Host country: Chile
The South American tournament had 16 teams and was renowned for being a timeless festival of football due to the legends that were on display. Pele, who starred at the 1958 competition four years earlier, was injured in Brazil’s second game of the group stage against Czechoslovakia which ended his contribution prematurely.
Lev Yashin is widely regarded as one of the best keepers of all time for his USSR performances, but the Black Spider struggled in Chile ’62 and the Soviet Union were eliminated by the hosts in the quarter-finals. This was despite them topping Group 1 unbeaten and scoring an impressive eight goals.
Brazil made their way to the Santiago final by beating England and Chile – scoring seven times in the process – where they met Czechoslovakia. The two teams had been drawn together in Group 3 – drawing 0-0 – and the South Americans claimed top spot.
The final was a dominant display by Brazil and even without Pele they showed great attacking flair. Despite going behind after 15 minutes through Josef Masopust, the Seleção came back to win 3-1 and claim their second World Cup in a row.
Host country: England
Champions: England (first title)
The 1966 World Cup is remembered wistfully by fans of England as this was their first major trophy win and, judging by recent performances, it is likely to remain that way for years to come. They were also the hosts that year and they claimed the Jules Rimet Trophy at the old Wembley stadium, which has now been replaced.
This remains the single tournament that the football mad country has hosted, and it was the last to be broadcast in black and white with the Three Lions becoming the third host nation to claim the crown. Of the 16 competing nations, 10 were from UEFA, four from CONMEBOL, plus North Korea and Mexico.
The home side showed their quality from the early stages and topped Group 1 ahead of Uruguay; other favourites West Germany and Argentina also qualified from theirs on five points. The knockout stage was where the competition came to life and England beat Argentina to reach the semis and then Portugal to advance to the final, with each of their fixtures taking place at the national stadium.
West Germany reached the July 30th showpiece event by beating Uruguay and the Soviet Union. The game itself was memorable for its competitiveness; a 2-2 draw in normal time led to an extra 30 minutes of classic football with Bobby Charlton going close before Geoff Hurst finished 11 minutes into the first-half. The goal provoked uproar, however, as to this day it is not certain that the ball fully crossed the line with Swiss referee Gottfried Dienst awarding it. Hurst then completed his hat-trick in the final minute to secure the 1966 World Cup for England.