Brazil national football team
The Brazil national football team represents Brazil in international men's association football. Brazil is administered by the Brazilian Football Confederation, the governing body for football in Brazil, they have been a member of FIFA since 1923 and member of CONMEBOL since 1916. Brazil is the most successful national team in the FIFA World Cup, the main football international competition, being crowned winner five times: 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002. Brazil has the best overall performance in the World Cup, both in proportional and absolute terms, with a record of 73 victories in 109 matches played, 124 goal difference, 237 points, 18 losses. Brazil is the only national team to have played in all World Cup editions without any absence nor need for playoffs; the seleção is the most successful national team in the FIFA Confederations Cup with four titles: 1997, 2005, 2009 and 2013. In relation to ranking standings Brazil fare well, having the all-time highest average football Elo Rating, the fourth all-time highest football Elo Rating established in 1962.
In FIFA's own ranking, Brazil holds the record for most Team of the Year wins with 12. Many commentators and former players have considered the Brazil team of 1970 to be the greatest football team ever. Other Brazilian teams are highly estimated and appear listed among the best teams of all time, such as the Brazil teams of 1958–62, with honorary mentions for the gifted 1982 side. Brazil is the only national team to have won the World Cup on four different continents: once in Europe, once in South America, twice in North America and once in Asia, they share with France and Argentina the feat to have won the three most important men's football titles recognized by FIFA: the World Cup, the Confederations Cup, the Olympic tournament. They share with Spain a record of 35 consecutive matches undefeated. Brazil has notable rivalries with Argentina—known as the Superclássico das Américas in Portuguese—and Italy—known as the Clásico Mundial in Spanish or the World Derby in English. Brazil has produced players considered as the best of the world at their time and among the best in history, such are the cases of Pelé, Zico, Romário, Roberto Carlos, Rivaldo, Kaká and Neymar.
A common quip about football is: "Os ingleses o inventaram, os brasileiros o aperfeiçoaram". It is believed that the first game of the Brazilian national football team was a 1914 match between a Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo select team and the English club Exeter City, held in Fluminense's stadium. Brazil won 2–0 with goals by Oswaldo Gomes and Osman, though it is claimed that the match was a 3–3 draw. In contrast to its future success, the national team's early appearances were not brilliant. Other early matches played during that time include several friendly games against Argentina and Uruguay. However, led by the goalscoring abilities of Arthur Friedenreich, they were victorious at home in the South American Championships in 1919, repeating their victory at home, in 1922. In 1930, Brazil played in the first World Cup, held in Uruguay in 1930; the squad lost to Yugoslavia, being eliminated from the competition. They lost in the first round to Spain in 1934 in Italy, but reached the semi-finals in France in 1938, being defeated 2-1 by eventual winners Italy.
Brazil were the only South American team to participate in this competition. The 1949 South American Championship held in Brazil ended a 27-year streak without official titles; the last one had been in the 1922 South American Championship played on Brazilian soil. After that, Brazil first achieved international prominence; the team went into the last game of the final round, against Uruguay at Estádio do Maracanã in Rio, needing only a draw to win the World Cup. Uruguay, won the match and the Cup in a game known as "the Maracanazo"; the match led to a period of national mourning. For the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland, the Brazilian team was almost renovated, with the team colours changed from all white to the yellow and green of the national flag, to forget the Maracanazo, but still had a group of star players. Brazil reached the quarter-final, where they were beaten 4–2 by tournament favourites Hungary in one of the ugliest matches in football history, known as the Battle of Berne. For the 1958 World Cup, Brazil were drawn in a group with the USSR and Austria.
They beat Austria 3–0 in their first match drew 0–0 with England. Before the match, coach Vicente Feola made three substitutions that were crucial for Brazil to defeat the Soviets: Zito and Pelé. From the kick-off, they kept up the pressure relentlessly, after three minutes, which were described as "the greatest three minutes in the history of football", Vavá gave Brazil the lead, they won the match by 2–0. Pelé scored the only goal of their quarter-final match against Wales, they beat France 5–2 in the semi-final. Brazil beat Sweden 5–2 in the final, winning their first World Cup and becoming the first nation to win a World Cup title outside of its own continent. Pelé described it tearfully as a nation coming of age. In the 1962 World Cup, Brazil earned its second title with Garrincha as the star player, a mantle and responsibility laid upon him after the regular talisman, Pelé, was injured during the second group match against Czechoslovakia and unable to play for the rest of t
Italy national football team
The Italy national football team has represented Italy in association football since their first match in 1910. The squad is under the global jurisdiction of FIFA and is governed in Europe by UEFA—the latter of, co-founded by the Italian team's supervising body, the Italian Football Federation. Italy's home matches are played at various stadiums throughout Italy, their primary training ground is located at the FIGC headquarters in Coverciano, Florence. Italy is one of the most successful national teams in the history of the World Cup, having won four titles and appearing in two other finals, reaching a third place and a fourth place. In 1938, they became the first team to defend their World Cup title, due to the outbreak of World War II, retained the title for a further 12 years. Italy had previously won two Central European International Cups. Between its first two World Cup victories, Italy won the Olympic football tournament. After the majority of the team was killed in a plane crash in 1949, the team did not advance past the group stage of the following two World Cup tournaments, failed to qualify for the 1958 edition—failure to qualify for the World Cup would not happen again until the 2018 edition.
Italy returned to form by 1968, winning a European Championship, after a period of alternating unsuccessful qualification rounds in Europe appeared in two other finals. Italy's highest finish at the FIFA Confederations Cup was in 2013, where the squad achieved a third-place finish; the team is known as gli Azzurri. Blue is the traditional colour of the national teams representing Italy and it comes from the border colour of the royal House of Savoy crest used on the flag of the Kingdom of Italy; the national team is known for its long-standing rivalries with other top footballing nations, such as those with Brazil, France and Spain. In the FIFA World Ranking, in force since August 1993, Italy has occupied the first place several times, in November 1993 and during 2007, with its worst placement in August 2018 in 21st place; the team's first match was held in Milan on 15 May 1910. Italy defeated France by a score of 6–2, with Italy's first goal scored by Pietro Lana; the Italian team played with a system and consisted of: De Simoni.
First captain of the team was Francesco Calì. The first success in an official tournament came with the bronze medal in 1928 Summer Olympics, held in Amsterdam. After losing the semi-final against Uruguay, an 11–3 victory against Egypt secured third place in the competition. In the 1927–30 and 1933–35 Central European International Cup, Italy achieved the first place out of five Central European teams, topping the group with 11 points in both editions of the tournament. Italy would later win the gold medal at the 1936 Summer Olympics with a 2–1 victory in extra time in the gold medal match over Austria on 15 August 1936. After declining to participate in the first World Cup the Italian national team won two consecutive editions of the tournament in 1934 and 1938, under the direction of coach Vittorio Pozzo and the performance of Giuseppe Meazza, considered one of the best Italian football players of all time by some. Italy hosted the 1934 World Cup, played their first World Cup match in a 7–1 win over the United States in Rome.
Italy defeated Czechoslovakia 2–1 in extra time in the final in Rome, with goals by Raimundo Orsi and Angelo Schiavio to achieve their first World cup title in 1934. They achieved their second title in 1938 in a 4–2 defeat of Hungary, with two goals by Gino Colaussi and two goals by Silvio Piola in the World Cup that followed. Rumour has it, before the 1938 finals fascist Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini was to have sent a telegram to the team, saying "Vincere o morire!". However, no record remains of such a telegram, World Cup player Pietro Rava said, when interviewed, "No, no, no, that's not true, he sent a telegram wishing us well, but no never'win or die'." In 1949, 10 of the 11 players in the team's initial line-up were killed in a plane crash that affected Torino, winners of the previous five Serie A titles. Italy did not advance further than the first round of the 1950 World Cup, as they were weakened due to the air disaster; the team had travelled by boat rather than by plane. In the World Cup finals of 1954 and 1962, Italy failed to progress past the first round, did not qualify for the 1958 World Cup due to a 2–1 defeat to Northern Ireland in the last match of the qualifying round.
Italy did not take part in the first edition of the European Championship in 1960, was knocked out by the Soviet Union in the first round of the 1964 European Nations' Cup qualifying. Their participation in the 1966 World Cup was ended by a 0–1 defeat at the hands of North Korea. Despite being the tournament favourites, the Azzurri, whose 1966 squad included Gianni Rivera and Giacomo Bulgarelli, were eliminated in the first round by the semi-professional North Koreans; the Italian team was bitterly condemned upon their return home, while North Korean scorer Pak Doo-ik was celebrated as the David who killed Goliath. Upon Italy's return home, furious fans threw fruit and rotten tomatoes at their transport bus at the airport. In 1968, Italy participated in their first European Championship, hosting the European Championship and winning their first major competition since the 1938 World Cup, beating Yugoslavia in Rome for the title. Th
Montpellier Hérault Sport Club is a French association football club based in the city of Montpellier. The original club was founded in 1919, while the current incarnation was founded through a merger in 1974. Montpellier plays in Ligue 1, the top level of French football and plays its home matches at the Stade de la Mosson, located within the city; the first team is captained by defender Hilton. Montpellier was founded under the name Stade Olympique Montpelliérain and played under the name for most of its existence. In 1989, after playing under various names, the club changed its name to its current form. Montpellier is one of the founding members of the first division of French football. Along with Marseille, Rennes and Nice, Montpellier is one of only a few clubs to have played in the inaugural 1932–33 season and is still playing in the first division; the club won Ligue 1 for the first time in the 2011–12 season. Montpellier's other honours to date include winning the Coupe de France in 1929 and 1990, the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 1999.
Montpellier is owned by Laurent Nicollin, the son of the late Louis Nicollin, a French entrepreneur, owner since 1974. The club have produced several famous players in its history, most notably Laurent Blanc, who has served as manager of the France national team. Blanc is the club's all-time leading goalscorer. Eric Cantona, Roger Milla, Carlos Valderrama and Olivier Giroud are other players who have played in Montpellier's colours. In 2001, Montpellier introduced a women's team. Montpellier Hérault Sport Club was founded in 1919 under the name Stade Olympique Montpelliérain by the Association Générale Sportive Montpelliéraine, which consisted of a handful of wealthy and ambitious citizens of Montpellier; the city of Montpellier had been in the process of creating a sports club in the city since 1914, the idea died due to World War I. Upon its creation, the sports club engaged in association football, rugby union, athletics and boxing; the club's headquarters was located at the local Café de Paris and carried the colours of the city and white.
After a few months of existence, SO Montpellier, under the advisement of its first president, merged with local club La Vie au Grand Air du Languedoc, formed in August 1917 and had been dedicated to the sport of football. The successful merger with VGAL and the acquisition of the club's players allowed Montpellier to adapt in the sport; the club spent its formative years playing in the Division d'Honneur Sud-Est. In 1925, the club was managed by Scotsman Victor Gibson; that same year, Montpellier endured an internal crisis after the French Football Federation discovered that the club had been guilty of financial misfeasance. The club's president was suspended from football for five years and Montpellier were relegated for the first time; the resulting penalties led to the departure of several players. In an effort to rebuild, the club changed its name to Sports Olympiques Montpelliérains and recruited several new players, most notably Branislav Sekulić, Roger Rolhion, the three Kramer brothers from Switzerland.
The rebuilding process was immediate as the club returned to the Division d'Honneur after one season. In 1929, the club won the Coupe de France. In the final, Montpellier faced FC Sète and recorded a 2–0 victory courtesy of goals from Auguste Kramer and Edmond Kramer. In July 1930, the National Council of the French Football Federation voted 128–20 in support of professionalism in French football. Montpellier, along with most clubs from the south, were among the first clubs to adopt the new statute and, became professional and were founding members of the new league. Ahead of the first campaign, Montpellier continued to perform well in the Coupe de France and reached the final for the second time in three years in 1931. Montpeller were unable to win its second title after being dismantled 3–0 in the final by Club Français. In the league's inaugural season, Montpellier finished mid-table in its group. After two more seasons in the league, Montpellier were relegated after finishing in 15th place in 1935.
Soon after, it was revealed. The club's steering committee decided to dissolve the club and return to its former name Stade Olympique Montpelliérain, which resulted in the club's debt being erased in the eyes of the federation; the new club remained in Division 2 until earning promotion to Division 1 after winning the second division in 1946. In Montpellier's return to Division 1, the club struggled finishing in the bottom-half of the table in three straight seasons. In 1950, the club was back in Division 2 after finishing 17th in the 1949–50 French Division 1 season. After a short return to Division 1, Montpellier were back in the second division in 1953. In the spring of 1953, the club's president, known by the surname Fox, brought in former French international Julien Darui to act as a player-coach. After nine months, Darui was dismissed from his position. After the departure of Darui, the club was ordered to pay up to ₣5 million after the federation discovered financial and accounting irregularities in the club's accounts.
The federation subsequently gave Fox a lifetime ban from French football. In November 1957, a local clergyman, Ferdinand Bessède, was named as president of the club. Bessède cleaned up the club's finances and, by 1961, Montpellier were back in Division 1. After an encouraging 8th-place finish in its return, Montpellier faltered back down to Division 2 after finishing in 19th place
Naples is the regional capital of Campania and the third-largest municipality in Italy after Rome and Milan. In 2017, around 967,069 people lived within the city's administrative limits while its province-level municipality has a population of 3,115,320 residents, its continuously built-up metropolitan area is the second or third largest metropolitan area in Italy and one of the most densely populated cities in Europe. First settled by Greeks in the second millennium BC, Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited urban areas in the world. In the ninth century BC, a colony known as Parthenope or Παρθενόπη was established on the Island of Megaride refounded as Neápolis in the sixth century BC; the city was an important part of Magna Graecia, played a major role in the merging of Greek and Roman society and a significant cultural centre under the Romans. It served as the capital of the Duchy of Naples of the Kingdom of Naples and of the Two Sicilies until the unification of Italy in 1861.
Between 1925 and 1936, Naples was expanded and upgraded by Benito Mussolini's government but subsequently sustained severe damage from Allied bombing during World War II, which led to extensive post-1945 reconstruction work. Naples has experienced significant economic growth in recent decades, helped by the construction of the Centro Direzionale business district and an advanced transportation network, which includes the Alta Velocità high-speed rail link to Rome and Salerno and an expanded subway network. Naples is the third-largest urban economy in Italy, after Rome; the Port of Naples is one of the most important in Europe and home of the Allied Joint Force Command Naples, the NATO body that oversees North Africa, the Sahel and Middle East. Naples' historic city centre is the largest in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a wide range of culturally and significant sites nearby, including the Palace of Caserta and the Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Naples is known for its natural beauties such as Posillipo, Phlegraean Fields and Vesuvius.
Neapolitan cuisine is synonymous with pizza – which originated in the city – but it includes many lesser-known dishes. The best-known sports team in Naples is the Serie A club S. S. C. Napoli, two-time Italian champions who play at the San Paolo Stadium in the southwest of the city, in the Fuorigrotta quarter. Naples has been inhabited since the Neolithic period; the earliest Greek settlements were established in the Naples area in the second millennium BC. Sailors from the Greek island of Rhodes established a small commercial port called Parthenope on the island of Megaride in the ninth century BC. By the eighth century BC, the settlement had expanded to include Monte Echia. In the sixth century BC the new urban zone of Neápolis was founded on the plain becoming one of the foremost cities of Magna Graecia; the city grew due to the influence of the powerful Greek city-state of Syracuse, became an ally of the Roman Republic against Carthage. During the Samnite Wars, the city, now a bustling centre of trade, was captured by the Samnites.
During the Punic Wars, the strong walls surrounding Neápolis repelled the invading forces of the Carthaginian general Hannibal. Naples was respected by the Romans as a paragon of Hellenistic culture. During the Roman era, the people of Naples maintained their Greek language and customs, while the city was expanded with elegant Roman villas and public baths. Landmarks such as the Temple of Dioscures were built, many emperors chose to holiday in the city, including Claudius and Tiberius. Virgil, the author of Rome's national epic, the Aeneid, received part of his education in the city, resided in its environs, it was during this period. Januarius, who would become Naples' patron saint, was martyred there in the fourth century AD; the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, Romulus Augustulus, was exiled to Naples by the Germanic king Odoacer in the fifth century AD. Following the decline of the Western Roman Empire, Naples was captured by the Ostrogoths, a Germanic people, incorporated into the Ostrogothic Kingdom.
However, Belisarius of the Byzantine Empire recaptured Naples in 536, after entering the city via an aqueduct. In 543, during the Gothic Wars, Totila took the city for the Ostrogoths, but the Byzantines seized control of the area following the Battle of Mons Lactarius on the slopes of Vesuvius. Naples was expected to keep in contact with the Exarchate of Ravenna, the centre of Byzantine power on the Italian Peninsula. After the exarchate fell, a Duchy of Naples was created. Although Naples' Greco-Roman culture endured, it switched allegiance from Constantinople to Rome under Duke Stephen II, putting it under papal suzerainty by 763; the years between 818 and 832 were tumultuous in regard to Naples' relations with the Byzantine Emperor, with numerous local pretenders feuding for possession of the ducal throne. Theoctistus was appointed without imperial approval. However, the disgruntled general populace chased him from the city, instead elected Stephen III, a man who minted coins with his own initials, r
David Désiré Marc Ginola is a French former international football player who has worked as an actor and football pundit. Ginola was born in Gassin, a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France. A former forward, he played football for ten seasons in his native France before making the move from Paris Saint-Germain to Newcastle United in the English Premier League in July 1995, he continued playing in the Premier League for Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa and Everton before retiring in 2002. Since his retirement from the game he has become involved including acting. Ginola is a regular contributor to BBC, BT and CNN, he hosts'Match of ze Day', a program which broadcasts live Premier League matches on Canal+. On 16 January 2015, Ginola announced his intention to run for the FIFA presidency. However, 14 days on 30 January 2015, Ginola withdrew his bid for the FIFA presidency, after failing to receive the required backing of at least five national football associations.
Ginola played at club level for Toulon, RC Paris, Paris Saint-Germain, Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa and Everton. Ginola made his first senior appearance for Sporting Toulon as an eighteen-year-old in a 1985 2–0 victory away at Metz, he played fourteen times in his first season, by 1986 he was a regular in the Toulon line-up. In 1988, he moved to RC Paris, where he remained until signing for Brest in 1990. There, he began to impress observers with his flamboyant style of play. In 1991, he played a crucial role in a landmark victory against the side who would go on to sign him, Paris Saint-Germain F. C.. Ginola joined the French capital club in January 1992, at a time when it was pushing for major honors with the financial backing of TV channel Canal+, he took little time to adapt to his new surroundings and soon conquered the Parc des Princes crowd with his elegant first touch and his pace. At the same time, he was going through tough times with the national football team coached by Gérard Houllier, but the Parisian public never seemed to begrudge him for that.
In fact, he would go on to become one of the most popular footballers among the notoriously uncompromising Parisian supporters. He became such a fan favorite that when he admitted that he supported Paris Saint-Germain's fierce rivals Olympique Marseille as a boy and that he would have joined them rather than PSG had an agreement been struck with Bernard Tapie, his popularity did not suffer any consequence. In his first full season with PSG, Ginola won the Coupe de France and reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup. At the end of 1993, he was won the French Footballer of the Year award from the France Football magazine. 1993–94 would turn out to be the best season of his career, though it was blighted by a personal all-time low for Ginola, occurring in November 1993. He was blamed for a defeat suffered by the French national football team against their Bulgarian opponents, which eliminated Les Bleus from the 1994 FIFA World Cup. While suffering heartache with his country, Ginola was shining with his club.
A star-studded PSG side featuring the likes of Paul Le Guen, Bernard Lama and Antoine Kombouaré and coached by Portuguese tactician Artur Jorge won the second league title of its history, losing only three times along the way. Ginola played an important role in this title-winning campaign, providing 13 goals in 38 games, which made him the top club goalscorer for the season; the following season, under new manager Luis Fernandez, proved to be less successful in the league, with FC Nantes being crowned champions. Ginola scored 11 times in 28 league appearances. Paris Saint-Germain did shine in the cup competitions though, winning another Coupe de France as well as the first edition of the new Coupe de la Ligue. In the UEFA Champions League, the Parisian club caused a major shock after knocking out 1994's finalists FC Barcelona in the quarter finals, with Ginola playing well; the club was eliminated at the next hurdle by defending champions A. C. Milan. In the summer of 1995, Ginola decided to leave France.
Known to be a Spanish football enthusiast, he was expected to be snapped up by Barcelona. Furthermore, between 1992 and 1995, his stellar displays in European competitions against the Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona had attracted media attention in Spain, with local media dubbing him "El Magnifico". However, he ended up with English club Newcastle United F. C. managed by Kevin Keegan. In 1995, Ginola joined Newcastle United for £2.5 million. He was signed at a time when manager Kevin Keegan was attempting to turn the club into one of the major forces in English football, the board was prepared to offer strong financial backing to sign a number of European superstars. Ginola made his debut against Coventry City on 19 August 1995 in a 3–0 win, he scored his first league goal on 27 August against Sheffield Wednesday in a 2–0 away win, went on to score five league goals in his first season. In the 1995–96, Newcastle finished second, four points behind Manchester United; this was their strongest league performance in decades, Ginola was an integral part of the team.
The team chemistry was perfect with Ginola fitting in nicely with his new teammates. However, it was a major disappointment that Newcastle had finished second in the Premier League as they had led by up to 10 points as late as January. In 1996, Bobby Robson, manager of Barcelona made a personal move for him. Ginola received a phone call from Robson. However, Newcastle refused to let him go. To add to their line-up, Newcastle paid £
1998 FIFA World Cup Final
The 1998 FIFA World Cup Final was a football match, played on 12 July 1998 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis to determine the winner of the 1998 FIFA World Cup. The final was contested by Brazil, who were the defending champions having won the previous FIFA World Cup four years earlier in 1994, the host nation France, who had reached the final of the tournament for the first time. France won the match 3–0 to claim the World Cup for the first time, with the timing of the match two days before Bastille Day adding to the significance of the victory. Zinedine Zidane, named man of the match, scored twice before half-time and Emmanuel Petit added a third goal in the last minute; the match had an attendance in the region of 75,000. On their way to the final, defending champions Brazil, coached by their former player Mário Zagallo, recorded victories over Scotland and Morocco to top their group with six points from three matches, suffering a surprise 2–1 defeat at the hands of Norway in their final group game.
After a 4–1 win over Chile and a 3–2 success against Denmark, they reached the final with a penalty shoot-out victory over the Netherlands. As for France, they won their three group matches and defeated Paraguay in the knockout stages on golden goals, they had a penalty shoot-out with Italy in the quarter-finals, defeated formed Croatia to reach the final. The match saw speculation on the condition of the Brazilian striker Ronaldo, who suffered a convulsive fit on the eve of the match. After being left out of the team sheet, in spite of his physical state, it was announced just 72 minutes before kick-off that he was going to play. In the match, he sustained an injury in a clash with French goalkeeper Fabien Barthez. Although it was believed that the decision to play Ronaldo had backfired, it was understandable as the player had been a crucial member of the side throughout the tournament, having scored four goals and created three more. France followed up their victory by qualifying for and winning UEFA Euro 2000 held in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Brazil took the Copa America title in 1999, won the next FIFA World Cup in Japan and South Korea in 2002. Ronaldo went on to set the record for goals in World Cups, broken by Miroslav Klose of Germany in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Blanc and Deschamps both had spells as manager of the France national team, with Deschamps leading them to a second World Cup title exactly 20 years in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, making him only the third man to have won the World Cup as both player and manager after Zagallo and Germany's Franz Beckenbauer. Many of the French players who won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 are part of the France 98 charity association, with Deschamps as president and Jacquet as coach for charity matches and testimonials. For Brazil, this marked only the second time that they had lost a World Cup final, following their 2–1 upset loss to Uruguay in the de facto final of the 1950 FIFA World Cup, nicknamed the Maracanazo in Brazil; the 3–0 scoreline was Brazil's previous largest loss at any World Cup match prior to their 7–1 loss to Germany in the 2014 FIFA World Cup semi-final in Belo Horizonte.
Brazil were drawn in Group A for the group stages alongside Scotland and Norway. They recorded victories over Scotland and Morocco to progress but lost their final game 2–1 to Norway, they next faced Group B runners-up Chile in the last-16 and comprehensively won 4–1, Ronaldo and César Sampaio each scoring twice. In the quarter-finals, they played Denmark, who had won their previous game 4–1, but Brazil won a tight game 3–2. Despite being 1–0 down to a Martin Jorgensen goal in the second minute, Brazil turned the game around in their favour with goals from Bebeto and Rivaldo. Brian Laudrup equalised for Denmark after 50 minutes but Brazil won the game 10 minutes courtesy of a second from Rivaldo. In the semi-finals, Brazil faced the Netherlands in Marseille; the game finished 1–1 at full-time, Ronaldo scoring just after half-time and Patrick Kluivert equalising for the Netherlands in the 87th minute, the score remained the same through extra-time. The match had to be settled by penalties which Brazil won 4–2 to reach their second successive World Cup final.
France were drawn in Group C alongside South Africa and Saudi Arabia. They started their campaign with an easy 3–0 win over South Africa followed by a convincing 4–0 win over Saudi Arabia. France secured top spot in their group courtesy of a 2–1 win over Denmark with goals from Youri Djorkaeff and Emmanuel Petit. In the second round, they faced Group D runners-up Paraguay. France won a close encounter 1–0 in extra time thanks to a golden goal scored by Laurent Blanc. In the quarter-finals France faced Italy who had scraped through to the quarter-finals with a 1–0 win over Norway. A tense match ended 0–0 after extra time and France won 4–3 on penalties after Italy's Luigi Di Biagio struck his penalty onto the crossbar. In the semi-finals, France faced tournament surprise Croatia. After a goal-less first half, Croatia took the lead in the first minute of the second half through Davor Šuker, his fifth goal of the tournament. France responded with Lilian Thuram scoring his first international goal.
Thuram added a second twenty minutes from time to send France to their first World Cup final. The match ended in controversy however when Laurent Blanc was sent off after a skirmish with Croatia's Slaven Bilić. Bilić had sunk down to his knees in pain. Replays showed, that there was minimal contact between the players. Blanc's expulsion meant; the build-up was dominated by the fitness of Brazil's star striker, amid reports that he had suf
The Premier League is the top level of the English football league system. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the English Football League; the Premier League is a corporation. Seasons run from August to May with each team playing 38 matches. Most games are played on Sunday afternoons; the Premier League has featured 47 English and two Welsh clubs since its inception, making it a cross-border league. The competition was formed as the FA Premier League on 20 February 1992 following the decision of clubs in the Football League First Division to break away from the Football League, founded in 1888, take advantage of a lucrative television rights deal; the deal was worth £1 billion a year domestically as of 2013–14, with BSkyB and BT Group securing the domestic rights to broadcast 116 and 38 games respectively. The league generates € 2.2 billion per year in international television rights. Clubs were apportioned revenues of £2.4 billion in 2016–17. The Premier League is the most-watched sports league in the world, broadcast in 212 territories to 643 million homes and a potential TV audience of 4.7 billion people.
In the 2014–15 season, the average Premier League match attendance exceeded 36,000, second highest of any professional football league behind the Bundesliga's 43,500. Most stadium occupancies are near capacity; the Premier League ranks second in the UEFA coefficients of leagues based on performances in European competitions over the past five seasons, as of 2018. Forty-nine clubs have competed since the inception of the Premier League in 1992. Six of them have won the title since then: Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers, Leicester City; the record of most points in a Premier League season is 100, set by Manchester City in 2017–18. Despite significant European success in the 1970s and early 1980s, the late 1980s marked a low point for English football. Stadiums were crumbling, supporters endured poor facilities, hooliganism was rife, English clubs were banned from European competition for five years following the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985; the Football League First Division, the top level of English football since 1888, was behind leagues such as Italy's Serie A and Spain's La Liga in attendances and revenues, several top English players had moved abroad.
By the turn of the 1990s the downward trend was starting to reverse: at the 1990 FIFA World Cup, England reached the semi-finals. In the 1980s, major English clubs had begun to transform into business ventures, applying commercial principles to club administration to maximise revenue. Martin Edwards of Manchester United, Irving Scholar of Tottenham Hotspur, David Dein of Arsenal were among the leaders in this transformation, it gave the top clubs more power. By threatening to break away, clubs in Division One managed to increase their voting power, they took a 50% share of all television and sponsorship income in 1986. Revenue from television became more important: the Football League received £6.3 million for a two-year agreement in 1986, but by 1988, in a deal agreed with ITV, the price rose to £44 million over four years with the leading clubs taking 75% of the cash. According to Scholar, involved in the negotiations of television deals, each of the First Division clubs received only around £25,000 per year from television rights before 1986, this increased to around £50,000 in the 1986 negotiation to £600,000 in 1988.
The 1988 negotiations were conducted under the threat of ten clubs leaving to form a "super league", but they were persuaded to stay with the top clubs taking the lion share of the deal. As stadiums improved and match attendance and revenues rose, the country's top teams again considered leaving the Football League in order to capitalise on the influx of money into the sport. In 1990, the managing director of London Weekend Television, Greg Dyke, met with the representatives of the "big five" football clubs in England over a dinner; the meeting was to pave the way for a break away from The Football League. Dyke believed that it would be more lucrative for LWT if only the larger clubs in the country were featured on national television and wanted to establish whether the clubs would be interested in a larger share of television rights money; the five clubs decided to press ahead with it. The FA did not enjoy an amicable relationship with the Football League at the time and considered it as a way to weaken the Football League's position.
At the close of the 1991 season, a proposal was tabled for the establishment of a new league that would bring more money into the game overall. The Founder Members Agreement, signed on 17 July 1991 by the game's top-flight clubs, established the basic principles for setting up the FA Premier League; the newly formed top division would have commercial independence from The Football Association and the Football League, giving the FA Premier League licence to negotiate