1990 FIFA World Cup Italy™

1990 FIFA World Cup Italy™

8 June - 8 July

Italy 1990

West Germany's 1990 winners in numbers

West Germany celebrate winning Italy 1990
© Getty Images

Amidst 'The Fall of the Wall', Franz Beckenbauer and pupils had another bulging blockade to break through. It comprised two of their fiercest rivals, the reigning European and the defending world champions, Dragan Stojkovic, Carlos Valderrama, Marco van Basten, Tomas Skuhravy, Paul Gascoigne and Diego Maradona, and injury, stricture, suspension and missing studs.

They did it in style. FIFA.com presents the statistical story of West Germany’s conquering of the 14th FIFA World Cup™.


caps is what the 12 men who represented Germany in the Rome decider retired with (83 per player on average). Argentina’s 13 players called it quits with 480 (37).


West Germans who didn’t make their squad scored more goals in the 1989/90 Bundesliga than Frank Mill, who was one of four strikers included. Mill hit just two goals in 24 appearances for Borussia Dortmund, hadn’t scored in 17 internationals, and was approaching 32 years of age, yet unexpectedly got the nod ahead of the likes of Stefan Kuntz, Roland Wohlfarth and Fritz Walter.


years and four months was the age at which Paul Steiner became Germany’s fourth-oldest debutant as a substitute against Denmark in their final warm-up game. The Cologne defender never played for his country again but retired with as many World Cup winners’ medals as caps. Steiner remains the fifth-oldest player to have debuted for the Germans behind Karl Tewes (debut 1920, 34 years and 39 days), Karl Sesta (debut 1941, 35 years and 83 days), Matthias Mauritz (debut 1959, 34 years and 188 days) and Martin Max (debut 2002, 33 years and 253 days).


per cent of the votes is what won Jurgen Klinsmann the best individual performance of Italy 1990 for his exhibition against the Netherlands in the Round of 16. After his strike partner Rudi Voller was sent off in the first quarter of the game, “Klinsmann played for them both in a brilliant, almost perfect performance,” according to Suddeutsche Zeitung. In the vote, cast by media members, it beat, in order, the performances of Stojkovic against Spain, Guido Buchwald against Argentina, Roger Milla against Colombia, Lothar Matthaus against Yugoslavia and Michel against Korea Republic.


minutes: that was the earliest West Germany scored one of their 15 goals at Italy 1990. The same country had netted seven of their goals by the 25th minute at Switzerland 1954. Only one other World Cup-winning team took longer to net a goal than West Germany in 1990 – Brazil four years later, albeit by merely a minute.


was the age that makes Bodo Illgner the youngest goalkeeper to play in a World Cup Final. His opposite number in the semi-finals, England’s Peter Shilton, made his top-flight debut for Leicester City one year before Ilgner was even born.


successive successful spot-kicks at the World Cup is what West Germany made thanks to Andreas Brehme’s title-winning strike. The Hamburg native, who had missed the only penalty he had taken in normal time at international level, stepped up because first-choice taker Matthaus had lost one of the studs on his right-boot. Brehme remains the only player to have scored penalties with both feet in the World Cup.


goals is what West Germany netted in Group D. Of the 12 sides to have scored double-digits in their first-phase pool, only one other has gone on to lift the Trophy – Brazil in 2002.


goals and assists combined was the total Andreas Brehme – playing at left-back – got at Italy 1990. It was the second-highest return behind Italy striker Salvatore Schillaci, who got seven (six goals, one assist), and is comfortably a record for a defender at one World Cup.


games is what it took West Germany to keep a clean sheet. Italy of 1938 are the only other World Cup-winning team to fail to keep a shutout in their first four outings. Ironically, Illgner became the first goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet in its Final – something he didn’t realise until a reporter asked him about it in Illinois during USA 1994!


of the West Germans who began the Final were based at Italian clubs. Brehme, Matthaus and Klinsmann represented Inter Milan, while Thomas Berthold and Voller were at Roma. The only other triumphant team to start the decider with more than three players playing in the same foreign country was France, who began with Italy-based quartet Lilian Thuram, Marcel Desailly, Zinedine Zidane and Youri Djorkaeff against Brazil in 1998.


countries have lifted the Trophy without trailing during their campaign, with West Germany being the last in 1990. Italy did it in 1938, when they played only four matches, and ’82.


volleys in 23 minutes in their final qualifier is what Beckenbauer’s side scored to dramatically snatch a place at Italy 1990. West Germany finished behind the Netherlands in Group 4, and would have lost out to Denmark in the battle for one of Europe’s two runners-up places had they not beaten Wales. Trailing to a Malcolm Allen goal, efforts from Voller and Thomas Hassler – a corker to mark his first at international level – spared the two-time world champions’ blushes.


man in World Cup history has managed the wondrous feat of scoring a goal with each foot from outside the box in the same game – Matthaus against a formidable Yugoslavia side in 1990. The 29-year-old midfielder lithely spun his marker and, with his left foot – something he claims he was only taught to use by Giovanni Trapattoni the previous year – fired the ball into the bottom corner from 24 yards to break the deadlock. Matthaus then carried the ball from inside his own-half, stylishly side-stepping Davor Jozic en route, and powered the ball home from just under 30 yards.

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