The 1998 World Cup in France allowed more nations to participate in the tournament. Instead of 24 teams, 32 sides would qualify for the FIFA World Cup finals.
Therefore, South Africa, Japan, and Jamaica managed to qualify for the first time in history.
1998 World Cup Facts
Date: June 10 – July 12, 1998
1998 World Cup Finalist: Brazil and France
1998 World Cup Final Score: Brazil 0 France 3
3rd place: Netherlands – Croatia 1-2
Host cities: 10
Matches played: 64
Top scorer: Davor Suker (Croatia) (6 goals)
World Cup 1998 Background
For the 16th World Cup, three countries were interested in hosting the tournament.
The European countries Switzerland and France and African country Morocco placed a bid.
Switzerland had to withdraw due to the inability to meet FIFA’s requirements. As a result, only the remaining two countries would be included in the voting process. Morocco received seven votes and France 12 votes.
On July 1, 1992, FIFA’s executive committee announced in Zurich that France won the vote and would host the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
The tournament was not yet ready to be hosted in Africa since Morocco lost the bid for the 2nd time in a row.
France would be the 3rd World Cup country to host the famous sporting tournament twice after Mexico and Italy. The first time France hosted a World Cup was 60 years earlier, back in 1938.
World Cup 1998 Participants
One hundred seventy-four countries participated in the qualification rounds.
But compared to the previous World Cup, more places would be allocated.
After FIFA increased the amount of 16 participants to 24 participants in Spain in 1982, FIFA decided to increase the number again.
From France 1998 on, a total of 32 countries were able to participate in a FIFA World Cup.
This increase in participants meant more countries per continent could qualify for a tournament. The countries France (host country) and Brazil (1994 FIFA World Cup winner) were automatically qualified.
Fourteen places for Europe, excluding the host nation, were allocated to the following countries: Norway, Scotland, Italy, Austria, Denmark, Spain, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Yugoslavia, Romania, England, and Croatia.
Croatia qualified for the first time. Yugoslavia qualified for the first and only time as Yugoslavia (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) since the breakup of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1992.
Five places for Africa were allocated to the following countries: Morocco, Cameroon, Nigeria, Tunisia, and South Africa, which qualified for the first time. In addition, Tunisia qualified for the first time since 1978.
Four places for South America, excluding Brazil, were allocated to the following countries: Chile, Paraguay, Colombia, and Argentina.
Three places for North/Central America and the Caribbean were allocated to the following countries: the United States, Mexico, and Jamaica, which qualified for the first time.
Three places for Asia were allocated to the following countries: Japan, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia. Japan qualified for the first time.
One intercontinental play-off had to be played by two countries that didn’t qualify directly: OFC country Australia against AFC country Iran.
Iran won the play-off and qualified last minute for the 1998 World Cup. It was the first time since 1978 that Iran qualified again for the world championships.
1998 World Cup Draw
A football stadium was used for the first time in FIFA’s history to stage the Final Draw. About a billion viewers watched the familiar ceremony with plastic balls, names, and numbers as 38,000 spectators watched in awe at the Stade Velodrome in Marseilles.
Former FIFA General Secretary Joseph Blatter watched football personalities Franz Beckenbauer, Carlos Alberto Parreira, George Weah, and Raymond Kopa draw the teams’ names and place them in eight groups. It was the first World Cup with 32 finalists, and each of the eight first-round groups had a seeded team.
Along with defending champions Brazil and hosts France, Germany, Italy, Argentina, Spain, Romania, and the Netherlands were seeded.
World Cup 1998 Groups
Since France ’98 would contain 32 teams in total for the first time, the format had to be changed again.
However, it would still be similar to the 1994 tournament format. The only difference was the absence of third-place teams advancing to the next round.
Since the 1986 FIFA World Cup, four third-place teams would also advance to the Round of 16. However, this rule has been abandoned since two extra groups were introduced in the 1998 FIFA World Cup: G and H.
Sixteen participants would still advance to the Round of 16 where the knockout stage started. Only after the Quarter Final and Semi Final was the Final reached.
Again the number 1 teams of the groups played only against the number 2 teams of other groups after the group stage.
The 1998 World Cup was the first edition where each match in the first two rounds of group play and the whole knockout stage would be played separately.
This was chosen to maximize television audiences. In previous FIFA World Cups, specific matches outside the last group play were played simultaneously.
An interesting new aspect of the format was the introduction of the Golden Goal rule.
The match was immediately over when a goal was scored during extra time in a knockout match. A Golden Goal only occurred once in this tournament.
For the group matches, 3 points were still rewarded for a win and 1 for a draw.
The eight seed countries were Brazil, Italy, France, Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Romania, and Argentina. However, they were kept apart from each other and were placed in different groups.
The group draw was held live in a football stadium for the first time in FIFA history (Stade Vélodrome in Marseille).
The World Cup 1998 groups were as follows:
World Cup Stadiums
Ten stadiums in 10 host cities have been used to host World Cup matches. This was the same amount of stadiums hosting World Cup matches back in France 1938.
The city Lyon wasn’t used in the 1938 World Cup but was included to host six matches in 1998.
Of the nine stadiums used in 1938, only four were used again in the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
The stadiums in Marseille, Paris, Toulouse, and Bordeaux were used again.
The Final was held in Stade de France in Saint-Denis and not in Stade Olympique de Colombes in Paris as in France ’38.
The following ten cities and ten stadiums were used in France:
Stade de France
Status: France’s national and biggest stadium is the 6th biggest European stadia and is listed as a UEFA category four stadium.
Status: Completely renovated for the World Cup and is currently in renovation for the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament
Parc des Princes
Status: It is in an all-seater football stadium and will be renovated for the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament
Stade de Gerland
Status: Also known as Municipal de Gerland or Stade Gerland
Stade Félix Bollaert
Status: It was closed during the 2014-2015 season to renovate for the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament
Stade de la Beaujoire
Status: It was renovated for the 1999 FIFA World Cup and was turned into an all-seater stadium.
Stadium de Toulouse
Status: Also known as Stadium Municipal, it is the largest multi-purpose stadium in Toulouse.
Status: It is a multi-purpose stadium and was renovated in 2013.
Stade du Parc Lescure
Status: It is named Stade Chaban-Delmas and was renovated for the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
Stade de la Mosson
Status: It was entirely rebuilt for the World Cup and was renovated again in 2007.
World Cup 1998 Memorable Matches
Brazil – Norway 1-2
Stade Vélodrome, Marseille – Attendance: 55,000
Brazil won the first two matches of Group A. It was expected they would beat Norway as well.
Especially Morocco was hoping for this since they depended on Brazil to advance. Unfortunately, Brazil lost their only match of the 1998 FIFA World Cup before reaching the Final.
Brazilian forward Bebeto scored the first goal, but Tore Andre Flo and Kjetil Rekdal scored for Norway.
Rekdal’s goal was a controversial penalty. First, everyone thought the referee made a mistake by giving that penalty, but later on, with unique footage, it became evident Norway did deserve that penalty.
The last time Brazil lost a first-round match was in the 1966 World Cup against Hungary and Portugal. Morocco was knocked out due to Brazil’s loss. Norway joined Brazil in the next round.
Italy – Chile 2-2
Parc Lescure, Bordeaux – Attendance: 31,800
This is the 2nd time since the 1962 World Cup match ‘Battle of Santiago’ that both teams met in the famous tournament.
Chile won against Italy in 1962, and Italy won against Chile in 1966. This time the match ended in a draw.
Marcelo Salas scored both goals for Chile, and Christian Vieri and Roberto Baggio scored for Italy.
Baggio’s 2nd goal was important since it was a penalty kick. Remembering the 1994 World Cup Final penalty miss, he prepared to eliminate his past demons.
He scored the penalty and prevented Italy from losing the group match. As a result, Chile and Italy advanced to the Round of 16, leaving Cameroon and Austria behind.
In the Quarter-Final, Robert Baggio had to retake a penalty in a penalty shootout. Although he scored again, it was France who won the shootout.
France – South Africa 3-0
Stade Vélodrome, Marseille – Attendance: 55,000
France started the tournament excellently with an impressive win. Substitute Christophe Dugarry scored the first goal for France and fascinatingly celebrated this.
South Africa, which qualified for the first time for a FIFA World Cup, scored an unfortunate own goal by Pierre Issa.
Therefore the score changed to 2-0. Thierry Henry scored the final goal in injury time.
Spain – Nigeria 2-3
Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes – Attendance: 33,257
This first group match between Spain and Nigeria was fatal for Spain. The first half ended with a 2-1 score for Spain.
Fernando Hierro and Raul were the goal scorers, and Mutiu Adepoju scored for Nigeria.
In the 2nd half, Nigeria surprised Spain by scoring two goals in 5 minutes.
Garba Lawal scored the first goal in the 2nd half and Sunday Oliseh the 3rd, which was a powerful shot from a long distance.
Nigeria won and topped the group. Spain’s World Cup experience ended in the group stage, although they defeated Bulgaria 6-1.
USA – Iran 1-2
Stade de Gerland, Lyon – Attendance: 39,100
One of the most political charges matches in FIFA World Cup History was Iran against the USA. This was the first and last time they have met.
Before the match, both teams gathered to take a group photo, a great moment this was in the history of football.
Due to their political relationship, this match was perceived as a significant one. Therefore, when Iran won, the whole country celebrated like they had won the tournament, a significant achievement the win became.
Hamid Estili and Mehdi Mahdavikia became heroes and celebrated their goals with lots of emotion. USA striker Brian McBride scored 1 goal for the USA, but the damage was already done: Iran won.
France – Paraguay 1-0
Stade Félix Bollaert, Lens – Attendance: 38,100
Paraguay reached the Round of 16 for the first time since 1986.
For 112 minutes, France couldn’t beat charismatic Paraguayan goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert. Unfortunately, Paraguay lost this match due to a rule used in only 2 tournament (1998 and 2002).
It was the Golden Goal rule. France scored the first World Cup Golden Goal in extra time, and the match ended immediately.
The Golden Goal rule was simple: who scored in extra time won the match immediately. Laurent Blanc was the hero of the game, and Paraguay was eliminated.
Argentina – England 2-2 (4-3)
Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Étienne – Attendance: 30,600
One of the most memorable and entertaining matches was between Argentina and England. Classic moments occurred in this match.
Each team scored its first goal with a penalty kick. The first was scored by Gabriel Batistuta for Argentina and the 2nd by Alan Shearer for England.
Sixteen minutes later, English striker Michael Owen scored a legendary goal, considered one of the most incredible goals. He was only 18 years old.
But unfortunately for England, this was not the winning goal. Argentinian midfielder Javier Zanetti scored the equalizer just before halftime.
In the 2nd half and extra time, no goals were scored.
But a memorable moment happened in the 2nd half. Midfielder David Beckham received the red card. While lying on the field, he made a kick attempt at Argentinian Diego Simeone, who purposely fell to the ground.
The referee witnessed the happening and sent Beckham off. Naturally, this made England furious (since they lost this match), and Beckham would temporarily suffer from threats made by English fans.
English center-back Sol Campbell’s scored as well, but although he celebrated with such emotion, it was disallowed for a foul on the goalkeeper.
The score was still 2-2, and the first penalty shootout of the tournament was about to happen.
Sergio Berti, Juan Sebastián Verón, Marcelo Gallardo, and Roberto Ayala scored their penalty. Hernán Crespo was the only one who missed.
Alan Shearer, Paul Merson, and Michael Owen scored their penalties from England’s side. Paul Ince and David Batty missed.
England became eliminated for the second time due to the penalty shootout. Many English fans blamed David Beckham for missing the Quarter Final loss.
Netherlands – Argentina 2-1
Stade Vélodrome, Marseille – Attendance: 55,000
A very memorable quarter-final! Both countries haven’t encountered each other since the 1978 FIFA World Cup Final.
Only this time, the result turned out very differently. Dutch striker Patrick Kluivert scored the first goal of the match after a nice pass by Dennis Bergkamp with the head.
Argentinian forward Claudio López scored quickly after 6 minutes the 1-1. Argentina tried to achieve the winning goal but without success.
Ariel Ortega faked a foul hoping for a penalty kick, but the referee was smarter. Instead, he gave Ortega the red card after he hurt Dutch goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar.
But as in the previous match with the Netherlands, a last-minute goal was scored.
Frank de Boer passed the ball from a vast distance, where striker Dennis Bergkamp took the ball with complete control and scored magnificently.
This goal is also considered one of the most incredible goals in FIFA World Cup history.
Argentina lost the match, and the Netherlands advanced for the first time to the Semi-Final since the 1978 tournament.
Brazil – Netherlands 1-1 (4-2) Semi-Final
Stade Vélodrome, Marseille – attendance: 54,000
Two formidable opponents, Brazil and the Netherlands. They have already played against each other a couple of times in World Cup tournaments, and this match would certainly not be their last.
An exciting match, this was where striker Ronaldo scored the only goal for Brazil. The Netherlands scored a last-minute winning goal in a few previous World Cup games.
This time the last-minute goal by Patrick Kluivert prevented the Netherlands from being eliminated immediately.
The Netherlands had to participate in a FIFA World Cup penalty shootout for the first time. But it was Brazil that prevailed.
Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Emerson, and Dunga scored their penalty successfully. Frank de Boer and Bergkamp were the only players to score for Holland. Phillip Cocu and Ronald de Boer missed.
It would take twelve years before the Netherlands would see another World Cup semi final again. Brazil entered the Final again after having succeeded this four years earlier.
France – Croatia 2-1 (Semi Final)
Stade de France, Saint-Denis – attendance: 76,000
This is the third time in a row France has made it to a World Cup semi final. France reached the Semi-Final in 1982 and 1986 as well.
They only had to beat Croatia to reach the Final for the first time in World Cup history.
Croatia surprised the world by beating teams such as Romania and Germany.
Croatian Davor Suker scored the first goal of the match. However, on this day, it was Lilian Thuram who became the hero of France.
He scored both goals, creating the passage to the 1998 World Cup Final. Coincidentally in his career of 142 caps, these two goals were his only goals scored for France!
Croatia lost the match but did win the game for third place. Davor Suker was 1 of the goalscorers and ended up being the 1998 FIFA World Cup top scorer with six goals.
Davor Suker And Croatia
In the round of 16, the Croats beat Romania 1-0, with Davor Suker getting on the scoresheet.
But their most impressive result would come in the quarter-final against Germany. They were not intimidated by the three-time FIFA World Cup winners and dispatched them home with a convincing 3-0 win.
However, in the 1998 World Cup semi-final, they had to face the hosts, France.
Suker managed to open the score, scoring his sixth goal in the competition, which would ensure he finished as the tournament’s top scorer, but then, France’s Lilian Thuran decided to take it up a notch.
He had never scored for France before. However, he scored twice in the semi-final, putting France in the 1998 FIFA World Cup final.
World Cup 1998 Final
Brazil and France met for the first time in a Final. This was the first time France reached a World Cup Final; for Brazil, it was the 6th time.
Brazil was considered as 1 of the favorites with star players Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Bebeto, Roberto Carlos, and Denilson, among others.
Every match was won except for the group match against Norway. They barely won against the Netherlands in the Semi-Final by winning a penalty shootout.
France became a favorite team, showing they are a serious contestant for the FIFA World Cup trophy.
Do Not Underestimate
With star players such as Zinedine Zidane, Lilian Thuram, Marcel Desailly, Laurent Blanc, and Youri Djorkaeff, the 1998 World Cup teams soon found out not to underestimate the French team.
They won every match, and like Brazil, they had to go through a penalty shootout. This was against Italy in the quarter finals.
France and Brazil encountered each other for the third time in the prestige tournament. They played against each other in the 1958 and 1986 World Cup. Brazil won in 1958 and France in 1986.
On June 12, the Final was held in Stade de France, Saint-Denis, with an attendance of 75,000.
There existed some controversy regarding Brazilian player Ronaldo. On the eve of the final, he suffered an epileptic seizure which player Roberto Carlos witnessed.
The coach Mario Zagallo, therefore, excluded Ronaldo from the starting eleven. However, 72 minutes before the kick-off, Ronaldo would play in the Final was announced.
During the match, he wasn’t 100% fit like he was in previous games. Therefore many conspiracies exist about whether Ronaldo was forced to play this Final against his will. Such theories were never proven.
In the first half hour, the first goal of the Final was scored by Zinedine Zidane (27′). The goal was scored with the head from a corner, and was impossible for goalkeeper Claudio Taffarel to stop.
In injury time, Zinedine Zidane scored an identical goal, changing the score to 0-2 before halftime.
In the 2nd half, there were only 22 minutes left when Marcel Desailly received the red card.
They even had to endure another goal from France. Emmanuel Petit changed the score into a final 0-3 in injury time.
Brazil was beaten with a unique score of 0-3. Never in World Cup history has Brazil lost a match with a goal difference of 3.
They Partied Like It Was 1998
France won the FIFA World Cup for the first time. Two days after the Final, France celebrated French Nation Day (Bastille Day) more intensely due to the 1998 World Cup Final win.
A team representing the multi-racial mix of modern France unified the nation.
France’s 1998 World Cup Journey
After seeing Michel Platini’s generation be eliminated twice in the semi-final, France did not inspire much trust in their fans.
Before the tournament, Zinedine Zidane had gone as far as saying, “I’m going to win this 1998 World Cup,” but had not played well until the final.
He almost put everything at risk in the group stage when he stamped on an opponent, was sent off, and was suspended for two matches.
Nevertheless, the French won their first three matches and qualified first in the group.
The Knock Out Stage
However, in the round of 16 match, France struggled.
Without the young Zidane, France had to work hard to break through Paraguay’s excellent defensive system, which was made up of keeper Jose Chilavert – somewhat of a controversial figure – and Carlos Gamarra, an exceptional defender.
However, Laurent Blanc scored the golden goal during extra time to put France through to the 1998 World Cup quarter-final.
The young Zidane was back for the quarter-final against Italy and helped France get through on penalties.
The semi-final against Croatia was also exciting: Thuram scored his first two goals for France, putting them in the final.
Young Zidane And His Brillance
Against Brazil, the 1994 winners, the young Zidane finally showed his brilliant football. In the first half, France’s number 10 scored two, making it 2-0 for the French national team.
Lost on the pitch, the Brazilians could not pull it back, and Emmanuel Petit sealed the French win before referee Said Belgola from Morocco put an end to the match.
He was the first African referee to officiate a FIFA World Cup final. France won their first title in history, and celebrations took over the country, with around one million fans taking to the streets of the Champs Élysées.
Where Is Ronaldo?
As 1994 World Cup winners, Brazil did not have to qualify for the tournament in France. Instead, they had to prepare through friendly matches.
Still, they were in high spirits. After all, they had Ronaldo, who was selected FIFA world player of the year in the previous two years.
However, problems started before the World Cup. Romário, the hero of the 1994 winning campaign, was cut because of injury by manager Zagallo a little before the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
He stated it was a light injury at the time, but the technical staff would not change their minds. However, the striker never came to terms with this decision.
Without Romario, Brazil had Ronaldo, Bebeto, and Rivaldo. But on the group stage, the best Brazilian player was Cesar Sampaio.
Brazil’s 1998 World Cup Journey
Brazil’s national team had victories over Morocco and Scotland in the first two matches.
However, a defeat to Norway exposed some weaknesses in the team, although it did not compromise their place in the knockout stage.
A convincing win over Chile in the round of 16 cheered the fans up. Then, in the quarter-final, Rivaldo shone and scored two goals in Brazil’s 3-2 victory over Denmark.
In the 1998 World Cup semi-final against the Netherlands, keeper Claudio Taffarel saved the day.
The match ended in a draw and had to be decided on penalties. Brazil’s goalkeeper saved two penalties, which put Brazil in yet another final.
What Happened In The 1998 World Cup Final
However, the 1998 FIFA World Cup final was a cold shower for Brazilian fans, who watched a low-spirited team be dominated by France and lose 3-0.
A strange episode before the match, not cleared up fully until today, would become a World Cup mystery.
Forward Ronaldo suffered a seizure hours before the final. As a result, Brazil’s starting line-up was announced before the match with Edmundo as Ronaldo’s replacement.
However, after being assessed by doctors, Ronaldo got the all-clear to play.
Nevertheless, his teammates, worried about his health, lost their focus. Indeed, Ronaldo did not resemble himself on the pitch.
Like the 1994 World Cup mascot, FIFA introduced another animal as a mascot.
The animal is a rooster and goes by the name Footix. Only there is a significant difference between Striker the pup and Footix.
A rooster is a national emblem and traditional symbol of France. Even the French Football Association contains an image of a rooster.
Therefore the choice of introducing a rooster as the mascot was received positively.
The name Footix came from the word football and French comic hero Astérix the Gaul and was chosen because of a contest on French television. Around 19,000 French residents voted for the name Footix.
Unlike the 1966 mascot Willie and 1994 mascot Striker, Footix contains the host nation’s flag colors.
He also holds the Tricolore 1998 World Cup match ball, which is visible in the France 1998 logo. His chest states FRANCE 98, and he appears to have the right feet to play football.
Footix, with his friendly smile, was one of the more memorable mascots in World Cup history.
World Cup 1998 Songs
The 1998 FIFA World Cup contained more songs than the previous editions. There was an official theme and an official song.
Every upcoming World Cup would contain both an anthem and a song.
The France 1998 anthem with the title La Cour des Grands (Do You Mind If I Play) was sung by famous Senegalese singer Youssou N’ Dour and Belgian singer-songwriter Axelle Red.
The anthem is sung in both French and English.
GO GO GO ALLEZ ALLEZ ALLEZ! Although the national anthem was received positively, as was Ricky Martin’s La Copa de la Vida (The Cup of Life).
It is hard to sit still while listening to this official 1998 World Cup tune. La Copa de la Vida topped the charts in many countries worldwide.
The popularity of this high-tempo Latin rhythmic song was so immense that it alone contributed to the enormous success of the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
Ricky uses both the English and Spanish language in this official song. There is also a version in the Spanish language only.
1998 FIFA World Cup Records
- Five countries qualified for the first time: Croatia, Jamaica, Japan, South Africa, and Yugoslavia.
- Yugoslavia participated for the first and only time as Yugoslavia (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) since the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia broke up in 1992.
- The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia team would never play a World Cup again since the name got changed into Serbia and Montenegro in 2003 and Serbia in 2006.
- Croatia is the second debutant after Portugal in 1966 to reach third place in their first World Cup.
- The first time Croatia qualified since the breakup of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1992.
- First tournament to contain 32 participants instead of 24
- The 1998 World Cup winner France is the 3rd country to host the championships for the 2nd time
- France won their first World Cup title in 1998 and second in 2018.
- France is the sixth national team to win a World Championship as a host country.
- The 1998 FIFA World Cup winners France is the 7th country to win.
- France is the 4th country to win every match before winning the Final
- The Final has the most significant victory margin (three) together with the 1958 and 1970 Final.
- The Golden Goal rule was introduced.
- The most own goals have been scored in this World Cup together with the 1954 and 2006 editions: 4 own goals.
- French goalkeeper Fabien Barthez was the first goalkeeper to have only conceded two goals before becoming World champion.
- French midfielder Marcel Desailly is the first and only player from a winning team to receive a red card in a World Cup Final.
- French player Laurent Blanc is the first and only player to have scored a Golden Goal, in the 113th minute in the Round of 16 matches against Paraguay.
- French player Zinedine Zidane is the first French player in tournament history to have received a red card (in the first-round match against Saudi Arabia).
- Croatian player Robert Prosinecki, scored for Yugoslavia in the 1990 tournament and for Croatia in the 1998 edition, which means he is the only player to have scored for two countries in a World Cup.
- The fastest World Cup goal ever scored by a substitute was by Danish player Ebbe Sand who only needed 16 seconds in the Round of 16 match against Nigeria (4-1).
- Italy was eliminated for the 3rd time in a row (1990, 1994,1998) due to the penalty shootout.
- German player Lothar Matthäus played his 5th World Cup in a row (1982-1998).
- German player Lothar Matthäus played in his last tournament. He played the most matches in history: 25 in total.
- Argentinian player Gabriel Batistuta is the first and only player in history to have scored a World Cup hat-trick in 2 different editions (1994 and 1998)
- Cameroon player Rigobert Song became the first player to have been sent off in 2 World Cups: 1994 and 1998.
- First World Championships, where each match in the first two rounds of group play and the whole knockout stage have been played separately to maximize television audiences.
Did You Know
- Brazil lost against Norway in a group match (2-1), the last time Brazil lost a first-round game was in the 1966 World Cup against Hungary and Portugal.
- 1994 Brazilian star Romario had to miss this World Cup due to a muscular injury he didn’t recover from on time.
- Both Saudi Arabia coach Carlos Alberto Parreira and South Korea coach Cha Bum-Kun were fired after the first 2 group matches, which ended in losses.
- Danish forward Brian Laudrup celebrated his equalizer against Brazil uniquely by running to the sidelines and laying down on his side, leaning his head on his elbow, very relaxed as if nothing had happened.
- The Tricolore match ball features symbols of the host nation and the French red, white, and blue tricolore colors on the triads.
- The Tricolore match ball is the first multi-colored World Cup ball
- Tricolore match ball is based on an entirely new synthetic material featuring “syntactic foam,” which gives better compression and more explosive rebound characteristics.
- The Tricolore match ball is the last ball to use the classic tango design with the triads (the impression of 12 circles) introduced in the 1978 World Cup match ball Tango.
- 1930 player Lucient Laurent was the only surviving French player to have witnessed France winning the World Cup in France ’98.
- France ’98 introduced the first official video game (for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation, Nintendo 64, and the Game Boy) created by EA Sports after obtaining the proper rights from FIFA in 1997, which they still have.
World Cup 1998 FIFA Awards
Golden Ball: Ronaldo (Brazil)
Silver Ball: Davor Suker (Croatia)
Bronze Ball: Lilian Thuram (France)
Golden Boot: Davor Suker (Croatia) (6 goals)
Silver Boot: Gabriel Batistuta (Argentina), Christian Vieri (Italy) (5 goals)
Bronze Boot: Luis Hernandez (Mexico), Marcelo Salas (Chile), Ronaldo (Brazil) (4 goals)
Best Young Player Award: Michael Owen (18 years old) (England)
FIFA Fair Play Trophy: England/France
Yashin Award: Fabien Barthez (France)
Most Entertaining Team: France
1998 FIFA All-Star Team
This is the first All-Star Team to include 16 players with two keepers.
This is also the first and last time two brothers were included together: The Danish player’s Brian and Michael Laudrup.
Both Croatia and Paraguay players made their first appearance. Brazilian player Dunga is included for a second time.
Three Brazilian players would be included in the next All-Star Team in 2002: Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, and Rivaldo. In addition, French players Lilian Thuram and Zinedine Zidane would be included again in a future FIFA All-Star Team.
Fabien Barthez (France)
José Luis Chilavert (Paraguay)
Roberto Carlos (Brazil)
Marcel Desailly (France)
Lilian Thuram (France)
Frank de Boer (Netherlands)
Carlos Gamarra (Paraguay)
Michael Laudrup (Denmark)
Zinedine Zidane (France)
Edgar Davids (Netherlands)
Davor Suker (Croatia)
Brian Laudrup (Denmark)
Dennis Bergkamp (Netherlands)