The 1966 World Cup Final like you've never seen it before

Opta visualisations of England's big day in FACTs...

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People show their excitement about the World Cup in different ways. Some attach a tacky-looking flag to their car window, others spraypaint their house, children or pets in their national team's colours. Our good friends at Opta, however, have been a little more industrious: they've been logging data from every World Cup back to 1966. 
Sadly this information isn't available on our Stats Zone app – you'll have to go to or ask @OptaSuit how to get hold of it – but we went to Opta Towers and plugged in for long enough to bring you these visualisations of the 1966 World Cup Final. And there are a few things you might be surprised to learn...

The long-range shooting was bobbins

You may have seen grainy old clips of Bobby Charlton wellying in goals from half a mile away, but on the big day at Wembley, the two teams mustered 53 shots from outside the penalty area between them over 120 minutes, with only 9 hitting the target. None of them found the back of the net. 

The close-range shooting was better

Of the combined 24 shots from inside the penalty area, 12 hit the target and 6 crossed the goal-line. Yes, six definitely crossed the goal-line. Definitely. No question about it. Look, let's just move on...

Passes were all even

FFT doubts very much that Kenneth Wolstenholme or anybody else was too concerned by passing stats. But if they were, they will have been mildly aroused by the fact both teams completed the exact same number of passes – 356 – with England's pass-completion rate marginally lower.

Moore, Hurst... GOAL!

England's most common pass combination was Bobby Moore to Geoff Hurst, with the England skipper passing forward to his West Ham team-mate 13 times. Captain Bob also chipped in with assists for 2 of Geoff Hurst's 3 goals. West Germany's top pass combo was Karl-Heinz Schellinger's 14 passes to Wolfgang Overath.

Wingless wonders had more width

Alf Ramsey's team may have been famed for not having wingers, but a glance at our player influence graph shows England got plenty of width from their full-backs – far more than West Germany.

Bobby Charlton and Beckenbauer – overrated?

Obviously not, but the much-lauded pair found the target with just 2 of their combined 16 shots.

Bally edges Der Kaiser in final third

The Bayern Munich hero may have been well on top in the nickname stakes, but the then-Blackpool man was marginally ahead when it came to passes in the final third. The pair completed more attacking third passes than any other player on the pitch – both 21 – but Ball managed to probe in more dangerous areas.

England dominate the skies

No room for WWII gags but England won 14 of the 23 aerial duels over the 120 minutes.

Sir Alf's masterplan revealed

Wait for the West Germans to approach the final third, then foul them, apparently. The West Germans were far more disparate with their hacking.

Bobby Moore was man of the match

Perceived wisdom is quite often correct, and England's young captain (at 25 years and three months) led by example. Moore led the lists for passes (64 out of 69) and ball recoveries (17, denoted here as green plus signs). 

With many thanks to and @OptaSuit for capturing all data from 1966 onwards  ask for details

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