FIFA make Materazzi and Zizou plea
FIFA honcho and bloodhound lookalike, Sepp Blatter said "We are working on getting together Materazzi and Zidane to bring an end to this story... they could go to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was in prison."
Mandela, South Africa president from 1994 until 1999, was sentenced to life in prison on Robben Island in 1964 and remained there for 18 years. Blatter added: "It is a pity, I have to say, when a World Cup final ends with a red card."
Can anyone shed any light on this nonesense?
Classic Uefa Cup Moments: AEK Athens beat Real Madrid
AEK Athens are favourites to beat Hearts to claim a place in the Champions League thanks to the 1-2 away lead they picked up at Tynecastle. In 1985, AEK beat Real Madrid 1-0 in the UEFA Cup first round (although Real won the second leg 5-0 and went on to win the competition!). Here is how the Greek side won the first leg - goalkeeping blunders galore.
Argentina 3-2 West Germany, 1986 World Cup final
If today's match is half as good as this, I'll be a happy camper (love the intro music, btw)…
Looking back… at the BBC's Leonardo, and the impact he had on a players face
Leonardo is one of the most surprising of the BBC's pundits. Let's face it, he's the new Ginola. A bit of fluff to get the mums going. Still, his credentials are all there. Won Serie A titles, won a World Cup... can't grumble about that. However, the thing I keep remembering, everytime I see him and his perfectly coiffured hair, is his impact in the World Cup held in the USA in 1994. Or more specifically, the impact he had on Tab Ramos' face in the '94 World Cup.
The Brazil match against the US was an important one. Team USA had basically got to host the World Cup as FIFA wanted to break 'sawker' into the American market and thus, make themselves horribly wealthy in the process. Of course, the USA team weren't that great, and before anyone starts about their 2-0 victory over England in a friendly, just remember, we didn't even get to the finals that year, and neither would the US team if they hadn't been hosts.... anyway... the World Cup draw had the Americans up against everyone's faves, Brazil in the last 16. Brazil, the team who found the British brick of football and turned it into marble (I'm paraphrasing someone there but I can't recall who). Exponents of the beautiful sexy game.
With Team USA playing in a now forgotten stripy kit, they took on the big boys. One of the big boys, namely, Leonardo, now placid BBC pundit, roughed up someone's face. That person was Tab Ramos. Who got roughed up with the most vicious elbow this writer has ever seen. Just how vicious was it? Ramos suffered a fractured skull. Then the Brazil team won 1-0.
So next time you see that smooth swine of telly, just think of one of Tab Ramos' teeth still stuck in his elbow.
Classic World Cup Moments: Argentina's fantastic team goal complete with crazy commentary
Esteban Cambiasso's goal for Argentina against Serbia and Montenegro has already gone down as a Classic World Cup Moment and as one of the greatest goals in World Cup history. And no Classic World Cup Moment is complete without memorable commentary. On this video the commentary is provided by barking mad Argentinian broadcaster Marcelo Araujo.
Classic World Cup Moments: The Frank Rijkaard Spit
Just look at Rijkaard sizing up Voller's mullet – the German has no idea what's about to hit him. Frank missed with his first spit, but landed with the second. Both men were sent off. How we laughed. And, Jesus, look at those haircuts/taches. Criminal.
Classic World Cup Moments: 'Oh yes… oh yes… oh YES!' Roberto Baggio's solo goal, Italy vs Czechoslovakia, 1990
Divine goal from the Divine Ponytail…
Classic Goals: Holland vs Argentina '98
The goal scored by Dennis Bergkamp against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup cemented the reason why all Arsenal fans loved him so. Not only Arsenal fans in fact. However, in this game, there were three peaches scored, and it's about time we revisited them…
Classic World Cup Moments: Underdogs Jamaica get a shock win against Japan in 1998
France 98 was like football's version of Cool Runnings. Everybody was rooting for the Reggae Boyz and, after heavy defeats against Croatia and Argentina, it came together against Japan. Two goals from Theodore Whitmore were enough to secure a 2-1 victory.
Classic World Cup Moments: Italy 3 : 2 Brazil, 1982
The vindication of Paolo Rossi. Just one of the great World Cup matches. Should have been the final, but was actually just a group match.
Pathe News video of England training for Mexico '70
Gotta love the classic Pathe News voiceover…
Classic World Cup Moments: Nelinho scores from an impossible angle against Italy in 1978
Brazil's full-backs have always licence to roam, and Nelinho took full advantage of that in 1978. From the right-hand side of the area and 18 yards out he hit a wicked banana shot past a hapless Dino Zoff. Zoff was Arie Haan's victim in the same tournament.
Classic World Cup Moments: Arie Haan's screamer against Italy in 1978
Holland's Arie Haan looks pretty harmless as he ambles forward with the ball at the start of this video. Nobody (least of all Italian goalkeeper Dino Zoff) could have predicted he was about to unleash a 40-yard thunderbolt. Zoff still can't get near it despite the ball travelling so far. Top corner - get in!
Classic World Cup Moments: Dennis Bergkamp's last-gasp winner against Argentina in 1998
Click here to see Dennis Bergkamp's sensational winning goal for Holland against Argentina in the last minute of the quarter-final of France 98.
Frank de Boer picks his moment before feeding a long ball towards Bergkamp. He uses some sort of magnetic force to control the ball with his first touch, slides the ball inside the defender with his second touch and fires the ball past the keeper with the outside of his boot with his third touch.
WARNING: This video contains traces of a celebration by Edwin van der Sar that would make even Peter Crouch cringe!
10 deadly World Cup strikers
The BBC have cherry picked 10 of the World Cup's most lethal of finishers. On their site, you can choose between Lineker, Eusebio, Der Bomber (Gerd Muller) and of course, Pele. Amongst others of course. Not only that, if you watch the video, you'll notice the option to watch other classic World Cup clips, such as the 'quirky' moments from the Finals, as well as the weird choice of 'Top 7 Mustaschioed Goals'. Posing the question; Has anyone ever scored for England in a World Cup who had a 'tasche?[Mof Gimmers]
Classic World Cup Moments: Saeed Owairan runs the length of the pitch and scores, Saudi Arabia vs Belgium, 1994
Saeed had a bit of luck along the way, but you really can't argue with this slice of World Cup magic…
Classic World Cup Moments: Maradona's Hand of God & Maradona's miracle goal, 1986
The little tyke! From villain to hero in 90 minutes. Still no arguing with the fact that Maradona's second goal against England at Mexico 86 is the greatest goal of all time – not just the skill he showed to dribble past so many players, but the fact that he was running at full pace whilst doing it. Sublime.
Classic World Cup Moments: Archie Gemmill's solo goal against Holland, 1978
A goal of rare beauty from the wee man.
Classic World Cup Moments: Garrincha scores against Chile in 1962
The clip shows Brazilian winger Garrincha blast home against hosts Chile at the 1962 World Cup. Click here to see a compilation of some of his unstoppable dribbles for club and country. It is thought Garrincha's deformed legs (both were curved and his right leg was six inches shorter than his left) allowed him to make such sudden changes of direction.
Borgetti versus Italy
I'm not sure that a finer header has ever been scored. From an
almost impossible angle, with his back to goal... no wonder Borgetti
found his way to Bolton and the Premiership! Full marks to the
commentator on this one too!
Merci Michel Platini
European Player of the Year for three years on the bounce. Won pretty much everything apart from a World Cup. A player so masterful that he seemed to have more time to do his stuff that anyone else. For the memories of Platini, say "merci beaucoup".
The Greatest Save Ever: Gordon Banks vs Pele
WHAT A SAVE! Gordon Banks… one eye… against Pele, greatest player in the world. Kick off your shoes and enjoy.
Classic World Cup Moments: Zico scores a spectacular goal against New Zealand
Zico scores a sexy scissor-kick volley against a pretty hapless looking New Zealand defence at the 1982 World Cup.
Scotland and the curse of underachievement
You know what? I'll miss Scotland in this summer's World Cup finals.
Why? Probably something to do with my hoots of laughter when they
concede spectacular goals against weak opposition.
Classic Goal: Marco Van Basten
Ok, not a World Cup moment, but that shouldn't stop a repeat viewing of one of the greatest goals ever scored in any match ever. Will we see RuudRum doing something similar in the World Cup in Germany? I somehow doubt it.
Pele and the 1970 Invincibles
This cracking video compilation shows Brazil's road to victory at the Mexico 1970 World Cup finals. With Pele leading the line, the team won six out of six matches on their way to lifting the trophy.
Classic World Cup Moments: Gazza's tears, 1990
Poor, red-faced Gazza. He looks as if he's just heard the Crazy Frog World Cup song, or, almost as bad, found out he won't be able to play in the final of the world's biggest sporting event. There's not a lot that hasn't been said about Paul Gascoigne and Italia 90, but I will add that I still enjoy watching Gary Lineker's mouthed 'have a word' to the England bench. Mr Walkers Crisps, you could have made a great manager. Like I said, there's not a lot else to say about Gazza, except that he was one of the best players at that World Cup, along with Lothar Mattheus.
Classic World Cup Moments: Michael Laudrup solo effort
Denmark's patient build-up play all gets a bit boring for Michael Laudrup so he decides to go it alone against Uruguay
at the 1986 World Cup. He jinks past three defenders and then the
goalkeeper before slotting home from a tight angle to put Denmark 3-1
up in match they go on to win 6-1. Click here to watch it.
Before Beckham, Roberto Carlos et al...
... there was Dragan Stojkovic of Yugolslavia. Here he is scoring from a great free kick against Spain in the second round of Italia 90. He fit his football around his time as a member of boy band New Kids On The Block judging by this picture.
Pele. A bit good
Pele. He was alright, wasn't he? Scored more than 1,000 goals in his career. Won the World Cup a few times. Did good things for Viagra sales. Watch this clip and drool – worth it also for quite possibly the worst music I've ever heard.
Classic World Cup Moments: John Aldridge's world-class rant
Boy, that fourth offical never knew what hit him. Aldridge couldn't get on as a sub for Ireland against Mexico at USA '94 and he wasn't best pleased. Cue an awesomely savage Scouse rant and some vicious finger-jabbing. When he finally got on the pitch, Aldo channelled his rage, Bruce Lee-style, and scored the consolation goal in a 2-1 defeat which knocked the Irish out of the tournament.
PS. If anyone can track down a video of this cracking incident, get in touch…
Classic World Cup Moment: The Cruyff Turn Is Born
One of football's most famous pieces of skill had its premiere in a game between Holland and Sweden at the 1974 World Cup. The legendary Johan Cruyff seemed to have very few options on with his back to goal and tightly marked by Sweden's Gunnar Olsson. Cruyff famously shimmied one way, flicked the ball back between his legs and left Olsson rooted to the spot wondering what had hit him. Click here to watch it or here to watch it in slow-motion.
Classic World Cup Moments: Rivaldo's acting masterclass
A player, with so much talent it hurts. It hurts so much that it made him drop like a sack of spanners at the mere suggestion of the ball hitting him.mof gimmers
Great World Cup goals: Maradona takes on the whole of Belgium, 1986
I don't think I've ever seen a player make his fellow players look so inferior as Diego Maradona did at the 86 World Cup. He was virtually untouchable. Without DM, Argentina wouldn't have got out of their group; with him, they won the tournament. This goal has to rank as one of my favourite ever World Cup goals. A thing of beauty.
The Best World Cup Song... EVER!
Aaaah... a squad that featured Tony Dorigo AND Steve Hodge? Spoiled we were... still, 1990 saw something amazing. A good World Cup song. That's right, it's time to flail around in a post euphoric Ecstacy haze and get all mushy while John Barnes does that rap. Oh, and check out Peter Hook's hair... a rival to the flowing drag of Waddle...
"What A Save!"
What an understatement! Probably the best save of all time. Click here to watch Gordon Banks somehow get down to Pele's header. Then watch it again, and again, and...
Big In Japan
The World Cup is the perfect stage for a player to really make a name for himself. But some players manage to make a name for themselves and then seemingly disappear into oblivion. We look at some of the players who lit up the 2002 World Cup in Japan and Korea before going on to do very little else.
Nicky Butt - England
It may not sounded as exotic as 'Makelele', but if Nicky Butt had continued his rich vein of World Cup form the holding midfield position might have been universally known as the 'Butt role'. Finding himself at the heart of England's World Cup campaign purely by attrition, but was singled out by Pele (wrongly, it has to be said) as the player of the tournament. On his return from the Far East, Butt found himself increasingly on the fringes at Old Trafford. He made a £4 million move to Newcastle United in 2004 in search of more first team action, but his first season at St James' Park was ruined by injury. The signing of Scott Parker meant Butt was again out of the picture. He has spent the 2005-06 season on loan at Birmingham City, but has even struggled to hold down a place in the team with the relegation-threatened Blues. A row with manager Steve Bruce has done little to improve his prospects, and international honours are now an increasingly distant prospect.
Ahn Jung-Hwan - South Korea
Ahn Jung-Hwan was already South Korea's pin-up boy when he scored his country's golden goal winner against Italy in the 2002 World Cup. Ahn had moved to Perugia in Italy in 2000, but had largely been restricted to substitute appearances. In a petty move, the Perugia President Luciano Gaucci tried to sack Ahn for his crimes against Italian football. Eventually his contract was cancelled and Ahn was left to find a new club. Early interest from Premiership clubs passed and Ahn ended up playing in Japan. He briefly joined France's FC Metz in 2005 and was due to have a trial at Blackburn Rovers earlier this year before he pulled out. Ahn is by no means certain of a place in the South Korea World Cup squad for Germany, although he is already in the country having recently signed for Duisberg. Former South Korea coach Jo Bonfrere had been openly very critical of Ahn, although he has found himself back in favour under former Rangers boss Dick Advocaat.
Junichi Inamoto - Japan
Arsenal fans were left rubbing their eyes in disbelief when they realised their ambassador to the Far East replica shirt sales market could actually play a bit too. Inamoto seemed to find another gear for a World Cup in his own country. He has yet to reproduce that form for either Fulham or West Brom. A broken leg hampered his arrival at The Hawthorns in 2004 and his form has been patchy ever since. Another good World Cup performance will have Baggies supporters wondering why they have seen so little of the Inamoto who turns up for Japan's games.
Claudio Reyna - USA
Bizarrely picked in the FIFA team of the tournament in 2002, presumably in a bid to promote "soccer" to the Yanks, Reyna has been blighted by injury ever since. Relegated with Sunderland the season after the World Cup, Reyna jumped ship to Manchester City but his luck did not improve. Reyna mustered just 17 appearances last season and has managed only 17 matches so far this season.
Great World Cup Goals: Carlos Alberto, Brazil vs Italy, 1970
A beautiful goal from a beautiful team. Words don't really do it justice, so click on the link, sit back and enjoy.
I've never seen the goal shown from this angle, either. Looks better than ever.
Gol de Tardelli!!!
It's that celebration. If you can score in a World Cup and make the president of your country vault from his seat, then you better have a celebration to match. Tardelli scored a vital goal against the West German side in 1982, and boy, he ran and ran… until his bulging eyeballs nearly popped out.
Watch the goal and the ace celebration here, c/o of YouTube.
Classic World Cup Moments: East vs West
Most of you won't have even heard of Jurgen Sparwasser. Jurgen scored one of the most controversial goals in World Cup history. In 1974, West Germany hosted the 10th World Cup. This signified a first for many reasons. It was the first finals to be shown in full glorious technicolour, there was a change in the format of groups and knockout stages, and the new World Cup trophy replaced the Jules Rimet trophy after Brazil had won it outright in 1970 (after winning it three times).
However, one massive event was the group match between West Germany and the German Democratic Republic, more commonly known as East Germany. Sparwasser was the star of the East German side that took on their more successful and glamorous opponents.
The West German side starred a pantheon of footballing greats. The Kaiser, Franz Beckenbaer, Der Bomber Gerd Muller and the horrifying hair of Der Afro, Paul Breitner. The ripples of excitement had started when the two teams were drawn together, which would climax with the last match of the group stages.
The West Germans had gotten off to a decent start, beating both Chile and Australia. The Eastern boys started shakily, beating the team from down under, and drawing with Chile. The winners of the last match would win the group. Obviously, there was more than pride at stake.
Sparwasser became the unlikely hero of the hour, scoring the vital winning goal against the all-conquering West German side, after forcing his way through the seemingly impenetrable defence.
Once again, football had clashed with politics on the pitch, sparking feverous celebrations from the republic throng. Thankfully, the match didn't result in a war like the Honduras/El Salvador match in 1969. It's difficult to imagine the tensions between the two sides, but if you liken it to the Iran/USA match, you get the picture.
The East Germans were knocked out of the World Cup in the next round, whilst the West German side went on to lift the new trophy. Success followed the East German's in the Olympics that followed, winning a gold medal in 1976, and added a silver in the 1980 games.
Then, in 1990, it all changed, and the united German side won the World Cup, with Matthias Sammer being one of the few players to play for the East German side, as well as the unified German team.
Google Video shows a brilliant round up
of their exploits, which start off with a hilarious song ('Give 'em a
lash Jack') which was sung by random people and a werewolf (seriously)
wearing an Ireland kit.
It then goes on to look at Kevin Sheedy's cracking left peg sticking one against England. A match which was played in one of Italy's worst ever electrical storms. Then, lest we forget, the drama surrounding the eventuality of all the teams in Group F drawing (which was rectified by England's win over Egypt) which saw Eire go through on goals for at the expense of the then European Champions, Holland.
What does strike you throughout is just how many now rubbish managers played for the Irish back then.
O'Leary, who scored the last gasper against the talented Romanian side, Mick McCarthy, John Aldridge and Steve Staunton.
Still, the welcome home that the Irish received was spetacular, and one many hearts throughout the world... including former goalie, Pope John Paul...
What a weird World Cup it must have been for Jack et al.
Classic World Cup Moments: Zaire finds new way to defend Brazilian free-kick
Brazil v Zaire, 1974 World Cup. The Brazilians have been awarded a free-kick 25 yards out. The referee blows his whistle, at which point Zaire defender Mwepu Ilunga breaks from the wall and belts the ball back down the pitch before a Brazilian has even touched it. You can't coach defending like that.
Probably the most naive moment in World Cup history; definitely the most charming.UPDATE A Shiny Media mole has tracked down a clip of this magical moment. Watch it here.
Classic World Cup Moments: The Roger Milla shuffle
How old is he? Everyone wanted to know. Rumours abounded that Cameroon striker Roger Milla was, shock-horror, in his 40s (!) when playing at the 1990 World Cup. Or perhaps he just looked old for his years?
Milla, who was actually 38 at the time, lit up Italia '90, scoring four goals, each one celebrated with a hip shuffle-cum-jig at the corner flag. For 15 minutes, Milla was a genuine superstar - even the hardest-hearted of England fans must have been a little disappointed to wave goodbye to Cameroon after we knocked them out in the quarter finals. Milla returned to the 1994 World Cup at the age of 42 and found the net against Russia, breaking his own record as the oldest goalscorer in a World Cup finals.
Apparently he lives with his family in France now. And he's just written a timely autobiography. We miss you Roger.
Classic Goal: David Platt's Belgian surprise
Cast your mind back. It was Bobby Robson's last World Cup. England had a decent team, but had spluttered through the group stages, drawing with both Ireland and Holland and then beating the might of Egypt. In the second round, we faced Belgium.
Now the Belgian side were a good outside bet at the start of Italia '90, after reaching the semis in Mexico four years earlier. So against the might of Enzo Schifo et al, England looked to pick up the pace a bit, and convince the fans back home that we were contenders.
However, in a largely uninspiring game, with scant chances falling to both sides, the game went into extra time.
Torino had probably never seen duller football... that is, until the dying moments of the match.
Gazza (pre tears, post dentist chair) won a dubious freekick in a decent position with only a couple of minutes to spare. The ball was chipped into the box, and then, cometh the hour, cometh the grimace.
David Platt, who had been reasonable during the build up to the World Cup, suddenly became an absolute force. Turning on the ubiquitous sixpence, Platt volleyed home a tremendous goal, often overlooked by the history books and compilation clip shows. This was the precise moment when England started to play. Properly.
The anguished face of Preud'Homme, the giddy little face of Gary Lineker disappearing into a mass of white shirts, then, the gurning gumble of 'come on' from Mr Platt.
Ahhh... happy days... watch and feel the butterflies kicking in... just don't mention Chrissy Waddle eh?
Best World Cup goal ever? Manuel Negrete
Everybody knows that Mexico 86 was the best World Cup ever. Bar none. It had earthquakes, the Hand of God, crackly commentating, Socrates, awful haircuts and best of all, amazing goals.
For too long everyone has talked about the Diego Maradona goal against England. That wasn't even Maradona's best goal of Mexico 86. The one he scored against Belgium was vastly superior. All that said, the best goal of the 1986 tournament belonged to someone who wasn't a household name.
That man is Manuel Negrete. Bulgaria were the victims of the sublime scissor kick from the Mexican hitman. The Mexicans, obviously, found the climate easy work (silly temperatures and lack of oxygen due to the high altitude), unlike our Bulgarian friends.
A breathtaking one-two started the move which ended up with John Motson's favourite goal of all time. The man has taste.
Unfortunately, the clip provided doesn't show you the team's celebration. After scoring an incredible wonder volley, just how does Negrete get rewarded? A team mate runs to his side and starts pulling his hair violently. That's Mexican gratitude for you.
Sit back, and bask in the best goal ever scored at a World Cup… ever!
Classic World Cup Moments: The Diana Ross Foot Malfunction
Opening ceremonies are usually terrible. If you remember them, it is usually for all the wrong reasons. For example, the Olympic shindig of Seoul '88 was notable. The organisers set free doves to symbolise peace, harmony and other dove-like stuff. The birds soared, circling above the wide-eyed crowd… and then flew into the Olympic torch. However, the World Cup trumped that at USA '94…
… Oprah Winfrey fell off a podium, majorettes and twirly things filled the
skies... and then, in a wonderful climax, a screeching Diana Ross appeared, belting her way through some big ol' song, inanely grinning/grimacing all the
while. She then hopped down from her plinth, to scurry along the pitch, her little legs going like the clappers.
The climax of the ceremony was a penalty kick, to be taken by Ross. The ball had been placed on its mark, and the resultant spot kick would bulge the onion bag, split the goal in two amidst fireworks, tickertape and all kind of razzy gubbins. Sure enough, the goal burst, everything went according to plan.
Except one thing. Ross missed. From about one yard out. Yes, Ross kicked the World Cup off with a missed spot kick. Ironically, USA '94 ended with Roberto Baggio blazing his penalty into Row Z – so that's two divas with rubbish haircuts making lots of Englishmen laugh. Thank shitting crikey we weren't the ones missing penalties for once.
Classic World Cup Moments: Kuwaiti Prince vs Russian Ref
Prince Fahid, Kuwait's FA chief, was so incensed when France scored a fourth goal against his country in their 1982 World Cup group match that he left the stands and went down on to the pitch. Fahid approached the Russian referee (what is it with Russian refs and controversy?), and argued that his players had heard a whistle from the stands and stopped playing, thinking it had come from the man in black (by this time, many of Kuwait's players had left the field, threatening to quit the match). Amazingly, the Russian disallowed the goal, although France scored again and won 4-1. Kuwait were later fined £8,000 by FIFA for Fahid's maverick intervention. Classic World Cup madness.
Classic World Cup Moments: Norway beat England 2-1 in a World Cup qualifier, Oslo 1981
'Lord Nelson! Lord Beaverbrook! Sir Winston Churchill! Sir Anthony
Eden! Clement Attlee! Henry Cooper! Lady Diana! Maggie Thatcher – can
you hear me, Maggie Thatcher! Your boys took one hell of a beating!
Your boys took one hell of a beating!'
That says it all, really. (Incidentally, that infamous tirade was spluttered by Norwegian commentator Bjorn Minge. Loving that surname, Bjorn.)