Although Spain is now the World champion, there was a time when nobody ever believed that Spain could become the best team in the World.
In 1982, possibly as a gesture towards the fledgling democracy, the World Cup was held in Spain and won by Italy.
Nine of the games were held in the Valencian Community, including the Third Place Playoff.
On 15 June 1982 Hungary beat El Salvador 10–1 in the Nuevo Estadio, Elche, and on 8 June Maradona’s Argentina won 4–1 against Hungary in the Estadio José Rico Pérez, Alicante
On 19 June Belgium was triumphant in1–0 victory over El Salvador, also at the Nuevo Estadio, Elche.
In the same location on 22 June Belgium drew 1–1 with Hungary, and on 23 June Argentina eliminated El Salvador 2–0, again at the Estadio José Rico Pérez, Alicante.
On 16 June Spain drew 1–1 with Honduras in what was then known as Estadio Luis Casanova, Valencia FC’s ground, but which is now called Mestalla. Four days later on 20 June Spain beat Yugoslavia 2–1 in the same place.
Also in Valencia, on 25 June Spain lost 0–1 to Northern Ireland, with a goal by Gerry Armstrong.
In the Third place match on 10 July Poland beat France 3–2 in the Estadio José Rico Pérez, Alicante, and the Valencian World Cup came to an end.