1954 World Cup

The 1954 German World Cup team

History Before the World Cup

The sight of the 1954 Weltmeisterschaft was in Switzerland. The Swiss had been granted the tournament at FIFA's first post-war congress in 1946, and they had spent eight years building new stadiums for the great occasion. After the Second World War, the three German states (West and East Germany and the Saar) were not allowed to compete in the 1950 World Cup; as a consequence, the qualification games for the 1954 World Cup were the first return of West Germany national squad to international competitions. In the world of Fußball in the early 1950's everyone in the world knew that Hungary was the best team around. They were projected to win the World Cup by most people. Never has a team been a bigger favorite to win the cup than the Hungary soccer team. There were sixteen teams that competed for the 1954 World Cup, and it was the first soccer tournament to ever be televised.

The border between East and West Germany

The Cup

In the quarter final round of the tournament, West Germany had beaten Yugoslavia 2-0. Moving on to the next round, they were set to play the Austria team. This game was an absolute blowout with West Germany winning 6-1. Winning this game put them into the championship round where they were matched up against the best team in the tournament; Hungary. To get to the championship game, Hungary had beaten Brazil and Uruguay, both games with a score of 4-2 in favor of the Hungarians. Hungary was obviously a clear favorite in the championship game. They had a team of all star players matched up against the West Germany team who was composed of mostly amateurs. The match between West Germany and Hungray was played in heavy rain, weather conditions the German side had christened “Fritz Walter-weather”, as the German team captain Fritz Walter was known for playing his best football under those conditions. , Ferenc Puskás put the Hungary team ahead after only six minutes. When Zoltán Czibor added the second goal for Hungary a mere two minutes later, the pre-tournament favorites seemed destined to ease to victory over Germany, just as they had in the group stages. However, Germany equalised quickly, with goals from Max Morlock (10') and Helmut Rahn (18'). Having leveled the scores, the Germans now looked a match for the Hungarians and managed to reach half time at 2–2, with both teams having missed several promising chances to take the lead. In the second half, the Hungarians poured forward looking to retake the lead, but their attempts were repeatedly foiled by the German defence, with Torwart (goalkeeper) Toni Turek pulling off several fine saves.

German player and Hungary player fighting for the ball

The Win

With the match tied at 2-2 at half time, it stayed the same for most of the second half. With great Verteidigung (defense) being portrayed by both sides, a miracle happened for the Germans in the 84th minute of the game. With six minutes left, German striker Helmut Rahn scored West Germany's third goal. Two minutes before the end, Puskás appeared to equalize once more, but he was ruled off-side by the Welsh linesman Benjamin Griffiths. The match and Hungary’s unbeaten run ended in one of the biggest upsets in the history of football. Helmut Rahn was deemed a Held (hero) by the German team, and the whole country of West Germany.

Helmut Rahn, who scored the game winning goal

The Game's Importance

The World cup is always an exciting event for all countries. Whenever a country wins the World Cup, there is always great excitement. When West Germany won the 1954 World Cup though, it was more than just excitement for them. The unexpected win evoked a wave of euphoria throughout Germany, which was still suffering in the aftermath of World War II. This was also the first time since the Second World War that the German national anthem was played at a global sporting event. The 1954 victory is regarded as a turning point in post-war German history by German historians Arthur Heinrich and Joachim Fest. Furthermore, the Germans have dug themselves in as a sporting superpower since that first World Cup victory. The Germans winning the World Cup in 1954 was more than just another sporting victory. It was the start of a new beginning for a damaged country after World War II.

The German team celebrating after their victory over Hungary


1. Weltmeisterschaft - World Cup, literally translated as World Championship

2. Fußball - Soccer

3. Verteidigung - Defense in soccer

4. Torwart - Goalie/ Goal keeper

5. Held - Hero


1. “1954 FIFA World Cup Final.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 30 Sept. 2013. Web. 13 Oct. 2013.

2. “1954 FIFA World Cup Switzerland ™ -” FIFA World Cup, n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2013.

3. Alsos, Jan. “Planet World Cup - 1954 - Overview.” Planet World Cup - 1954 - Overview. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2013.

4. Brewin, John, and Martin Williamson. “FIFA World Cup.” ESPNFC. ESPN Internet Ventures, 10 Nov. 2009. Web. 13 Oct. 2013.

5. Chris. “World Cup Moments: Das Wunder Von Bern, 1954.” International Football News World Cup Blog RSS. Bootsnall Travel Network, 11 Mar. 2010. Web. 13 Oct. 2013.

6. “Mourning the “Miracle of Bern”” DW.DE. N.p., 14 Aug. 2003. Web. 13 Oct. 2013.

ger/101/2013/fall/soccer.txt · Last modified: 2013/10/13 15:42 by tasalm
Except where otherwise noted, content on this wiki is licensed under the following license: CC Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Recent changes RSS feed Donate Powered by PHP Valid XHTML 1.0 Valid CSS Driven by DokuWiki