Football World Cup 1982 » Winner – Teams – Statistics – History
Spain hosted the 1982 FIFA World Cup which saw Italy defeat West Germany 3-1 in the final. A changed format saw an expansion of the tournament to 24 participating teams with 52 matches played and 146 goals scored.
The football was spread across 17 venues in 14 cities beginning with Belgium's surprise defeat of Argentina in the opening game at the Nou Camp, Barcelona.
The draw for the first group stage saw 6 groups comprising four teams, with each group having a predetermined seeded team allocated to it.
Participating Teams of the 1982 World Cup Finals
1982 saw the World Cup expand from 16 to 24 teams, allowing for a more global presence with extra places for African and Asian nations. Europe still dominated the line up with 14 countries present though there were notable exceptions such as the Netherlands who had failed to qualify. England were at their first World Cup finals since 1970 and were joined by Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Spain qualified automatically as hosts, progressing to the second round group stage, but failing to advance further to the semi-finals. The Soviet Union, Belgium and Czechoslovakia were also back in the finals after failing to qualify for the previous two.
There were 5 countries making their first appearance at the World Cup Finals, these being Algeria, Cameroon, Honduras, Kuwait and New Zealand. Another Central American nation El Salvador, plus four South American sides, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Peru completed the line up in Spain.
Divided into four pots for the draw the 6 seeded nations for the tournament were Brazil, Argentina, West Germany, Spain, England and Italy.
Winner of the World Cup 1982
After a stuttering start in which they failed to win any of their opening group matches, Italy found form at the right time to progress to the final and beat West Germany 3-1 to win the World Cup for the third time. The round robin format of round one saw them only manage to draw all three group games against Poland, Peru and Cameroon.
Italy progressed to the next stage in second place, edging out Cameroon by way of having scored one more goal, both teams having the same goal difference.
In the new format for 1982 Italy found themselves placed in a group with Argentina and Brazil for the next stage, winning both to top the group. The match against Brazil was a classic World Cup game and took place at the Estadio Sarria in Barcelona. Italy possessed some talented players who came to the fore in this game. The attacking flair of the Brazilians had seen them win all four matches to this point, yet a Paolo Rossi hat-trick was to be their undoing as Italy won 3-2. A great save by legendary Italian goalkeeper Dino Zoff helped protect the lead.
A 2-0 win over Poland in the semi-final with two more goals from Golden Boot winner Rossi took them through to face West Germany in the final. Played at the Bernabeu in Madrid they took a 3-0 lead before a late German goal breached the stubborn Italian defence, but it was not enough to stop Italian celebrations.
The Story of 1982 FIFA World Cup
The opening group matches were noticeable for a few surprise results. Belgium set the ball rolling by beating defending champions Argentina in the very first match of the tournament before Algeria scored one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history.
Against all expectations they beat West Germany 2-1 but were not to progress further in the competition due to an infamous final group game between the German team and Austria. West Germany scored early on and then the rest of the game went sterile with hardly any further chances. It was a result which ensured both West Germany and Austria progressed at the expense of Algeria.
Hosts Spain finished second in their group following a surprise 1-0 defeat to Northern Ireland who topped the group. England won group 4 ahead of France, the French having been involved in a controversial game against Kuwait. The Kuwaiti players had stopped on hearing a whistle they assumed was from the referee but was in fact from the stands. France scored in the meantime and following massive protests the referee disallowed the goal although France still went on to win the game 4-1.
A further round of group matches saw the remaining 12 teams battle it out in four groups of three with the group winners progressing to the semi-finals. England went out at this stage along with the hosts Spain following a goalless draw, West Germany winning the group. Diego Maradona could not help Argentina from going out too as Italy beat them 2-1 and also Brazil 3-2 to progress. Poland and France also won their groups to complete the semi-final line-up.
West Germany were involved in another controversial incident in overcoming the French in their semi-final. With the match poised at one apiece, the German goalkeeper Schumacher hurtled out of his goal to challenge oncoming French midfielder Patrick Battiston, catching him in the head with his hip and knocking Battiston out. The offence went completely unpunished. Extra time was eventually required and the French threw away a 3-1 lead before the Germans won the first ever World Cup penalty shootout.
Meanwhile, Italy faced Poland for a place in the final having only drawn with them in the first round group stage. This time a Paolo Rossi double without reply sent the Italians through to face West Germany in the Final. After missing a penalty, goals from Rossi, Marco Tardelli and Alessandro Altobelli helped Italy lift the trophy with a 3-1 win. Poland had to settle for third place after beating France in the third-fourth place play-off, securing their best result in the World Cup finals since 1974.