Maradona vs. England – 1986 World Cup
Diego Maradona grabbed the headlines for his performance against England in the World Cup quarter-final. The game was already a tense one following the Falklands War, fought between the UK and Argentina. It was tense on the pitch, and the game was tied 0-0 at halftime.
Diego Maradona scored the most controversial goal in the history of the World Cup to give Argentina the lead. He leaped up in the air and tapped the ball in with his hand, an incident which became known as the “Hand of God.” Maradona wasn’t done, and four minutes after scoring that controversial goal he scored the “Goal of the Century.”
The Argentine took the ball in his own half and dribbled past he entire England team, covering 60 yards in 10 seconds. He then feinted, sending the goalkeeper to the ground before slotting the ball into the net.
Brazil vs. Italy – 1994 World Cup final
Italian star Roberto Baggio had single-handedly dragged his nation to the World Cup final in the USA. He was the man responsible for getting them there, and it seemed as though he would be the man to take them all the way and lift the golden trophy. The game was a disaster for Baggio and his Italian compatriots.
With the score deadlocked, the game went to a penalty shootout and the pressure was on Baggio to keep his team in the game. If he missed they would lose the final but he had been such a shining light in the tournament it didn’t seem possible. Baggio blazed his penalty kick high over the crossbar handing Brazil the win in a cruel blow to the player who dominated the whole competition.
Marco Tardelli’s sheer joy – 1982 World Cup final
The 1982 World Cup final was played between Italy and West Germany. The Italians were leading the game 2-1 heading into the final ten minutes, but a goal from Germany would send the game into extra time, so tensions were high. Italy were famed for their resilient defending, so they began to soak up lots of German pressure.
Germany were piling forward, and it allowed Italy the chance to break away. Tardelli was on hand to finish off the counter-attack, and the joy on his face was evident for all to see. There was no way Italy would be caught now, and Tardelli had just confirmed the victory for his nation. It was a reminder to all of the passion and joy people experience through soccer.
These World Cup moments will never be forgotten in the world of soccer. From the sheer joy, to brilliance, to the pain of losing, these moments show the emotional rollercoaster being a soccer player or fan brings.