Belfast Telegraph

Paris '98 was special experience

By Steven Davis

The earliest World Cup I can remember is the one in America in 1994 when Brazil beat Italy in the final and Roberto Baggio missed a penalty in the shoot-out, but my favourite World Cup memory comes from France 1998 and there are personal reasons for that.

A couple of weeks before the 1998 tournament, I actually went out to play in Paris as part of a Northern Ireland select team in a four-a-side tournament.

My friend Dean Shiels, who also went on to play for Northern Ireland, was in the side. We were only young boys back then. There was a little arena for the games and we were playing against lots of different countries. It was a great experience.

Having been there, I was really keen to watch the whole tournament take place in France.

I remember Zinedine Zidane in that tournament and him being unplayable in the final when he scored twice in the 3-0 victory over Brazil.

As a midfielder myself it was great to watch him because he made everything look so effortless with his skills.

His performance was inspiring.

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