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2006 FIFA World CupWith the announcement of finals draw & fixtures news in December - followed by the 1st round elimination games in June - the games eventually came down to the first all-European final four in 20 years (Germany, Italy, France and Portugal) the week before the final.

The final question was - France or Italy? Here in the USA, Italian-Americans in New York and Boston were rooting for Italy as the obvious favorite, although "Viva La France!" was the cry heard in places like Cajun Louisiana, Quebec, and Montreal.

In the end, Italy emerged the victor taking home their fourth World Cup title.

Who We Watched

Watched by an estimated 26 BILLION people, the 2006 World Cup still stands as one of the most viewed television events in history. And in the final minutes, it was none other than French team star Zinedine Zidane who was at the center of a controversial head butt of Italian Marco Materazzi that made headlines around the world.

2006 World Cup lowlight: Zidane's infamous headbutt.

Otherwise, all eyes were turned to World Cup veteran David Beckham, and the Portugese sensation, Cristiano Ronaldo. Fan also look forward to the newest stars of international soccer to really shine. Just emerging from their teens, players like England's Wayne Rooney, Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger and Argentina's Lionel Messi had already proven themselves as leading scorers and - perhaps more importantly - possessed the staying power for a grueling, month-long international tournament.

In Germany

The World Cup was played out in 12 German cities between June 9 and July 9, 2006.

The games kicked off in Munich at the brand new Allianz Stadium; with the semi-finals played in Dortmund and Munich. Third place play-offs were staged in Stuttgart afterwhich the championship wrapped in Berlin when the 2006 FIFA World Cup champions were crowned at the final.

On Television

In the U.S., ABC Sports & ESPN covered the FIFA World Cup with high definition telecasts for the first time of all 64 FIFA World Cup matches, while in the U.K. viewers tuned into BBC Sport to provide expert coverage. A vewership totaling 25 million households also watched on ESPN Star on the Indian Subcontinent, and rabid Australian footy fans were glued to SBS all month long.

also see -> World Cup 2010 | World Cup 2014

World Cup On the Web

Elsewhere on the Web there was related news, details on the draw, positions and standings, player profiles & interviews, travel information, and lots of related history, facts & trivia on the road to the 2006 FIFA World Cup ...

BBC Sport | World Cup 2006 - Great photos, expert analysis and feature stories surrounding the World Cup buildup, related tables and results, online World Cup forum, video clips, live streaming Webcasts of selected games.

2006 FIFA World Cup - Check out complete Wikipedia coverage including highlights and lowlights, complete bracket and scores, photos, and related resources.

also see -> Soccer | Olympic Soccer

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