World Cups Past - The 1970's

Published: May 08, 2014 13:20pm EDT
By Jason Bardwell, Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated May 08, 2014 @ 01:20pm 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 Klinsmannís 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 Cupís 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! Yesterday it will be the turn of the 1960's and although the US didnít field a side in that decade, as an Englishman the 1966 World Cup was something my people cling too!†

Now today we move on to the 1970's and again the USA side is missing but still saw great competitions in Mexico in 1970, West Germany 1974 and Argentina 1978. It is with Americas nearest neighbors, Mexico, which we start.


The ninth World Cup in history, and the first to be held in North America, the 1970 World Cup was met with excitement by the English side in particular. Once again the format stayed the same for this World Cup and both the hosts and the cup holders progressed from the Groups into the knockout stage. Both would be knocked out at the first stage though as West Germany first got their revenge over the England side, beating the Three Lions 3-2. Meanwhile Mexicoís progression stopped at the feet of Italy who themselves would make it all away to the Final.†

Historical notes for the competition that might be of interest is that the Soviet Union were the first side in World Cup history to use a substitute, making use of the new rule by bringing on Anatoliy Puzach.†

Also it was the hosts, rather than the holders of the cup, who actually kicked off the World Cup. This was the first time that happened and didnít happen again for another 36 years. A game between Sweden and Uruguay was the subject of rumors of bribery and, although the accusations were found later to be false, the referee was replaced just hours before the game kicked off.†

The Semi Final saw West Germany face Italy while in the other game Uruguay faced Brazil. This would guarantee a European against a South American Final and third place game.†
West Germany got the third spot by beating Uruguay 1-0 and Brazil convincingly took their third World Cup title spanking Italy 4-1.


Back to Europe we go for the tenth World Cup and again, like Mexico, we had a first. Carlos Caszely of Chile was the first player to get the red card in the tournament and maybe something they would not want to be known for.

If you get a chance to watch the Dutch team either on tape or through a video streaming site on the internet then I fully suggest you take the time because you will be watching the introduction of Total Football. It was the Netherlands first World Cup since 1938 and saw the set positions of defender, midfielder and strikers blur as the players either attacked or defended as a team.
The European dominance on European soil was in fine view with Brazil the highest non European side making it to fourth position. Total football eventually lost out to the West Germany in the final although the Dutch team did go a goal up before a German player had even touched the ball, thanks to a penalty.

A second penalty was issued to the Germans later on who tied up the game before Gerd Muller scored the go ahead goal, and eventual winner before the half had finished. This would mark the first time that the reigning European Champions also became the World Cup holders. Spain did it later but West Germany were first.


Argentina won their first title in the 1978 World Cup and became the fifth team to both host and win the World Cup. Of course Uruguay, England, Italy and West Germany had already done that, West Germany in the previous World Cup.

This World Cup was met with a little nervousness from other sides as the host nation had suffered a military coup in 1976, but the games went ahead. That wasnít the only controversy with this years World Cup though and one such debate now sees both the last Group games played at the same time.†

This World Cup saw the top two teams from the initial four groups then make up two groups in the Second round. It would be from these two groups which would see the Finalists chosen and also the two teams who would contest the third and fourth place game.†

England, like the USA didnít make it to the Argentinian World Cup and holders West Germany fell at the second group stage after not winning a single game from the three.†
Brazil beat Europeans Italy to the third place finish while host Argentina also beat European opposition to lift the trophy.†


The look at the World Cups will finish next week. Tuesday I will look at the 1982 Spanish World Cup and the 1986 World Cup return to Mexico. The USA didnít make these two World Cups either but the 1986 did see the participation of the Canadian World Cup side.

Wednesday I will focus on the 1990's which saw the return of the USA to the Worlds stage in Italy in 1990 before hosting the whole tournament in 1994. 1998 saw the Cup come back to Europe as France hosted the game which saw current US boss Jurgan Klinsmann score against the US side in the Group stage.

Thursday will be the Final section where I will look at all the World Cups in the 2000's. 2002 in South Korea and Japan, 2006 in Germany and finishing with the latest World Cup, and first on the African continent in South Africa.


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