World Cup 1954: West Germany, Hungary and the Miracle of Berne | Football News

As one of the few European countries not deeply affected by World War II, Switzerland was chosen to host the 1954 World Cup.

Host: Switzerland
Team: 16
Format: Group stage, knockout
Matches: 26
Goal: 140
Winner: West Germany
runner-up: Hungary
Golden shoe: Sandor Kocsis (Hungary)


As one of the few European countries that was not deeply affected by World War II, Switzerland was chosen to host the 1954 World Cup when the tournament returned to Europe after 16 years.

The World Cup was held in six cities in the Alpine country. In addition to the home team and defending champion Uruguay, 14 qualified teams from across Europe, the Americas and Asia.

The change in venue from the last World Cup in Brazil has resulted in a change of atmosphere from the frivolous and excited family crowds to a much smaller audience in the stadiums nestled between Alps mountain range.

However, action on the ground made up for it. The tournament saw a number of high-profile matches that broke multiple records.

History of World Cups:

How the last World Cup was born in 1930

Controversies and concussions at the 1934 FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup 1938: Italy defends title before World War II breaks out

World Cup 1950: When football’s biggest event resumes after World War II

Austria beat Switzerland 7-5 in 90 minutes still holding the record for most goals scored in a World Cup match.

South Korea, meanwhile, are in last place: 16 goals conceded and none scored.

The high-scoring clashes culminated in a final that one will remember for years as one of the biggest conflicts.

Hungary are the favorites thanks to their Olympic gold medal in 1952 and an unbeaten streak of 32 wins.

Their all-star squad is led by football’s first ever global superstar Ferenc Puskas.

However, Puskas was injured in the group stage match against the same opponent and played in the final although not fully recovered. He was still able to put his side ahead with a goal in the sixth minute. The favorites were sure to claim a predictable victory when Zoltan Czibor scored a second two minutes later.

But the West German returned to the game with a goal in the 10th minute from Max Morlock and one from Helmut Rahn in the 18th minute.

The comeback was completed with Rahn’s goal six minutes away. West Germany made history with what is known as Berne’s Miracle.

High level

It was a high scoring league with 140 goals, averaging 5.38 goals/game, the highest ever.

This became the first World Cup to be televised, although not all matches were shown and did not take place for their full length.

Puskas, widely regarded as one of the game’s first global superstars, played his first World Cup.


South Korea made their debut and went to a World Cup in the worst way, conceding 16 goals and scoring none before being eliminated.

South American power Argentina refused to participate for the third time in a row.

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