FIFA World Cup 2006

FIFA World Cup was the 18th edition of the tournament, and it was hosted by . The tournament was played from June 9, 2006 to July 9, 2006. It was the second time that Germany staged the competition and the first as a Unified Country and 10th time that the tournament was held in .

Germany as host nation was granted automatic qualification, with the remaining 31 teams participated in the 2006 World Cup, including 13 European teams, 4 South American teams, 4 North American teams, African teams, Asian teams and team from Oceania group. Angola, Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Trinidad & Tobago and Togo  made their first appearance in this world cup. It was also the only appearance of Serbia & Montenegro under that name.

The tournament took place in 12 German cities, including Berlin, Cologne, Dortmund, Frankfurt, Gelsenkirchen, Hamburg, Hanover, Kaiserslautern, Leipzig, Munich, Nuremberg and Stuttgart. Each host city staged three group matches.

The Group began on 9th June 2006 with matches between Germany VS Costa Rica and 2nd match between Poland VS Ecuador. The group stages saw some exciting matches, with the likes of Germany, , England, Argentina and Mexico providing some memorable moments. Some memorable matches, including the group stage match between and Ivory Coast which ended 2-1. This match was especially remarkable because it featured the debut of Didier Drogba.

Round of 16 of FIFA World Cup 2006 began on 24th June 2006. Germany, , Argentina, Mexico, , Italy, Ukraine, England, Ecuador, Switzerland, Portugal, Netherlands, Brazil, Ghana, and qualified for this stage.

Quarter Final stage began on 30th June 2006. Germany defeated Argentina 4-2 on Penalty kicks. . Italy defeated Ukraine 3-0. Portugal defeated England 3-1 on Penalty kicks. Brazil (the defending Champions of World Cup) was defeated by France 0-1.

1st Semi Final was played on 4th July 2006 between Germany and Italy, Italy defeated Germany by 2-0. 2nd Semi Final was played on 5th July 2006 between France and Portugal, France defeated Portugal 1-0.

The Final match was held on 9th July 2006, at the iconic Olympiastadion in Berlin and featured a attendance of 69,000 spectators. Both Italy and France had gone unbeaten throughout the tournament, and it was clear that it would be a close-fought contest.

The match started with France taking the lead in the 7th minute through a goal from Zidane on Penalty kick. Italy responded with a goal in 19th minute, when Materazzi scored the equalizer. The game went on with both sides exchanging chances, but neither was able to break the deadlock. In 109th minute, world saw a famous Headbutt from Zidane to Materazzi's chest. The match eventually went to Penalty Kicks. Italy defeated France 5-3 on Penalty Kicks secured Italy's fourth ever World Cup title.

The atmosphere in Germany during the tournament was electric, with thousands of people descending on the stadiums to cheer on their teams.


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