It is dubbed “the greatest show on earth”. And why not? Every four years, the world seems to fall under the spell of this month-long event. If you still have not understood, yes, we are talking about the World Cup football or FIFA World Cup.
Even though we are a matrimonial site, we too could not stay clear of the fervour with which the FIFA World Cup 2018 has gripped the nation. All across Dhaka and throughout Bangladesh, the streets and houses are filled with flags of footballing nations the people are supporting. The majority of Bangladeshi fans either support Brazil or Argentina, with a minority supporting teams such as Germany, Spain, Portugal, Japan etc.
What makes the FIFA World Cup so special? Well, for starters, it is the sporting event most watched by people around the globe. No other sporting event, not even the Olympics, garners as much attention as the FIFA World Cup does. And, with the passage of time, the FIFA World Cup has given birth to legends, tragedies, and memorable moments.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia has been an incredible juggernaut so far. Lionel Messi and Argentina have knocked out in the round of 16 by France just a few days ago in an exciting match. Germany too went out unexpectedly in the group stage. Spain, Portugal, and Japan are also out. Brazil has marched on to the quarter-finals, where they will face the formidable Belgians.
Let us look back at some of the most memorable moments in the FIFA World Cup history:
Brazil stunned in their own backyard by Uruguay (1950)
In the year 1950, long before many of us were born, a miracle took place in the famed Maracana stadium of Rio de Janeiro. The favourites Brazil were stunned to a defeat by Uruguay in the final match. The World Cup took place in Brazil, and most expected Brazil to take the cup. They had played brilliantly in their previous matches, and in the format of that time, only needed to draw to win the World Cup title for the first time. However, Uruguay had other plans. Despite falling behind by a goal, they came back to beat Brazil 2-1. It was a loss so devastating that the brace-scorer for Uruguay in the game, Alcides Ghiggia himself talked about how sad he was to see the Brazilian supporters in a desolate state after the match. He told FIFA.com “Only three people have ever been able to silence the Maracana: the Pope, Frank Sinatra and me.” Alcides Ghiggia also remarked that loving football was a bit like getting married.
Maradona’s dual goals against England (1986)
Many call him the greatest footballer of all time. Undoubtedly, he was a genius on the football field. But he was a footballer almost as much remembered for his controversies as for his skills. Maradona’s 1986 quarterfinal goals against England constituted an occasion where his brilliance and controversy were on equal display.
In that World Cup held in Mexico, Argentina was in fine form and cruised to the quarter-finals. In the first half, neither side managed to open their account. But in the second half, Maradona sent Argentina ahead with a goal in which, on replay, it clearly looked like he had touched the ball with his hand. However, the on-pitch referee did not give a handball and the goal stayed. Of course, Maradona scored the second goal in the same match which, unlike the first one, was free from controversy and full of pure brilliance.
Suarez saves Uruguay (2010)
Not many people expected Uruguay to go to the semi-finals of the World Cup 2010 in South Africa. But they did. And credit goes, at least to a great part, to Luis Suarez. Famous, infamous, whatever you want to call him, he saved Uruguay in the dying minutes of extra time in their quarter-final match against Ghana. The game ended one-one in normal time, with Sulley Muntari’s goal canceled out by Uruguay’s talisman Diego Forlan. Near the end of extra time, the Uruguayan goalkeeper was caught off his line and Ghana’s Dominic Adiyiah headed the ball towards goal. Suarez, instinctively it seemed, stopped the ball with his bare hands. He was not the goalkeeper, and hence was red-carded out of the match and Ghana was awarded a penalty with which it seemed they would seal their place in the semi-finals. But football can be a cruel game. Ghana’s Gyan missed the penalty, and the game went to penalty shootout. Uruguay beat Ghana in the penalty shootout 4-2 and went on to play the Netherlands in the semi-finals.
If you love World Cup, surely you have a memorable moment to share. What’s your most memorable FIFA World Cup moment? Comment below.