At Germany 2006, we may not have seen a team as flamboyant as the Brazilian team of 1970 or 1982 or an individual performance as great as Maradona’s in 1986, but nonetheless we will all be left with our own special memories, especially Italians. The history books will show that during this World Cup, a number of records were broken.
A clearly out-of-shape Ronaldo broke Gerd Muller’s legendary record of 14 World Cup goals, which he may increase further if he gets himself into shape by 2010 (unlikely). Team-mate Cafu has won his 16th match playing with Brazil but unfortunately also became the player who has received the most World Cup yellow cards (6).
Fellow countryman Felipao, stretched his record streak of consecutive World Cup victories to 11 before Zidane’s penalty ended it in the semis. Brazilian records are not only individual. They remain the most successful team, having gone to all 18 World Cup finals, winning 64 of their 92 matches scoring 201 goals. They also hold the record for most consecutive victories (13) and most victories in a tournament (7).
Turning to finalists France and Italy now. ZZ’s red card in the final made him only the second player to be send off in different tournaments. On the good side, he became only the fourth player to score 3 goals in finals (Pele, Vava and Hurst were the others). Italy’s fourth title moves them into second place behind Brazil (5). They also equalled France’s record set in 1982 for the highest number of different scorers in a tournament (10).
Germany have an enviable record at World Cups and by qualifying from their Group, remain the only team to have qualified for the knock-out stages at every tournament they have played. Their victory on penalties against Argentina means they are still undefeated in shoot-outs.
The Swiss set two records. They were the first team not to concede a goal and yet not reach the quarters and the first team to miss all their penalties in the shoot-out loss to the Ukraine. Portugal’s Ricardo became the first ‘keeper to save 3.
The tournament was the “hardest” of all-time with a total of 26 red and 310 yellow cards. Among the yellows shown were the 3 that Josep Simunic received from Graham Poll - another record…
Many records still remain, however. Here are a few of the best:
The 27 goals scored by Hungary in 1954.
The 5 goals in a single game scored by Oleg Salenko’s against Cameroon in 1994
The 171 tournament goals scored at France ‘98.
How many of these will remain after South Africa 2010?