Host country: Mexico
This was the first of the two World Cups that have been hosted by Mexico to date, and it was the first to take place outside of either Europe or South America. Qualification began two years earlier and 14 teams joined the hosts and reigning champions England at the tournament.
Mexico 1970 produced the best attacking display at a World Cup, with an average of 2.97 goals a game – a record that has never been matched – despite issues of altitude and high temperatures. The Brazil side that won their third title in four competitions are widely regarded as one of the greatest World Cup sides of all-time – they won all six of their matches, including against England in the group stage.
The South Americans then saw off Peru and Uruguay before facing Italy in the final, where Pele opened the scoring on the way to a 4-1 victory. The legendary forward ended the tournament in Mexico with four goals, but Gerd Muller scored a remarkable 10 times, making him only the third player to get into double figures – the German is third in the all-time standings with 14 in 13 matches.
Host country: West Germany
Champions: West Germany
With the addition of the modern-day World Cup trophy, which was created by Silvio Gazzaniga, the 1974 tournament was a major landmark in the modernisation of the competition. It was hosted by West Germany and they claimed their second title; East Germany made their only appearance before the country was reunified 16 years later.
The East actually topped Group 1 ahead of the West with five points but then struggled in the second round as they finished third in Group A behind the Netherlands and Brazil. Poland made a major impact as they reached the last-four for the first time - Grzegorz Lato won the golden boot with seven goals as his country beat Brazil in the third-place play-off.
West Germany peaked at the business end of the tournament, winning each of their three second round games to set up a meeting with the Netherlands in the 7th July final. The hosts came from behind to win 2-1 and start a long rivalry with their European neighbours.