New Delhi: Hosts Germany has played an illustrious part in the pages of World Cup history. The last time they played hosts in 1974, they won the trophy. And this time around they are hoping for an encore. A German team has qualified for every FIFA World Cup finals, except the 1930 and 1950 tournaments. They boast of an outstanding record with three world titles to their name. In 1954, the then West Germany returned home from Switzerland with the trophy for the first time. The famous "Walters eleven" defeated a seemingly invincible Hungary 3-2 in the final. In 1966, Germany faced off with old rivals England where a controversial Geoff Hurst beat a young Franz Beckenbauer and West Germany at Wembley. Then in 1974 'Kaiser Franz' and Gerd Muller led the West Germans to World Cup glory again, this time on home turf. After successive defeats in the finals of 1982 and 1986, Germany won their third title in Italy in 1990. Beckenbauer played a key role again, this time as coach to the squad captained by Lothar Matthaus. In the final, Andreas Brehme converted a penalty against Argentina, giving Germany a 1-0 win and restoring honour after their defeat by the Gauchos four years earlier. An unremarkable decade on the world stage followed before Germany bounced back with a vengeance at the 2002 World Cup. They finally lost 0-2 to Brazil in the final and would now be hoping to return the favour.