For the first time since 1934, 24 teams featured in the World Cup hosted by Spain in 1982.
Cameroon, Algeria, Honduras, New Zealand and Kuwait made their debut in the tournament.
The teams were divided into six groups of four, with the top two teams in each group advancing to the second round, where they split into four groups of three. The winners of each group advanced to the semi-finals.
The group match between West Germany and Austria resulted in a change of World Cup rules, after both teams visibly aimed to keep the qualification ensuring 1-0 scoreline over 80 minutes.
The semi-final between West Germany and France saw another controversy when German keeper Harald Schumacher’s challenge took out Patrick Battiston, with the score at 1-1. Schumacher escaped a red card, and Germany won in a penalty shoot-out, after coming back to level from having gone 3-1 down. The final was won by Italy, making Italian captain Dino Zoff the oldest player to win the World Cup and Alessandro Altobelli to become the first substitute player to score in the final.