June 21, 2010

World Cup stories from the SI Vault

The Samba No One Could Match (Brazil -- 1958)By John Mulliken, July 7, 1958Brazil led the others a not-so-merry dance in the World Soccer Cup -- against a lurid background of venturesome young blondes, political wrangles and superartistic football.

Viva Vava And Garrincha! (Brazil -- 1962)By Roy Terrell, June 25, 1962These triumphant players (below) were the heroes as Brazil won its second straight world soccer championship in Chile, the climax of an international tournament that began two years ago.

It Was Like V-E Day Revisited (England -- 1966)By Tex Maule, August 8, 1966With a melodramatic overtime victory against Germany, England won the world soccer championship and set off a celebration unseen since the days of blood, sweat and tears.

Pele And Pals Retire The Cup (Brazil -- 1970)By Tex Maule, June 29, 1970With a smooth, confident attack that made hash of Italy's normally strong defenses, the Brazilians booted their way to a surprisingly easy triumph for soccer's championship of the world in Mexico City.

The Orange Clockwork Stops (West Germany -- 1974)By Clive Gammon, July 22, 1974Favored Holland scored a quick goal in the World Cup final but after that her timing was off and her attack wasn't ticking, as West Germany took control and wound up winning her second championship.

On Top Of The World (Argentina -- 978)By Clive Gammon, July 3, 1978Playing with consuming passion before an ardent crowd, Argentina outlasted Holland to win its first World Cup 3-1 in overtime.

It Was Italy, Prettily (Italy -- 1982)By Clive Gammon, July 19, 1982Paolo Rossi exults while still on the ground as his header starts off Italy's 3-1 rout of West Germany in the final of the World Cup.

Tango Argentino! (Argentina -- 1986)By Clive Gammon, July 7, 1986Superstar Diego Maradona fast-stepped Argentina to the World Cup championship over West Germany in Mexico City.

Winning Ugly In Rome (West Germany -- 1990)By Clive Gammon, July 16, 1990In perhaps the unloveliest World Cup final ever, West Germany prevailed.

World Beaters (Brazil -- 1994)By Alexander Wolff, July 25, 1994Brazil won soccer's greatest prize in a not-so-great finale.

CoupDe Grâce (France -- 1998)By Grant Wahl, July 20, 1998Zinedine Zidane scored twice with his head to seize the hearts of a nation� and France's World Cup.

Seize The Day (Brazil -- 2002)By Grant Wahl, July 8, 2002A reborn Ronaldo awoke from his four-year nightmare and led Brazil to its fifth World Cup title with a performance for the ages.

Surreal World (Italy -- 2006)By Grant Wahl, July 17, 2006In a mad, mad final match, Italy rode its stalwart defense to a fourth championship, while the greatest player of his generation left the field in infamy after a shocking moment of mindless rage.

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