World Cup 1982
Runners-up: West Germany
Third Place: Poland
Fourth Place: France
Top Goalscorer: Paolo Rossi (Italy) – 6 Goals
Participants: 24 (Algeria, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, Czechoslovakia, El Salvador, England, France, Honduras, Hungary, Italy, Kuwait, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Peru, Poland, Scotland, Soviet Union, Spain, West Germany, Yugoslavia)
The 12th World Cup was to be held in Spain, which considering their lacklustre displays in qualifying in recent years, was a godsend to Spanish followers. However, they could not do what others have done before them which was win the tournament as hosts. In fact, they didn’t even get close as they lost out in the quarters.
Italy were eager to regain their status as one of the World biggest forces in international football and did this by winning their third World Cup title and gain revenge over Germany by avenging their 1970 final defeat against West Germany and beating the Germans 3-1 in the show-piece. With this, Italy drew level with Brazil on three World Cup crowns and shared the status as the most successful nation in World Cup history.
The tournament was marked as one of the greatest tournaments in history, second after the 1970 finals, after some memorable encounters. This was also the first World Cup to feature 24 countries, with the tournaments preceding having 16 teams or less.
Italy 3 – 1 West Germany – Estadio Santiago Bernabeu ~ 90,000 Attendance
Italy – Rossi, Tardelli, Altobelli
West Germany – Breitner
Third Place Play-Off:
Poland 3 – 2 France
Poland – Szarmach, Majewski, Kupcewicz
France – Girard, Couriol