Football is the most popular sport in the world. With over 3.5 billion fans, football events and all related activities receive immense love from around the globe. Besides watching football matches, fans love indulging in fantasy football games, purchasing merchandise of their favorite team, etc.
Numerous major football leagues and tournaments are held throughout the year to keep fans entertained. However, no other tournament or event comes close to the popularity of the FIFA World Cup, which is held once every four years. Over the years, FIFA World Cups have featured many top-tier matches that are still talked about today.
This article will shed light on some of the most unforgettable matches in FIFA World Cup history. Let us begin:
Uruguay vs. Brazil (1950)
The final match of the 1950 FIFA World Cup was played between Uruguay and Brazil. Back then, the rules of the tournament were very different from the ones that it has now. The champion of the tournament used to be decided according to a strange method, i.e., it was determined by an unusual group stage followed by the main group stage.
Hence, Brazil needed to defeat Uruguay to win the prestigious title. The tournament, as well as the final match, was being held in Brazil, which put a lot of stress and pressure on the Brazilians since they had the home-ground advantage and were fan favorites.
Brazil scored the first goal in the first half of the game in front of an audience of 200,000 fans at the Estadio do Maracana. All was going in Brazil’s favor when Uruguay turned the match around. The latter scored twice in the last 25 minutes and defeated the hosts to win the World Cup. This match broke the hearts of millions of Brazil fans, and thus, to this day, the match is deemed a significant one.
Argentina vs. England (1998)
The clash between Argentina and England in the 1998 World Cup is one of the few matches in World Cup history that featured everything, from serious fouls and red cards to free kicks and penalties. Both squads boasted of top-tier players, including the likes of Michael Owen, David Beckham, and Javier Zanetti.
Argentina put the first goal on the board via a penalty taken by Gabriel Batistuta. Then, England’s Alan Shearer equalized the score in a similar manner, i.e., by taking a penalty. The third goal on the board came from England’s Michael Owen, which was followed by a goal from Argentina’s Javier Zanetti in the 45th minute. Finally, England got a blow when Beckham was sent off the field with a red card in the 47th minute.
The scores remained equal throughout the 120 minutes, and finally, the fate of the game got decided by a penalty shootout. Despite trying their best, England lost 4-3 and was knocked out of the tournament.
Germany vs. Brazil (2014)
Both Germany and Brazil’s national football teams have a massive fan following, and thus, when they clashed in the 2014 World Cup semi-final, it was a treat for fans of both sides, at least until the match progressed.
Neymar was a notable name that was missing from Brazil’s playing XI. However, despite his absence, no fan could have predicted the game’s outcome. The fans at Estadio Mineirao witnessed the German team’s players rip apart Brazil’s team. In the first half, Germany scored five goals, followed by two goals in the second half. Brazil, on the other hand, had lost all hope and could only score one goal in return, and that too at the end.
The memorable matchup between two of the best teams in FIFA World Cup history will always be remembered by fans, especially the ones who support Brazil since their team took the beating of a lifetime.
Italy vs. France (2006)
The 2006 FIFA World Cup’s final match was played between Italy and France. The match is memorable for many reasons, but the most prominent one is the infamous incident involving Zinedine Zidane and Marco Materazzi. The former headbutted the latter during the game and was given a red card.
France scored the first goal thanks to Zidane’s exceptional penalty in the 7th minute. However, the score was equalized by Marco Materazzi in the 19th minute. The score remained 1-1 until the last minutes of the game. The outcome was determined by a penalty shootout. Italy won the game by scoring five penalties as opposed to France’s 3. Italy clinched their fourth World Cup title after a controversial yet exciting game.
Argentina vs. France (2022)
The final of the FIFA 2022 World Cup is deemed the best match of all time in the FIFA World Cup’s history. Lionel Messi scored the first goal in the match by scoring a penalty. Then, Angel Di Maria increased the lead by scoring another one.
All seemed in Argentina’s favor until France’s Kylian Mbappe, the young prodigy, scored two back-to-back goals and equalized the score. Then, Messi took the reins and scored a third goal for Argentina, which got equalized by Mbappe in the 116th minute. The final penalty shootout score was 4-2, and that is how Argentina emerged victorious and clinched the trophy.
The FIFA World Cup, held once every four years, ignites a fiery passion and excitement in the hearts of fans. In every edition of the tournament, fans get to witness exciting matches, but the ones mentioned above are and will always remain evergreen.