Football World Cup 1990 » Winner – Teams – Statistics – History
The 1990 World Cup, held in Italy was a 31-day tournament won by West Germany. They defeated Argentina in the final, with the hosts Italy finishing in 3rd place.
The Golden Boot for most goals scored went to the Italian Salvatore Schillaci who scored 6, and he was also crowned as the tournament’s best player as well. It still holds the record for averaging the lowest number of goals per game and was the last World Cup where teams were only awarded 2 points for a win.
Participating Teams of the 1990 World Cup Finals
The European representatives at the 1990 World Cup were Italy, West Germany, Belgium, England, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Sweden, Austria, The Netherlands, Scotland, Spain, The Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.
South America was represented by Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia and Uruguay, while Africa was represented by Cameroon and Egypt.
The tournament was completed by South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.
The 24 teams were put into 6 groups of 4, with Italy, Czechoslovakia, Cameroon, Romania, Brazil, Costa Rica, West Germany, Yugoslavia, Spain, Belgium, England and the Republic of Ireland qualifying from their groups through to the round of 16. Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay and the Netherlands also went through by virtue of being the best ranked third-placed teams in the group stage.
Winner of the World Cup 1990
West Germany proved successful, winning their third World Cup title by defeating Argentina 1-0 in the final. The Germans were dominant in the group phase, beating Yugoslavia and the United Arab Emirates 4-1 and 5-1 respectively.
In the second round they went on to beat the Netherlands in an infamous battle which saw Frank Rijkaard and Rudi Voller both sent off as the Dutchman spat at his German compatriot. A Lothar Matthaus penalty saw Germany squeeze past Czechoslovakia in the quarter-final stage, and West Germany were pushed even further in the semi-finals as it took a penalty shoot-out for them to defeat Bobby Robson’s England.
The final itself was another ill-tempered affair. Argentina went into the game having a diminished squad due to injury and suspension, and in addition to this, Diego Maradona had managed to unite the host country against Argentina. With the Argentines beating the Italian hosts on penalties in the semi-finals, the rest of the country took the World Cup Final as an opportunity to boo every Argentine touch.
Argentina were reduced to nine men, and eventually succumbed to an Andreas Brehme penalty in the 85th minute. The German coach Franz Beckenbauer, who had already won the World Cup as a player in 1974 led his side to World Cup glory as a manager as well, avenging their defeat in the previous World Cup final against the same side 4 years earlier.
The Story of 1990 FIFA World Cup
The 1990 World Cup was quite a defensive tournament, with low scoring games being a regular feature. However, a few lasting memories of the tournament have endured.
Cameroon shocked the world, with Roger Milla becoming an iconic figure. As they emerged victorious against Romania, the 38-year-old Cameroonian scored twice before performing his iconic dance against the corner flag in a memory that is still brought up today. Cameroon surprised everyone and carried on through to the quarterfinals before they were eventually defeated by England. Even that was so nearly a shock, as it took two late Gary Lineker penalties for England to see off the African side.
England were another side who provided entertainment throughout, battling through three games going into extra time in the knockout stage of the tournament. They first defeated Belgium in the round of 16, where a David Platt volley in the 119th minute saw England through to the quarterfinals. There, England needed penalties in the 83rd and 105th minute to overturn a 2-1 deficit before winning 3-2 against Cameroon. However, their luck was to end in the semi-finals, as missed penalties by Chris Waddle and Stuart Pearce saw the side lose 4-3 on penalties against West Germany in a match that is still looked upon as one of the most heartbreaking defeats any England side has ever suffered.
Diego Maradona’s tournament was also the story of the World Cup. After his personal success at the 1986 World Cup, which is widely regarded as the single greatest individual performance ever at a tournament, Maradona was tasked with carrying a depleted Argentina side on his shoulders while also carrying an injury. Coupled with the tournament being held in the country where he was playing his club football for Napoli, Maradona inspired his side and riled all of Italy outside of Naples. A glorious run provided the assist as Argentina beat Brazil in the second round, and Maradona scored the penalty that eliminated the host side in the semi-finals before they fell to the West Germans.