An Italian party in Germany

An Italian party in Germany

After some of the major upsets of the 2002 finals, a sense of order returned to the 2006 tournament in Germany, a very different country from the one that staged the 1974 finals when Germany was still divided.

Although Jurgen Klinsmann's hosts were knocked out in the semifinals, it was a celebratory tournament, with the innovation of "Fan Miles" a great success and Germans displaying patriotic support for their team, something rarely seen in the country since the Second World War.

The traditional powers all survived the opening phase and six former champions made it to the last eight: Germany, Argentina, Italy, England, Brazil and France with Ukraine and Portugal the others.

Although there was a dearth of goals in the later stages, Ronaldo set an all-time World Cup scoring record with his 15th goal in the finals, beating Gerd Muller's record of 14 established in 1974.

Germany recovered from their 2-0 defeat to Italy in the semifinals to beat Portugal in the third place playoff, leaving the stage set for the final between Zinedine Zidane's France and the impressive Italians.

Both teams scored inside 19 minutes with Zidane giving France the lead from the penalty spot after seven minutes and Marco Materazzi equalising for Italy 12 minutes later.

Those two players were involved in the most dramatic moment of the tournament near the end of extra time when Zidane, in the last act of his dazzling career, headbutted Materazzi in the chest and was sent off.

Italy claimed their fourth World Cup after winning the shootout 5-3 with David Trezeguet, who scored France's golden goal winner against Italy in the Euro 2000 final, the only player to miss a penalty.

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