With the 2014 World Cup just starting, let us talk a look back at some of the most exiting moments of the past years that helped make this world-wide tournament so popular.
The Headbutt (Germany Final 2006)
It is sad that Zinedine Zidane will always be remembered for the notorious headbutt incident in the 2006 World Cup final over his many accomplishments as part of club soccer and the international team. For those who don’t remember, Zidane was man of the match in the 1998 final where he scored two brilliant headers to help France beat out Brazil. However, it’s things like headbutts that make the game interesting, especially in a final and in overtime. To this day, I still cannot believe it happened.
Rossi vs. Brazil (Spain Semifinal 1982)
Paolo Rossi scored a hat trick to help Italy beat Brazil 3-2 in the semifinal. This was exciting because Italy scored in the fifth, then Brazil in the 12th: it would be one team than the other, until Rossi scored the game winning goal in the seventy-fourth minute. It was also a surprise because Rossi had not scored in the previous qualifying games in the 1982 World Cup.
Maradona scores one of the best (and worst) goals (Mexico Quarterfinal 1986)
In a quarterfinal against England, Diego Maradona scored both goals that lead to a 2-1 that are still talked about today. The infamous “Hand of God” goal was scored as he punched the ball into the net off a chip since he was not tall enough to head it. His second goal was a mix of skill, determination, and magic as he dribbled the ball from his half all the way to the goal. Both goals can be seen here.
Taking One for the Team (South Africa Quarterfinal 2010)
The quarterfinal of Ghana versus Uruguay was emotionally tolling on everyone watching. Going all the way into penalty kicks, Uruguay beat out Ghana 4-2 in penalty kicks only after Louis Suarez blocked an obvious goal with his hand that would have sealed the Ghana’s victory during game time. In addition, after Suarez was sent off, Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan’s penalty miss made the overtime and penalty kicks even more excruciating to watch. Suarez’s actions still creates different responses from people.
Brazilian Magic (Mexico Final 1970)
The elegance of the Brazilian game is showcased in this specific goal in the 1970 World Cup final. The passing and movement from the team, with the through ball from the great Pele, and the powerful strike from Carlos Albergo, reminds us of why Brazil is regarded as one of the best soccer countries in the world.