As the World Cup 2018 gets underway in Russia today, it’s time to look back on some of the greatest moments in the history of football’s event.
The game is full of characters who deliberately or otherwise, create controversies or behave weirdly to make the tournament exciting and interesting. And there will be more in store this edition.
Here a few incidents which show the other side of this wonderful game:
A Goal With A Difference
After putting his side 2-0 up in the World Cup final against Germany, Italian midfielder Marco Tardelli went on a goal celebration unlike any other, says a report.
He ran towards the bench, became completely overwhelmed and began to scream and cry as he thanked the heavens for his goal. Eventually, Germany lost 3-1 and Italy became World Champions.
Where The Whistle Matters
France were leading 3-1 against Kuwait when they scored another as Kuwaiti defenders – thinking they had heard a whistle – remained rooted to the spot, says a report.
The Kuwaiti FA president, Prince Fahid, told his players to walk off in protest, and the referee foolishly disallowed the goal – thus allowing the game to continue. France eventually won 4-1.
Sad Twist To A Weird Move
In the 1994 World Cup, Colombia’s Andres Escobar’s own goal in the 35th minute gave the underdog United States a 1-0 advantage, says a report. They would add a second goal before prevailing 2-1.
The US later advanced out of the group to reach the knockout. A once-promising World Cup ended in pain for Colombia, which bowed out after three games. Just days after elimination, Escobar was murdered in his native Medellin.
The Bite That Proved Expensive
Uruguayan star striker Luis Suarez already had a reputation for biting opponents before the 2014 World Cup. In 2010 while playing for Ajax, Suarez bit a PSV Eindhoven player and was suspended seven games, according to a report.
In 2013 while playing for Liverpool, Suarez bit a Chelsea player and was suspended for 10 games. Then he bit Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini in the World Cup, and this resulted in a four-month suspension from all soccer-related activities.
Zidane’s Moment Of Shame
Zinedine Zidane was arguably the world’s best player but a momentary lapse of reason cut short his wonderful career, says a report.
With France tied with Itaty in extra time and vying for a second World Cup win in three tournaments, Zidane was provoked by Italian defender Marco Materazzi and proceeded to violently headbutt him.
Zidane received a red card and was sent off. Italy won and France were left redfaced.
The Wildest Tackle Of Them All
Harald Schumacher was one of Germany’s best goalkeepers but he will also be known as a villain for his brutal tackle of an Italian player in the 1982 World Cup.
Germany were facing France in the semi-final. France’s playmaker Michelle Platini sent a lovely ball over the top to give the onrushing Patrick Battiston a great chance to score. However, Schumacher advanced to close the angle and ended up taking the Frenchman out in particularly brutal fashion.
Milla Magic Stuns Higuita
Colombian goalkeeper Rene Higuita was left stunned when his love for moving forward and even scoring goals misfired, says a report.
Higuita was caught in possession while trying to dribble the ball past Cameroon’s Roger Milla.
The ageing striker – who came out of retirement to play in the tournament at the age of 38 – promptly tucked the ball away into the empty net before heading to the corner flag, where he performed a memorable wiggle dance.