A Countdown to 10 Most Memorable World Cup Moments

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Take a trip down memory lane; have a look at some of FIFA World Cup’s most memorable moments

10. Baggio’s Penalty Miss

The 1994 FIFA World Cup final had Brazil and Italy pitting their wits against each other. The deadlock couldn’t be broken after 120 minutes of football, which meant that for the first time in FIFA World Cup history, the final would be decided via the dreadful penalty shootouts. Italian talisman, Roberto Baggio stepped up for the crucial fifth penalty, knowing that if he missed, Brazil would be crowned World Champions. Miss he did, with his penalty sailing high over the bar, making Brazil World Cup winners for a record fourth time.

 

9) Fastest World Cup Goal

The fastest World Cup goal was scored in the 2002 World Cup third/fourth place playoff game between host nation South Korea and tournament dark horses Turkey. The goal came after just 11 seconds, when Turkish Captain Hakan Sukur capitalized on some shambolic defending by the South Korean defense to give Turkey the lead. Turkey went on to win the game 3-2 and claim an unlikely but well deserved 3rd place.

 

8) Goal or No Goal?

Did the ball cross the line? A question a lot of football fans are familiar with. When Geoff Hurst of England cannoned a shot off the underside of the bar with the ball then bouncing off the line, referee Gottfried Dienst was left unsure whether to award England the goal or not. He eventually awarded the goal to England much to the dismay of the West Germany players and to the joy of the on looking Wembley faithful. That goal made it 3-2 in extra time; England went on to score another and lifted the World Cup for the first and only time.


7) Beautiful Brazil

The 1970 World Cup Final saw Brazil, inspired by the mercurial Pele, outclass Italy in a completely one sided game. The games brightest moment came when a beautiful passing move by Brazil ended up with Pele laying the ball off to the charging Carlos Alberto who hammered the ball into the bottom corner without breaking stride. Beautiful!


6) Suarez To The Rescue

When Ghana met Uruguay at the 2010 World Cup quarter final, they were hoping to be the first African team to reach the semi-finals. Deep into extra time, with the scores tied 1-1, Ghana almost got that goal they needed when Dominic Adiyiah’s header was on its way into the net. But up stepped Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, who parried the ball away with his hands and was red carded for his efforts. Ghana missed the subsequent penalty and went on to lose the game in a penalty shootout.


5) Giant Killing

Defending champions France entered the 2002 FIFA World Cup as one of the favourites to win it. They were without talisman Zinedine Zidane for the opening game but faced a Senegal side containing players few had heard of before. What should have been a walk in the park turned out to be an absolute disaster as Papa Bouba Diop turned in the opening goal for Senegal at the half hour mark. The world of football looked on stunned as the Senegalese put in a passionate performance and secured what surely remains one of the biggest upset of World Cup football.


4) The Infamous Head-butt

Legendary French player Zinedine Zidane came into the 2006 final against Italy knowing that it would be his last game as a professional footballer, having announced his retirement after the tournament. Into extra time, with the scores tied at 1-1, it would be sensible to make sure your team has every chance of winning the impending penalty shootout by staying on the field, right? Wrong. In a moment of rare anger, the otherwise composed Frenchman head-butted Italian defender Marco Materazzi in his chest, and got needlessly red carded. Right enough, France went on to lose the final via a penalty shootout.

3) Colombian Heartache

Colombia entered the 1994 World Cup in USA as one of the favourites to win it having lost just 1 of their previous 26 games, trashing South American giants Argentina 5-0 along the way. But things didn’t go according to plan for Colombia as they were eliminated in the group stage, with captain Andres Escobar scoring an own goal against host nation USA in one of the group games. A few days later, back home in Colombia, Andres Escobar was shot 6 times outside a night club in Medellin, in retaliation to his own goal. That own goal, albeit fatal for Escobar, remains one of the most memorable moments in World Cup history.


2) Hand of God

There are few moments in world football that come close to being as controversial and memorable as this one. England played Argentina in the 1986 World Cup quarter finals, knowing that if they restricted Argentine wizard Diego Maradona, they had a good chance of progressing. Easier said than done. But for 51 minutes they did manage to do it, until a freakish clearance by an English defender looped the ball straight up in the air inside the penalty box. England goalkeeper Peter Shilton jumped to punch it away but was beaten to it by Diego Maradona, who guided the ball into the goal with his hand. Maradona later described it as the ‘Hand of God’.

1) Mesmerizing Maradona

The same game as the Hand of God, in fact just 4 minutes later, Diego Maradona went on a run that was hardly believable. Receiving the ball just past the hallway line he went on a mazy run and dribbled past England defenders like they didn’t exist, before rounding off keeper Peter Shilton and slotting home Argentina’s and his 2nd goal of the game. It was later voted as the Goal of the Century and was certainly the most memorable goal scored in a World Cup.

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