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World Cup memorable moments

By Simon Rice

Published 11/06/2010

<b>1. Carlos Alberto</b><br />
The 1970 World Cup is widely regarded as the greatest Finals of them all. And it's no coincidence that the Mexico tournament featured the finest Brazil team ever brought together. Jairzinho (pictured), Tostao, Rivelino and of course Pele, all lined up in the yellow, blue and white and dazzled the world with a style of football that seems unlikely to ever be surpassed. Among all the amazing moments to choose from, we've selected Carlos Alberto's goal against Italy - the last of their four goals in the final. Words can't do it justice, apart from to say, when people talk about the beautiful game, this is it.
1. Carlos Alberto
The 1970 World Cup is widely regarded as the greatest Finals of them all. And it's no coincidence that the Mexico tournament featured the finest Brazil team ever brought together. Jairzinho (pictured), Tostao, Rivelino and of course Pele, all lined up in the yellow, blue and white and dazzled the world with a style of football that seems unlikely to ever be surpassed. Among all the amazing moments to choose from, we've selected Carlos Alberto's goal against Italy - the last of their four goals in the final. Words can't do it justice, apart from to say, when people talk about the beautiful game, this is it.

1. Carlos Alberto
The 1970 World Cup is widely regarded as the greatest Finals of them all. And it's no coincidence that the Mexico tournament featured the finest Brazil team ever brought together. Jairzinho (pictured), Tostao, Rivelino and of course Pele, all lined up in the yellow, blue and white and dazzled the world with a style of football that seems unlikely to ever be surpassed. Among all the amazing moments to choose from, we've selected Carlos Alberto's goal against Italy - the last of their four goals in the final. Words can't do it justice, apart from to say, when people talk about the beautiful game, this is it.

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1. Carlos Alberto
The 1970 World Cup is widely regarded as the greatest Finals of them all. And it's no coincidence that the Mexico tournament featured the finest Brazil team ever brought together. Jairzinho (pictured), Tostao, Rivelino and of course Pele, all lined up in the yellow, blue and white and dazzled the world with a style of football that seems unlikely to ever be surpassed. Among all the amazing moments to choose from, we've selected Carlos Alberto's goal against Italy - the last of their four goals in the final. Words can't do it justice, apart from to say, when people talk about the beautiful game, this is it.

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1. Carlos Alberto
The 1970 World Cup is widely regarded as the greatest Finals of them all. And it's no coincidence that the Mexico tournament featured the finest Brazil team ever brought together. Jairzinho (pictured), Tostao, Rivelino and of course Pele, all lined up in the yellow, blue and white and dazzled the world with a style of football that seems unlikely to ever be surpassed. Among all the amazing moments to choose from, we've selected Carlos Alberto's goal against Italy - the last of their four goals in the final. Words can't do it justice, apart from to say, when people talk about the beautiful game, this is it.

2. 1966
There's not much more that can be said that hasn't already but it remains English football's greatest moment.
3. The goal of the century
Diego Maradona is the subject of a number of moments in this countdown - some of them controversial - but here we celebrate the little Argentinean for the right reasons. Just four minutes after the 'hand of god', Maradona scored a goal of such class it's now commonly referred to as the 'goal of the century'. Picking up the ball on the half-way line, Maradona set off towards goal. He would beat five England players - Hodge, Beardsley, Reid, Butcher and Fenwick - before rounding Peter Shilton and putting the ball into the back of the net. There could be no complaints from the England team when this one went in.
4. Cruyff turn
The Dutch are widely considered the best team to have never lifted the World Cup, and that was never so true as in 1974. Under the guidance of Rinus Michels, the Oranje played their Total Football style. Positions were rendered meaningless as the players simply did what was necessary of them. If they needed to attack, they attacked. If a player was called on to defend, they defended. It made for an incredibly exciting team to watch, but if individuals were singled out, it would be the legendary Johan Cruyff. He's the subject of this countdown moment with a move so sublime it's since been named after him - the Cruyff turn. Football fans love a trick and this one was particularly smooth. The world first got a glimpse of it when Cruyff performed it against Sweden, and since that moment, it's become a regular sight upon the football field. Holland would reach the final that year, but were beaten by West Germany 2-1.
5. David Platt wonder goal
Every World Cup provides some classic goals, and in 1990, one of them was provided by David Platt. The goal in question came against Belgium in the second round, and while it was not only a goal of top class, it was also a goal of massive importance. With the match at 0-0, and just a minute from going to penalties, England were awarded a free-kick. The ball was floated in and would drop behind the defence. With his back to goal, Platt swivelled, hit the ball on the volley and thumped it past the goalkeeper. Cue wild celebrations and Platt with a grin so big he looked like The Joker from Batman.
6. The hand of god
England can rightfully be accused of finding excuses when they've been knocked out of the World Cup. Whether it was Sol Campbell's disallowed header, Ronaldinho's fluke or bad luck on penalties - the England team tend to find some excuse, rather than admitting they were beaten fair and square. But in 1986, they had a case. We are of course referring to the hand of god incident. We all know the details, and even though Maradona would go on to score one of the greatest goals of all-time later in the match, his cheating antics continue to leave a sour taste in the mouth.
7. Ronaldo misses the final
At France '98, Ronaldo was the story of the tournament. The then Inter Milan star was banging in the goals and dragged Brazil all the way to the final. The stage was set for the striker to be crowned the world's greatest by playing a starring role in the match against France. But then it all went wrong. Just prior to kick-off the news came through that he wouldn't be starting the match, but no explanation was given. Then at the last minute he was reinstated, but would go on to have an awful game and contribute to Brazil's 3-0 defeat at the hands of the host. The story has since become a conspiracy theorists dream. The favoured story is that he had a fit, induced by the pressure he was under. Another was that he was dumped by his girlfriend whilst some suggested he had been in a bust-up with his team-mates. It's also been alleged that he was only reinstated into the team on the orders of Nike, who were sponsoring the striker. Whatever the truth, it was a sad end to a wonderful tournament. But as you can see from moment No 13 in this countdown, Ronaldo was to make amends in the best possible way.
8. Bobby Moore v Jairzinho
England's group stage clash with Brazil at the 1970 World Cup has gone down as one of the finest ever matches. Although the score was only 1-0, it was a match packed with incidences and football of the highest calibre. Gordon Banks' save in the same match is at the No. 18 in the countdown, but here we remember Bobby Moore's challenge on Jairzinho. The moment saw England's World Cup winning hero pitting his wits against one of the finest footballers to ever walk the planet. Brazil made a quick break and Jairzinho picked the ball up on the half way line before proceeding to run at incredible pace at Moore. But England's captain was unfazed. He tracked the Brazilian all the way and as the two moved into the box, Moore made his move. His challenge was so precise and clean, the ball stayed where it was, Jairzinho went flying, and Moore casually stood up and passed the ball calmly out of defence. It was defending at its most beautiful.
9. Baggio's penalty miss
USA '94 was the first World Cup decided by penalties. The final was played out between Brazil and Italy at the Rose Bowl in California and when after 120 minutes both teams had failed to score, the game went to spot-kicks. The nerves were obvious. First Franco Baresi missed for Italy and then Marcio Santos failed to capitalise for Brazil. The next four spot-kicks went in before Daniele Massaro missed for the Italians. Current Brazil manager Dunga scored the next one, meaning Roberto Baggio had to score. The pony-tailed Juventus star took a long run up before smashing his penalty over the bar. It was the most costly penalty miss the world had ever witnessed.
10. Zidane headbutt
The stage was set for a fairy-tale end to the glittering career of Zinedine Zidane. Here was one of the greatest players of all time playing in his last ever game. One more win and he would be lifting the World Cup. When Italy and France were level at 1-1 after 90 minutes, the game went into extra-time, and this was where the tale took a wicked turn. Zidane, apparently provoked by Marco Materazzi, walked calmly over to the Italian defender. He then rammed his head into Materazzi's chest, knocking him to the ground. France's captain was sent off, his team would lose on penalties and Zidane's extraordinary career had an extraordinary finish.
11. Gemmill's goal
Scotland's greatest World Cup moment came against the Dutch at the 1978 Finals. To guarantee progress from their group, Ally MacLeod's side needed to win by three goals - no easy task. And it got worse when they went 1-0 down after 34 minutes. Kenny Dalglish pulled one back just before half-time and Archie Gemmill put the Scots into the lead. But it was his next goal that will forever be remembered. Gemmill picked up the ball on the right and with his first touch skipped past one defender. He then cut in on goal, beating another man before fooling two more to go in on goal. One-on-one, he was calm enough to take another touch before unleashing the ball past the keeper. It was a goal of top class and one that had Scotland in touching distance of the next round. Unfortunately they conceded a couple of minutes later and their time in the tournament came to an end.
12. England's 1990 penalty heartache
It's not the most glorious moment for England fans to remember, but the images of the beaten England team after losing on penalties to Germany in the semi-final of Italia 90 have been some of the most enduring. Bobby Robson's side drew the match 1-1 and when there were no goals after extra-time, the dreaded penalties were necessary. Lineker, Beardsley and Platt tucked the first three away for England, and Germany matched them goal for goal. Next up was Stuart Pearce, the lion heart of the England team. He smashed his penalty but the shot was saved by the legs of Bodo Illgner. When Germany scored the next one, Chris Waddle had to score. He put the ball well over the bar and England's dream was over.
13. Ronaldo's comeback
The 1998 World Cup final was overshadowed by the strange circumstances surrounding Ronaldo's inclusion in the starting line-up. After a wonderful tournament, it was a sad end. So when the next tournament came around, Ronaldo was desperate to shine, and shine he did. The goofy striker scored in every single game, except the 2-1 win over England in the quarter-finals. He had four goals after the group stage and then had a hand in the 2-0 win over Belgium in the second round. Sporting a ludicrous haircut, Ronaldo was to score the only goal in the semi-final win over Turkey before lining up in the final against Germany. In the first half, he missed three gilt-edged chances. There were fears that his anonymous display in the 1998 final may be repeating itself. But in the second half he scored the only two goals of the game. He ended with a tally of eight goals for the tournament, won the Golden Boot, and etched his name into World Cup folklore.
14. Michael Owen's goal versus Argentina
The 1998 World Cup in France saw 18-year-old Liverpool wonder-kid Michael Owen break onto the international stage. After forcing his way into the team during the group stage, he was given a start against the almighty Argentina in the second round. And on 16 minutes he produced arguably the goal of the tournament. A fine touch as he received the ball on the half-way line saw him tear off towards goal with blistering pace. Leaving his marker for dead, he then zoomed past the next Argentinean, taking the ball to the right side of the penalty box. Then, without hesitation he crashed the ball into the back of the net with a venomous finish. Forget the subsequent injury problems and ill-judged transfer moves. In this single moment, Michael Owen produced one of England's finest World Cup moments.
15. Maradona leads Argentina past Belgium
After overcoming England in controversial fashion n the quarter-finals of the 1986 World Cup, Argentina marched into the next round where they faced Belgium. And it was a game in which the man that had been at the centre of that controversy proved his genius beyond all doubt. He scored both goals in the 2-0 win. The first was a beautiful flick over the keeper while the other was a trade mark run of world class. Receiving the ball 40 yards from goal he skips between two defenders before rounding a third and thundering the ball beyond the goalkeeper. With the magic that he displayed, even England fans considered whether to forgive him.
16. Beckham flips versus Argentina
Before the 1998 World Cup, Beckham was still the rising star. His relationship with Victoria was blossoming and his career at Manchester United was taking shape. Yet post tournament, everyone knew who he was, and not only that, most people hated him. An excellent tournament, in which he scored his first goal for England, imploded in one crazy moment against Argentina. Lying on the floor, Beckham kicked out at Diego Simeone. The referee saw it and showed him a straight red card. At the time, England were level with Argentina and if anything were on top. But Beckham's red card changed the game and eventually England were beaten. Beckham was blamed for England's failure, effigies were burnt and years of abuse followed. The Beckham story had truly begun.
17. Rivaldo's play acting
Simultaneously one of the funniest and despicable World Cup moments. During Brazil's group match with Turkey in 2002, the Samba Boys were awarded a corner. With Rivaldo demanding the ball, Hakan Unsal petulantly kicked it towards him, hitting the Brazilian on the leg. Rivaldo saw his opportunity. He collapsed to the ground, holding his face as though he had been hurt. What made it worse was the referee fell for it, sending off Unsal for his apparent misdemeanour. Rivaldo was later fined by Fifa.
18. Gordon Banks' save
That Gordon Banks is better remembered for this one save during England's match with Brazil in 1970, rather than winning the World Cup, is a sign of how powerful a moment it was. The move started when Jarzinho latched on to a pass and sped down the wing. Reaching the by-line he pulled a cross towards the back post. Banks, who had been defending his near post suddenly had to adjust. As he scrambled across goal, Pele met the pass with perfect timing and headed it with powerful precision into the bottom corner. The Brazilian screamed 'goal' as he headed it and was already working himself into a celebration. Yet defying the laws of physics, Banks was able to propel himself downwards and backwards and get a hand to it. Somehow, he pushed the ball over the bar. The Mexican crowd ripped into applause at what they had witnessed while Pele would later say it was the greatest save he ever witnessed.
19. Germany win over the fans
Before the 2006 World Cup kicked-off, fans of the host nation Germany were less than enamoured with their team. Poor results, a squad of underperforming stars and a manager who resided in America meant the team were given little hope. Yet once the tournament got underway, the mood began to noticeably shift. An exciting opening win of 4-2 against Costa Rica and then two further victories during the group stage gave the fans reason to believe. Germany began to back their team and the atmosphere surrounding their matches swelled the feeling and passion of the tournament. A great win over Sweden and then a penalties victory over Argentina followed. Germany were in the semi-final, but the fairytale came to an end when they were defeated by eventual winners Italy in the dying minutes of extra-time.
20. Prince Fahid of Kuwait
One of the most bizarre World Cup moments occurred in 1982 during Kuwait's match with France. The French were winning 3-1 when Alain Giresse blasted in another when the Kuwaiti defenders were rooted to the spot. The Arab team said they stopped upon hearing a mysterious whistle from the stands. When the referee ignored their pleas, Prince Fahid, the Kuwaiti FA president decided to get involved, coming down from his seat in the stands to remonstrate with the referee. Incredibly, the ref gave into his demands and disallowed the goal. Kuwait lost the match 4-1 anyway, referee Miroslav Stupar was banned from officiating and Prince Fahid was fined £8,000.
21. Maradona sent home in disgrace
At the age of 33 his star was fading, yet Diego Maradona still made a massive impact on the 1994 World Cup, even if it was for the wrong reasons. He only played in two games, before he was sent home from the USA hosted tournament in disgrace. The pint-sized genius failed a drug test following Argentina's match with Nigeria. He would later blame the positive result on an energy drink, but the incident brought an end to his love affair with the competition. Post tournament, many people pointed to his celebration after scoring against Greece as evidence of his drug abuse.
22. Yordan Letchkov knocks out Germany
The Germans looked a safe bet to progress from their quarter-final tie with Bulgaria at the 1994 World Cup. But they hadn't banked on playing a side inspired by Hristo Stoitchkov. That year the striker was named European Footballer of the Year in recognition of his remarkable tournament. Yet the man who scored the decisive goal in Bulgaria's 2-1 win over the Germans was journeyman midfielder Yordan Letchkov. 'The Magician' scored an audacious header with 12 minutes to play.
23. Cruyff won't take part
He was the star of the 1974 World Cup, but Johan Cruyff refused to travel to South America for the next instalment. At the time the reasons given were political, the Dutch master disagreeing with the dictatorship in power in Argentina. Later, Cruyff would say the reasons for his international retirement were kidnap threats to his family. Either way, Holland still reached the final, but were beaten by hosts Argentina. Had Cruyff have been there, they may just have clinched their first ever World Cup and ended one of the great peculiarities of the tournament.
24. The 1982 fix
The final group game meant a win for West Germany over Austria would see both teams progress to the next round at the expense of Algeria. So when Horst Hrubesch gave the Germans the lead after 10 minutes, both teams decided it wasn't worth trying for the next 80. One of the worst ever games was played out in what was an obvious fix. Algeria protested but Fifa turned a blind eye and the result was allowed to stand.
25. Captain Marvel at the double
Bryan Robson scored the fastest goal in World Cup history during the 1982 tournament (until Hakan Sukur came along in 2002). In England's opening match against France, Captain Marvel scored after just 27 seconds. A Rory Delap style long-throw would be met at the far post by an unmarked Robson, who half-volleyed it into the net. It was the first of two for Robson as England went on to win the match 3-1.
26. Pele's 1958 World Cup final goal
Taking part in his first World Cup, Pele quickly caught the world's attention with his goals and the all round ability he displayed in 1958. His greatest moment of the tournament came in the final against the hosts Sweden. In the 55th minute, the ball comes in from the left. Under pressure, Pele controls the ball on his chest. With his next touch he chips it over the head of an oncoming defender. And before the ball hits the ground, he volleys it straight into the bottom corner. It was the first of two goals for the legend as Brazil went on to win the match 5-2.
27. Paul Gascoigne
Under the stewardship of Bobby Robson, England reached the semi-finals of Italia '90, the nation's best showing since 1966. And they faced the familiar foe of West Germany as they looked to reach the final. The game ended in heartache, but for Paul Gascoigne, the pain started far earlier than the eventual penalty shoot-out. With the scores at 1-1 and heading to extra-time, Gazza put in a poor challenge on Thomas Berthold and was booked. The yellow card meant the then Tottenham midfielder would have missed the final. And with this knowledge, he went to pieces. The television cameras showed Gazza holding back the tears, while Gary Lineker is clearly seen warning the bench to keep an eye on him. The moment endeared him to England fans, his tears summing up the mood of the nation, and upon his return he was engulfed by 'Gazzamania'. Sadly, Gascoigne would later admit that this high point of his career, which saw him lavished with attention, contributed to his off-field problems with alcohol that led to his decline.
28. Charlton fires England to the final
Bobby Charlton was one of the stars of England's World Cup charge, so much so that the Manchester United legend also picked up the European Footballer of the Year that year. Yet it was his contribution in the semi-final against Portugal that was the most important of his many fine performances. He scored two goals, meaning Eusebio's late penalty wasn't enough to stop the hosts marching on. Charlton's first was a cooly taken side foot, while his second was a sweetly struck shot after Geoff Hurst had pulled the ball back.
29. Dino Zoff
Italian stopper Dino Zoff holds the record for being the oldest player to lift the World Cup. The Juventus legend pulled off the feat at the 1982 tournament in Spain. Later in his career, he would coach the national team, taking them to the final of Euro 2000. Should England win the World Cup, David James would fall short of the record by 154 days.
30. World in Motion
World Cup songs are as much a part of the Finals as injury scares, penalties and the excessive drinking of lager. Yet it's rare that they get it right. In fact, it's only truly happened the once (Baddiel and Skinner's Three Lions On A Shirt was for the Euros). New Order's World in Motion was a true classic. A genuinely good song was combined with some memorable cameos by members of England's 1990 World Cup squad - most notably John Barnes' rap.
31. Roy Keane storms off
Ireland's preparations for the 2002 World Cup were a shambles, brought on by of all people, their captain. Roy Keane, unsatisfied by the training methods ahead of the tournament let his feelings be known to manager Mick McCarthy, who later claimed in his diary that he had "never seen any human being act like this before, never mind a footballer." Keane apparently told him: "I didn't rate you as a player, I don't rate you as a manager and I don't rate you as a person." McCarthy sent his best player home, Keane vowed he'd never return, and a dog called Triggs was taken on a lot of walks.
32. Arie Haan belter
Among our World Cup Countdown, there are numerous classic goals, lauded for the dribbling skills of the individual involved. But there's nothing like a player spanking the ball, hitting it so sweetly that the trajectory of the ball from foot to goal couldn't be drawn better by a physician. That's exactly what happened in Holland's game against Italy at the 1978 tournament. From around 45-yards out, Arie Haan smashes the ball towards goal. It swings to the right, evading the keeper - and while the ball stays low, it's still rising when it hits the inside of the post. Incredible.
33. Beckham's redemption
Beckham's career took something of a nose dive at the 1998 World Cup. Over the subsequent years, he rebuilt his career and by the time of the next competition he was once again a favourite among the fans. But when England were drawn against Argentina in Group F, it provided the midfielder with the ideal opportunity to fully redeem himself - and in typical Beckham fashion - he seized his chance. England won the match 1-0 thanks to a Beckham penalty. You could sense the tension as he strode up to score, and despite scuffing his kick down the middle of the goal, the back of the net bulged and Beckham went nuts.
34. The fastest hat-trick
Not only does Laszlo Kiss have a fantastic name, he also holds the record for the fastest hat-trick in a World Cup. The Hungarian came on as a substitute for Hungary in their match against El Salvador in 1982, and in the space of just 8 minutes, had hit the back of the net three times. In all fairness, El Salvador's heads were down when he came on with the score already 5-1. They finsihed the match with the score at 10-1 - the most lopsided result in World Cup history.
35. World Cup circus
From beginning to end, England's 2006 World Cup campaign embodied everything that was wrong with English football, from the arrogance of the players to the celebrity hanger-oners. Before they arrived in Germany, the team were sent off with a lavish ceremony, heralding the players as heroes before they had even kicked a ball. England team-talks were being given by James Corden (admittedly this one was for charity). Once they made it to their camp in Baden-baden, the decision by manager Sven Goran Eriksson to allow the WAGs to join them backfired spectacularly. It caused a paparazzi frenzy, with more pictures of the spouses than the team filling the papers. On the pitch England were awful, but the players refused to take the criticism, leading to a backlash against them from England fans. Ray Winstone was drafted in as some sort of ambassador for the side, even attending training sessions to 'motivate the team'. When they were inevitably knocked out, David Beckham stepped down as captain in an emotional press conference, more befitting of Hollywood than football. Current captain Rio Ferdinand later said of the tournament: "football became a secondary element", describing it as "like a circus".
36. Coll and the chloroform
During the 1930 World Cup semi-final between the United States and Argentina, the north Americans were taking a kicking in more ways than one. They would go on to lose the match 6-1, but it was also a ferocious match with numerous poor challenges flying in. One particularly bad tackle required USA trainer Jack Coll to enter the pitch to give some treatment. As he trotted onto the grass he dropped his medical bag, and in doing so, broke a container of chloroform. The fumes knocked him out, and as a result it was he, rather than the player he went to treat, that needed carrying off the pitch.
37. Jack Charlton and John Aldridge at fever pitch
Jack Charlton was the first to lose it. With the scorching weather at USA '94, the Republic of Ireland boss wanted to get some water on the pitch for his players - but Fifa officials refused. So Big Jack went potty, storming up and down the touchline, looking much like he needed a drink himself. If anything, the incident proved once and for all that Englishmen should never wear baseball caps. In Ireland's next match, it was John Aldridge's turn to flip out. During the tournament, if a team made a substitution, a form needed to be filled out and given to the fourth official. But for some reason, a faceless bureaucrat from Fifa stepped in and took the form away. As a result, Aldridge wasn't allowed on to the pitch, even though another player had come off. The striker flipped out, and very audibly made his opinions known. When he finally got on, it was Charlton's turn to have a go. The images of the Ireland boss confronting the blue-jacketed yellow-cap wearing official were priceless. Charlton was fined and banished from the touchline for getting in a temper.
38. Danish dynamite
The likes of Preben Elkjaer, Jesper Olsen, Jan Molby and Michael Laudrup lit up the 1986 World Cup during the group stage. With a total football style, they first saw off the Scots, then led Uruguay a merry dance as they thrashed them 6-1, and most impressively beat West Germany 2-0 to progress with a 100 per cent record. They appeared unstoppable, but whether the plaudits went to their heads or they ran out of steam, they found themselves on the wrong end of a good thrashing from Spain. Despite going 1-0 up, they imploded, and eventually lost the game 5-1. They may not have won anything, but the attacking Denmark side of the 1986 tournament was one of the most interesting.
39. The endorsement curse
The World Cup is a marketing dream. With the entire globe focused on the event and the most famous names in the world on show, it's the ideal time to try and sell a few more drinks or televisions. Yet with the amount of money involved combined with the unpredictability of football, advertisers can find themselves pulling their hair out. The 2002 World Cup was a perfect example. Only a handful of the 49 players signed up by Nike actually scored in the tournament. Renault and their rivals Fiat saw their chosen celebrities - Thierry Henry and Francesco Totti respectively ? both sent off in disgrace. Meanwhile 7-Up found their star endorsement rendered worthless even before the football began. They based their entire campaign around Ireland's captain Roy Keane - but the hot-headed player was on a plane home before anyone had had a chance to buy a single can of the fizzy stuff.
40. Roberto Baggio solo run
Italian superstar Roberto Baggio scored one of the great World Cup goals during the 1990 tournament. In the final group stage match against Czechoslovakia, Baggio picked up the ball on the halfway line. A smooth one-two and then he was off towards goal. Nipping between two defenders, he singled out the last with a terrifyingly fast run. The defender backed off for too long and when the chance opened up, Baggio scored with a splendid finish. The Stadio Olimpico went wild as the home team continued their progress through the tournament.
41. Zico silences Scotland
Scotland fans found themselves in la la land during the 1982 World Cup. At the Estadio Benito Villamarin in Seville, David Narey had put them a goal up against the mighty Brazilians. And for 33 minutes the stadium was rocking to the chants of the kilt wearing masses who wondered if they were witnessing history. But the 'White Pele' had other ideas. Zico stepped up and scored a sublime 30-yard free-kick into the top corner. Goalkeeper Alan Rough could only stand and watch as the bagpipes were silenced and the Samba rhythms kicked in. Brazil went on to win the match 4-1.
42. Dario Rodriguez
Dario Rodriguez's effort in the 2002 Finals must go down as one of the great World Cup goals. From Alvaro Recoba's corner for Uruguay, the ball is touched by three players without even touching the grass before it hits the back of the net. The corner swings in, is headed away by Danish defender Rene Henriksen before coming to the feet of Pablo Garcia. He controls the ball on the volley, performs a couple of keepie-uppies before moving it across to Rodriguez. He spanks it first time, volleying it into the top corner. Incredible.
43. Italy in black
On their run to a second World Cup in 1938, the Italians caused a moment of great controversy. It was the last tournament before World War II and the Italians lined up against France in the quarter-finals. Those attending the game were ready to jeer Italy in protest at the country's fascist leanings, and the Italians did little to calm the situation. On Mussolini's orders, the team took to the field in black shirts (they were supposed to be wearing white), a symbol of the feared and hated Italian fascist paramilitary. And on top of that, they also performed the fascist salute before kick-off. They went on to win the match 3-1 and after winning the tournament, held on to the trophy for 12 years before the competition was resumed.
44. Pele v Mexico
Brazil lifted their second World Cup in 1962, and as was the case throughout their most dominant era, it was Pele they had to thank. Their opening game of the tournament in Chile was against fellow Latin Americans Mexico. They won 2-0, with the second goal coming from Pele with one of his best. Surrounded by two defenders, he chips the ball between them, before coming out best from a 50-50 challenge. He continues on, skipping round another before getting to the ball before two more defenders and crashing it into the bottom corner. A truely memorable World Cup goal.
45. Helmut Haller
The generally accepted tradition of scoring a hat-trick means the player keeps the match ball. A rather nice reminder it seems. So when Geoff Hurst scored a hat-trick in the 1966 World Cup final, he must have been pretty desperate to get his hands on it. Yet it was gone. West Germany striker Helmut Haller, who scored the opening goal of the final, disappeared with the ball under his arm. Years later Hurst admitted he'd made a mistake not laying a greater claim to it at the time. But around 30 years later, campaigns from a pair of tabloid newspapers saw Haller return the ball to its rightful owner. The frontpage headline when it was returned read: "World exclusive. They think it's all over... it's his now. The Daily Mirror gets Geoff his ball back".
.46. Korea shock Italy
Korea feature further back in the countdown for their ability to throw away a 3-0 lead. That happened in the 1966 World Cup, and saw their tournament come to an end. Yet prior to that, they produced arguably the greatest upset in history. Playing Italy in the final group game, a single goal from Pak Doo-Ik at Middlesbrough's Ayresome Park was enough to win the match for Korea and send Italy crashing out of the World Cup.
47. Trouble from the beginning
Although the first ever World Cup in 1930 was a success, it did have some problems, mainly in the form of misbehaving fans. The story goes that the referee for the final between hosts Uruguay and Argentina demanded that a boat be prepared for launch in case he needed a quick escape. Uruguay won which meant the final passed off without any trouble, although the Uruguayan consolate in Buenos Aires wasn't so lucky, and was attacked by an angry mob.
South Korea's run to the 2002 World Cup semi-finals was remarkable. Along the way they disposed of Portugal, Italy and Spain and it was the match against the Italians that caught the attention. The hosts beat Italy thanks to a Golden Goal from Ahn Jung-Hwan, who at the time was plying his trade at Perugia. Soon after the game, the president of his club came out and said "That gentleman will never set foot in Perugia again. He was a phenomenon only when he played against Italy. I am a nationalist and I regard such behaviour not only as an affront to Italian pride but also an offence to a country which two years ago opened its doors to him. I have no intention of paying a salary to someone who has ruined Italian soccer." And indeed, Jung-Hwan never played for the club again.
France arrived at the 2002 World Cup as defending champions and among the favourites. Yet they failed to score a single goal and were eliminated at the group stage. Their limp defence is best remembered for the defeat to Senegal. The African nation were making their first appearance at a Finals and were given little chance in the opening game of the tournament. But Papa Bouba Diop's goal in the 30th minute was enough to cause a huge upset, and the colonial undertones to the match made the result all the more satisfying for the Africans.
Although not a moment to savour for England fans, Ronaldinho's lob against England in the 2002 World Cup was certainly unforgettable. Debate still rages over whether the Brazilian wizard meant to go for goal, but either way, the 40-yard strike that eluded a flailing David Seaman was the difference between England and Brazil. Ronaldinho would be sent off later in the game but the Samba Boys held out for a 2-1 win on their march to their fifth World Cup.
51. GRAHAM TAYLOR Not strictly a World Cup moment, but Graham Taylor is worthy of a mention in our countdown. The former Aston Villa boss was England manager during their failed qualification for USA '94 in what was a debacle of a campaign. Draws with the likes of Poland and defeats to Norway and the Netherlands saw England fail to progress from an admittedly tricky group. But England were abysmal and the focus of both fan and media frustration was directed squarely at Taylor. One of the greatest complaints against him was his chop and change team selection that saw the likes of Stuart Ripley and Andy Sinton get a run out. Two moments summed up England's capitulation. In the final qualification game, England had an outside chance of reaching the USA if they beat San Marino by a massive margin. But after just 8.3 seconds, the visitors to Wembley were ahead thanks to a goal from computer salesman David Gualtieri. Meanwhile Taylor's famous moment of meltdown came during the defeat to Holland in Rotterdam. Some strange refereeing decisions saw the former Aston Villa boss apoplectic on the touchline, with Taylor memorably telling the linesman: "the referee's got me the sack, thank him ever so much for that won't you." And sure enough he had - Taylor was forced to resign six days after England failed to qualify.
Argentina looked like the team of the tournament in 2006. Or at least until they were knocked out in the quarter-finals. Midfield general Juan Roman Riquelme played like a quarter-back, with the team revolving around his assured passing. Argentina's slick passing and inventiveness was best encapsulated with Esteban Cambiasso's goal during the 6-0 drubbing of Serbia. 26-passes and a master class in movement off the ball led to Cambiasso's drilled effort into the top corner to score one of the great World Cup goals.
The undisputed star of the 1938 World Cup was the Brazilian Leonidas. Known as The Black Diamond, he was a pioneer of the free-running, open style of play that has become synonymous with Brazil. In a baffling decision, he was rested for the semi-final and Brazil were knocked out by Italy. Despite this, Leonidas still finished the tournament as the top scorer with seven goals.
The game was just 56 seconds old when Jose Batista went clattering through Gordon Strachan. And with that, the Uruguayan had secured the record for the fastest ever sending off in a World Cup. The 1986 group stage match between Uruguay and Scotland was a must win for Alex Ferguson's side, and the sending off looked to have given them a chance. Yet they failed to capitalise and drew 0-0, and were on their way home from Mexico
During England's quarter-final with Brazil at the 1962 World Cup there was a pitch invasion of the canine variety. A few minutes into the match a stray dog came onto the field, and proved even harder to tackle than Pele. After escaping the advances of Brazilian goalkeeper Gilmar and then Garrincha, Jimmy Greaves stepped in. The England striker got down on all fours before wrestling the dog to the ground and handing it over to the officials. But during the incident, the dog urinated all over Greaves and he was forced to play the rest of the match smelling of dog wee. Legend has it that Brazil star Garrincha found the incident so amusing, he later adopted the dog.
The greatest goals of the World Cup tend to come from the household names. The likes of Bergkamp, Maradona and Pele are regularly cited when the arguments are put forward for the goals of the tournament. But at the 1994 World Cup, the goal of the Finals came from an unlikely hero - Saeed Al-Owairan of Saudi Arabia. During the group stage match against Belgium, Saeed set off from his own half, shrugged off the challenge of two opponents before heading in towards goal. He then skipped past two more Belgians, before sliding in for the ball just ahead of the advancing keeper and a last ditch challenge to knock it into the back of the net. The goal was later voted sixth in Fifa's Goal of the Century rankings and earned Saeed the nickname 'The Maradona of the Arabs'.
Wales have made just one World Cup appearance, and when they did so back in 1958, they needed some good fortune to make it. They finished second in their qualifying group behind Czechoslovakia and were therefore not going. But unrest in the Middle East saw Egypt and Sudan refuse to play against Israel, who were subsequently named winners of their group. With Fifa unhappy with this outcome, a play-off featuring Israel and a European runner-up was organised. Wales were the lucky team picked out of the hat to play them and they would go on to comfortably beat Israel over two-legs. When they reached the tournament in Sweden, they gave an excellent account of themselves, going through the group stage unbeaten. Jimmy Murphy's side drew all three games before beating Hungary 2-1 in a play-off. That set up a tantalising quarter-final with eventual winners Brazil. A 17-year-old Pele scored the only goal of the game with qa sublime finish and Wales were out - but they left with their heads held high.
The 1958 World Cup is remembered as the tournament where the world first got a glimpse of Pele, who was making his debut appearance at a Finals. Yet at the tournament in Sweden, the host nation's run to the final was a remarkable achievement. The Swedish side were not fancied before the tournament but came through their group which included Hungary and Mexico. They then defeated the Soviet Union before coming through a memorable semi-final against West Germany. Erich Juskowiak became the first German player to be sent off in an international game before their captain Fritz Walter was injured. As substitutes weren't introduced until the 1970 World Cup, the Germans were hugely weakened. Sweden won the match 3-1 and set up a final with Brazil in Solna. Beating Pele's Brazil was a task too far, and the host nation were beaten 5-2 - but Eric Person's side proved once again the advantages of playing on home soil. After lifting the World Cup, the Brazilian players honoured the host nation by sprinting around the pitch holding a Swedish flag.
India, not known for their football prowess, qualified for the 1950 World Cup. Four countries from Asia were invited to participate at the tournament in Brazil and when Burma, Philippines and Indonesia all turned down the invite, India qualified automatically. Drawn to play in the same group as Sweden, Italy and Paraguay - India refused to play. They wanted to play barefoot but when their request was turned down by Fifa - they withdrew from the tournament.
The former Manchester United favourite wrote himself into the record books with his appearance at the 1982 World Cup. At the age of 17 years and 41 days, Whiteside broke Pele's record to become the youngest ever player to appear in the Finals. He played in every match of Northern Ireland's memorable campaign, including the 1-0 win over hosts Spain.
The German midfielder Lothar Matthaus holds the record for the most appearances in the World Cup. In total, the former Inter Milan and Bayern Munich general played 25 matches in the tournament. His crowning moment came in the 1990 World Cup in Italy, where he spurred his side to victory. As captain of the side, he personally scored four goals before lifting the trophy after victory over Argentina in the final at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
The 1962 World Cup saw a player representing Spain, despite having represented Hungary at the 1954 World Cup. That he was the first player to do this was of note, but the fact it was the legendary Ferenc Puskas made it all the more notable. The Real Madrid star had been a part of the notorious Mighty Magyars Hungarian national team of the 1950s, a side credited with reinventing football in the post second world war era. But Puskas was to take Spanish nationality and turned out for the national side at the Finals in Chile. Yet he couldn't replicate the form he showed for Hungary, with whom he scored 84 goals in 85 games. He failed to score a single goal in his four appearances for Spain and they were eliminated at the group stage of the 1962 World Cup.
When goalkeepers get yellow cards, more often than not it's for time wasting. So when Peruvian Ramón Quiroga found himself in the book for a challenge in the oppositions half it was quite a feat. The incident occurred in the 1978 Finals when Quiroga put a challenge in on Grzegorz Lato of Poland. What on earth he was doing that far up field in anyone's guess, but the rugby tackle that earnt him a booking is an undisputed classic moment.
David Beckham made his first World Cup appearance at France 98, and as always, his participation was complicated by off-field matters. Beckham had played in all of England's qualifying matches, but was dropped by Glenn Hoddle for the first two games of the tournament. The England manager publicly accused the midfielder of not concentrating on the tournament. Golden Balls was finally given a full run-out for the final, must-win, group stage game against Columbia - and he was to answer his critics in trademark style. On 29 minutes, Beckham curled in a sublime free-kick, his first goal for the three lions, and with it made the score 2-0 and ensured England reached the last-16.
Jurgen Klinsmann's reputation as a diver was well earned. The German striker was a true pioneer of the shot-by-a-sniper, twenty-two-rolls-after-a-challenge art. His most notorious tumbled came during the 1990 World Cup final against Argentina. A challenge from Pedro Monzon caught Klinsmann, and was maybe worth a booking. But Klinsmann's reaction ensured Monzon saw red. After his initial fall, the German continued to roll, then pole-vaulted himself back into the air in a dive a true artistic merit. West Germany would go on to win the final 1-0, Klinsmann was declared a hero at home, but branded a villain by everyone else.
If it wasn't for Pickles, England may never have lifted the Jules Rimet trophy in 1966. A few months before the tournament started, the World Cup trophy was stolen from Westminster Central Hall. Ransom demands and hoaxers followed but the Jules Rimet was unearthed a week after it disappeared by a black and white mongrel called Pickles. The dog sniffed out the trophy, which was wrapped in newspaper at the bottom of a suburban garden hedge in south London. As a reward, Pickles was invited to England's celebration banquet and was allowed to lick the plates clean.
67. IRAN v USA
When Iran were drawn together in the same group as the USA at the 1998 World Cup, it was immediately billed as a grudge match between two nations who failed to see eye-to-eye on a political level. Just before kick-off, the two captains exchanged gifts like it was Christmas day - but once the action got underway, it was clear both teams were desperate to win. In the end, Iran upset the odds to prevail 2-1. The result eliminated the US and sparked wild celebrations in Tehran. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the nation's spiritual leader, said in a message to his team: "Tonight, again, the strong and arrogant opponent felt the bitter taste of defeat at your hands."
At the 1982 World Cup, Northern Ireland recorded two draws in their opening two group games. To progress they needed a win over Spain, who were hosting the tournament. Victory appeared a task too far. Step forward Gerry Armstrong. The then Watford striker opened the scoring in Valencia in the 47th minute. And despite Mal Donaghy seeing red, Spain were unable to find an equaliser as Northern Ireland recorded a memorable victory.
General practice among referees is to blow the final whistle during a moment when the action has calmed down - and certainly not at a pivotal moment in a match. But not if you're Welsh referee Clive Thomas. Sweden and Brazil were drawing 1-1 in 1978 when the Samba Boys were awarded a last minute corner. The ball was swung in and Zico headed it into the net. A last minute winner - or so everyone thought. But Thomas had blown the final whistle as the ball came across, and the goal was ruled out in a hugely controversial incident.
The 1970 World Cup tends to conjure images of Gordon Banks' save and the imperious Brazil squad that would go on to win the tournament in Mexico. Yet arguably the greatest moment of the tournament was the semi-final between Italy and West Germany - now referred to by the countries involved as the 'Game of the Century'. The huge Aztec Stadium, with an attendance of 102,000, was the venue for the game. Italy took an early lead through Roberto Boninsegna and looked to have done enough before Karl-Heinz Schnellinger scored an injury time equaliser for the Germans. The endurance test that was extra-time was a real roller-coaster. Gerd Muller put the Germans ahead before two goals from the Italians gave them back the advantage. Muller was on target again to level the scores at 3-3, but as television replays were showing the goal, Gianni Rivera scored the decisive goal for the Italians. Almost straight from the restart, the Italians moved the ball down the left flank before Rivera was found unmarked in the box. He hit it first time and it was enough to send his team to the final.
Host nations have a habit of doing well in the World Cup. On six occasions the organisers have lifted the trophy, and failing that, they've tended to progress to the latter stages of the tournament. That was the case in 1962, when Chile reached the semi-finals. Yet their progress caused a problem. The organisers decided to switch the venue of their semi-final with Brazil from Viña del Mar to Santiago to accommodate more fans. But the crowds in Viña del Mar were furious that their home team's match had been taken away from them, and boycotted the alternative semi between Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia that they were given. As a result, the attendance for Czechoslovakia's win was recorded at just 6,000 - the lowest World Cup semi-final attendance in history
After beating England in the group stages of the 1998 World Cup, it's as if the power went to the Romanians heads, literally. The entire team dyed their hair blonde, giving them the appearance of extra's in a Slim Shady music video. The plan was supposed to bring them good luck - but they were dumped out of the tournament in the second round by Croatia - providing more than enough ammunition for a few blonde jokes.
The more famous Schumacher is known for his aggressive tactics and occasional foul play, but even the seven-time Formula One world champion would have to agree that the assault his namesake committed in the 1982 World Cup was a step too far. The incident occurred in the semi-final match between France and West Germany. A peach of a ball put Patrick Battiston and goalkeeper Harald Schumacher in a race to be first to the ball. Battiston got there first but Schumacher just carried on going. The Frenchman poked the ball just past the post before he was clattered by the oncoming keeper. The wild challenge left Battiston unconscious, minus two teeth and with damage to his vertebrae. And to add insult to considerable injury, the referee gave a goal kick.
When pint-sized Argentina striker Ariel Ortega head-butted lanky Dutchman Edwin van der Sar, it seemed to defy the laws of physics. The episode occurred in the quarter-finals of the 1998 World Cup. Ortega, known affectionately as The Little Donkey, took a dive in the Netherlands box, to which van der Sar reacted furiously. The then Ajax keeper ran over to confront the Argentine, who stood up and somehow made contact with van der Sar's face. Cue the obligatory collapse-to-the-ground-as-if-you've-been-shot routine and with that Ortega was shown the red card.
England's opening match of the 2010 World Cup is against the United States, a fixture Fabio Capello's side are widely expected to win. Yet that was also the pre-match expectation in 1950, the only other time the two nations have faced each other in a finals. And things didn't go according to plan. A single goal from Joe Gaetjens in the 38th minute was the difference at the Estadio Independencia as the United States recorded a memorable upset. From a state-side perspective, the victory was momentous enough to be turned into a movie. The Miracle Match received lukewarm reviews - at least in England anyway.
The largest ever crowd to witness a World Cup match occurred all the way back in 1950. It should also hold the record for the largest number of disappointed fans. The huge attendance of 200,000 came in the World Cup final between Brazil and Uruguay. The Maracana in Rio de Janeiro was packed out to witness what was expected to be a stroll for the host nation. But Uruguay stunned the samba boys and won 2-1.
Every player looks glum when he puts the ball into his own net, but when Andrés Escobar scored an own goal in the 1994 World Cup, he had more reason than most to be feeling blue. The defender put into his own net during the group stage against the United States and Columbia went on to lose the match. With Columbia eliminated, it was to get worse for Escobar, who was killed upon his return to his home country. It's widely believed he was murdered as punishment his own goal by disgruntled drug lords who incurred huge gambling losses as a result of his mistake. A footnote to the sorry episode was that the BBC had to issue an apology the following day after pundit Alan Hansen commented on another match: "the Argentine defender wants shooting for a mistake like that."
It was the opening game of the 1990 World Cup and Cameroon were holding on for dear life as they led Argentina 1-0. With a few minutes on the clock Claudio Caniggia broke free from the edge of his own box. One poor tackle came in, but Caniggia skipped past him, then another - but, although knocked off balance, the Argentinean just kept going. But Caniggia couldn't escape the third. Benjamin Massing is seen storming across the pitch and then BAM - Caniggia is sent flying with a challenge so forceful the Cameroonian defender lost his boot. Massing was shown the red card but Cameroon held out for a famous victory.
One of the classic free-kicks in World Cup history came from Brazilian play-maker Rivelino in 1974. The likes of Pele, Tostao and Gerson were all missing from the all-conquering team of 1970, and it was their new No 10 Rivelino who was charged with picking up the baton. Two goalless draws meant victory in the final group match with Zaire was essential, and it was Rivelino who inspired the team to victory. He then scored in the subsequent two matches, against Argentina and East Germany before defeat to Holland saw Brazil lose their crown. But it was the goal against East Germany that lingers in the memory. Brazil were awarded a free-kick outside the box and Rivelino stepped up. He ran at the ball with fearsome pace before unleashing the ball straight at the wall. Team-mate Ze Maria then ducked out the way and the shot went flying into the net without German goalkeeper Juergen Croy moving an inch.
On two occasions teams have come back from three goals down. Austria did it against Switzerland in 1954, but it is Portugal's comeback against Korea DPR in 1966 that makes our 100 moments. The Koreans were the surprise package of the tournament, having advanced from the group stage thanks to a shock 1-0 win over Italy. Next up was Portugal, with the winners reward a place in the semi-finals against England. Few gave Korea a hope before the game, believing they had already over-reached their potential in the tournament. But the 51,000 in attendance at Goodison Park were stunned when after just 25 minutes the Koreans were 3-0 up. The Liverpool crowd were loving it, preferring a meeting for England with the Koreans than the Portuguese. Yet it wasn't to be, thanks to the exploits of Eusébio (the eventual Golden Boot winner) who was in the form of his life. He hit back with four goals before José Augusto made sure of the win with the fifth on 80 minutes.
Great friends off the pitch they may be, but at the 2006 finals, Cristiano Ronaldo could not help but show his delight when Wayne Rooney was sent off. England's talisman was rightly shown the red card in the quarter-final with Portugal after he stamped on Ricardo Carvalho. As the Manchester United striker trudged off the pitch, his club team-mate gave a cheeky wink to the Portuguese bench.
82. EDER
During the group stages of the 1982 World Cup, pre-tournament favourites Brazil found themselves a goal down to the Soviet Union. But the samba-boys weren't to be outdone, hitting back in typically breathtaking style. The equaliser came from captain Socrates, a 25 yard screamer into the top corner after a couple of feints. However, as great as Socrates' strike was, it was upstaged just few minutes later by Eder's winner. A diagonal ball into the centre by substitute Paulo Isidoro was dummied by Falcao, before Eder ran onto it, flicked it up and volleyed it straight into the back of the net. A stunning effort that is now commonly regarded as the goal of the tournament.
The tiny central American country of El Salvador qualified for only their second ever World Cup in 1982, and were desperate to prove they could mix it with the big boys. Unfortunately they lost all three of their group games, the worst of which was an absolute pummelling at the hands of Hungary. They were beaten 10-1 in a result that tied for the most lopsided result in World Cup history. The final goal of their humiliating defeat was scored by Hungary's Tibor Nyilasi in the 83rd minute.
When David Beckham et all failed to show England in a positive light at the 2006 World Cup, that responsibility fell to, er, Graham Poll. With some top notch decision making, England's 'best' referee would prove to the world the English weren't entirely clueless when it came to the beautiful game. But things went wrong when he booked Josip Simunic during the match between Croatia and Australia not once, not twice, but thrice before sending him off. Poll looked like an idiot and the 'World Cup circus' that was 2006 had found its clown.
When this match was shown on British television, it was introduced with the warning: "this is the most stupid, appalling, disgusting and disgraceful exhibition of football, possibly in the history of the game". And the presenter wasn't exaggerating. The game has since become known as the 'Battle of Santiago' and involved red cards, dreadful tackles and the police being called upon to intervene. The game took place at the 1962 World Cup in a clash between Chile and Italy. Tensions were raised prior to kick off when a couple of Italian journalists described Santiago in rather crude terms. The articles were then heavily edited for the local press and distorted the Italians' words in such a way that the resentment towards Chile's opponents prior to kick-off was palpable. So when the game got underway, there were fears things might boil over. And they weren't wrong. It took just 12 seconds for the first foul and what followed was the most unsavoury World Cup game of all time. Italy's Giorgio Ferrini was sent off after 12 minutes, and when he didn't leave the pitch, was dragged off by police. Punches and kicks flew later in the game, with another Italian, Mario David also sent off. Humberto Maschio had his nose broken when Leonel Sanchez of Chile sent a left hook his way, and amid all the scuffles and spitting, the police intervened three times. Chile won the match, but the scoreline was by-the-by in such an ill-tempered match.
From England's perspective, memories of the 1986 World Cup are dominated by a certain little Argentinean. But a happier memory from Mexico was Gary Lineker's hat-trick against Poland. It was the final match of the group stage, and it was make or break for Bobby Robson's side. England had lost their first match and drawn the second and were yet to score a goal when they faced the Poles. But they broke their duck in style with Lineker bagging three first-half goals, one of five hat-tricks the now Match of the Day presenter scored for the national team.
The award for most bizarre goal celebration goes to Finidi George. Nigeria, wearing kits that appeared to be made out of newspapers, were taking on Greece in the 1994 World Cup when George scored a beautiful lob over the oncoming goalkeeper. To celebrate, George got down on his hands and knees and cocked his leg as if he were a dog using a lamp post. The reason for his celebration is unknown, but he appeared delighted with it, finishing off with a little jig.
Turkey were taking on South Korea in an unlikely match-up for the third-place play-off in 2002 when Hakan Sukur stunned the hosts. It took just 11 seconds for Turkey to open the scoring and with it silence the emphatic Asian crowd. They would go on to win the match 3-2. The goal beat the previous record of 15 seconds, set by Czechoslovakia's Vaclav Masek in 1962.
Goalkeepers tend to be an eccentric bunch, but none more so than Columbia's Rene Higuita. He's the guy who performed 'the scorpion' in front of a shocked Wembley crowd in a friendly against England. On that occasion his fancy footwork elevated him to fan favourite - but at the 1990 World Cup - he made himself a laughing stock. 1-0 down in extra time against Cameroon, Higuita came well out of his box to help push his team forward. But when trying to get the ball under control, we was robbed by Roger Milla who stormed down the other end to poke it in. In the space of a few seconds he went from a scorpion to a cockroach.
Cameroonian Roger Milla was one of Africa's first international football stars, but it is for his celebration that he is best remembered. Coaxed out of international retirement by the President of Cameroon, Milla took his place in the side for the 1990 World Cup. Despite being 38-years-old (and consequently well past his best in many peoples eyes) Milla emerged as one of the tournament's stars, scoring four goals - each one celebrated with a dance around the corner post. The iconic jig continues to be mimicked to this day.
91. PELE IN '58
Pele is the footballer most synonymous with the World Cup, having appeared at four finals and winning the tournament a record three times. But it was at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden that football fans got a glimpse of the rising star. At the time he was just 17, and was at that stage the youngest ever player to appear in the tournament. Yet despite his age, Pele showed no signs of stage fright. He scored the only goal against Wales to see Brazil through to the semi-finals, and then scored a hat-trick against France to gain the Samba boys a place in the final. Come the final, he didn't let up, banging in a further two goals against Sweden and securing Brazil the Jules Rimet trophy.
Mexico keeper Jorge Campos takes the award for zaniest World Cup football kit. The eccentric stopper designed his own strip (presumably all he had to hand during the sketching process were highlighter pens) and showed them off at the 1994 World Cup. Unfortunately for Campos his brightly coloured threads weren't enough to put the Bulgarians off, who knocked Mexico out on penalties in the second-round.
The 1982 World Cup was won by Italy, who overcame Germany 3-1 in the final at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid. The enduring image came from Marco Tardelli. A quick ball across the box was controlled with a deft touch before it was smashed into the bottom corner. Not only was it a goal of top quality, but the celebration that followed was of near equal merit. The reaction of Tardelli expressed perfectly just how much the goal meant, both to himself and the joyous Italians.
Prior to the 1986 World Cup, if people were asked what they associated with Mexico, they may have answered the Aztecs, Sombreros and Fajitas. Yet post World Cup, right at the top of the list was the Mexican Wave. The Mexicans had been doing them for years, but the World Cup was the first time that the well timed arm flailing had been seen internationally. Football fans lapped it up, and the wave is now a staple at big matches the world over.
Whenever a spitting incident occurs in the modern game, the clash between Frank Rijkaard and Rudi Voller at the 1990 World Cup is quick to be hauled out of the archive. The two had been building up to the moment early in their second-round clash between Germany and Holland. After Voller put in a wild lunge on the Dutch keeper, Rijkaard got involved, a melee ensued and the two were sent off. The actual spitting incident happened in a flash, but Rijkaard's well placed projectile landing in Voller's silver mullet was to go on and become one of the enduing images of the Italian hosted event.
The success of the Olympic football tournaments led Fifa, and in particular the president, Jules Rimet, to float the idea of staging a specific tournament for football. That was in 1928, and two years later, the first ever World Cup kicked-off. The tournament was staged in Uruguay, and involved 13 countries. Representing Europe were France, Romania and Belgium. But it was the hosts who would go on to lift the trophy, beating Argentina 4-2 in the final.
When the World Cup went to the USA in 1994, observers thought that while they might not know a lot about football, at least they know how to put on a show. This was the land that brought us the Super Bowl half-time show and Hollywood blockbusters. So when it came to the opening ceremony - hopes were high. Yet what is best remembered is the moment Diana Ross had, what would now be referred too as, a 'kicking malfunction'. With the task of kicking a ball into an open goal, the singing diva put it wide from 10 yards. What made it all the more embarrassing was how the goal theatrically split in two - presumably to make it look as though Ross' shot had broken the net. Apart from it clearly hadn't - the ball was closer to the corner flag.
As its No. 98 of our 100 moments, we've selected a goal from the '98 World Cup in France, or more specifically, THE goal of the '98 World Cup. The strike in question came from Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp during Holland's quarter-final victory over Argentina. In the dying minutes, Frank de Boer plays a 60 yard ball up to Bergkamp. With one of the most sublime first touches ever seen, the Dutchman brings it down, then plays it through the legs of Roberto Ayala before spanking it into the net with the outside of his boot. Pure genius.
Ireland were the closest thing to a home team for England supporters when it came to the 1994 World Cup. At least their manager Jack Charlton was English. So, much of the focus was on the Irish, who faced a daunting opening group match against Italy. But just 11 minutes in and against all the odds, Ray Houghton scored the only goal of the match with a looping long range shot - and with it sparked some life into the USA World Cup. The only thing more shocking than Ireland's win was the eery lack of expression on Terry Phelan's face as the players celebrated the goal.
Making their first (and only) appearance at the World Cup, Zaire made sure they left their mark. Over the course of their three group matches in the 1974 tournament, they conceded 14 goals and scored none, but it was their apparent lack of knowledge when it came to the rules that stood out. The moment best remembered occurred when Brazil were awarded a free kick. When the referee blew his whistle, and before Brazil had a chance to take it, right back Ilunga Mwepu broke out of the Zaire wall and thumped the ball as hard as he could up the other end of the pitch. Mwepu was booked for his troubles but from his bemused reaction was apparently unaware what he had done wrong.

The 2010 World Cup has finally kicked off in South Africa.

>>Click on the image to launch our guide.

Over the past few weeks we have been counting down 100 memorable moments from the tournaments over the years.

Maradona's 'hand of god', the Cruyff Turn, Baggio's miss (and Diana Ross) - they're all here.

Do you agree with our countdown?

What should have been number one?

Let us know what your favourite Word Cup moments are by commenting below...

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