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Sunday, May 3, 1998 Published at 17:33 GMT 18:33 UK

Meet the BBC Team
Spain 1982


[ image: Dino Zoff raises the World Cup]
Dino Zoff raises the World Cup
The World Cup was getting bigger. The number of teams in the finals rose from 16 to 24 and FIFA reorganised the system.

Some teams played for draws but Italian striker Paulo Rossi was positive. He turned from villain to hero to fire Italy to glory.

Who played?

There were 109 nations in the qualifying rounds with 24 places in the finals. England, Scotland and Northern Ireland were there but former champions Uruguay missed out for the first time since 1958.

What happened?


As the Kuwaitis leave the field in protest: "the situation is completely out of control" [1'06'']
Kuwait caused a storm against France by walking off the pitch in protest after a row over whether the referee had blown his whistle to stop play.


[ image: Prince Fahid of Kuwait]
Prince Fahid of Kuwait
They were ordered back on by Prince Fahid and the match finally finished with France winning 4-1.

France were involved in controversy again in a pulsating semi-final against West Germany. The Germans came back from 3-1 down in extra-time to force a penalty shoot-out which they won. France had been denied a likely goal by an X-rated foul on Patrick Battiston by German goalkeeper Harald Schumacher who cheated a red card and became the hero in sudden death penalties.

Northern Ireland recorded a famous win against the hosts before bowing out while England's two goalless draws in the second stage were not enough.


[ image: Paulo Rossi proved a star for Italy]
Paulo Rossi proved a star for Italy
Italy came through their second stage group ahead of Brazil and holders Argentina to face Poland in the other semi.

Two goals from Paulo Rossi secured a meeting with the Germans in the final. It was a glorious comeback for Rossi after he had been banned in a bribery and match-fixing scandal.


The three goals that clinched the Italian win [57'']
Rossi's sixth goal of the tournament and one each from Marco Tardelli and Alessandro Altobelli's were too much for West Germany as Italy ran out 3-1 winners and became the first Europeans to be world champions three times.

Any lasting memories?

West Germany set out their stall as penalty kings. Their nerve-jangling victory over France was the first time a shoot-out had decided a World Cup tie. It would not be the only time the Germans held their nerve. Antonio Cabrini also became the first player to miss a spot kick in the tournament's final.





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In this section:

Radio 5 Live's France 98 Coverage

Platini - legend on and off the pitch

Ten of the best

England can't rely on lady luck

Uruguay 1930

USA 1994

Italy 1990

Mexico 1986

Sweden 1958

World Cup History

Switzerland 1954

Spain 1982

Brazil 1950

France 1938

Mexico 1970

England 1966

Italy 1934

Argentina 1978

Germany 1974

Chile 1962

No ticket to ride

Tackling new rules

BBC TV at the heart of France 98