On Sunday at 11 a.m. ET, Croatia will face France in the World Cup final. To celebrate, let’s take a look back at the tournament’s 10 best finals ever.
10. Germany 1, Argentina 0; July 13, 2014
What began as a relatively bland match exploded in extra time. In the 113th minute, André Schürrle sent a cross toward Mario Götze, who chested the ball down to his left foot and then volleyed it in for the game-winning goal. For his effort, the then 22-year-old forward was named Man of the Match.
9. West Germany 2, Netherlands 1; July 7, 1974
After Johan Neeskens converted a penalty in the second minute, it appeared that the Johan Cruyff-led Netherlands would cruise to their first World Cup title. Germany, however, had other plans. After Paul Breitner scored on a penalty shot to tie the score in the 25th minute, Gerd Müller notched the match-winner in the 43rd minute.
8. France 3, Brazil 0; July 12, 1998
In front of a raucous home crowd, France shocked defending World Cup champion Brazil. The final score wasn’t close, but there was plenty of drama. Zinedine Zidane scored two goals-both with his head-and Emmanuel Petit scored in injury time to put the finishing touches on the French’s first world title.
7. Spain 1, Netherlands 0; July 11, 2010
After a rough-and-tumble match that featured Nigel de Jong booting Xabi Alonso in the chest and Iker Casillas making a spectacular save of what looked like a sure goal by Wesley Sneijder, Spain struck in extra time. In the 116th minute, Andrés Iniesta took a pass from Cesc Fàbregas and hit a low rocket past goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.
6. Italy 1, France 1 (penalties); July 9, 2006
What the 2006 final lacked in sheer artistry, it made up for with intense drama. With the score knotted 1-1 in extra time, Zinedine Zidane reacted to Marco Materazzi’s offensive taunt by headbutting the Italian defender in the chest. Zidane was then shown a red card. Italy won on penalties, with Fabio Grosso converting the last shot, but the match will always be remembered for the way one of the greatest players of all-time ended his international career in infamy.
5. Brazil 4, Italy 1; June 21, 1970
This was Brazil at its absolute peak. Pelé headed home the opening goal and Gérson, Jairzinho, and Carlos Alberto each scored once for the victors. The World Cup title was Brazil’s third in four tries. They wouldn’t win it again until 1994.
4. England 4, West Germany 2; July 30, 1966
With the score knotted 2-2 in extra time, England’s Geoff Hurst scored what turned out to be the match-winner. The legendary goal, which famously may or may not have crossed the goal line, lifted the English to their first and still only World Cup title. Hurst also added another goal, his third of the day, just before the final whistle.
3. Uruguay 2, Brazil 1; July 16, 1950
In one of the biggest World Cup upsets ever, Uruguay toppled power Brazil at the Maracanã. Juan Alberto Schiaffino equalized in the 66th minute and Alcides Ghiggia’s goal in the 79th minute proved to be the winner.
2. West Germany 3, Hungary 2; July 4, 1954
Four years after Uruguay’s stunner, West Germany pulled off an incredible upset. In the final, the Germans edged Hungary, which had been steamrolling opponents at a rate never seen at the World Cup. Helmut Rahn’s spectacular goal in the 84th minute lifted Germany to its first World Cup title.
1. Argentina 3, West Germany 2; June 29, 1986
After Germany amazingly erased a two-goal deficit, Diego Maradona once again came to Argentina’s rescue. In the 84th minute, he played a perfect pass to Jorge Burruchaga, who scored to give Argentina a 3-2 victory. Maradona, the Golden Ball winner, finished the tournament with five goals and five assists.