of cirrhosis of the liver. He would never feel the love he felt on the pitch again until it was too late. His funeral drew millions of fans.  



Football returned to the country from which it was born (forgetting some claims from other nations).  Once again there were 16 teams divided into four groups of four with hosts England in Group One along with Uruguay, Mexico and France. England stormed the Group and moved onto the knockout stage along with Uruguay. Joining them were West Germany, Argentina, Portugal, Hungary, North Korea and the Soviet Union. 

Alf Ramsey was the manager of the English National Team and was certainly full of superstars starting at the back with goal keeper Gordon Banks. Like this upcoming World Cup the England side had its fair share of Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool stars of the day.

Eight players from those teams made up the squad, but unlike today’s squad the 1966 boys had a young Alan Ball from Blackpool, Jimmy Greaves from Tottenham Hotspur and at its core, West Ham players. Geoff Hurst and Bobby Moore were key in England’s success with Moore as the captain who would eventually lift the trophy. 

The Final saw West Germany face the host Nation in the Final with the British Monarch looking on. Twelve minutes in and I am sure there were nervous looks around the stadium as Germany went ahead, meaning England would have to award to trophy to the country they had been fighting only two decades earlier. Geoff Hurst equalized before Martin Peters scored the go ahead goal. Just when the home nation thought it was all done before 22 year old defender Wolfgang Weber popped up to take the game into extra time. 

Geoff Hurst popped up twice in stoppage time to secure the victory and make sure the British monarch handed the trophy to a fellow Brit. 



Tomorrow I will look at the 1970's and the Mexico, West Germany and Argentina. Although again we have no participation of the USA side. 


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