Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

10 things you’ll love about the World Cup

Great games
I'm certain there will be some cracking matches in this World Cup. Once we get over the group stages, traditionally cautious affairs, the ante will be well and truly upped for the knockout matches. When it is do or die, the cream tends to rise to the top and class begins to tell.

Great goals: The best World Cup goal remains Carlos Alberto's wonderful strike to finish a flowing Brazilian move in the 1970 World Cup final against Italy. When he was Azerbaijan manager I had a huge row with him in a press conference after a Northern Ireland game, but that's another story. My favourite individual goal in a World Cup came from Diego Maradona in 1986. No, not that one, or the Hand of God goal either. It was against Belgium in the semi-final. Magical. All of Holland's goals, struck from about 40 yards, in 1978 and any goal scored by the Brazilian side in 1982 are also memorable. I'm sure there'll be a few like that this year.

The event itself
In sporting terms it doesn't get better than this. Yes, the Olympics is special, but the World Cup truly is the greatest show on earth.

Penalty shoot-outs, hilarious pundits, wonder goals...what's not to like about the World Cup?

Sports Editor Steven Beacom runs down his 10 favourite things about the tournament.

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