With Russia about to host the 2018 World Cup, we could be in for an interesting few weeks. To get you prepared for Putin’s party, here’s a look back at some of the weirdest moments that have occurred during this illustrious tournament.
10. Vuvuzelas, 2010
“Vuvuzelas are a beautiful noise for the beautiful game,” the South African tourism website read on the eve of the 2010 World Cup.
Noise? Sure. Beautiful? Well… if that’s how you would describe the sound Nicolas Cage must’ve heard during the climax of 2006’s The Wicker Man, then you were in for a treat this World Cup.
Possessing a decibel range equivalent to a chainsaw, these plastic horns made for frustrating viewing both at the games and on TV.
9. Gary Lineker’s ‘accident’, 1990
Sometimes the worst things happen to the best people. In the same year he was awarded the FIFA Fair Play Award for never receiving a red or yellow card in his entire career, England’s Gary Lineker suffered a fate worse than death… a bowel movement on the international stage.
He can thank his lucky stars that England was the home team and weren’t wearing white shorts.
8. Dog on the Pitch, 1962
Before we had pigs on the SCG, we had dogs on Estadio Sausalito.
The 1962 quarter final between England and Brazil was quickly interrupted after kickoff by a stray dog, which required some Crocodile Dundee-esque wrangling by England’s Jimmy Greaves before play could continue.
Brazil went on to win 4-2, with one of the players adopting the dog shortly after. Wholesome stuff.
7. Bra71L, 2014
When you think of getting a Brazilian, what springs to mind? Regardless, it’s painful and may leave you traumatised for years.
Described as a “national humiliation” by the home nation’s media, Brazil were totally bamboozled by Germany in the 2014 semi-final, going down 7-1 in one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history. As such, a new era of Bra71lian was born.
Uttering the phrase “7-1” in Portuguese (“sete a um”) still sends shudders through survivors of this onslaught to this very day. Unsurprisingly, German soccer fans frequently vote this as the greatest World Cup moment of all time.
6. Three Yellow Cards, 2006
I wouldn’t say I’m great at maths, but when it comes to counting to two, I’m the poster child. And you can count on that.
In 2006, referee Graham Poll thought it would be fun to spice up the rules, issuing three yellow cards to Croatian player Josip Šimunić before being brave enough to send him off.
As far as crimes against Australian soccer go, this should have been the worst. But don’t worry; we’ll talk more about that later.
5. Lampard’s non-goal, 2010
In life, one must make sacrifices for the greater good. Take Frank Lampard for example, whose disallowed goal in the 2010 World Cup arguably changed the game forever.
We have to thank the linesman for this Barry Crocker, as revolutionary goal-line technology was introduced to ensure incidents like this never happen again.
You see, we can all benefit from England’s tragic World Cup experiences. More, I say!
4. Suárez Bite, 2014
Rigorous exercise always makes me hungry, so I sympathise with Luis Suárez if he wanted a mid-game nibble during the 2014 World Cup.
Suárez’s immediate reaction after chomping into Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini suggests that he should be replacing his daily intake of gelato with some Sensodyne. Listen to your dentist, Luis.
3. Italy dive, 2006
Did someone turn the heating up in our office, or is that my blood boiling?
On viewing Italy’ Franceso Totti’s miraculous, 10/10 Olympic-grade dive against Australia in the Group of 16, I turned to my Dad, tears in my eyes, and asked:
“Father, why is life so cruel?”
“Beats me, mate, now off to bed,” he replied. Fair call, it was 4am.
Us Aussies got the last laugh however, as Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, ending its 58-year streak in the tournament. Sucked in.
2. Zidane head butt, 2006
I’ve never head butted someone, or been on the receiving end of one, so seeing Zinedine Zedane’s scone cause Marco Materazzi to wind up horizontal doesn’t make me want to try it out.
Zidane’s foul resulted in huge ramifications for France. He was subsequently sent off and unable to participate in the penalty shootout to win the World Cup Final, which Italy went on to win 5-3.
Despite this, Zidane went on to have a highly successful managing career, leading Real Madrid to three UEFA Champions Leagues titles. Now that’s what I call using your head… sorry.
1. Maradona’s angel and devil goals, 1986
I don’t see anything wrong with Maradona’s spoil here; it was a clean fist that crossed the line to give his team the lead. Play on.
Wait, I might be getting my sports confused here…
The 1986 quarter final between Argentina and England is notorious for featuring both the most controversial and greatest goals we’ve seen in World Cup history, both of which were scored by Maradona.
His second goal was voted by FIFA as the tournament’s best of all time, pending a review by Kanye West.
BONUS: Cahill’s screamer
This makes the WTF list purely because that’s what I said when this goal went in.
Pure magic from Timmy Cahill. More please!