World Cup finals

FC Bayern’s incredible World Cup final run

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From Madrid in 1982 through to Moscow in 2018, there has always been at least one Bayern player in the final of the World Cup over the last 10 editions. It's a record only Inter Milan can match. The likes of Klaus Augenthaler, Bixente Lizarazu, Philipp Lahm and Corentin Tolisso all got their hands on the trophy, but there were also painful defeats for some Munich-based players. looks back at those finals with a dash of Bayern involvement.

1982: Breitner's goal in vain

1982 World Cup final in Madrid: West Germany 1-3 Italy

Paul Breitner 1982 World Cup final
Breitner missed out on a second World Cup crown in the 1982 final.

Three Bayern players – in Paul Breitner, Wolfgang Dremmler and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge – took to the pitch for the World Cup final on 11 July 1982. The German trio had early got out of a group featuring Algeria, Chile and Austria before topping a second group ahead of England and hosts Spain to reach the semi-finals. What followed was a memorable encounter with Michel Platini's France as Jupp Derwall's side came from 3-1 down in extra-time to take the game to penalties and progress to the final. However, Germany came up short at the final hurdle and were beaten 3-1 by Italy.

A goal in the 83rd minute from Breitner in his 48th and final international appearance failed to turn things around after being three down. But the 1974 world and 1972 European champion did make history as one of only four players to score in two World Cup finals. However, that 1982 goal holds little significance for the 1981 German Footballer of the Year: "When you lose a World Cup final 3-1, then nobody is interested in who scored the goals. The penalty from 1974 is what counts for me. The other means nothing to me," Breitner later explained in an interview with members' magazine '51'.

1986: Matthäus & Co. miss out despite comeback

1986 World Cup final in Mexico City: West Germany 2-3 Argentina

Matthäus Maradona 1986 World Cup final Germany Argentina
The 1986 World Cup final saw another battle between Lothar Matthäus and Diego Maradona.

West Germany were back in the final again four years later as Klaus Augenthaler, Norbert Eder, Lothar Matthäus and Dieter Hoeneß took on Argentina and Diego Maradona in front of 114,000 at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. The South Americans looked to be cruising at 2-0 up in the 74th minute, but coach Franz Beckenbauer's men then battled back with two goals in the space of seven minutes from Rummenigge and Rudi Völler. However, Argentina struck back themselves just three minutes after the equaliser as Jorge Burruchaga's winner earned the Albiceleste the second of their two World Cup titles to date.

Thirty-six years later, Bayern legend Matthäus brought the 1986 final back to life when Germany's most capped player donated the shirt he had received from Maradona, who passed away in 2020, to collector Marcelo Ordas for his museum. It was a moment that filled Matthäus with great joy: "A piece of history is coming back. It makes me proud. It was always a great honour to play against Diego. He was the best, not just as a player but also as a person."

1990: Unforgettable night in the Eternal City

1990 World Cup final in Rome: Germany 1-0 Argentina

1990 World Cup final Germany Argentina
Germany celebrated their third world title at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico.

After the disappointments of 1982 and 1986, Germany finally got their hands on the World Cup again at the third time of asking. Raimond Aumann, Augenthaler, Jürgen Kohler, Hans Pflüger, Stefan Reuter and Olaf Thon made it six Bayern players involved as Germany avenged their previous defeat to Argentina with a 1-0 win in Rome.

Beckenbauer's men dominated the game but left it late in Italy as an Andreas Brehme penalty settled things. The circumstances behind the former Bayern defender stepping up to take are now part of German folklore. The designated spot-kick taker was actually Matthäus, who had also put away the decisive penalty against Czechoslovakia in the quarter-final, but he voluntarily stepped aside in the Stadio Olimpico. The reason for his decision was that he had been forced to change his boots at half-time and didn't quite have the confidence in them that he would've liked.

Germany's third World Cup success on 8 July 1990 was also a very special day for Bayern legend Augenthaler. Having made his international debut in 1983, the 1990 final was his last game with the national team and is a night he obviously still looks back on very fondly: "I was almost 33 and knew it was my last tournament. And then we became world champions! You can't achieve more than that," he said in an interview to mark his 65th birthday.

1994: Jorginho wins in Pasadena

1994 World Cup final in Pasadena: Brazil 0-0 Italy (Brazil won 3-2 on penalties)

Jorginho 1994 World Cup Brazil USA
Jorginho with the World Cup trophy in 1994.

There was also a Bayern element to the first World Cup final held in the USA as Brazil's Jorginho, who had won the Bundesliga with Bayern the same year, ensured there would still be a world champion in Munich in 1990. Now 58, the former right-back and the Selecao were crowned in front of 94,000 spectators in Pasadena, California after beating Italy. While it was the first title for the 65-time Brazil international, it was his country's fourth of five World Cup successes.

1998: Lizarazu's coronation in Saint-Denis

1998 World Cup final in Paris: France 3-0 Brazil

Lizarazu 1998 World Cup France Brazil
Then Bayern star Lizarazu celebrated France’s first world crown together with Zinedine Zidane.

1998 saw a Bayern player crowned world champion for the third time in a row as Lizarazu and France won the title on home soil. The left-back had moved to Munich from Athletic Bilbao in 1997 and was a key part of Les Bleus' success, starting six of the seven games in the tournament as the hosts won all of their matches – by an aggregate score of 15-2 – to win the World Cup for the first time. They comfortably beat Brazil 3-0 in the final.

That 1998 triumph kickstarted the most successful part of Lizarazu's career as he also went on to win Euro 2000 with his country and then the 2001 Champions League with Bayern.

2022: The Titan's World Cup

2002 World Cup final in Yokohama: Germany 0-2 Brazil

Oliver Kahn 2002 World Cup Germany Brazil
Germany and captain Oliver Kahn were beaten 2-0 by Brazil in the final in Japan.

Germany contested a World Cup final for the seventh time on 20 June 2002 looking to add to their triumphs from Bern in 1954, Munich in 1974 and Rome in 1990. However, few expected ahead of the 17th World Cup – and first in Asia – that Rudi Völler's team would get there. Germany had only qualified thanks to a play-off win against Ukraine and weren't in good form. However, they wanted to change that in Japan and South Korea, as Völler announced "a few surprises" before heading to the Far East.

Those words had an effect on Bayern's quartet of Oliver Kahn, Thomas Linke, Jens Jeremies and Carsten Jancker. An 8-0 thrashing of Saudi Arabia in the first group game was Germany's biggest win ever at a World Cup finals. A 1-1 draw with Ireland and 2-0 victory over Cameroon saw the team through to the knockout stages, where defence – led by Kahn – came to the fore. The 86-time capped goalkeeper proved unbeatable in the round of 16, quarter and semi-finals as Germany won 1-0 each time to advance to the final.

Der Titan had already been named in the team of the tournament before the final, but he proved there that he was in fact human. He'd managed to keep everything out until the 67th minute when he parried a Rivaldo shot into the path of Ronaldo, who finished to put Brazil in course for the title. A second goal from the striker rounded off a 2-0 win for the Selecao.

2006: Sagnol comes up short

2006 World Cup final in Berlin: France 1-1 Italy (Italy won 5-3 on penalties)

Willy Sagnol France Italy 2006 World Cup
Willy Sagnol and France came up short on penalties in a memorable final in Berlin.

The 2006 World Cup was known as a summer fairy tale in Germany and was very nearly almost one for Willy Sagnol. However, the former Bayern full-back came up just short in the final in Berlin as France were beaten on penalties by Italy.

The French had succumbed to the now common champions curse in 2002 and been knocked out in the group stage. However, they went from strength to strength in the knockout rounds of the 18th World Cup. Despite only just coming through the group – with one win and two draws – in second place behind Switzerland, Raymond Domenech's team then brushed aside Spain (3-1) before a statement 1-0 win over Brazil in the quarter-finals. Another victory by the same score against Portugal in the semis saw France advance to one of the most memorable and dramatic finals in World Cup history. After captain Zidane was sent off for a headbutt, the game in Berlin went to penalties as Italy lifted their fourth World Cup.

2010: Robben thwarted by Casillas

2010 World Cup final in Johannesburg: Spain 1-0 Netherlands (a.e.t.)

Arjen Robben Spain Netherlands 2010 World Cup
Iker Casillas made a crucial save against Arjen Robben.

The 2010 final between the Netherlands and Spain was the first time in 32 years that two teams who had never before won the World Cup competed for the trophy. Dutch coach Bert van Marwajik started two Bayern players in Johannesburg with Arjen Robben and Mark van Bommel as the Oranje tried to make it third time lucky in finals after coming up short in 1974 and 1978. However, it wasn't to be their day in South Africa. The Dutch came close to striking several times in a very hard-fought game, but it was Andres Iniesta who had the final say in the 116th minute to give Spain a maiden world title.

Things could've ended differently that day if not for a crucial moment in the 62nd minute when Robben – usually so cool in front of goal – found himself free in front of Casillas but was denied by the right foot of the Spanish goalkeeper. The eight-time Bundesliga winner still talks about moments like that and how they have become a sort of film in his head.

2014: Germany's fourth star

2014 World Cup final in Rio de Janeiro: Germany 1-0 Argentina (a.e.t.)

Bayern legend Bastian Schweinsteiger celebrating Germany’s fourth world crown with Thomas Müller and Philipp Lahm.

Germany returned home from Brazil in 2014 with the country's fourth World Cup title after a 1-0 final win over Argentina and Lionel Messi in Rio de Janeiro. Joachim Löw's side were excellent from the start in South America, beating Portugal and the USA, plus a draw with Ghana, to top their group. They were taken to extra-time by Algeria in the round of 16 as an inspired Manuel Neuer helped them to a 2-1 win. Germany then saw off France in the quarter-final before a heavyweight clash with Brazil in the semis. Amazingly, it was only the second time the nations had faced off in a World Cup, but we all remember what happened that day in Belo Horizonte. Germany thumped the hosts 7-1 – their heaviest defeat in a World Cup – to storm into the final. There were six Bayern players who then started in Rio, in Neuer, Thomas Müller, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Jerome Boateng, Lahm and Toni Kroos. A seventh joined the fray in the 88th minute when Mario Götze came on. Just fifteen minutes later, he'd scored perhaps the most important goal in his career.

2018: Tolisso the last Bayern world champion

2018 World Cup final in Moscow: France 4-2 Croatia

Corentin Tolisso France Moscow 2018 World Cup
The highlight of Corentin Tolisso’s career came in the rain in Moscow.

There was also a Bayern representative at the last World Cup final in 2018 as midfielder Corentin Tolisso came on for Blaise Matuidi in the 73rd minute of France's 4-2 win over Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. It made Coco a world champion at the age of just 23 as Les Bleus won their second crown. Tolisso was later welcomed back to Säbener Straße with a world champion cake by Hasan Salihamidzic.

There are 16 Bayern players in action at the 2022 World Cup:

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