This Day In Sports History (June 9th) – World Cup 20066

It was on this day in 2006 that the 18th FIFA World Cup began in Germany.  The tournament started with the host team Germany beating Costa Rica 4-2 in the highest scoring opening match in the history of the competition.

This World Cup marked the first time since 1982 that all four semi-finalists were from Europe.  The Germans would host the Italians in one semi-final, while Portugal and France battled it out in the other semi-final.  The Italians and Germans went 118 minutes without a goal, before Fabio Grosso scored with minutes remaining.  Alessandro Del Piero added a second shortly after for the 2-0 victory.  As for France, they narrowly defeated the Portuguese by a score of 1-0, thanks to a converted penalty kick by Zinedine Zidane.

The 2006 World Cup final was a rematch of the 2000 Euro Cup finals and the game was a classic.  France took a 1-0 lead early, but Italy quickly equalized.  In extra-time, French captain Zinedine Zidane was sent off for a head-butt to the chest of Marco Materazzi in his final international appearance.  Italy would go on to win the game in the penalty shootout to capture their fourth FIFA World Cup title.

Here are highlights from the 2006 World Cup.

Notable Birthdays

Tedy Bruschi, NFL – Born June 9th 1973 (age 38) in San Francisco, California

Peja Stojakovic, NBA – Born June 9th 1977 (age 34) in Pozega, Croatia

Udonis Haslem, NBA – Born June 9th 1980 (age 31) in Miami, Florida

Tags: Soccer, World Cup 2006,