Unpredictability is the DNA of football. There are no favorites and no underdogs in this beautiful game. The game captivates its audiences by adding the essence of thrill and animation to the sport. World Cup 2014 marks the beginning in the football obsessed country of Brazil, we would like to enlighten you with some of the most memorable football episodes from world cup history. These episodes comprise some brilliantly talented skills to shocking defeats and some madcap moments that will always be committed to memory.
5. Diego Maradonaâ€™s â€˜Hand of Godâ€™
No world cup success story is considered complete until you include the name of legendary Argentinean striker Diego Armando Maradona. With Diego Maradona, you can recount brilliancy of scoring and his controversial goal against England in the quarter final for 1986 world cup. Both these nations were known to have a fierce rivalry towards each other in that era. However, the Argentinean striker ended the game with 2 goals in just four minutes. the first goal came in the 51st minute when Diego flew to head the ball in the nets but eventually touched the ball with his hand and later went on to win the finals over West Germany. Â Â
4. Iniesta Scores and Leaves the Orange Army Weeping
The preceding soccer world cup was fairly dominated by the European giants with Germany, Netherlands and Spain making their names in the semifinals. As expected the European Spain overcame the German squad and made it to the finals where they faced the orange Dutch team after their impressive tournament record. The final saw the very best of both the European teams and went beyond the 90 minute mark.Â As the second extra half was approaching its last dying minutes, the fans expected a penalty shootout. But, from nowhere Andres Iniesta struck a right foot strike in Netherlands goal and left the Dutch squad completely shattered.Â Â Â Â
3. Zidaneâ€™s Headbutt to Marco Materazzi
Before the 2006 world cup finals, compliments like skill, leadership and class were associated with the French captain. But the world cup final had something unexpected in stores from France and Italy. That evening Marco Materazzi, the Italian Defender was the highlight of the whole game and stood between the French team and world cup glory. The final was already done with 90 minutes producing a 1 -1 result and was extended to extra time.Â Out of the blue, Zidane headbutt Materazzi in middle of the pitch for which the referee had to fire the French skipper from the crucial end. The red card brought an end to Zidaneâ€™s brilliant football career allowing Italy to clinch the title in a penalty shootout.
2. Cameroon Conquering the Champs Argentina In 1990
If Maradonaâ€™s hand of God made Argentina the world champs for 1986, the next world cup had different plans for the title holders. It was the inaugural match of the tournament and Argentina made their way to the pitch as the favorites.Â Although, the African team was known for its strong defensive style of football, no one expected the champs to go down in the opening match.Â Moreover, the Cameroon squad was reduced to nine men but went on to defend one goal lead that was scored by Francois Omam-Biyik in 67th minute. However, Argentina lost in the final of the tournament while Cameroon could only make it to the quarters.
1. Ronaldinhoâ€™s Magical 40-Yard Free Kick That Blew the English Team Home
In world of football the expression that perfectly reflects the incredible skills of Ronaldinho is the esoteric magic.Â The Brazilian magician was among speculations about his ability and even had questions against his selection in the national squad.Â However, Ronaldinho had his own style of silencing the critics and so he did in 2002 quarter finals. The Brazilian squad was against the talented English squad and required something superb to prevail over the European giants.Â Both the teams were 1-1 at the end of first half but it was a lobbed free kick from 42 yards by Ronaldinho in the 50th minute that took the South Americans to semis and then to their fifth world cup title.