World Cup 1954

Held in Switzerland in the 50th Anniversary year of the formation of FIFA, the fifth playing of the World Cup saw the first win for (West) Germany. It also saw Scotland's first participation.

As in the previous years 16 teams were due to take part at the start of the tournament. In a convoluted seeding system, which only FIFA (or perhaps UEFA) could come up with, the 4 groups of four were made up of 2 seeded and 2 unseeded teams, with the seeded teams being prevented from playing each other.

Unseeded West Germany were the surprise package of the first round, qualifying for the knockout round by beating seeded Turkey in two encounters. Once in their regular game and then in a play off after finishing level on points with them. They were joined in the knockout stages by England, Switzerland, Hungary, Brazil, Uruguay, Yugoslavia and Austria.

In the semi finals, West Germany beat Austria 6-1 and Hungary defeated holders Uruguay 4-2 after extra time. Hot favourites Hungary then went on to lose 3-2 to West Germany in what the Germans refer to as "The Miracle of Bern", played at the comically named Wanksdorf Stadion.


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