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Chile 1962

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Let's look back at WC 1962, the seventh World Cup, held in Chile and won by Brazil, their second win and as the holders as well (although they weren't the first to win two or win two in a row).

A devastating earthquake struck Chile in May 1960 seemingly cruelling Chile's chances of winning the vote to host the World Cup. 5000 people died and 1/3 of Chile's buildings were damaged. It took a special appeal from Chile's FA President to FIFA to sway the vote: "It is because we now have nothing that we must have the World Cup". They won the vote.

But not everyone was happy about this. Two Italian journalists went too far though, criticising many aspects of Chile. As luck would have it, Chile met Italy in the first round. It was a brutal match from the first foul after just 12 seconds to the very end. There had been some rough games in prior World Cups but many observers credit this match as the beginning of the "win at all costs" attitude at the World Cup.

Have you heard of Luxembourg? Probably, but you may not be aware of their WC record. It's appalling. Their qualifying record stands at 100 games, 2 wins, 2 draws and 96 losses. Their for/against record is 50/340. They have finished bottom of their group on every attempt (and obviously have never qualified for the finals). The qualifiers for WC 1962 saw Luxembourg claim their first qualifying points after 54 years of trying! They defeated the mighty Portugal 4-2. It would be another 14 years before they saw another point. Now many countries have failed to qualify so that's not their record. Luxembourg's claim to fame is that they are the only country (yes the only one) to have played in every WC qualifying tournament. The fact they've never reached the finals just makes this record a very miserable one.

On June 10, Yugoslavia defeated West Germany in a quarter-final. Nothing too remarkable about that, except that it was the third consecutive World Cup where the two countries met in a World Cup quarter-final - a unique sequence. Remarkably the countries met again in 1974 (in a second round group) and in 1990 (in the first round) and in 1998 (after the unification of Germany and the political fragmentation in Yugoslavia) where they finished equal on points in their first round group.