The World In Stamps

A journey in a stamps collection

The 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy

ITALY 1990 Logo
ITALY 1990 FIFA World Cup Logo

The Italy 1990 FIFA World Cup was the 14th FIFA World Cup. It was held from 8 June to 8 July 1990 in Italy, the second country to host the event for a second time. Teams representing 116 national football associations entered the qualification that began in April 1988. 22 teams qualified from this process, along with host nation Italy and defending champions Argentina.

Among the teams that failed to qualify was Poland who did not miss any World Cup since 1970. Also France, the 1986 semi-finalist, failed to qualify for the first time since Munich 1974 World Cup.

Italy 1990 FIFA World Cup Stamp from Algria – YT-977

Egypt and Cameroon represented Africa in this tournament. For both countries, this was the second participation in the World Cup. For Egypt the first participation was in 1934 in Italy. While for Cameroon, the first participation was in Spain in 1982.

Asia was represented by South Korea and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). For the UAE, this was the first and only appearance in the FIFA World Cup. But for South Korea, this participation was the third. Its first participation was in Switzerland in 1954, while the second was in Mexico in 1986.

The “Italia 90” final match took place on 8 July 1990 at the Stadio Olimpico  in Italy’s capital and largest city, Rome. West Germany became the winner of the 1990 FIFA World Cup by defeating Argentina 1–0. West Germany won 1–0 with a late penalty kick taken by Andreas Brehme.

Several firsts in World Cup history

Italy 1990 FIFA World Cup Stamp from Algria - YT-978
Italy 1990 FIFA World Cup Stamp from Algria – YT-978

The final of Italia 90 marked several firsts in World Cup history. This was the first rematch of a final and, to date, the only back-to-back rematch, as Argentina defeated West Germany in the previous final, Mexico 86. Argentina became both the first team to fail to score in a World Cup final, and the first defending champion to reach the final and lose.

West Germany’s victory over Argentina marked the first time a UEFA side defeated a CONMEBOL side in a final. Historically, all previous finals between the two continents were won by South Americans.

West Germany became the first team to play in three consecutive finals, as they played in Spain 1982 and Mexico 1986 finals. The same scheme was only repeated by Brazil in 1994, 1998, and 2002.

In total, 115 goals were scored by 75 players during this world cup. The Best Player of 1990 cup was the Italian Salvatore Schillaci  who scored 6 goals. Therefore, he received the Golden Boot award and became the second Italian footballer to have this honour, after Paolo Rossi in Spain 1982.

Catalogue Reference: Yvert & Tellier #977-978.


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