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!.