Plenty to Choose From
I once read: Dudes can literally just sit around and name old sports players and just have the best time. I immediately thought: A greater truth has never been told.
For soccer enthusiasts, that’s even more true when it comes to the grandest stage of them all — the FIFA World Cup. Qatar 2022 will mark the 22nd edition of the World Cup, meaning there are a ton of players and moments to speak of. However, we at BetUS sportsbook have chosen the top five to help you start the conversation.
1. Pele Wins His First
Considered by many as the best player in history, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, ended up winning three World Cup titles. However, there’s nothing like the first one, especially when you won it at only 17 years old and were selected as the best player in the tournament.
Pele finished the 1958 WC, which was held in Sweden, with six goals. Brazil defeated the home team in the Grand Finale 5-2 behind two goals from Pele.
2. Phantom Goal
In 1966, football returned home. Well, we could say stayed home, because England won its only World Cup title by defeating West Germany 4-2 in the Grand Finale at London’s Wembley Stadium. The Three Lions needed extra time, and a phantom goal, to defeat the Germans.
The thing is that England’s third goal, scored by Geoff Hurst, didn’t cross the goal line.
3. Maradona in Mexico
Argentina won its first WC title in 1978. Despite being considered one of the best young talents in the world, Diego Maradona wasn’t part of that squad. Eight years later, he took a starring role by leading the Albiceleste to its second WC title in Mexico.
He scored five goals, including the famous — infamous if you’re English — Hand of God and the Goal of the Century. Both were against England in the quarterfinals. Argentina defeated West Germany 3-2 in the Grand Finale.
4. Zidane’s Header
Zinedine Zidane led France to the WC title in 1998 by scoring two goals in the Grand Finale against Brazil. Two years later, Les Bleus also won the European championship. We all thought that was it, but Zidane had other plans.
France wasn’t among the betting online favorites to win the title in Germany 2006. Nevertheless, Zizou led them to the Grand Finale, in which they faced Italy. He even scored from the penalty spot in Panenka style, but then lost it in a confrontation with Italy’s Marco Materazzi.
All of a sudden, Zidane, considered a very calm player, knocked the Italian to the pitch with a strong header to the chest. Zidane was sent off and Italy ended up winning on penalties.
5. Germany 7, Brazil 1
Brazil won the WC for the last time in 2002. Twelve years later, the Selecao were atop the soccer picks to win it once again at home. They won Group A with seven points (2-1-0), seven goals for and only two against.
They suffered more than expected in the Round of 16 against Chile before winning on penalties. They also suffered in the quarterfinals against Colombia but won 2-1. Then Germany came and crushed them. It was like watching a toddler fighting against Rocky Balboa. Men and women of all ages ended up crying in the stands. At least Brazil can say they lost to the champion as Germany defeated Argentina 1-0 in the Grand Finale.