While we do not yet know which one of Morocco or France will be facing Argentina in the 2022 World Cup final, it is already guaranteed that an extraordinary streak dating back four decades will continue when the showpiece kicks off in Qatar on Sunday.
At least one player from both 10-time reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich and Serie A giants Inter Milan has been involved in every World Cup final since Italy‘s 3-1 victory over West Germany in the 1982 decider in Spain.
What’s more, no matter who joins Lionel Messi & Co. in the 2022 final at the Lusail Stadium, both Bayern and Inter will once again have a player involved.
Here’s a look at those Bayern and Inter players who made this truly remarkable run happen.
Spain 1982: Italy 3-1 West Germany
Buon compleanno Alessandro Altobelli! 🇮🇹🎂
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 28, 2019
Bayern: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Paul Breitner, Wolfgang Dremmler (West Germany)
Inter: Beppe Bergomi, Gabriele Oriali, Alessandro Altobelli (Italy)
Bayern and Inter were equally represented at the Bernabeu as both clubs offered up a trio of players for the 1982 final. The game was a classic as after a goalless first half, the Azzurri rushed to a brilliant 3-1 victory over their European rivals with Inter’s Altobelli icing the cake with his team’s third goal, scored in front of 90,000 fans.
Mexico 1986: Argentina 3-2 West Germany
🗣️ “I always say that because of Batista’s beard, it looked as if Jesus had appeared to tell us we were now destined to become world champions.”
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) October 9, 2020
Bayern: Lothar Matthaus, Dieter Hoeness, Norbert Eder (West Germany)
Inter: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (West Germany)
Despite all four Bayern and Inter players pulling together on the same side they couldn’t prevent West Germany from suffering their second successive World Cup final defeat, succumbing to Argentina in front of a thronging 114,600-strong crowd at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. For all Diego Maradona’s miraculous performances earlier in the competition, he did not manage to score in the final. Instead, Argentina’s winning goal was tucked home by midfielder Jorge Burruchaga.
Italy 1990: West Germany 1-0 Argentina
🎯 Andi Brehme hit a superb winner in the last 16, was crucially on target in the semi-final, and scored the goal that won West Germany the 1990 #WorldCup. He was a left-back 🤯
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 9, 2021
Bayern: Klaus Augenthaler, Jurgen Kohler, Stefan Reuter, Lothar Matthaus (West Germany)
Inter: Andrea Brehme, Jurgen Klinsmann, Lothar Matthaus (West Germany)
West Germany had their redemption in 1990 with seven players from Bayern and Inter among their team as they pipped Argentina by a single goal at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Presented with a penalty in the 86th minute, Germany’s regular taker Matthaus deferred his duties (due to his new boots feeling uncomfortable), leaving Inter full-back Brehme to convert from the spot to settle the game.
USA 1994: Brazil 0-0 Italy, 3-2 pens
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) July 17, 2020
Bayern: Jorginho (Brazil)
Inter: Nicola Berti (Italy)
Just one player from either side of the cross-Alpine divide took part in the 1994 final, with Brazilian right-back Jorginho playing on the opposite flank to Italy’s right midfielder Berti. Jorginho lasted just 21 minutes at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena before injury forced him to be replaced by a youngster by the name of Cafu. The goalless game dragged to a penalty shootout wherein Azzurri talisman Roberto Baggio — who would have a two-year spell at Inter later in his career — launched the decisive kick over the crossbar to hand the trophy to the Selecao.
France 1998: France 3-0 Brazil
1-0! It’s that man Zidane at the near post!
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) April 20, 2018
Bayern: Bixente Lizarazu (France)
Inter: Youri Djorkaeff (France), Ronaldo (Brazil)
Ronaldo wasn’t included on Brazil’s initial team sheet after suffering a fit on the afternoon of the game and spending several hours in hospital. Nevertheless, the Inter striker returned to the fold and ultimately played the full 90 minutes while looking distinctly off colour for the majority. Conversely, France were inspired by the big-game heroics of Zinedine Zidane as Les Bleus powered to a commanding 3-0 victory at the Stade de France.
Japan/South Korea 2002: Brazil 2-0 Germany
🇧🇷 Brazil are in Yokohama for the #OlympicFootball gold medal match 🥇
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) August 7, 2021
Bayern: Oliver Kahn, Carsten Jancker, Thomas Linke, Jens Jeremies (Germany)
Inter: Ronaldo (Brazil)
After the disappointment of 1998, Ronaldo returned to form in Asia’s first-ever World Cup as he finished the tournament as Golden Boot winner with eight goals. The resurgent Inter striker scored both of Brazil’s goals in the final in Yokohama to deliver his nation a record fifth World Cup title.
Germany 2006: Italy 1-1 France, 5-3 pens
On this day in 2006, Zinedine Zidane was sent off for headbutting Marco Materazzi in the World Cup final. It was his last act as a professional footballer.
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 9, 2020
Bayern: Willy Sagnol (France)
Inter: Marco Materazzi (Italy)
While the 2006 World Cup final will not be remembered for Sagnol’s involvement, Materazzi’s display at the Olympiastadion has already passed into footballing infamy. The Italy centre-back first conceded a penalty in the sixth minute of the match, which Zidane converted with a daring “Panenka.” Materazzi then headed home Italy’s equaliser in the 19th minute before tangling with Zidane once again in extra time, leading to the provocative Inter defender getting headbutted in the chest. While Zidane was shown the red card that brought his stellar career to a chaotic end, Materazzi righted himself to score a penalty in the ensuing shootout as Italy emerged victorious in Berlin.
South Africa 2010: Spain 1-0 Netherlands
Iniesta’s 2010 #WorldCup final goal changed Spanish football forever!🇪🇸👏🏆
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) May 8, 2018
Bayern: Arjen Robben, Mark van Bommel (Netherlands)
Inter: Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands)
Spain and Netherlands played out a fantastically ill-tempered bout in the 2010 final as Van Bommel led the rough tactics being used to disrupt La Roja from dominating possession. By the end of the battle, Netherlands received nine yellow cards and one red, while Spain amassed five bookings of their own. Bayern and Inter contributed three players to the Dutch cause but they couldn’t prevent Andres Iniesta from seizing a volatile, attritional victory for Spain in the second period of extra time.
Brazil 2014: Germany 1-0 Argentina
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 3, 2019
Inter: Rodrigo Palacio (Argentina)
With no fewer than seven players taking part, Bayern provided the lion’s share of Germany’s 2014 World Cup-winning side. The Bavarian giants also supplied the winning goal scorer, with second-half substitute Gotze straining every fibre of his being to volley home Andre Schurrle’s cross in the 113th minute and secure the trophy for Die Mannschaft.
Russia 2018: France 4-2 Croatia
🔙 A #WorldCup Final hadn’t produced more than 5 goals in 52 years. Then #OnThisDay in 2018 @FrenchTeam & @HNS_CFF treated almost 80,000 in the Luzhniki & over 1 billion watching across the globe to a 6-goal thriller 💥
🇫🇷 🇭🇷 Merci. Hvala. 👏 🙏pic.twitter.com/KqNsoRVEYu
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) July 15, 2020
Bayern: Corentin Tolisso (France)
There was plenty of entertainment on offer in the highest-scoring World Cup final since 1966 as France beat a resilient Croatia side at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Both Inter players ultimately found themselves on the losing team as Tolisso and Les Bleus hoisted the trophy aloft.
Inter: Lautaro Martinez (Argentina)
Due to the 2022 semifinal bracket we are once again guaranteed to have at least one Bayern and one Inter player taking part in the Qatar final. Morocco only have one player in the mix but, even if their stunning run ends, France have plenty of Bayern players in their squad to ensure the streak will continue into the 2026 tournament.