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1978 FIFA World Cup

1978 World Cup

Introduction: 1978 FIFA World Cup

The 1978 World FIFA Cup was marked by controversies with the hosts. With stars like Zico and Roberto Dinamite, the Brazilian team’s undefeated campaign was not enough to qualify Brazil for the grand final.

World Cup ’78 in Argentina

Held in Argentina from June 1st to June 25th, the 1978 World Cup had as favorites the teams from West Germany, Brazil, the Netherlands, and Argentina itself.

The highlight was Tunisia, the first African team to win a FIFA World Cup match. But a controversy involving the Peru team and Argentina would leave the ’78 World Cup with strange airs.

Controversies with the Argentineans in the ’78 World Cup

The Peruvian team went undefeated during the first group stage, but then had only defeats. One in particular, against Argentina, is controversial to this day.

In order to win the match, the Argentines needed to score four goals difference, but they managed to beat Peru 6-0. Bribery was suspected. This would not be the only controversy involving the hosts in the 1978 World Cup. The Argentine team would be accused, by an English newspaper, of forging anti-doping tests.

1000th World Cup goal

The 1000th goal in the championship took place in the 1978 World Cup. The milestone would be achieved by Dutch player Rob Rensenbrink, in the match against Scotland.

Brazilian National Team in 78

The Brazilian team arrived at the 1978 World Cup with a reasonably strong team. It already had stars like Zico, Reinaldo and Roberto Dinamite.

Conheça Nossos Canais

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The team made it to the semifinals with shy results in games against Sweden (1-1), Spain (0-0), and Austria (1-0). Then it beat Peru (3-nil), drew with Argentina (0-nil), and in the last round against Poland won 3-1. Even so, the Brazilian team did not qualify.

Brazil loses on goal difference

The match between Argentina and Peru still raises to this day the suspicion of having been “bought”. The doubt is also supported by the strong military dictatorship that Argentina was going through at the time. It was nothing new for a World Cup to be used as a form of political propaganda.

But Argentina’s six goals meant that the Brazilian team lost the classification on goal difference, despite an undefeated campaign. Brazil managed to win third place over Italy, 2-1. However, for Brazilian coach Cláudio Coutinho, Brazil had been the “moral champion” of the 78 World Cup.

1978 World Cup Final

Repeating the feat of the 74 World Cup, Holland made it to the great final with a well-structured team to play against Argentina. The Argentineans could count on the wall of goalkeeper Ubaldo Matildo Fillol, who had conceded few goals during the championship.

The match ended 1-1 and went into extra time. Argentina knew how to take advantage of the strength of their fans and managed to score two goals, winning their first World Cup title.

The Argentinean player Mario Kempes was the top scorer of the World Cup, with six goals, and is considered one of the great responsible for his team’s victory.

World Cup Series:


FIFA. 1962 FIFA World Cup Chile. Available at: <>. Accessed on: 16/03/2018


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