1986 FIFA World Cup

The 1986 FIFA World Cup, the 13th FIFA World Cup, was held in Mexico from 31 May to 29 June 1986. The tournament was the second to feature a 24-team format. With European nations not allowed to host after the previous World Cup in Spain, Colombia had been originally chosen to host the competition by FIFA but, largely due to economic reasons, was not able to do so and officially resigned in 1982. Mexico was selected as the new host in May 1983, thus becoming the first country to host the World Cup more than once. This was the third FIFA World Cup tournament in succession that was hosted by a Spanish-speaking country, after Argentina 1978, and Spain 1982.

It was won by Argentina (their second title, after winning in 1978). Argentina was captained by the 25-year old Diego Maradona, who played a large part in his team's success. Maradona scored the "Hand of God" goal, as well as another voted "Goal of the Century", in the same quarter-final against England. These were two of the five goals that Maradona scored during the tournament, and he also created another five for his teammates.[1] Argentina beat West Germany 3–2 in the final at Mexico City's Estadio Azteca. Total attendance was 2,394,031, an average per match of 46,039.[2] Canada, Denmark and Iraq made their first appearances at the final stage.

The format of the competition changed from 1982. The final pair of matches in each group started at the same time[3] and the second round was played on a knock-out basis rather than groups. The 24 teams qualified were divided into six groups of four (A to F). The top two teams and the four best third-place finishers from the six groups advanced to the knockout round of 16 teams. Italy were the defending champions, but were eliminated by France in the Round of 16.

The 1986 World Cup saw the appearance of an audience phenomenon dubbed the Mexican wave, which was popularised worldwide after featuring during the tournament.[4][5][6]

1986 FIFA World Cup
Copa Mundial de Fútbol México '86
1986 FIFA World Cup
1986 FIFA World Cup official logo
Tournament details
Host countryMexico
Dates31 May – 29 June (30 days)
Teams24 (from 5 confederations)
Venue(s)12 (in 11 host cities)
Final positions
Champions Argentina (2nd title)
Runners-up West Germany
Third place France
Fourth place Belgium
Tournament statistics
Matches played52
Goals scored132 (2.54 per match)
Attendance2,394,031 (46,039 per match)
Top scorer(s)England Gary Lineker (6 goals)
Best player(s)Argentina Diego Maradona
Best young playerBelgium Enzo Scifo
Fair play award Brazil

Host selection

1986 FIFA World Cup official Mascot
Pique, the official mascot of the 1986 FIFA World Cup

Colombia was originally chosen as hosts by FIFA in June 1974. However, the Colombian authorities eventually declared on 5 November 1982 that they could not afford to host the World Cup under the terms that FIFA demanded because of economic concerns.[7] Mexico was selected on 20 May 1983 as the replacement hosts, beating the bids of Canada and the United States (who eventually hosted the 1994 World Cup), and thereby became the first nation to host two World Cups. This second World Cup in Mexico came 16 years after the first one in 1970. A severe earthquake in September 1985, eight months before the tournament, cast doubt over Mexico's ability to organize the event, but the stadia were not affected and it was decided to go ahead with the preparations.

As 1986 had been declared the International Year of Peace by the United Nations, the advertising boards of all the stadia displayed the FIFA and United Nations logos along with the legend "Football for Peace – Peace Year".

For the design of the logo an unofficial motto was adopted: "El Mundo Unido por Un Balón" ("The World United by a Ball").


The official mascot of the 1986 World Cup was Pique, a jalapeño pepper, characteristic of Mexican cuisine, with a moustache, a Colimote sombrero, and Mexican football team colours. Its name comes from picante, Spanish for spicy, and was also a pun on the "PK" abbreviation of the football term penalty kick.

The character caused a degree of controversy within Mexico for its ethnic stereotypes.[8]


Three teams qualified for the World Cup for the first time: Canada, Denmark and Iraq. Canada clinched its spot after winning the final match against Honduras 2–1 in St. John's, Newfoundland. Iraq played all their home matches on neutral ground because of the Iran–Iraq War. South Korea qualified for the first time since 1954, Paraguay for the first time since 1958, Portugal for the first time since 1966 and Bulgaria and Uruguay for the first time since 1974. As of 2018, this was the last time that Hungary, Canada, Iraq and Northern Ireland qualified for the finals. In addition, this was the last time that the United States did not qualify for the finals until the 2018 tournament.

List of qualified teams

The following 24 teams qualified for the final tournament.

1986 world cup qualification
  Countries qualified for World Cup
  Country failed to qualify
  Countries that did not enter World Cup
  Country not a FIFA member


Eleven cities hosted the tournament. The Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, the largest stadium used for the tournament, hosted nine matches (including the final), more than any other stadium used. Mexico City hosted 13 total matches; the Olimpico Universitario Stadium hosted four matches (if the Mexico City suburban town Nezahualcoyotl's 3 matches are included, this brings the total up to 16 matches; nearly a third of all matches in this tournament). Guadalajara, Mexico's second largest city hosted 10 total matches (the Jalisco Stadium hosted seven matches, the Tres de Marzo Stadium in Zapopan hosted three), Monterrey hosted 8 matches (The Tecnologico Stadium and the Universitario Stadium in San Nicolas de los Garza hosted four matches each), and the Cuauhtémoc Stadium in Puebla hosted 5 matches.

The hot, humid and rainy summer weather in Mexico varied from humid desert locations like Monterrey to tropical locations such as Guadalajara; but perhaps the greatest hardship the players had to contend with was the high altitude of the Mexican locations. With the exception of the 93-104 °F (34-40 °C) temperatures of Monterrey (still 2,000 feet above sea level), all of the stadia were located in cities that varied anywhere from Guadalajara being 5,138 feet (1,566 m) above sea level to Toluca being 8,730 feet (2,660 m) above sea level, making conditions very difficult for the players running around in these stadia- but the higher the cities, the less intense the heat. Mexico City, the location of the final match and the location where the most matches were played was 7,380 feet (2,250 m) above sea level and the weather there was not as hot as in other cities used in this World Cup.

Mexico City Guadalajara Puebla
Estadio Azteca Estadio Olímpico Universitario Estadio Jalisco Estadio Cuauhtémoc
Capacity: 114,600 Capacity: 72,212 Capacity: 66,193 Capacity: 46,416
Estadio Azteca1706p2 Estadio Olímpico Universitario 2.jpeg Estadio jalisco Estadio Cuauhtémoc, Puebla
San Nicolás de los Garza
1986 FIFA World Cup is located in Mexico

1. Mexico City, 2. Guadalajara, 3. Puebla, 4. San Nicolás de los Garza,
5. Querétaro, 6. Monterrey, 7. León, 8. Nezahualcóyotl, 9. Irapuato,
10. Zapopan, 11. Toluca.

Estadio Universitario Estadio La Corregidora
Capacity: 43,780 Capacity: 38,576
Estadio Universitario Concachampions Estadio la Corregidora
Nezahualcoyotl Monterrey
Estadio Neza 86 Estadio Tecnológico
Capacity: 34,536 Capacity: 33,805
EntranceEstadioNeza86 ITESM Estadio Tecnologico
Toluca Irapuato León Zapopan
Estadio Nemesio Díez Estadio Sergio León Chávez Estadio Nou Camp Estadio Tres de Marzo
Capacity: 32,612 Capacity: 31,336 Capacity: 30,531 Capacity: 30,015
B4GameTolChivas Estadio SLC Irapuato EstadioLeon Tecos stadium

All of these venues except Monterrey were located in central Mexico, as this tournament was organized with the then-standard way of keeping teams playing in locations in close proximity to each other. Group A only played at the Olimpico and in Puebla (except for the Bulgaria-Italy opening tournament match, which was played in the Azteca), Group B only played at the Azteca and in Toluca (hosts Mexico were part of this group; they played all their group stage matches at the Azteca), Group C played in León and Irapuato, Group D only played in Guadalajara (including the Guadalajara area town of Zapopan; the last match of this group was played in Monterrey), Group E exclusively played in Querétaro and Nezahualcóyotl, and Group F played in the northern city of Monterrey (including the Monterrey area town of San Nicolas de los Garza; the last match of this group was played in Guadalajara). All of the venues listed hosted knockout round matches except the ones in Nezahualcoyotl, Irapuato, Zapopan, Toluca and the Estadio Tecnologico in Monterrey.

Stadium Matches Teams hosted in the first round
Estadio Azteca Opening match, Group B,
R2, QF, SF, Final
Estadio Olímpico Universitario Group A, R2  Argentina,  Bulgaria,  South Korea
Estadio Jalisco Group D, R2, QF, SF  Brazil
Estadio Cuauhtémoc Group A, R2, QF,
Third-place match
Estadio Universitario Group F, R2, QF  Poland
Estadio La Corregidora Group E, R2  West Germany
Estadio Tecnológico Group F  England,  Portugal*,  Morocco*
Estadio Nou Camp Group C, R2  France
Estadio Neza 86 Group E  Uruguay,  Denmark,  Scotland
Estadio Sergio León Chávez Group C  Soviet Union,  Hungary,  Canada
Estadio Tres de Marzo Group D  Spain*,  Northern Ireland,  Algeria*
Estadio Nemesio Díez Group B  Belgium,  Paraguay,  Iraq
  • Morocco and Portugal played in Guadalajara while Spain and Algeria played in Monterrey.

Match officials

North and Central America
South America


For a list of all squads that appeared in the final tournament, see 1986 FIFA World Cup squads.


Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4


1986 world cup
Map of results

First round

The first round of the finals began in Group A, where Italy were held 1–1 by Bulgaria. Meanwhile, Argentina beat South Korea 3–1, with Diego Maradona playing a major part. Italy and Argentina drew 1–1, Maradona and Alessandro Altobelli scoring. South Korea and Bulgaria also drew 1–1 in a downpour. The final set of matches saw Argentina beating Bulgaria 2–0, and Italy narrowly defeating South Korea 3–2.

In Group B Mexico beat Belgium 2–1, and despite being held 1–1 by Paraguay, they won the group after a further win over Iraq, 1–0. Paraguay and Belgium also progressed after both beating Iraq and drawing with each other.

Group C pitted a strong Soviet Union side against the reigning European champions France. They drew with each other 1–1, with a goal scored by Vasyl Rats. France beat Canada 1–0 and finished in 2nd place in the group after beating Hungary, 3–0. Hungary had earlier lost 6–0 against the Soviet Union, which won the group due to goal difference.

Group D saw Brazil start against Spain, winning 1–0 after the referee failed to validate a legal goal scored by Míchel. Northern Ireland began their campaign with a draw against Algeria. Northern Ireland were then narrowly beaten by Spain before losing to Brazil 3–0 in their final match. This match saw a goal from Josimar on his debut and was also the final time Pat Jennings played for Northern Ireland. Spain qualified along with Brazil after defeating Algeria 3–0.

Denmark stormed through Group E, dubbed the group of death, with a 100 per cent record. They beat Scotland 1–0 in their first game, then hammered Uruguay 6–1, with Preben Elkjær Larsen hitting a hat-trick. Denmark beat one of the favourites to win the tournament, West Germany, 2–0 thanks to a Jesper Olsen penalty and a goal from John Eriksen. After losing to Denmark, Scotland took the lead against West Germany thanks to a Gordon Strachan goal, but the West Germans fought back to win 2–1. After a violent 0–0 draw against Uruguay, the Scots were eliminated from the tournament. During that game José Batista of Uruguay was sent off after less than one minute of play for a foul on Strachan, a World Cup record that still stands. West Germany went through to the second round despite a loss against Denmark.

Morocco topped Group F after holding both Poland and England to goalless draws, and beating Portugal 3–1. By doing so, they became the first African team, and only the second nation from outside Europe and the Americas (after North Korea in 1966), to reach the second round. England lost 1–0 to Portugal, followed by a 0–0 draw against Morocco in which they lost captain Bryan Robson to injury (for the remainder of the tournament) and vice-captain Ray Wilkins to a red card (he was never to be selected for England again, even after having served his obligatory one-match ban). In their last first-round game, with the captaincy taken over by Peter Shilton in goal, a first-half Gary Lineker hat-trick helped the reshaped side beat Poland 3–0 – although losing yet another player to a ban for the next round, Terry Fenwick receiving his second booking of the tournament. Poland had previously beaten Portugal, and in the end the Portuguese were the only team from Group F to be eliminated in the first round. Portugal, making their first appearance in 20 years, went on strike (in the Saltillo Affair) during the competition. Players refused to train between their first and second games (against England and Poland) and were eliminated after a loss to Morocco in the final group match.

Second round and quarter-finals

Belgium beat the Soviet Union 4–3, despite a hat-trick by the Soviets' Igor Belanov. The game was level at 2–2 after 90 minutes, and in extra time Stephane Demol and Nico Claesen put Belgium 4–2 up. Belanov scored from the penalty spot with nine minutes remaining, but neither he nor any of his teammates could find a fourth goal for the Soviet Union. At the Olympic University Stadium in Mexico City, the European champions France ended Italy's reign as world champions with a 2–0 victory thanks to goals from Michel Platini and Yannick Stopyra. In the rematch of the 1930 FIFA World Cup Final, Argentina just edged out South American champions Uruguay in Puebla thanks to a 42nd-minute strike from Pedro Pasculli. The all-South American affair had a Diego Maradona's goal disallowed.

In Querétaro, Denmark were eliminated as they went from a 1–0 lead to a 5–1 battering against Spain; key player Frank Arnesen was suspended for the game after being sent off against West Germany in their last group match, for taking a swipe at German playmaker Lothar Matthäus. The Danes scored first, with a Jesper Olsen penalty, but they were then taken apart by a devastating performance from Butragueño of Spain, who scored four of his team's five goals. At the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, England progressed to the quarter-finals comfortably when they saw off Paraguay 3–0, while Brazil brushed aside Poland 4–0. West Germany had a much harder time getting past Morocco, for whom goalkeeper Badou Zaki had an outstanding game. Morocco held out until the 87th minute, when Lothar Matthäus scored the only goal of the match with a free kick. Mexico won 2–0 against Bulgaria with an outstanding scissor-kick goal by Manuel Negrete which is honored by a remembrance plaque at the Azteca.

In the quarter-finals, France faced three-time world champion Brazil in Guadalajara. Brazil were well on top in the early stages, and Careca put them one up after 18 minutes. Five minutes before half-time, France drew level when Michel Platini scored his 41st goal after converting a cross from Dominique Rocheteau. Brazil had a chance to regain the lead in the second half when Branco was fouled by French keeper Joël Bats in the penalty area. Zico got up to take the kick, but Bats saved Zico's penalty.

The match went to extra time, and France finished slightly the stronger of the two sides. No more goals were scored, and so it was time for a penalty shoot-out. Socrates, who had earlier missed an open goal and headed an easy chance straight into the French keeper's arms, failed with the first kick for Brazil. The next six penalties were all converted, and then Platini fired over the bar. Brazil were back on level terms – but not for long. Julio Cesar struck the post with his penalty, and Luis Fernández then scored to put France through 4–3 on penalties.

Two other quarter-finals were also decided on penalties. Jan Ceulemans put Belgium ahead against Spain in the 35th minute, but Spanish substitute Señor equalised with five minutes to go. No more goals were scored in extra time, and Belgium won the shoot-out 5–4. West Germany and Mexico drew 0–0 after extra time, and the West Germans eliminated the hosts 4–1 on penalties. As a curiosity, the German goalkeeper Harald Schumacher jumped to the right in the three Mexican penalties (stopping two of them).

The quarter-final between Argentina and England at the Azteca featured two very different goals in the second half by Diego Maradona: the first was scored illegally, as he punched the ball into the goal past England goalkeeper Peter Shilton. The referee did not see the handball and the goal was given as valid. After the game, Maradona claimed the goal was scored "A bit with the head of Maradona and another bit with the hand of God"; it became known as the "Hand of God" goal. For his second goal, voted "Goal of the Century" in 2002 on the FIFA website, Maradona dribbled half the length of the field past five English players before scoring. With 20 minutes to go, the introduction of John Barnes as a substitute changed the tide of play in England's favour, as he pinged cross after cross into the Argentine penalty area: with 9 minutes to go, Lineker got on the end of one and scored, then almost repeated the dose six minutes later but was just unable to reach the ball thanks to a timely block by Olarticoechea: 2–1 to Argentina was the final score. In Argentina, the game was seen as revenge for the Falklands War.[9]

Semi-finals, third-place match, and final

In the first semi-final match, Andreas Brehme put West Germany 1–0 ahead against France in the ninth minute in Guadalajara, but the outcome remained in doubt until two minutes from time when Rudi Völler made it 2–0, and West Germany were in the final for the second World Cup in succession. In the second semi-final match, Maradona struck twice in the second half as Argentina beat Belgium 2–0 at the Azteca. France went on to defeat Belgium in the third-place match, 4–2.

So it was to be the South American Argentina vs the European West Germany at the final at the Azteca, the second time this massive stadium would host a World Cup Final (the first in 1970). Jose Brown put Argentina one up midway through the first half of the final, and when Jorge Valdano scored a second for the South Americans in the 55th minute, Argentina looked to be strolling to victory. West Germany then staged a spirited comeback. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge pulled one back in the 74th minute, and six minutes later Rudi Völler hit the equaliser. With seven minutes remaining, a pass from Maradona gave Jorge Burruchaga the chance to score the winner for Argentina. Eight years on from their home triumph, Argentina regained the world title and 30 million people in Argentina celebrated in the streets after the final victory. Maradona was the Golden Ball winner as the best player of the tournament, while Gary Lineker of England won the Golden Boot as the leading scorer of the World Cup with six goals.


All times are Central Standard Time (UTC−6)

Group stage

Key to colours in group tables
Group winners, runners-up, and best four third-placed teams advance to the Round of 16

Group A

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Argentina 3 2 1 0 6 2 +4 5 Advance to knockout stage
2  Italy 3 1 2 0 5 4 +1 4
3  Bulgaria 3 0 2 1 2 4 −2 2
4  South Korea 3 0 1 2 4 7 −3 1


South Korea made their first appearance since 1954. They managed to score their first goal (against Argentina) and their first draw (against Bulgaria).

31 May 1986
Bulgaria  1–1  Italy Estadio Azteca, Mexico City
2 June 1986
Argentina  3–1  South Korea Estadio Olímpico Universitario, Mexico City
5 June 1986
Italy  1–1  Argentina Estadio Cuauhtémoc, Puebla
South Korea  1–1  Bulgaria Estadio Olímpico Universitario, Mexico City
10 June 1986
South Korea  2–3  Italy Estadio Cuauhtémoc, Puebla
Argentina  2–0  Bulgaria Estadio Olímpico Universitario, Mexico City

Group B

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Mexico (H) 3 2 1 0 4 2 +2 5 Advance to knockout stage
2  Paraguay 3 1 2 0 4 3 +1 4
3  Belgium 3 1 1 1 5 5 0 3
4  Iraq 3 0 0 3 1 4 −3 0
3 June 1986
Belgium  1–2  Mexico Estadio Azteca, Mexico City
4 June 1986
Paraguay  1–0  Iraq Estadio Nemesio Díez, Toluca
7 June 1986
Mexico  1–1  Paraguay Estadio Azteca, Mexico City
8 June 1986
Iraq  1–2  Belgium Estadio Nemesio Díez, Toluca
11 June 1986
Paraguay  2–2  Belgium Estadio Nemesio Díez, Toluca
Iraq  0–1  Mexico Estadio Azteca, Mexico City

Group C

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Soviet Union 3 2 1 0 9 1 +8 5 Advance to knockout stage
2  France 3 2 1 0 5 1 +4 5
3  Hungary 3 1 0 2 2 9 −7 2
4  Canada 3 0 0 3 0 5 −5 0
1 June 1986
Canada  0–1  France Estadio Nou Camp, León
2 June 1986
Soviet Union  6–0  Hungary Estadio Sergio León Chavez, Irapuato
5 June 1986
France  1–1  Soviet Union Estadio Nou Camp, León
6 June 1986
Hungary  2–0  Canada Estadio Sergio León Chavez, Irapuato
9 June 1986
Hungary  0–3  France Estadio Nou Camp, León
Soviet Union  2–0  Canada Estadio Sergio León Chavez, Irapuato

Group D

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Brazil 3 3 0 0 5 0 +5 6 Advance to knockout stage
2  Spain 3 2 0 1 5 2 +3 4
3  Northern Ireland 3 0 1 2 2 6 −4 1
4  Algeria 3 0 1 2 1 5 −4 1
1 June 1986
Spain  0–1  Brazil Estadio Jalisco, Guadalajara
3 June 1986
Algeria  1–1  Northern Ireland Estadio Tres de Marzo, Zapopan
6 June 1986
Brazil  1–0  Algeria Estadio Jalisco, Guadalajara
7 June 1986
Northern Ireland  1–2  Spain Estadio Tres de Marzo, Zapopan
12 June 1986
Northern Ireland  0–3  Brazil Estadio Jalisco, Guadalajara
Algeria  0–3  Spain Estadio Tecnológico, Monterrey

Group E

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Denmark 3 3 0 0 9 1 +8 6 Advance to knockout stage
2  West Germany 3 1 1 1 3 4 −1 3
3  Uruguay 3 0 2 1 2 7 −5 2
4  Scotland 3 0 1 2 1 3 −2 1
4 June 1986
Uruguay  1–1  West Germany Estadio La Corregidora, Querétaro
Scotland  0–1  Denmark Estadio Neza 86, Nezahualcóyotl
8 June 1986
West Germany  2–1  Scotland Estadio La Corregidora, Querétaro
Denmark  6–1  Uruguay Estadio Neza 86, Nezahualcóyotl
13 June 1986
Denmark  2–0  West Germany Estadio La Corregidora, Querétaro
Scotland  0–0  Uruguay Estadio Neza 86, Nezahualcóyotl

Group F

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Morocco 3 1 2 0 3 1 +2 4 Advance to knockout stage
2  England 3 1 1 1 3 1 +2 3
3  Poland 3 1 1 1 1 3 −2 3
4  Portugal 3 1 0 2 2 4 −2 2
2 June 1986
Morocco  0–0  Poland Estadio Universitario, San Nicolás de los Garza
3 June 1986
Portugal  1–0  England Estadio Tecnológico, Monterrey
6 June 1986
England  0–0  Morocco Estadio Tecnológico, Monterrey
7 June 1986
Poland  1–0  Portugal Estadio Universitario, San Nicolás de los Garza
11 June 1986
England  3–0  Poland Estadio Universitario, San Nicolás de los Garza
Portugal  1–3  Morocco Estadio Tres de Marzo, Zapopan

Ranking of third-placed teams

Pos Grp Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 B  Belgium 3 1 1 1 5 5 0 3 Advance to knockout stage
2 F  Poland 3 1 1 1 1 3 −2 3
3 A  Bulgaria 3 0 2 1 2 4 −2 2
4 E  Uruguay 3 0 2 1 2 7 −5 2
5 C  Hungary 3 1 0 2 2 9 −7 2
6 D  Northern Ireland 3 0 1 2 2 6 −4 1

Starting with the 1994 World Cup, teams were awarded three points for a win rather than two, to encourage more offensive tactics. Had those rules been in place, Hungary would have finished ahead of Bulgaria for the 15th seed, and Uruguay would have been eliminated. The top four teams qualified for the knockout stage.

Knockout stage

Belgium finished in 4th place, their best finish in the World Cup until 2018, where they finished third. Argentina beat West Germany for the first time and won their second World Cup.

Round of 16Quarter-finalsSemi-finalsFinal
16 June – Puebla
22 June – Mexico City (Azteca)
18 June – Mexico City (Azteca)
25 June – Mexico City (Azteca)
18 June – Querétaro
22 June – Puebla
 Spain1 (4)
15 June – León
 Belgium (pen.)1 (5)
 Soviet Union3
29 June – Mexico City (Azteca)
 Belgium (aet)4
16 June – Guadalajara
 West Germany2
21 June – Guadalajara
 Brazil1 (3)
17 June – Mexico City (Olímpico)
 France (pen.)1 (4)
25 June – Guadalajara
17 June – San Nicolás de los Garza
 West Germany2 Third place
21 June – San Nicolás de los Garza28 June – Puebla
 West Germany1
 West Germany (pen.)0 (4) Belgium2
15 June – Mexico City (Azteca)
 Mexico0 (1)  France (aet)4

Round of 16

Mexico 2–0 Bulgaria
Negrete Goal 34'
Servín Goal 61'
Soviet Union 3–4 (a.e.t.) Belgium
Belanov Goal 27'70'111' (pen.) Report Scifo Goal 56'
Ceulemans Goal 77'
Demol Goal 102'
Claesen Goal 110'
Brazil 4–0 Poland
Sócrates Goal 30' (pen.)
Josimar Goal 55'
Edinho Goal 79'
Careca Goal 83' (pen.)
Argentina 1–0 Uruguay
Pasculli Goal 42' Report
Italy 0–2 France
Report Platini Goal 15'
Stopyra Goal 57'
Morocco 0–1 West Germany
Report Matthäus Goal 88'
England 3–0 Paraguay
Lineker Goal 31'73'
Beardsley Goal 56'
Denmark 1–5 Spain
J. Olsen Goal 33' (pen.) Report Butragueño Goal 43'56'80'88' (pen.)
Goikoetxea Goal 68' (pen.)


Brazil 1–1 (a.e.t.) France
Careca Goal 17' Report Platini Goal 40'
Sócrates Penalty missed
Alemão Penalty scored
Zico Penalty scored
Branco Penalty scored
Júlio César Penalty missed
3–4 Penalty scored Stopyra
Penalty scored Amoros
Penalty scored Bellone
Penalty missed Platini
Penalty scored Fernández
West Germany 0–0 (a.e.t.) Mexico
Allofs Penalty scored
Brehme Penalty scored
Matthäus Penalty scored
Littbarski Penalty scored
4–1 Penalty scored Negrete
Penalty missed Quirarte
Penalty missed Servín
Argentina 2–1 England
Maradona Goal 51'55' Report Lineker Goal 81'
Spain 1–1 (a.e.t.) Belgium
Señor Goal 85' Report Ceulemans Goal 35'
Señor Penalty scored
Eloy Penalty missed
Chendo Penalty scored
Butragueño Penalty scored
Víctor Penalty scored
4–5 Penalty scored Claesen
Penalty scored Scifo
Penalty scored Broos
Penalty scored Vervoort
Penalty scored L. Van Der Elst


France 0–2 West Germany
Report Brehme Goal 9'
Völler Goal 89'
Argentina 2–0 Belgium
Maradona Goal 51'63' Report

Third place play-off

Belgium 2–4 (a.e.t.) France
Ceulemans Goal 11'
Claesen Goal 73'
Report Ferreri Goal 27'
Papin Goal 43'
Genghini Goal 104'
Amoros Goal 111' (pen.)


Argentina 3–2 West Germany
Brown Goal 23'
Valdano Goal 55'
Burruchaga Goal 83'
Report Rummenigge Goal 74'
Völler Goal 80'



Golden Boot Golden Ball Best Young Player FIFA Fair Play Trophy
England Gary Lineker Argentina Diego Maradona Belgium Enzo Scifo  Brazil


Gary Lineker received the Golden Boot for scoring six goals. In total, 132 goals were scored by 82 players, with two of them credited as own goals.

6 goals[11]
5 goals
4 goals
3 goals
2 goals
1 goal
Own goals

Red cards

Eight players received a red card during the tournament:

FIFA retrospective ranking

In 1986, FIFA published a report that ranked all teams in each World Cup up to and including 1986, based on progress in the competition, overall results and quality of the opposition.[19][20] The rankings for the 1986 tournament were as follows:

R Team G P W D L GF GA GD Pts.
1  Argentina A 7 6 1 0 14 5 +9 13
2  West Germany E 7 3 2 2 8 7 +1 8
3  France C 7 4 2 1 12 6 +6 10
4  Belgium B 7 2 2 3 12 15 −3 6
Eliminated in the quarter-finals
5  Brazil D 5 4 1 0 10 1 +9 9
6  Mexico B 5 3 2 0 6 2 +4 8
7  Spain D 5 3 1 1 11 4 +7 7
8  England F 5 2 1 2 7 3 +4 5
Eliminated in the round of 16
9  Denmark E 4 3 0 1 10 6 +4 6
10  Soviet Union C 4 2 1 1 12 5 +7 5
11  Morocco F 4 1 2 1 3 2 +1 4
12  Italy A 4 1 2 1 5 6 −1 4
13  Paraguay B 4 1 2 1 4 6 −2 4
14  Poland F 4 1 1 2 1 7 −6 3
15  Bulgaria A 4 0 2 2 2 6 −4 2
16  Uruguay E 4 0 2 2 2 8 −6 2
Eliminated in the group stage
17  Portugal F 3 1 0 2 2 4 −2 2
18  Hungary C 3 1 0 2 2 9 −7 2
19  Scotland E 3 0 1 2 1 3 −2 1
20  South Korea A 3 0 1 2 4 7 −3 1
21  Northern Ireland D 3 0 1 2 2 6 −4 1
22  Algeria D 3 0 1 2 1 5 −4 1
23  Iraq B 3 0 0 3 1 4 −3 0
24  Canada C 3 0 0 3 0 5 −5 0


  1. ^ "1986 FIFA World Cup Mexico – Overview". FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  2. ^ "1986 FIFA World Cup Mexico". FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
  3. ^ "The Game that Changed the World Cup — Algeria". algeria.com. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  4. ^ "Who invented the Mexican Wave?". BBC. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  5. ^ Jackson, Andy (11 June 2010). "...Fan Crazes". FourFourTwo (Australia). Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  6. ^ Rice, Simon (10 June 2010). "The 100 greatest World Cup moments. # 94. The Mexican Wave". The Independent. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  7. ^ Pougatch, Mark (11 January 2011). Three Lions Versus the World: England's World Cup Stories from the Men Who Were There. Mainstream Publishing. p. 175. ISBN 978-1-907195-59-4.
  8. ^ Snyder, John (1 September 2001). Soccer's Most Wanted™: The Top 10 Book of Clumsy Keepers, Clever Crosses, and Outlandish Oddities. Potomac Books, Inc. p. 247. ISBN 978-1-57488-365-7.
  9. ^ El Diego – Diego Maradona, Page 127, ISBN 0-224-07190-4
  10. ^ "1986 FIFA World Cup Mexico – Awards". FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Archived from the original on 10 December 2013. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  11. ^ FIFA World Cup – Mexico '86: Official Report, p. 228
  12. ^ "HUNGARY – CANADA". Planet World Cup. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  13. ^ "DENMARK – WEST GERMANY". Planet World Cup. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
  14. ^ "ENGLAND – MOROCCO". Planet World Cup. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
  15. ^ a b "WEST GERMANY – MEXICO". Planet World Cup. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
  16. ^ "IRAQ – BELGIUM". Planet World Cup. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
  17. ^ "SCOTLAND – URUGUAY". Planet World Cup. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
  18. ^ "DENMARK – URUGUAY". Planet World Cup. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
  19. ^ Argentina's Road to the World Title FIFA.com. page 45
  20. ^ "FIFA World Cup: Milestones, facts & figures. Statistical Kit 7" (PDF). FIFA. 26 March 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 May 2013.

External links

1985 CONCACAF Championship

The 1985 CONCACAF Championship was the ninth edition of the CONCACAF Championship. It also served as the qualification for the 1986 World Cup. A total of 18 CONCACAF teams entered the competition. The North, Central American and Caribbean zone was allocated 2 places (out of 24) in the final tournament. Mexico, the World Cup host, qualified automatically, leaving 1 spot open for competition between 17 teams. Canada earned their first major title and clinched qualification on 14 September 1985 to participate in their first World Cup after beating Honduras 2-1 at King George V Park in St. John's, Newfoundland.

1986 FIFA World Cup Final

The 1986 FIFA World Cup Final was the final and deciding game of the 1986 FIFA World Cup, held in Mexico. The match was held at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City on 29 June 1986 and had an attendance of 114,600. It was contested by Argentina and West Germany. Argentina won the match 3–2 in normal time.

1986 FIFA World Cup qualification

A total of 121 teams entered the 1986 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds, competing for a total of 24 spots in the final tournament. Mexico, as the hosts, and Italy, as the defending champions, qualified automatically, leaving 22 spots open for competition. The draw took place on 7 December 1983 at Zürich, Switzerland.

The 24 spots available in the 1986 World Cup would be distributed among the continental zones as follows:

Europe (UEFA): 13.5 places, 1 of them went to automatic qualifier Italy, while the other 12.5 places were contested by 32 teams. The winner of the 0.5 place would advance to the intercontinental play-offs (against a team from OFC).

South America (CONMEBOL): 4 places, contested by 10 teams.

North, Central America and Caribbean (CONCACAF): 2 places, 1 of them went to automatic qualifier Mexico, while the other 1 place was contested by 17 teams.

Africa (CAF): 2 places, contested by 29 teams.

Asia (AFC): 2 places, contested by 27 teams.

Oceania (OFC): 0.5 place, contested by 4 teams (including Israel and Chinese Taipei). The winner of the 0.5 place would advance to the intercontinental play-offs (against a team from UEFA).A total of 110 teams played at least one qualifying match. A total of 308 qualifying matches were played, and 801 goals were scored (an average of 2.60 per match).

1986 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC)

Listed below are the dates and results for the 1986 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds for the Asian zone (AFC). For an overview of the qualification rounds, see the article 1986 FIFA World Cup qualification.

A total of 28 AFC teams entered the competition. However, Chinese Taipei were assigned to the Oceanian zone instead. The Asian zone was allocated 2 places (out of 24) in the final tournament. Asia's automatic qualifying berths were taken by Iraq and Korea Republic

1986 FIFA World Cup qualification (UEFA)

Listed below are the dates and results for the 1986 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds for the European zone (UEFA). For an overview of the qualification rounds, see the article 1986 FIFA World Cup qualification.

UEFA was allocated thirteen qualifying berths for the 1986 FIFA World Cup, and one place in a play-off, however Italy were the defending champions and qualified automatically, leaving 12.5 spots open for competition between 32 teams.

Europe's automatic qualifying berths were taken by Poland, West Germany, Portugal, England, Northern Ireland, France, Bulgaria, Hungary, Denmark, Soviet Union and Spain. Belgium and Scotland qualified through the UEFA Play off and UEFA / OFC Intercontinental Play-off respectively.

1986 FIFA World Cup qualification (UEFA–OFC play-off)

The 1986 FIFA World Cup UEFA–OFC qualification play-off was a two-legged home-and-away tie between the winners of the Oceania qualifying tournament, Australia, and the second-placed team from the UEFA Group 7, Scotland. The games were played on 20 November and 4 December 1985 in Glasgow and Melbourne respectively. Australia were hoping to play in the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1974 and Scotland were hoping for a fourth successive FIFA World Cup.

1986 FIFA World Cup qualification – UEFA Group 7

The 1986 FIFA World Cup qualification UEFA Group 7 was a UEFA qualifying group for the 1986 FIFA World Cup. The group comprised Iceland, Scotland, Spain and Wales.

The group was won by Spain, who qualified for the 1986 FIFA World Cup. The runners-up Scotland entered the UEFA–OFC intercontinental play-off.

Alexis Ponnet

Alexis Ponnet (born 9 March 1939 in Brussels) is a former Belgian football referee. Most known for supervising two matches in the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain and one in the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. He also refereed the European Cup final in 1987 between Porto and Bayern Munich. He also refereed two UEFA European Football Championship in 1984 and 1988.

André Daina

André Daina (born July 8, 1940 in Esclepens) is a retired Swiss football referee. He is known for having refereed one match in the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. He also refereed one match in the 1984 UEFA European Football Championship in France. He refereed a European Cup semi-final leg in 1984 and the European Cup final in 1985.

Argentina v England (1986 FIFA World Cup)

Argentina v England, played on 22 June 1986, was a football match between Argentina and England in the quarter-finals of the 1986 FIFA World Cup at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. The game was held four years after the Falklands War between Argentina and the United Kingdom, and was a key part in the already intense Argentina–England football rivalry. It was also a match which included two of the most famous goals in football history, both scored by Diego Maradona.

The first goal, after 51 minutes, was to become known as the "Hand of God goal", which Maradona scored by using his hand. His second, four minutes after his first, saw him dribble past five England players, Beardsley, Reid, Butcher, Fenwick, Butcher (again), and finally goalkeeper Peter Shilton, and became known as the "Goal of the Century". Argentina won the game 2–1 and went on to win the 1986 World Cup with a victory over West Germany in the final match. Maradona won the golden ball for player of the tournament; England's goalscorer on the day, Gary Lineker, won the golden boot for being the tournament's top scorer.

Estadio Corregidora

Estadio Corregidora is a stadium in Querétaro City, Mexico. Named for Mexican War of Independence heroine Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez ("La Corregidora"), it has a capacity of 33,162 and is located on the outskirts of the city of Querétaro, 211 kilometres (131 mi) north of Mexico City. This venue is used mostly for football (soccer) games. It is the home of the team Querétaro FC and hosted the 1986 FIFA World Cup.

Built in 1985 in a collaboration between Mexican and European partners, it is considered one of the most notable stadiums in Mexico. Its design allows for the safe exit of all spectators even if full in less than seven minutes.

It is one of the largest football venues in Mexico, after the Estadio Azteca, the Estadio Olímpico Universitario, the Estadio Azul (all in Mexico City), Estadio Cuauhtémoc in Puebla, Estadio BBVA Bancomer in greater Monterrey and Estadio Jalisco in Guadalajara, Jalisco

It is also used for concerts, hosting internationally known pop stars like Rod Stewart, Miguel Bosé and Shakira, among others.

Estadio Jalisco

The Jalisco Stadium is a football stadium located in Guadalajara, Mexico. It is the third largest Mexican football stadium behind Estadio Azteca and Estadio Olímpico Universitario. The facility is located in the city of Guadalajara, Jalisco, 400 kilometers north-west of Mexico City, and has a maximum capacity of 55,110 spectators.

Estadio León

The Estadio León, unofficially known as Nou Camp, is a mid-sized football stadium with a seating capacity of 31,297 built in 1967, and located in the city of León, Guanajuato, in the Bajío region of central Mexico. This sport facility is used mostly for football matches and is the home of the Club León.

Because of its excellent location and facilities, this stadium hosted matches for the 1970 FIFA World Cup, 1983 FIFA World Youth Championship, and the 1986 FIFA World Cup. It also hosted football matches during the 1968 Summer Olympics. During those games, it seated 23,609.On March 8, 2017, judiciary officials of the city of León determined that ownership of Estadio León is still in fact property of Zermeño Reyes y Héctor González. It is unknown if negotiations will begin for Grupo Pachuca to purchase the stadium. One possible alternative was the New Estadio León, originally proposed in 2008.

Estadio Nemesio Díez

The Estadio Nemesio Díez, nicknamed La Bombonera, is one of the oldest football stadiums in Mexico. Opened on August 8, 1954, with a capacity of 30,000 seats, it is located in the city of Toluca, Mexico, near Mexico City. It is the home of Deportivo Toluca Fútbol Club. Because of its location this stadium has hosted two World Cups (1970 and 1986). One former nuance about this stadium is that it did not have a lighting system, which forced the local team as a tradition to play at noon.

The stadium was previously known as: Estadio Toluca 70-86, Estadio Toluca 70, Estadio Luis Gutiérrez Dosal and Estadio Héctor Barraza.

Estadio Universitario (UANL)

The Estadio Universitario ("University Stadium") – nicknamed El Volcán (Spanish for "The Volcano") is a football stadium located on the campus of the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León in San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo León, Mexico.

György Mezey

György Mezey (born 7 September 1941) is a former Hungarian football (soccer) player and coach.

He was the coach of the Hungary national football team from 1983 to 1986, leading the team to the 1986 FIFA World Cup. During the 2006 FIFA World Cup he was part of FIFA's Technical Study Group.

Jan Ceulemans

Jan Anna Gumaar Ceulemans (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈjɑn ˈkøːləˌmɑns]; born 28 February 1957 in Lier, Belgium) is a former Belgian footballer who played as an attacking midfielder. A prolific goalscorer, Ceulemans was well known for his stamina, aerial ability and technique. He was also known for his power, imposing frame and natural authority.He is his country's fourth most capped player with 96 international appearances. Most of his time with Belgium took place under the guidance of Guy Thys. This period saw the Belgium squad record some of their finest results, which include reaching the final of Euro 80 and fourth place at the 1986 FIFA World Cup.

Omar Borrás

Omar Bienvenido Borrás Granda (born 15 June 1929) is a former Uruguayan football coach.

Borrás guided Uruguay to their victory at the 1983 Copa América. He was also the coach of the Uruguay national football team at the 1986 FIFA World Cup. During that tournament, he was banned from the sidelines for their second round match against Argentina due to Uruguay's rough play for their previous game against Scotland, and also his remarks towards the referee after the match.It is also believed that he was the first person to use the term the "Group of Death", to describe their first round group with West Germany, Denmark and Scotland.

Romualdo Arppi Filho

Romualdo Arppi Filho (born Santos January 7, 1939) is a retired football referee from Brazil. He is mostly known for supervising three matches in the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico, including the 1986 FIFA World Cup final between Germany and Argentina. Argentina eventually won the game 3–2. He was the second successive Brazilian to referee a World Cup final.

1986 FIFA World Cup
General information
1986 FIFA World Cup finalists
Third place
Fourth place
Round of 16
Group stage
Disciplinary record
Team appearances
Overall records and statistics

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