the heat of Mexico '70, the 1974 World Cup was held in
the more temperate - and wetter - climate of West Germany.
As well as the hosts, and the reigning Champions Brazil,
there was a new power in World football - Holland.
of Amsterdam had
emerged as the dominant force in European football, with a
playing style built around a philosophy of "total"
football, and more importantly built around the most skilled
player of his generation - Johann Cruyff.
Ranged against Cruyff and the
"Clockwork Orange" were a West German team led by Franz
Beckenbauer. An unlucky loser in 1966, "Der
Kaiser" led the host nation comfortably to the final, the
only hiccup being an opening round 1-0 loss to neighbours East
The Germans suffered a shocking
start to the final, the first touch that keeper Sepp Maier
had was picking the ball out of his net after the Dutch scored a
penalty in the first minute. Steely German reolution won out
over the shadowplay of the Dutch, and after Paul Breitner
equalised (also from the spot), ace striker Gerd
sealed the victory, to the delight of the Munich crowd.