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Top five World Cup finals

Ahead of tonight's showpiece event, Sports Mole picks out the five most memorable World Cup finals of all time.

The 20th World Cup final will take place between Germany and Argentina in Rio de Janeiro this evening.

It's often a match that is a tactical and cagey affair, with both sides overly aware of what is at stake. However, on a handful of occasions, the showpiece event has thrown up some entertaining encounters.

Here, Sports Mole has picked out the top five World Cup finals since the tournament got underway 84 years ago in 1930.


1. Uruguay 2-1 Brazil, 1950

In a four-team final group, all hosts Brazil needed to do was avoid defeat against Uruguay inside the Maracana to win their first World Cup. So, when Friaca put them in front two minutes after the restart, the match appeared to be going with the script. Yet, the 200,000 supporters would return home stunned as late goals from Juan Alberto Schiaffino and Alcides Ghiggia secured the trophy for Uruguay for a second time. It's still regarded today as one of the competition's biggest ever shocks.



2. West Germany 3-2 Hungary, 1954

Spearheaded by the likes of Sandor Kocsis, Ferenc Puskas and Zoltan Czibor, Hungary were expected to romp their way to the 1954 title. They appeared to be living up to that billing all the way to final, having recorded 9-0 and 8-3 wins over South Korea and West Germany respectively. The Germans would once again provide the opposition in the final, where another thrashing appeared to be on the cards courtesy of early goals from Puskas and Czibor. Yet, goals from Max Morlock and Helmut Rahn had Germany level before the break, while Rahn sealed the victory for his side six minutes from time.



3. England 4-2 West Germany, 1966

To this day, the World Cup final at Wembley in 1966 remains the finest moment in the history of English football. After 90 minutes the teams were locked on two goals apiece courtesy of Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters for England, while Helmut Haller and Wolfgang Weber weighed in for the Germans. Extra time belonged to Hurst, though, as he completed his hat-trick to hand the hosting Three Lions the trophy for the first and so far only time.



4. Brazil 4-1 Italy, 1970

Arguably the best ever international team in Brazil of 1970 tore apart the Italians inside Mexico City's Estadio Azteca. Pele broke the deadlock with his fourth goal of the tournament, but that was soon cancelled out by Roberto Boninsegna. Second-half goals from Gerson and Jairzinho put the Brazilians back in the ascendancy, but it wasn't until the 86th minute that the game's most memorable moment occurred. After several passes, full-back Carlos Alberto powered the ball into the bottom corner of the Italian net.



5. Argentina 3-2 West Germany, 1986

When German duo Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Rudi Voller cancelled out early strikes from Jose Luis Brown and Jorge Valdano, it seemed that the second World Cup final in Mexico City was going to head into extra time. However, Diego Maradona, who had been uncharacteristically quiet up until the 83rd minute, split the German defence with a low pass for Jorge Burruchaga, who beat the offside trap with a perfectly timed run. That left him with just Harald Schumacher to beat, which he did with great composure.



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Papa Bouba Diop scores the only goal of the game for Senegal against France on May 31, 2002.
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool35277179205988
2Manchester CityMan City34282487226586
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs352311165353070
4Chelsea35207859382167
5Arsenal34206868432566
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd34197863481564
7Watford35148135050050
8Everton35147145044649
9Leicester CityLeicester35146154847148
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves34139124142-148
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham35127164454-1043
12Crystal Palace35126174348-542
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle35118163544-941
14Bournemouth35125184962-1341
15Burnley35117174462-1840
16Southampton35910164158-1737
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3597193254-2234
18Cardiff CityCardiff3594223065-3531
RFulham3565243376-4323
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3535272069-4914

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