Monday, April 27, 2009

World Cup memories

On BBC World Football phone this weekend they talked about their favourite world cup memories, which led myself to reflect on my favourite world cup memories.
I started watching the world cup in 1982 when I was 7 years old, but 1986 was the first world cup that I watched passionately as a fan. In spite of this limited timeframe, I still have difficulties in defining my one moment, so I have made a list of five, in no particular order of priority:
  • Argentina's world cup victory in 1986 where the England match and the final against West Germany most come to mind.
  • Argentina's penalty victory against Italy in the semifinal of 1990.
  • Denmark's three-game winning streak in the first round of 1986.
  • Denmark's victory against Nigeria in 1998 and the subsequent match against Brazil.
  • Brazil-France, 1986: a classic and brilliant match, and I really don't think we will ever again see this type of football in a world cup.

Ages ago, when this blog was more than just a blog, but also included information on world cups, I made a posting about my favourite top-10 goals in the world cups, but reflecting on this, I also made a list of the most memorable world cup goals for me personally:

  • Canniggia's winning goal between Brazil and Argentina, which was totally undeserved, but masterly executed, making a young Argentina fan like myself very happy.
  • Freddy Rincón's equalizer for Colombia against West Germany in the 1990 World Cup. Colombia had been brilliant but was trailing 0-1 in the dying minutes of the match, when Rincón made a deserved equalizer that put Colombia in the next round.
  • Maradona's 2-0 goal against England in 1986: need I say more that I was happy like a mosquito in a Mercedes?
  • Brian Laudrup's equalizer to 2-2 for Denmark against Brazil in 1998: this was the last time I felt true passion for a world cup goal, as the brilliant strike kept the hope that Denmark might defeat the Brazilian world champions.

These are the four goals that immediately come to mind, but as I reflect on this, I can sadly also think of some of the saddest moments for me in world cup:

  • Argentina's defeat to Cameroun in 1990: I was devastated, partly because I was a passionate Argentina fan, and partly because I thought it was unfair that everyone hated Argentina and that Cameroun had played too harsh.
  • Denmark's 1-5 defeat to Spain in 1986: it felt so unfair that such a brilliant Danish side had to mess it all up in such a pathetic way.
  • Argentina's early exit from the world cup of 2002, where an efficient but dead-boring Sweden stood in the way of the Argentineans.
  • Brazil's defeat to Norway in 1998: I just thought it was depressing that a team playing like Norway should be able to defeat mighty Brazil. Showed me that Brazil wasn't that strong any more, but worse, since then, I have realized the low quality of world cup football!
  • Denmark's defeat to England in 2002: I was just really hoping that Denmark might defeat the spice boys, but Denmark fell through completely.

Any stories and suggestions? As was mentioned in the BBC World Football Phone-in, this is a very personal list, and sure to be full of stories - personally, I loved the story of a gentleman from 1970, who said that after watching the outstanding Brazilians play, he rushed out to ask anybody to play, and ran into a thief that was being followed by police!.

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