The first internationally

The first internationally televised World Cup gave us Brazil's Samba soccer and 17-year-old sensation Pele, who scored six goals in the tournament. It also provided the first winner outside its home continent, Brazil, which defeated host Sweden in the final.

Despite the loss of Pele to injury, the Brazilians looked as dazzling as ever, overwhelming Chile 4-2 in the semifinal. The Czechs put up more of a fight in the final, but were overcome by two second-half goals as the Brazilians repeated as champions. England triumphed on home soil under Alf Ramsey, who'd revolutionized the national team. The 4-2 win over West Germany after extra time in the final remains the defining moment in English soccer, though the containment of Portugal a game earlier was equally decisive.

Brazil's free-scoring run through the rounds, a scintillating semifinal between Italy and Germany and Gordon Banks' "save of the century" against Pele in Brazil's classic group victory over England helped make this what is widely viewed as the best World Cup ever. Brazil downed Italy 4-1 in the final.The first World Cup in Argentina ended with a fifth title for a host nation. Mario Kempes won the Golden Boot with six goals, including two (to go with one assist) in Argentina's 3-1 victory over the Netherlands in the final.

This was Holland's second consecutive loss in a World Cup final. In the first 24-team finals .Italy unexpectedly matched Brazil with its third title. West Germany and Brazil were the favorites and both won every game in qualifying, but Italy, led by Paolo Rossi, who had recently returned from a match-fixing suspension, knocked off both en route to victory.Maradona owned the 1986 finals in Mexico, playing with fearlessness and guile–and a little luck, too, as his Hand of God goal helped Argentina slip past England in the quarterfinals.