History of Football: FIFA World Cup - 1954

The fifth FIFA football World Cup tournament took place in Switzerland – from 16th June to 4th July 1954 – to commemorate the 50th anniversary of FIFA. A number of goalscoring records were broken during this tournament including the highest average goals scored per game.

This was the first World Cup tournament to be televised and all matches level after 90 minutes went to extra-time. If the scores were still tied after 120 minutes they were deemed to be drawn. The tradition of swapping shirts at the end of matches also began during this tournament.

Scotland took part for the first time. The Brazilian managers of 1954 (Zeze) and that of 1962 (Aimore Moreira) were the only brothers to have managed the same nation in World Cup finals.

The final was held in the Wankdorf Stadium in Bern - the smallest city to have hosted a World Cup Final – on 4th July 1954 in front of a crowd of 60,000. West Germany (also known as the Federal Republic of Germany, or FRG) beat 1938 finalists Hungary, 3.2, to win their first World Cup title.

Hungary – ‘The Magical Magyars’ – had been overwhelming favourites before the 1954 tournament began as reigning Olympic champions from 1952, and not having lost for 28 international matches. There were also allegations of doping among the German players in the final. West Germany’s scorers were Maximilian (“Maxl” or “Max”) Morlock and Helmut Rahn; Ferenc Puskás and Zoltán Czibor Suha scored for Hungary.

The Golden Boot (‘adidas Golden Shoe’ since 1982) award for most goals scored in the tournament was won by Sándor Kocsis of Hungary with 11 goals – the second highest ever by a player in a single tournament.

Winners: West Germany

Runners-up: Hungary

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