Oscar Ruggeri Argentina Upper Deck #231 World Cup USA '94 Soccer Sport Card
The 1994 FIFA World Cup was the 15th FIFA World Cup, held in nine cities across the United States from 17 June to 17 July 1994. The United States was chosen as the host by FIFA on 4 July 1988. Despite the host nation's lack of football tradition, the tournament was the most financially successful in World Cup history; aided by the high-capacity stadia in the United States, it broke the World Cup average attendance record with nearly 69,000 spectators per game, a mark that still stands. The total attendance of nearly 3.6 million for the final tournament remains the highest in World Cup history, despite the expansion of the competition from 24 to 32 teams (and from 52 to 64 games), which was first introduced at the 1998 World Cup and is the current format.
Brazil won the tournament after beating Italy 3–2 in a penalty shoot-out at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California near Los Angeles, after the game had ended 0–0 after extra time. It was the first World Cup final to be decided on penalties. The victory made Brazil the first nation to win four World Cup titles. There were four new entrants in the tournament: Greece, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, as well as two countries that were formed at the end of the Cold War: Russia, following the breakup of the Soviet Union, and for the first time since 1938, a newly reunified Germany took part in the tournament, following Germany reunification in October 1990, a few months after West Germany's victory in the 1990 World Cup.