April 04, 2020
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FIFA World Cup Trivia: Pickled Moments

Triumphs, near-misses and skulduggery; every World Cup has had its highlights

FIFA World Cup Trivia: Pickled Moments
FIFA World Cup Trivia: Pickled Moments


  • Uruguay score three in the second half of the final to win 4-2, a loss not taken too well in Argentina where fans in Buenos Aires attack the Uruguayan Embassy     


  • The only edition where the defending champions refuse to participate as several European nations had declined to come over when they hosted it in 1930


  • In the last World Cup before the war, Italy becomes the first nation to successfully defend the Jules Rimet trophy, the other being Brazil


    • The final, dubbed the Maracanazo (“The Maracanã Blow”), sees Uruguay defeat Brazil at home with Alcides Ghiggia’s goal exposing the Maracana to stunned silence


  • One of the greatest sides never to win the cup, Hungary are denied the ‘The Miracle of Bern’ when a Ferenc Puskas goal is disallowed with Germany leading 3-2 in the 87th minute


  • A final which sees the greatest number of goals (including the oldest and youngest goal-scorers) also sees Brazil beat Sweden 5-2 and the world take notice of a 17-year-old by the name of Pele


  • As good if not better than Pele according to Brazilians, this is Garrincha’s World Cup after Pele is injured against Czechoslovakia


  • Known as the ‘Black Panther’, Eusebio is the highlight of this edition which features five goals put past North Korea after Portugal are 0-3 down at the halfway mark


  • Brazil get to keep the Jules Rimet trophy after winning it for a third time, and a replacement is sent for. The original however, is stolen in 1983 and hasn’t been recovered till date.


  • Another case of one of the greatest sides to miss out, a Johan Cruyff-inspired Oranje cruise to the final while displaying what is later called ‘Total Football’


  • A controversial World Cup with a politically unstable Argentina winning. Mario Kempes stars in a 6-0 rout of Peru in the second round


  • A beautiful Brazilian side embellished with the likes of Socrates and Zico stumble into Paolo Rossi to the disappointment of football fans worldwide, except Italy of course


  • The ‘hand of God’ is just one nifty trick up Diego’s sleeve; he also scores a goal dubbed the ‘goal of the century’ in the same game against England. Time stands still on both occasions.


  • The misery continues for the English cameras zooming in on a teary-eyed Paul ‘Gazza’ Gascoigne after being bundled out 4-3 on penalties by West Germany in the semis


  • The Brazilians start to have fun again and Bebeto celebrates scoring against the Netherlands by rocking an imaginary cradle, a celebration which has inspired many goal-scorers since


  • Keeping the pitch above politics in France, the Iranian team greet their opponents, the USA, with bouquets


  • A tale of extremes. While Ronaldinho’s free-kick against England leaves many wide-eyed, Rivaldo makes sure everyone cringes with his shenanigans against Turkey. Both work.


  • Materrazi apparently murmurs insults to Zidane before it happens. What transpires is probably one of the worst ways for a footballer of Zizou’s ilk to bow out of the final.


  • A year after his friend, the Espanyol defender Dani Jarque, dies of a heart attach, the soft-spoken Andres Iniesta pays his tribute in the best manner possible: a World Cup final winner
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