world cup 2006

The 2006 FIFA World Cup was the eighteenth FIFA World Cup and was held in Germany from 9 June to 9 July 2006. It was the second time Germany had hosted the tournament, but the first time as a unified country; West Germany hosted the 1974 FIFA World Cup. The tournament was won by Italy who claimed their fourth title beating France 5-3 on penalties after the match had ended 1-1 after extra time in the Olympiastadion, Berlin.

Host selection

Brazil, England, Germany, Morocco and South Africa declared an interest in hosting the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Prior to the FIFA Executive meeting in Zurich on 6 July 2000, Brazil withdrew from the contest. Three rounds of voting were required, each round eliminating the nation with the fewest votes.

Morocco were eliminated in the first round receiving just three votes. England were eliminated in the second round receiving just two votes. In the final round Germany secured the tournament winning 12 votes to South Africa's 11.

One hundred and ninety eight1 countries entered the qualifying competition.

Hosts, Germany, qualified automatically but for the first time, the holders would not qualify automatically meaning Brazil had to enter the CONCACAF qualifiers.

Of the remaining 31 places, 13 were allocated to Europe (UEFA), four to South America (CONMEBOL), three to the North and Central American and Caribbean (CONCACAF), five to Africa (CAF) and four to Asia (AFC) whilst one qualifier from the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) would face one team from the CONMEBOL qualifiers in an intercontinental play off and one qualifier from the AFC would face a qualifier from CONCACAF for the final two places.


Fifty one teams entered the European qualifiers for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Hosts Germany qualified automatically.

The remaining 50 teams were divided into eight groups; five groups of six teams and three groups of seven teams. The group winners would qualify along with the two best runners-up. The other runners-up would advance to the UEFA play-offs.

Wales were placed in Pot D as fourth seeds, and were drawn in Group 6 alongside England, Poland, Austria, Northern Ireland and Azerbaijan. This would be Wales' first meeting with England since the 1984 British Home Championship match.

Uefa qualifying Group 6

no.datescorescorers (wales)venue 
 04/09/2004Northern Ireland 0-3 Poland Windsor Park, BelfastWCQ
 04/09/2004Austria 2-2 England Ernst Happel Stadion, ViennaWCQ
52404/09/2004Azerbaijan 1-1 WalesSpeedTofik Bakhramov, BakuWCQ
 08/09/2004Austria 2-0 Azerbaijan Ernst Happel Stadion, ViennaWCQ
52508/09/2004Wales 2-2 Northern IrelandHartson, EarnshawMillennium Stadium, CardiffWCQ
 08/09/2004Poland 1-2 England Stadion Śląski, ChorzówWCQ
 09/10/2004Austria 1-3 Poland Ernst Happel Stadion, ViennaWCQ
 09/10/2004Azerbaijan 0-0 Northern Ireland Tofik Bakhramov, BakuWCQ
52609/10/2004England 2-0 Wales Old Trafford, ManchesterWCQ
 13/10/2004Azerbaijan 0-1 England Tofik Bakhramov, BakuWCQ
 13/10/2004Northern Ireland 3-3 Austria Windsor Park, BelfastWCQ
52713/10/2004Wales 2-3 PolandEarnshaw, HartsonMillennium Stadium, CardiffWCQ
 26/03/2005England 4-0 Northern Ireland Old Trafford, ManchesterWCQ
 26/03/2005Poland 8-0 Azerbaijan Stadionu Legii, WarsawWCQ
52926/03/2005Wales 0-2 Austria Millennium Stadium, CardiffWCQ
53030/03/2005Austria 1-0 Wales Ernst Happel Stadion, ViennaWCQ
 30/03/2005England 2-0 Azerbaijan St James' Park, NewcastleWCQ
 30/03/2005Poland 1-0 Northern Ireland Stadionu Legii, WarsawWCQ
 04/06/2005Azerbaijan 0-3 Poland Tofik Bakhramov, BakuWCQ
 03/09/2005Poland 3-2 Austria Stadion Śląski, ChorzówWCQ
 03/09/2005Northern Ireland 2-0 Azerbaijan Windsor Park, BelfastWCQ
53203/09/2005Wales 0-1 England Millennium Stadium, CardiffWCQ
 07/09/2005Azerbaijan 0-0 austria Tofik Bakhramov, BakuWCQ
 07/09/2005Northern Ireland 1-0 England Windsor Park, BelfastWCQ
53307/09/2005Poland 1-0 Wales Stadionu Legii, WarsawWCQ
 08/10/2005England 1-0 Austria Old Trafford, ManchesterWCQ
53408/10/2005Northern Ireland 2-3 WalesDavies, Robinson, GiggsWindsor Park, BelfastWCQ
 12/10/2005Austria 2-0 Northern Ireland Ernst Happel Stadion, ViennaWCQ
 12/10/2005England 2-1 Poland Old Trafford, ManchesterWCQ
53512/10/2005Wales 2-0 AzerbaijanGiggs (2)Millennium Stadium, CardiffWCQ

Group standings
4.Northern Ireland1023510189

Wales and the 2006 World Cup

Wales were placed in Pot D as fourth seeds, and were drawn in Group 6 alongside England, Poland, Austria, Northern Ireland and Azerbaijan. This would be Wales' first meeting with England since the 1984 British Home Championship match.

Wales' chances of qualifying took an early knock with two draws in the opening two games against the lowest seeded sides in the group following which, manager Mark Hughes announced he would be leaving to take over as manager of Blackburn Rovers.

Despite the announcement, Hughes took charge of Wales' matches against England at Old Trafford and Poland at the Millennium Stadium; a match which also saw Gary Speed retire from international football.

John Toshack took over as manager for the remaining games in the campaign but with Nathan Blake, Mark Crossley, Andy Johnson, Andy Melville, Mark Pembridge and Robbie Savage all announcing their retirement from international football, Toshack's job was made all the harder.

Joe Ledley made his debut in the defeat in Warsaw with Andrew Crofts and David Cotterill winning their first caps in the final match against Azerbaijan.

Players used during qualifying

Wales used a total of 31 players during the qualifying campaign with no single player playing in every game.

Mark Hughes took charge of his final game as manager of Wales in the 2-3 home defeat to Poland with John Toshack taking over as manager for the remainder of the campaign.

Andy Melville won his 65th and final cap against Azerbaijan in Baku. Gary Speed won his 85th and final cap in the home match against Poland which was also Robbie Savage's 39th and final cap.

Joe Ledley made his debut in the defeat to Poland in Warsaw with Andrew Crofts and David Cotterill winning their first caps in the final match against Azerbaijan.

Craig Bellamy909090909090    
Danny Collins        353
James Collins 90 90 5825905290
David Cotterill         16
Danny Coyne    90909090  
Andrew Crofts         23
Craig Davies       21  
Simon Davies  9090759070909090
Mark Delaney902590909090  90 
Richard Duffy      90453890
Rob Earnshaw265169015 2082  
Rob Edwards       4577 
Carl Fletcher    909090909067
Danny Gabbidon9090909090909090 90
Ryan Giggs  90 909090909074
John Hartson9090901190 90 9090
Paul Jones90909090    9090
Jason Koumas88907486  3669  
Joe Ledley       8  
Andy Melville90         
John Oster4590        
Rob Page90   903265   
Paul Parry 27 4      
David Partridge     90909090 
Mark Pembridge45 59       
Sam Ricketts    909090908737
Carl Robinson  31 909054 9090
Robbie Savage909 red 90      
Gary Speed90909079      
Ben Thatcher 639090      
David Vaughan        1390


1Of the 198 countries who entered, the Central African Republic, Guam and Nepal withdrew without playing a single match. Myanmar were excluded from entering for refusing to play Iran in a 2002 FIFA World Cup qialfying match.