Alternate History

1990 FIFA World Cup (Cinco De Mayo)

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The 1990 FIFA World Cup was an international football tournament hosted by the Netherlands in July of 1990. The tournament was the most profitable in history up to that point in attendance and ticket sales, until both records would be broken (and held until present day) by the United States four years later. The tournament featured 24 teams in six groups of four and a sixteen-team knockout stage.

Though heavily favored coming into the tournament as the host nation and after going undefeated in the qualifying rounds and all friendlies in 1990 (record: 10-0-3), the Netherlands were defeated 2-0 by South France in the Round of 16, still regarded as one of the greatest soccer upsets of all time and a national tragedy in the Netherlands. The surprise of the tournament was Croatia, which had only ever won two FIFA World Cup matches in its history and never advanced to the knockout round, which defeated Asian powerhouse Iran, American powerhouse Argentina, and then European powerhouses Italy and Germany to win its first (and only) FIFA World Cup title 1-0 over Germany in the final. Croatia is still regarded as the biggest underdog story in World Cup history.

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