Best world cup ever

Shakesey

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I think most people’s ‘best’ World Cup will also be their first for nostalgia reasons. Italia 90 was the first I remember and moments like the Argentina v Cameroon shock, Roger Milla, David Platt’s volley and Gazza’s tears will live long in the memory. Looking back, the quality of some of the games was probably really poor, but it’s certainly the World Cup I hold most fondly! I’ll be honest many of the 2000 competitions are a bit of a blur for me!
Italia '90 - the computer game will live forever in my memory
 

Yakuza_devils

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1986 the only world cup where a player almost single handedly won the world cup for his county. Until today he is the God in the country.
 

GuybrushThreepwood

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I've watched the last 6 World Cups and would categorise them as follows:
Top Tier - 1998 and 2018
Middle Tier - 2016 and 2014
Bottom Tier - 2002 and 2010

Nostalgia will inevitably play a part, but in addition to 1998 being my favourite World Cup, 2000 was my favourite European Championship (i'd still rank that as the best major tournament that I've seen bar none).

Historically, I'd imagine that the 2 World Cups held in Mexico would rank extremely highly. When I went on the Estadio Azteca stadium tour (including getting my photo taken with the hand of god statue), I was thinking that it had a pretty unrivalled history with both Pele and Maradona scoring World Cup goals and lifting the trophy there, probably the 3 most iconic / famous World Cup goals all being scored there (Carlos Alberto's in the 1970 final and Maradona's 2 goals within 5 minutes against England in 1986), the famous Italy-West Germany 1970 semi-final taking place there etc.
 
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Steffa Barnesa

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Nostalgia will inevitably play a part, but in addition to 1998 being my favourite World Cup, 2000 was my favourite European Championship (i'd still rank that as the best major tournament that I've seen bar none).
I'd rank Euro 2000 as the best, too. Zidane was fantastic in that tournament, and there were great, exciting matches in every round (maybe not the QFs so much) including a dramatic end to the final. Euro 2008 was up there as well - let down by a bit of a dull final and one-sided SF with Spain beating Russia easily.
 

giorno

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I remember the Italy vs South Korea match of the Korea Japan world cup. Never saw a game so rigged ever again or before.
I take it you didn't watch South Korea vs Spain then :lol:
 

Josh 76

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1982 was the best.
Brasil - Zico, Falcao, Socrates...
Italy - Rossi, Conti, Tardelli...
Germany - Rummenigge, Littbarski, Matthaeus...
Argentina - Maradona
France - Platini
The 3 Germans mentioned have to be the most underrated players of all time. What a trio. Hardly get mentioned when discussing the worlds best.

Even the British teams had some of European greats.
Dalglish, Souness, Hansen
Robson, Hoddle, Keegan
 

GuybrushThreepwood

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1986 the only world cup where a player almost single handedly won the world cup for his county. Until today he is the God in the country.
On a side note, but after watching highlights of the Argentina-England QF during the Covid lockdown (I wasn't born when the tournament took place), and seeing that Terry Fenwick cynically hacked Maradona down numerous times (including a few times after he had already been booked early on), elbowed him off the ball a couple of times, and literally few minutes before the opening goal jumped with Maradona, led with his arm (how ironic) and knocked him down (so he was either trying to handle the ball or elbow Maradona yet again or both), I thought that the hand of god was even more awesome, plus his skill during the build-up to the goal as he waltzed past 2-3 English players as if they were training cones before passing to Valdano, was exquisite. Even before we get to the wonder goal 4 minutes later, the hand of god seems like the perfect way for him to get his revenge against Fenwick and England (he was also fouled numerous times by other English players as well).

I'd rank Euro 2000 as the best, too. Zidane was fantastic in that tournament, and there were great, exciting matches in every round (maybe not the QFs so much) including a dramatic end to the final. Euro 2008 was up there as well - let down by a bit of a dull final and one-sided SF with Spain beating Russia easily.
Yes Euro 2000 was such an embarrassment of riches, packed full of high quality, exciting and dramatic matches, and a lot of big name players delivered the goods at that tournament. Even from teams that were eliminated in the group stage, the likes of Beckham and Nedved were still excellent. And I agree that Euro 2008 was also excellent. Spain were far more entertaining to watch at that tournament that they were at either the 2010 World Cup or Euro 2012 IMO, in-part due to the tactics / line-ups of Aragones vs. Del Bosque, and in-part due to them having an aura / fear factor in 2010 and 2012 with opposing teams setting up negatively against them.
 
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Polar

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Plenty of spectacular goals (long shots) in 1994, if i dont remember wrong?

The funniest and most shocking game was when Brazil lost 7-1 against Germany in the semi-final.
 

bobbyhammer780

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For me it was the best,

From Diana Ross missing a penalty, to Sweden coming third, Ireland's spirited displays, amazingly cut pitches, and packed crowds for nearly enough every game, that quality Bulgarian side.

So many iconic moments.
But you've to check this time FIFA 2022, It's surely going to be crazy. I'm very excited to stream all the matches online. especially after knowing that Fifa 2022 has become the most expensive world cup in History with an Estimate $220 Billion.
 

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For nostalgic reasons, 1974 will always be my favourite world cup as that was the first one I ever saw and obviously the furore around the Dutch National team was amazing. In terms overall best world cup, I feel that 1998 was the first "modern" world cup for me.
 

FootballHQ

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France 98.

First one I watched of course but there were so many great narratives in that one.

Last world cup appearance of 90s stalwarts Romania and Bulgaria with Hagi and Stoichkov making their last cameos. And then you had the new age dawning with Japan making their debut and they haven't missed one since.

Brilliant knock out games like England-Argentina, Argentina-Netherlands, Croatia-Germany, Denmark-Brazil.

And then with the final the mini shock of France completely stuffing Brazil and will Ronaldo play or not in the build up.

A great tournament and I don't think we've had one as good since with all those factors I mentioned.
 

harms

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1982 was the best.
Brasil - Zico, Falcao, Socrates...
Italy - Rossi, Conti, Tardelli...
Germany - Rummenigge, Littbarski, Matthaeus...
Argentina - Maradona
France - Platini
You mean Breitner? I don’t believe that Matthäus was even a starter back then while Breitnigge were the backbone of that team.

Matthäus grew more and more important as the tournaments went, from almost successfully man-marking Maradona in the final of 1986 to leading Germany to the title as its best player in 1990.
 

FootballHQ

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No one has said 2010, those goddam vuvuzela's ruined that entire tournament, basically unwatchable.
The group stages were rubbish, endless 0-0s and low scoring games. Think they had issues with the new ball introduced on eye of the tournament (well Rob Green did...) so that set the bar although there were a few decent games in knock out stages (Uruguay-Ghana and the late Dutch comeback v Brazil).

Russia 2018 was a pretty good World cup thinking about it, probably the closest to France 98 in all round package.

Was too young for USA 1994. One actual pet hate of mine is seeing too many World cup games played in broad daylight which they did to suit european audiences.

I love World cups where the big knock out games take place under lights so seeing a World cup final in blazing sunshine from the highlights was a bit odd and it hasn't been repeated since with all the finals taking place in the evening local time.

Is the final for 2026 World cup taking place on East or West coast?
 

Josh 76

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You mean Breitner? I don’t believe that Matthäus was even a starter back then while Breitnigge were the backbone of that team.

Matthäus grew more and more important as the tournaments went, from almost successfully man-marking Maradona in the final of 1986 to leading Germany to the title as its best player in 1990.
Maradona said In his autobiography, Matthaus was the best player he ever faced.
 

Josh 76

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You mean Breitner? I don’t believe that Matthäus was even a starter back then while Breitnigge were the backbone of that team.

Matthäus grew more and more important as the tournaments went, from almost successfully man-marking Maradona in the final of 1986 to leading Germany to the title as its best player in 1990.
Breitner was only 1 of 4 players to score in more than one World Cup final. Not many people now that!

The other 3 were,
Pele 1958 and 1970
Vava 1958 and 1962
Zidane 1998 and 2006
 

r1z3mu

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You mean Breitner? I don’t believe that Matthäus was even a starter back then while Breitnigge were the backbone of that team.

Matthäus grew more and more important as the tournaments went, from almost successfully man-marking Maradona in the final of 1986 to leading Germany to the title as its best player in 1990.
You are right and your memory is better than mine :). Lothar was only 21 at that time and was used mostly as substitute.
 

Steffa Barnesa

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Yes Euro 2000 was such an embarrassment of riches, packed full of high quality, exciting and dramatic matches, and a lot of big name players delivered the goods at that tournament. Even from teams that were eliminated in the group stage, the likes of Beckham and Nedved were still excellent. And I agree that Euro 2008 was also excellent. Spain were far more entertaining to watch at that tournament that they were at either the 2010 World Cup or Euro 2012 IMO, in-part due to the tactics / line-ups of Aragones vs. Del Bosque, and in-part due Spain having an aura / fear factor in 2010 and 2012 with opposing teams setting up negatively against them.
Looking back, I have to agree. They also had Dani Guiza who gave them that different option up front, I appreciated his presence at the time. I remember saying that Russia - Netherlands QF was up there with the best games I'd seen, thrilled with the outcome, but a friend being disappointed it had robbed us of a Netherlands - Spain semi-final, which could have been truly special. The Dutch dismantling the previous World Cup finalists in the group stage, and then being the victims of a sensational Russia, was thrilling at the time though.

Good thread all round, this. And I agree with pretty much everything you've said in here (although as someone whose used the name Mancomb Seepgood on the net, it's to be expected!)
 

Ramos

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Plenty of spectacular goals (long shots) in 1994, if i dont remember wrong?

The funniest and most shocking game was when Brazil lost 7-1 against Germany in the semi-final.
Loads. Branco's free kick, Hagi's lob, Al-Owairan's slalom, Klinsmann's goal vs South Korea, Wynalda's free kick, Maradona's goal, etc...

Probably more i can't think of right now.
 

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1990 was what got me into football as a young lad. Looking back there seems to have been a lot of poor games but will always be number one for nostalgia reasons. My Dad tells me I got obsessed with Walter Zenga so over the weeks after the tournament if anyone asked me anything thats all I would reply.







Where do you live? Walter Zenga Street, How old are you? Walter Zenga etc etc


I'd like to think I've moved on since then.





1998 and 2002 stand out in recent times as well. Lots of classic games and moments. Love the World Cup, always good as well to use a reminder as what you were upto in that point of you life.
 

Arlo

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I'm not making a claim for it being the best edition, but the 2002 World Cup is one of my favourites. It was football first thing in the morning, since in my time zone the first match of the day was around 9am.

There was plenty to appreciate as a neutral, especially the underdogs beating the more fancied teams. France, Argentina and Portugal all out at the group stage, while relative minnows Senegal and South Korea went further than expected (dodgy officiating notwithstanding), just adding to the drama of it all.
 

Kanu

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I've watched the last 6 World Cups and would categorise them as follows:
Top Tier - 1998 and 2018
Middle Tier - 2016 and 2014
Bottom Tier - 2002 and 2010

Nostalgia will inevitably play a part, but in addition to 1998 being my favourite World Cup, 2000 was my favourite European Championship (i'd still rank that as the best major tournament that I've seen bar none).

Historically, I'd imagine that the 2 World Cups held in Mexico would rank extremely highly. When I went on the Estadio Azteca stadium tour (including getting my photo taken with the hand of god statue), I was thinking that it had a pretty unrivalled history with both Pele and Maradona scoring World Cup goals and lifting the trophy there, probably the 3 most iconic / famous World Cup goals all being scored there (Carlos Alberto's in the 1970 final and Maradona's 2 goals within 5 minutes against England in 1986), the famous Italy-West Germany 1970 semi-final taking place there etc.
2006 under the bottom? Edit: oh probably a typo in the middle Tier.
 

antohan

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I feel there was an enchantment, at least for me watching France 1998 as my first World Cup, because I only players like Marcelo Salas, Brian Laudrup, Batistuta, even Ronaldo, very occasionally.
Another thing 1998 had going for it was, even if you knew and had seen these guys, their brand recognition was massive due to videogames. That's around the time Championship Manager becomes huge and the Fifa 98 game had a great balance of great gameplay without having to know the controls and special moves inside out.

So yeah, you weren't watching them as regularly as today but got exposed to the thought/notion of them regularly.

That's quite different from the 70s and 80s when games against Eastern bloc countries had this Rocky vs Ivan Drago feel to them (just because), or you spent the entire runup to the 1990 World Cup hearing of Toni Polster and how he was going to score freely against anyone on his path. I remember examining his Panini sticker in awe of the next big thing... It turned out he was a pretty average striker who had a sensational purple patch in 1989-90.
 

Gazza

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Another thing 1998 had going for it was, even if you knew and had seen these guys, their brand recognition was massive due to videogames. That's around the time Championship Manager becomes huge and the Fifa 98 game had a great balance of great gameplay without having to know the controls and special moves inside out.

So yeah, you weren't watching them as regularly as today but got exposed to the thought/notion of them regularly.

That's quite different from the 70s and 80s when games against Eastern bloc countries had this Rocky vs Ivan Drago feel to them (just because), or you spent the entire runup to the 1990 World Cup hearing of Toni Polster and how he was going to score freely against anyone on his path. I remember examining his Panini sticker in awe of the next big thing... It turned out he was a pretty average striker who had a sensational purple patch in 1989-90.
Great point with football games... now that you mention it, I felt like I knew the players pretty well after playing Fifa 98 Road to France 98 :D
 

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Spain 82 and Mexico 86 are favourite but 98' France was the best party, don't think missed one day of drinking that tournament. Euro'96 beats any tournament of any competition for me, what a brilliant tournament and being in Germany that summer did help.
 

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I've watched them all since 98 and I've enjoyed all of them except 2010 tbf. 2010 is by far the least entertaining world cup imo.

2006 being my personal fav.
 

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Italia 90 because of what it meant to me. I remember weeping so hard as a ten year old when Waddle skied the penalty. Some great games along the way. Argentina - Cameroon in the opening game and the ridiculous fouls on Cannigia, England’s run, Roger Milla, Platt vs Belgium, and of course Nessum Dorma.

Loved 98 too because of Brasil with Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Cafu and Roberto Carlos.

94 because there were some amazing individual performances from the likes of Hagi, Stoichkov, Baggio, Baresi, and Romario. Bulgaria and Romania were great that tournament.

2014 had two of the most amazing games in World Cup memory, Spain 1-5 Holland, and Germany 7-1 Brazil.

But nothing beats Italia 90 for me. Felt like a proper World Cup. Wish I was old enough to properly remember 86. I only have flashes of it.

Where the tournament is hosted plays a big part I think. You want it somewhere with proper infrastructure, good stadiums and a fervent football culture. The last two hosts, Russia and Qatar, are frankly ridiculous. USA 2026 will be good and hopefully it comes to Europe in 2030, it’s long overdue.
 

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USA 94
At the time there was a war but we somehow still had games on TV.It was like a dream for us kids who had nothing to do.So many good football memories.And we all collected stickers from some cheap bubble gum.
 

Kopral Jono

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In my lifetime I would say 1998. It was my first World Cup (I was a bit too young to properly enjoy 1994) and football-wise it had me on the edge of my seat the most. The hype surrounding the tournament was also unique with seemingly everyone at the time putting an oversized attention to it. The popularity of football video games as mentioned by @antohan around that time also played a role on creating said hype.

2018 was probably second or third, a toss up with 2006, but the latter was particularly special for personal reasons. I was at university and a good friend and I managed to get tickets to the England v Paraguay, South Korea v Togo, Tunisia v Saudi Arabia and Holland v Ivory Coast games through a relative living in Germany. So we packed our bags and went to Frankfurt all the way from Jakarta just before the tournament started, we managed to get our tourist visas sorted just in time, and suffice to say we had the time of our lives there -- the public screening event in each host city was something else. Sometime during the round of 16 stage we flew out to Hong Kong to join my late old man, who was working on a project there, and from there we closely followed the rest of the tournament in the comfort of our hotel suite while eating room service food in the early hours of the morning or somewhere at an expat area called Lan Kwai Fong whenever we felt like it. A summer never to be repeated again in my lifetime.
 
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Italia 90 by some distance and 94 being the worse so far.
 

UnrelatedPsuedo

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Great point with football games... now that you mention it, I felt like I knew the players pretty well after playing Fifa 98 Road to France 98 :D
Phenomenal game. Perhaps the best football game of all time. Unfortunately, it also feels like the gateway that led to EA churning out bloated shite refreshed versions of games, rather than actually try.

Indoor mode was incredibly fun.
 

Gazza

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Phenomenal game. Perhaps the best football game of all time. Unfortunately, it also feels like the gateway that led to EA churning out bloated shite refreshed versions of games, rather than actually try.

Indoor mode was incredibly fun.
I was my first Fifa, I was spoiled. Indoor mode was indeed fantastic (why was it never seen again?) and also there were silly cheat codes you could use -- off the top of my head, there were invisible walls placed on the pitch and players with big potato heads. Brilliant game.
 

UnrelatedPsuedo

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I was my first Fifa, I was spoiled. Indoor mode was indeed fantastic (why was it never seen again?) and also there were silly cheat codes you could use -- off the top of my head, there were invisible walls placed on the pitch and players with big potato heads. Brilliant game.
I reckon they just cut costs. Most games cut out all of the fun now.

A solid indoor mode Shirley couldn’t cost much dev time. Though I guess wall mechanics are all ‘new’ time.
 
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