The World Cup graced the cover of Sports Illustrated for the first time, commemorating host Argentina's first title. Behind Daniel Passarella, the Argentines won a thrilling finale over the Netherlands in extra time.
2 of 7Leo Mason/SI
July 7, 1986
Argentina won its second title on the back of megastar Diego Maradona, whose infamous "Hand of God" goal against England in the quarterfinals would live in Cup lore forever.
3 of 7Chris Covatta/SI
July 4, 1994
The U.S. hosted the World Cup for the first time, drawing Stateside attention to the sport unseen since the days of the NASL. The success of the tournament would give rise to Major League Soccer two years later.
4 of 7Simon Bruty/SI
July 25, 1994
Behind the leadership and scoring touch of Romario (holding trophy), Brazil hoisted its fourth title after a thrilling shootout victory over Italy in the final at the Rose Bowl.
5 of 7Bill Frakes/SI
May 27, 2002
He was touted as the U.S.' next big star, but Clint Mathis never became the brand name soccer pundits hoped he would. Even so, Team USA performed better than anyone expected at Japan/Korea '02...
6 of 7Pascal Guyot/AFP/SI
June 24, 2002
Behind emerging young star Landon Donovan, the U.S. advanced out of a tough group that included Portugal and Poland, shocked Mexico in the round of 16 and nearly pulled off a huge upset of eventual finalist Germany in the quarterfinals.
7 of 7Simon Bruty/SI
June 5, 2006
Team USA's steady march into the upper tiers of world soccer has been buoyed by young talent such as (from left) DaMarcus Beasley, Donovan, Oguchi Onyewu and Bobby Convey. The former U.S. Under-17 quartet is looking to take the national team where it has never been: the semifinals or beyond.
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