1974 World Cup
This is the year where the ruthlessness of the German machine saw off the guile and magic of the Dutch.
Germany in full flight
Two years before lifting the World Cup on home soil, West Germany had also won the Belgian-hosted European nations Cup to become the first ever nation to hold both titles concurrently.
Helmut Schoen's side were not only well-organised, but brilliantly gifted too and their stars Franz Beckenbauer, Gunter Netzer and Gerd Muller absolutely wowed Europe with their style of play, running out deserved and popular winners.
That particular team encompassed two vital elements - discipline and technique - which combined to good effect in a quarter-final which saw England humiliated 3-1 at Wembley.
The three remaining qualifiers were the USSR, Hungary, and Belgium, coached by Raymond Goethals, who eliminated title-holders Italy in the quarter-finals.
Germany stuck to their effective gameplan and booked themselves a place in the final by beating Belgium 2-1 in Antwerp, thanks mainly to a brace of goals from Bayern Munich striker Gerd Muller.
The German machine was brought to life by Monchengladbach's Gunter Netzer, who possessed brilliant technical ability. The tall blond with the size 12 feet proved all the more inspirational in a team which had been practically commandeered by the entire Bayern Munich squad.
A faultless formation
In the other semi-final the force of the Soviets was felt by Hungary (1-0), amid whom the revered Florian Albert was preparing to retire from a long and successful career. The USSR thus showed its prowess by qualifying for its third European nations Cup final in four appearances.
The final was staged in the Heysel stadium, awash with red, black and yellow flags. A new brace of goals was provided by Muller, while a goal from Wimmer only added suspense to an encounter that was effectively a one-way affair (3-0).
While hosts Belgium, under the leadership of Paul Van Himst, took third place by beating Hungary 2-1, it was the Germans who affirmed their domination of Europe on the park, with disciplined and faultless performances all around.
Sepp Maier was solid between the sticks, Muller capitalised on every goal opportunity, Paul Breitner was unerring in defence, Netzer proved the true master conductor of the team while Beckenbauer provided faultless and calm displays.
Host country: West Germany
Champions: West Germany (2nd title)
Top scorer (Golden Boot Award): Grzegorz Lato (7 goals)
Best player (Golden Ball Winner): Johan Cruyff