The 2006 FIFA World Cup was the 18th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 9 June to 9 July 2006 in Germany, which won the right to host the event in July 2000. Teams representing 198 national football associations from all six populated continents participated in the qualification process which began in September 2003. Thirty-one teams qualified from this process, along with the host nation, Germany, for the finals tournament. It was the second time that Germany staged the competition (the first was in 1974 as West Germany and also a re-FIFA World Cup), and the tenth time that it was held in Europe.
Italy won the tournament, claiming their fourth World Cup title. They defeated France 5–3 in a penalty shootout in the final, afterextra time had finished in a 1–1 draw. Germany defeated Portugal 3–1 to finish in third place. Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Serbia & Montenegro, Trinidad & Tobago and Togo made their first appearances in the finals.
The 2006 World Cup stands as one of the most watched events in television history, garnering an estimated 26.29 billion non-unique viewers, compiled over the course of the tournament. The final attracted an estimated audience of 715.1 million people. The 2006 World Cup ranks fourth in non-unique viewers, behind the World Cup in 1994, 2002, and 1990. As the winner, Italy represented the World in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.
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