The greatest show on earth” - this single phrase is enough to describe why the FIFA World Cup is the world’s most widely viewed sporting event. It’s not only about the game but the thrill of 90 minutes that keeps the world spellbound. One month of breathtaking action keeps the spectators on edge of their seats in every match. It does not matter which team you support but you feel an urge to watch each and every match. The competition has been played every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War. The 21st edition of the FIFA World Cup is taking place in Russia. Through the opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia on June 14 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow the tourney began its journey and it will end on July 15 in the same venue. Ahead of the World Cup final football fans are busy in making predictions. The final of a World Cup is a very important match as performance of this match decides which team will achieve the ultimate glory and a place in the history. Earlier, the spectators witnessed 20 world cup finals. Many of these finals were one-sided and colourless but some finals were truly nail-biting and full of thrills. Before another FIFA World Cup final ‘the hood’ recalls the memories of the most fabulous World Cup finals.
1934 World Cup Final In Italy
When football was excluded from the Olympic Games, the then FIFA president Jules Rimet decided to arrange a global football tournament. The first World Cup, which was named as Jules Rimet Trophy taking the name of the FIFA president, took place in Uruguay in 1930. Back then there was no final match. Top two teams of league met each other in a deciding match. 1934 World Cup’s deciding match was one sided as the host nation Uruguay easily clinched victory over Argentina with a score line of 4-2. But the deciding match of 1934 World Cup at the now-closed Stadio Nazionale PNF in Rome was one of the most competitive ones where the host Italy beat Czechoslovakia by 2-1. The score line doesn’t say everything about the drama that the final had. Czechoslovakia took the lead on 71st minute and Italy leveled right after 10 minutes. Then the game went to extra time. Italy’s Angelo Schiavio shocked Czechoslovakian on the 5th minute of extra time and led Italy to lift their first World Cup trophy.
1950 World Cup Final In Brazil
Brazil is the most successful team of the World Cup history so far. They have triumphed five World Cup trophies though they were in finals for seven times. Among all the World Cup finals where Brazil took part the most famous one was in 1950. They were the host of that World Cup and as a football crazy nation all the people of Brazil were expecting Brazil to win the trophy. But that World Cup final at the Estádio do Maracanã in the then-Brazilian capital of Rio de Janeiro was a terrible one for the Brazilians which they still cannot forget. Brazil started the game as favorites and took the lead at the 47th minute as Friaca hit the Uruguayan net for them. But it all changed in the later part of the second half when Uruguay scored twice and secured their second World Cup title. Juan Schiaffino broke the dead lock on 66th minute and Alcides Ghiggia scored the winning goal on 79th minute for the La Celeste.
1966 World Cup Final In England
Albeit they played the game first but they were catastrophically struggling to touch the World Cup glory. In 1966, English were the host and finally they won the title at home. But the final match at the Wembley Stadium in London against West Germany was not easy for them. It was a nail-biting finish by the English side. West Germany’s Helmut Haller scored the first goal of the match on 12th minute. But it did not take England much time to get back as Geoff Hust scored the equalizer for them. Till 76th minute the score was leveled but on 77th minute Martin Peters scored for the Three Lions to give them a lead. Everyone thought that was the end of the match. But West Germany bounced back at the 89th minute when Wolfgang Weber hit the target. The final match went to extra time and on the 11th minute of the extra time Geoff Hust scored his second goal of the match. Desperate Germans tried to get back in the match but they conceded again on the last minute as Geoff Hust scored his hat-trick.
1990 World Cup Final In Italy
After 1986’s magical success of Argentina they reached the final of World Cup four years later again. Their superstar Diego Maradona led the team from the front. But the whole world was shocked witnessing an ugly final at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. The match was full of rough tackles and lots of cards. Referee sent two argentine players off the field by showing red card. Nine-men Argentine team was trying to take the game to penalties but their fate ran out at the last moment when Argentine defender Roberto Sensini tackled German forward Rudi Voller on the 85th minute. Mexican referee Edgardo Codesal gave it a penalty which was one of the most contentious decisions of the World Cup final. Andres Berheme did no mistake to find the net. With that penalty Germany won their third World Cup trophy. Still the final of 1990 World Cup is considered as one of most controversial World Cup finals of all time.
1994 World Cup Final In USA
USA hosted the World Cup for the first time in 1994. Brazil and Italy were the two teams to reach the final of that World Cup. The final took place in Rose Bowl Stadium in California. Albeit spectators expected to see goal festival as both the finalists were having some of the greatest attackers of that time. The defenders of the two title contenders were so tight that no side could find the net though Brazil and Italy put their best effort in 120 minutes to score a goal. Thus the football fans watched the first World Cup final where championship was settled by tiebreaker or penalty shootouts. And Brazil won the title for the fourth time by beating Italy 3-2 in penalties. Italian captain Baresi, Massaro, and the Silver Ball winner of the tournament Robert Bazzio missed the penalty shots.
2006 World Cup Final In Germany
Germany hosted the World Cup for the second time in 2006. Before going to the final France were the clear favorites to win the title with their best player Zinadine zidane in top form. France went ahead when Zidane scored from a penalty in the 7th minute of the game. But they could not hold on to the lead for a long time as they conceded in the 19th minute. Neither side could score during the regular time, so the game went into the extra time. On 110th minute an incident happened for which no one was ready. Zidane and Materazzi exchanged some hot words between them and suddenly Zidane lost his temper and head-butted Materazzi to the ground. After discussing with the assistant the referee showed red card to Zidane. The game went to penalty shootouts where Italy defeated France by a 5-3 margin. It was one of the most thrilling finals of all time where both the teams took many shots on goal and played well but it was Italy who lifted the trophy at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.
Besides these World Cup finals the football fans have also watched some other exhilarating finals like 1986’s World Cup final between Argentina and West Germany, 2010’s final between Spain and Netherlands and 2014’s final between Argentina and Germany. Well, World Cup finals have always been the centre of attraction for the football lovers. Consistent teams who play the best football throughout the tournament and can control their nerve reach the ultimate stage to triumph the glory. Sometimes the whole team performs while sometimes individuals spark. What will happen this time? 2018 World Cup already has produced so many surprises that spectators can definitely expect some drama in the final as well. Which team is going to be the world champions for the next four years? To know the answer you have to hold on to your breath and keep your eyes on the ball at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15 when two best teams of 21st edition of the World Cup will fight for the ultimate glory of football.