FIFA World Cup

A brief history of Fifa World Cup: West Germany 1974, when the hosts won a battle of total football

It was the year the new World Cup trophy came along, marking the end of Brazilian domination in more than one way.

It’s that time again! The greatest show on earth is upon us. Ahead of the Fifa World Cup in Russia, we look-back at the 20 tournaments before and the standout aspects from them.

In 1974, the football map changed, as Joga Bonito was replaced by Total Football as the flavour of the tournament.

West Germany 1974

It was the year the new World Cup trophy came along, marking the end of Brazilian domination in more than one way. With Pele gone, Brazil were no longer the proponents of playing attractive football at a time Ajax and Bayern Munich were revolutionising club football in Europe.

The 1974 World Cup in West Germany also saw a new format, with the quarters and semi-finals scrapped in favour of two group phases. It also saw the birth of “total football” – the Netherlands of the brilliant Johan Cruyff, and Franz Beckenbauer’s West Germany, were the leading exponents of the new art which involved players switching positions at will to open up defences.

The highlight of the first round came when East Germany shocked West Germany 1-0 in Hamburg, Jurgen Sparwasser scoring the goal. It would later emerge that there was plenty of discord within the West Germany camp. The result, however, meant the hosts avoided the Netherlands and Brazil in the next round.

“All hell broke loose in our training camp when we lost. Helmut Schon was in a right mood, and we were up till the early hours trying to work out how we had lost. It shouldn’t have happened. We should have beaten them,” said Gerd Mueller, about that defeat, adding, “although with hindsight, it was a good thing we lost. Otherwise, we’d have been in the other group. If we’d won, we’d have been in the same group as Holland and Brazil.”

The Dutch were a delight as they romped into the second stage, and victories over East Germany, Argentina and Brazil secured them a place in the final. There they faced West Germany, who had seen off an impressive, free-scoring Poland in the other group.

Barely a minute from the start the Dutch went ahead when Cruyff won a penalty, scored by Johan Neeskens. However, Paul Breitner equalised after 25 minutes and just before half-time Gerd Muller scored the clincher.

Stats and trivia

  • The trophy that Beckenbauer held aloft after the final was a replacement for the Jules Rimet Cup that Brazil had retained after 1970, for having won the World Cup thrice.
  • The penalty that Holland won in the opening minute of the final was the first in the history of title-deciding clashes of the World Cup.
  • 14: Mueller finished his World Cup tally with 14 goals, the last of them being the tournament clincher. And all 14 came from inside the penalty area, while 50% of them were headers (5) or volleys (2). His seven goals from inside the six-yard box is a World Cup record, with Miroslav Klose scoring six. Der Bomber was a true fox in the box.
  • Helmut Schon, the West Germany coach in three World Cups (’66, ’70 and ’74) is the only one to led a country to three top-three finishes – second place in 1966, third four years later and gold in 1974. Schon also holds the record for most World Cup matches as coach.
  • Haiti’s Ernst Jean-Joseph became the first player to fail a dope test at the World Cup, and was reportedly beaten up by his own squad officials after the test results came in.
  • TWO: Believe it or not, only twice have the reigning continental champions gone to win the subsequent edition of the World Cup and West Germany were the first in 1974. Spain followed suit in 2010.
  • While players have been sent off before, Carlos Caszely of Chile became the first player to be shown a red card in a World Cup match. The yellow-red system was only introduced in 1970.
  • Leading goal-scorer: Grzegorz Lato (Poland) – 7 goals
  • Total number of goals score in the tournament: 97 (2.6 goals per match) 

For your viewing pleasure

The final between two European powerhouses

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Official poster

Reuters
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Swara Bhasker: Sharp objects has to be on the radar of every woman who is tired of being “nice”

The actress weighs in on what she loves about the show.

This article has been written by award-winning actor Swara Bhasker.

All women growing up in India, South Asia, or anywhere in the world frankly; will remember in some form or the other that gentle girlhood admonishing, “Nice girls don’t do that.” I kept recalling that gently reasoned reproach as I watched Sharp Objects (you can catch it on Hotstar Premium). Adapted from the author of Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn’s debut novel Sharp Objects has been directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, who has my heart since he gave us Big Little Lies. It stars the multiple-Oscar nominee Amy Adams, who delivers a searing performance as Camille Preaker; and Patricia Clarkson, who is magnetic as the dominating and dark Adora Crellin. As an actress myself, it felt great to watch a show driven by its female performers.

The series is woven around a troubled, alcohol-dependent, self-harming, female journalist Camille (single and in her thirties incidentally) who returns to the small town of her birth and childhood, Wind Gap, Missouri, to report on two similarly gruesome murders of teenage girls. While the series is a murder mystery, it equally delves into the psychology, not just of the principal characters, but also of the town, and thus a culture as a whole.

There is a lot that impresses in Sharp Objects — the manner in which the storytelling gently unwraps a plot that is dark, disturbing and shocking, the stellar and crafty control that Jean-Marc Vallée exercises on his narrative, the cinematography that is fluid and still manages to suggest that something sinister lurks within Wind Gap, the editing which keeps this narrative languid yet sharp and consistently evokes a haunting sensation.

Sharp Objects is also liberating (apart from its positive performance on Bechdel parameters) as content — for female actors and for audiences in giving us female centric and female driven shows that do not bear the burden of providing either role-models or even uplifting messages. 

Instead, it presents a world where women are dangerous and dysfunctional but very real — a world where women are neither pure victims, nor pure aggressors. A world where they occupy the grey areas, complex and contradictory as agents in a power play, in which they control some reigns too.

But to me personally, and perhaps to many young women viewers across the world, what makes Sharp Objects particularly impactful, perhaps almost poignant, is the manner in which it unravels the whole idea, the culture, the entire psychology of that childhood admonishment “Nice girls don’t do that.” Sharp Objects explores the sinister and dark possibilities of what the corollary of that thinking could be.

“Nice girls don’t do that.”

“Who does?”

“Bad girls.”

“So I’m a bad girl.”

“You shouldn’t be a bad girl.”

“Why not?”

“Bad girls get in trouble.”

“What trouble? What happens to bad girls?”

“Bad things.”

“What bad things?”

“Very bad things.”

“How bad?”

“Terrible!!!”

“Like what?”

“Like….”

A point the show makes early on is that both the victims of the introductory brutal murders were not your typically nice girly-girls. Camille, the traumatised protagonist carrying a burden from her past was herself not a nice girl. Amma, her deceptive half-sister manipulates the nice girl act to defy her controlling mother. But perhaps the most incisive critique on the whole ‘Be a nice girl’ culture, in fact the whole ‘nice’ culture — nice folks, nice manners, nice homes, nice towns — comes in the form of Adora’s character and the manner in which beneath the whole veneer of nice, a whole town is complicit in damning secrets and not-so-nice acts. At one point early on in the show, Adora tells her firstborn Camille, with whom she has a strained relationship (to put it mildly), “I just want things to be nice with us but maybe I don’t know how..” Interestingly it is this very notion of ‘nice’ that becomes the most oppressive and deceptive experience of young Camille, and later Amma’s growing years.

This ‘Culture of Nice’ is in fact the pervasive ‘Culture of Silence’ that women all over the world, particularly in India, are all too familiar with. 

It takes different forms, but always towards the same goal — to silence the not-so-nice details of what the experiences; sometimes intimate experiences of women might be. This Culture of Silence is propagated from the child’s earliest experience of being parented by society in general. Amongst the values that girls receive in our early years — apart from those of being obedient, dutiful, respectful, homely — we also receive the twin headed Chimera in the form of shame and guilt.

“Have some shame!”

“Oh for shame!”

“Shameless!”

“Shameful!”

“Ashamed.”

“Do not bring shame upon…”

Different phrases in different languages, but always with the same implication. Shameful things happen to girls who are not nice and that brings ‘shame’ on the family or everyone associated with the girl. And nice folks do not talk about these things. Nice folks go on as if nothing has happened.

It is this culture of silence that women across the world today, are calling out in many different ways. Whether it is the #MeToo movement or a show like Sharp Objects; or on a lighter and happier note, even a film like Veere Di Wedding punctures this culture of silence, quite simply by refusing to be silenced and saying the not-nice things, or depicting the so called ‘unspeakable’ things that could happen to girls. By talking about the unspeakable, you rob it of the power to shame you; you disallow the ‘Culture of Nice’ to erase your experience. You stand up for yourself and you build your own identity.

And this to me is the most liberating aspect of being an actor, and even just a girl at a time when shows like Sharp Objects and Big Little Lies (another great show on Hotstar Premium), and films like Veere Di Wedding and Anaarkali Of Aarah are being made.

The next time I hear someone say, “Nice girls don’t do that!”, I know what I’m going to say — I don’t give a shit about nice. I’m just a girl! And that’s okay!

Swara is a an award winning actor of the Hindi film industry. Her last few films, including Veere Di Wedding, Anaarkali of Aaraah and Nil Battey Sannata have earned her both critical and commercial success. Swara is an occasional writer of articles and opinion pieces. The occasions are frequent :).

Watch the trailer of Sharp Objects here:

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This article was published by the Scroll marketing team with Swara Bhasker on behalf of Hotstar Premium and not by the Scroll editorial team.