Some crazy World Cup moments

So Brazil are through to the semi-finals but their hero Neymar is out of the competition with fractured vertebrae. Whatever next? The current World Cup in Brazil has given us some really tense games and nail-biting finishes along with the inevitable penalty shoot-outs. But still the teams competing in the very last stages are the same old same old; it’s incredible how it always seems to happen (unless you happen to be Italian that is).

Anyone wanting a longshot bet on the next soccer World Cup may be well advised to stick with what they know. In other words – the winner will be either Brazil, Germany, Argentina or Italy – but France and Holland will have pretty good runs; sound familiar? That’s the regular pattern.

The Euros, though, are a little less predictable according to history. And that’s the next big opportunity for England, Spain and Italy to try and redeem themselves after their respective early flights home from Brazil this summer. So maybe the best thing is to have a wager on Euro 2016’s host nation France, who are currently 6-1 with the exchange Betfair.

But whilst the current World Cup tournament has given us great goals and bags of excitement, it hasn’t really given us the plain daft moments of yesteryear, like when Diana Ross missed the faked up penalty during the opening of USA 1994 with a giant ball and equally giant net.

Or how about Zaire’s defensive wall 20 years earlier in the West German World Cup, when one of the players simply broke from the wall and booted the ball away before the Brazilian opposition had even begun to think about kicking it? As you may imagine – the Zaire side that didn’t seem to know the rules lost that particular fixture 3-0. But even that was better than the “Leopards’” 0-9 drubbing by Yugoslavia.

Then there was the Peruvian goalkeeper Ramon Quiroga nicknamed El Loco (The Madman). He went down in crazy-World Cup history in Argentina 1978 when he rugby tackled Poland’s Grzegorz Lato deep in the opposition’s half; a full 70 yards away from his goal!

Equally crazy was the Kuwaiti team’s on-pitch “strike” versus France in the Spanish World Cup of 1982. The Kuwaiti team heard a whistle blown as France attacked and stopped playing. French forward Giresse duly scored but the Kuwaitis refused to play on – under orders from their sheiks in the stand who were in charge of Kuwaiti football.

And last but not least – how about the millions of viewers listening to Liverpudlian John Aldridge’s rather colourful language during the USA 1994 competition when the Republic of Ireland played Mexico as he lambasted the fourth official who wouldn’t let him on the pitch!? Manager Jack Charlton joined in too. Aldridge managed to score in the 84th minute when he eventually got on but Ireland still lost 2-1 (but managed to qualify for the knockout stages anyway courtesy of a win over Italy).


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