Thursday, June 29, 2006

Brazil-France World Cup clashes

On Saturday Brazil and France will play their fourth encounter in a World Cup. They have always played exciting matches, with France so far having won twice, and Brazil once. The matches have been the following:
  • Semifinal, Sweden 1958: France had an extraordinary side with Raymond Koppa and Just Fontaine. The latter is still the player to have scored most goals in one World Cup, with 13 in this one year. In the semifinal however, they were up against one of the most legendary Brazilian sides of all time. Brazil won 5-2, and later became World Champion against Sweden. One young 17-year old Brazilian scored three goals to defeat the French: Pele.
  • Quarterfinal, Mexico 1986: Brazil and France were filled with some of the World's most talented players, and in this quarterfinal played one of the most entertaining matches ever seen in a World Cup. It ended 1-1 in ordinary time, althoguh 5-5 would probably have been a more fair score. Legendary Brazilian Zico missed a penalty 10 minutes before the end of the match, and after extra time, France won on penalty kicks.
  • Final, France 1998: France had never been World Champions until they hosted it this year. In the final they were to face the defending champions of 1994, Brazil, who had had a quite mediocre performance, but nevertheless made it to the final. However, the Brazilians were no match for the motivated Frenchmen, who crushed Brazil 3-0 in one of the most uninteresting finals of all time.

I am certain that the quarterfinal match on Saturday will be another for the history books. France is motivated after their win against Spain, while Brazil has been looking vulnerable until now. The game could go to either side.

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