The previous World Cup in Mexico 1970 was the first that was shown in colour and is best remembered for the magnificent games featuring Brazil as well as (in England minds) the 3-2 quarter final win by West Germany. Again the pictures were sharp and the quality of the sound wonderfully scratchy - and we were all introduced to the 'Mexican wave'.
Football in England was at a low ebb - it was only a year after the ban on European competitions had begun - but Liverpool had dazzled on their way to a League and Cup double, and, with England, Scotland and Northern Ireland all qualifying, hopes were high for an entertaining tournament.
The format was for 24 teams to be placed into six groups. The top two, and the four best placed third placed teams, would advance to the last 16 - which would then be a straight knock out.
Canada, Denmark and Iraq were making their first appearance in a world cup finals
The draw took place on Sunday 15 December 1985 and produced:
Group A: Italy, Argentina, South Korea, Bulgaria
Group B: Mexico, Paraguay, Iraq, Belgium
Group C: France, Soviet Union, Canada, Hungary
Group D: Brazil, Spain, Algeria, Northern Ireland
Group E: West Germany, Uruguay, Denmark, Scotland
Group F: Poland, England, Morocco, Portugal
Here ITV preview the chances of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland