The 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany has come to an end (and what an end it was)!! The tournament opened on Friday, 9 June 2006 (18:00 CET). In the opening match, the hosts, Germany, took on Costa Rica at the Stadion Munchen, Munich, Germany. The Germans won 4:2 in an exciting, attack-minded game.
10 July 2006: The first round (the group stage), second round (First Knockout Round), Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and now The Final are complete. Italy and France battled it out to see who would be World Champions in 2006. See below for details on how they made their way to the World Cup Final and the final result.
Sixteen teams met in the First Knockout Round from Saturday, 24 June to Tuesday, 27 June:
Germany beat Sweden in Munich (2:0); Argentina beat Mexico in Leipzig (2:1 AET); England beat Ecuador in Stuttgart (1:0); Portugal beat Netherlands in Nuremberg (1:0); Italy beat Australia in Kaiserslautern (1:0); Switzerland beat Ukraine in Cologne (0:0 AET, 3:0 pens); Brazil beat Ghana in Dortmund (3:0); and France beat Spain in Hannover (3:1).
The Quarter-Finals were played on Friday, 30 June to Saturday, 1 July:
Germany beat Argentina in Berlin (1:1 AET, 4:2 pens); Italy beat Ukraine in Hamburg (3:0); Portugal beat England in Gelsenkirchen (0:0 AET, 3:1 pens); France beat Brazil in Frankfurt (1:0).
The Semi-Finals were played on Tuesday, 4 July to Wednesday, 5 July:
Italy beat Germany (2:0 AET) in Dortmund and France beat Portugal (1:0) in Munich.
The Third Place Playoff, Germany v Portugal, was played on Saturday, 8 July (21:00 CET). Germany won on the day, beating Portugal 3:1 in Stuttgart.
Italy and France, the top two teams, contested the Final of the FIFA World Cup 2006 at the Olympiastadion, Berlin, Germany on Sunday, 9 July 2006 (20:00 CET). A cagey match turned nasty 10 minutes before the end of extra time. At 1:1, Zinedine Zidane lost his head and used it to attack Marco Materazzi after a confrontation between the two just 10 minutes before the penalty decider.
France lost the plot, and the match, as Italy went on to win 5:3 (on penalties) and lift the World Cup in Berlin. This year's World Cup Final will be remembered for all the wrong reasons, but in our opinion the best team won. CONGRATULATIONS to Italy - Forza Azzurri - who are deserved World Champions in 2006!
For the final scores from Stage 1 and Stage 2 go to FIFA's Official World Cup website.
It all began on 9 December 2005 in Leipzig, Germany, where the draw for the FIFA World Cup finals (32 teams) took place. The teams for Groups A to H are shown below.