What is the most memorable/iconic World Cup to you?

OleBoiii

Full Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2019
Messages
498
I'm a sucker for world cups. I know that the intensity and the quality of the football is lower. I know that my country(Norway) wont be in it. And I know that England will disappoint me yet again. But still, there's just something magical about this cup. It's my favorite sporting event by far. Nothing else comes close.

I was born in the late 80's and didn't really start to follow football before I was around 8 years old. Because of that, I only have 6 world cups to pick from.

France, 1998 was my first initial thought. It was the first world cup I watched on TV so it's heavily powered by childhood nostalgia. The cherry on top is of course Norway beating Brazil and everyone here losing their mind. It's probably one of the most iconic moments in Norwegian sports history. Having said all this though, I don't actually remember that much from the cup itself. Maybe I was a little too young to appreciate football?

So, my winner is South Africa, 2010.

It had pretty much everything! Great opening goal, huge upsets in the group stages with both France and Italy failing to advance, the French players and their dramatic mutiny, England getting humiliated by Germany, those crazy Japanese freekicks, Brazil vs Portugal, Ghana's underdog story and the heart-breaking loss to Uruguay, Forlan's greatness, Suarez' handball incident, all the crazy goals coming from that Jabulani football swerve, the catchy Shakira song and the vuvuzela memes.
 

The Boy

Full Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2014
Messages
1,172
Supports
Brighton and Hove Albion
Italia 90 for me.

The whole run to the semis had so many moments, David Platt's goal against Belgium, coming from behind to win 3-2 against Cameroon, all the shit Robson took in the build up and through the group stages and then how magnanimous he was afterwards. Obviously Gazza's tears and the fact that we were so close ... we would have won that final if we hadn't gone out on penalties.

I think it also changed how football was seen in this country. Before Italia90 supporters were still seen by many as thugs and hooligans, we'd come of the back of the 80s which had witnessed plenty of fighting in the stands at both national and league level of course there'd been the Heysel disaster and the Bradford fire (though that was nothing to do with hooliganism) and then of course Hillsborough, again not hooliganism though in 1990 because of the way it had been reported, much of the UK still blamed Liverpool fans, of course we know differently now.

But Italia 90 changed that, it was the first world cup really when streets would empty when England were playing and almost everyone got sucked into the ride. Then of course the premiership launched in 92, bit I would argue that Italia90 helped the premiership massively it was a tournament that for the first time drew in the masses not just the established fans.
 

Haddock

Full Member
Joined
May 25, 2013
Messages
493
South Africa was awful. Awful games, awful 'atmosphere', awful commentator (Peter Drury). Had about three good games and perhaps the worst game in the history of the world cup (England v Algeria)

Germany 2006 and Russia 2018 were great tournaments. Especially Russia after all the stick they copped from the (surprise surprise) Russophobic British media. Where Brazil 2014 fizzled out after the group, Russia got better and better. So many magnificent games and at one stage nearly every goal seemed to be a world class strike. Everything was made better by the fact that there was no standout team. The uncertainty made every game electric.

A lot of (inevitably English) people will go for Italia 90 but most of the games were flat out crap. Tournaments don't become better because England did well.
 

fish

Full Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
95
90 is my first footballing memory, but I was only 5 so not a lot of it sticks in. 98 was the one for me, running home from school to watch John Collins equalise against Brazil. Its also probably the only time England had genuinely left me upset after a match. Beckham was my hero at the time so it was gutting when he got sent off and they went out
 

GBBQ

Full Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Messages
4,030
Location
Ireland
Italia 90 made me fall in love with football. Was an absolutely crazy time in Ireland. I was only 6 at the time but some of the scenes on the streets and in the pubs are still emblazoned in my mind.
 

Old Ma Crow

Full Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2010
Messages
1,311
1998

England and United’s stars. Zidane and France.

2002

Rio, Butt for England, the home nations and Brazil. Brilliant stadiums.
 
Last edited:

Neil_Buchanan

Cock'd
Joined
Nov 18, 2006
Messages
2,696
Location
Bolton
Probably South Africa, It wasn't a particularly exciting tournament but I was young and living with friends which makes everything more fun. I remember it being a hot summer so we regularly dragged the tele into the garden for football party's and bbqs. Had much more free time to sit and enjoy random group matches, id like the African and South American teams in particular.
 

2 man midfield

Incestuous Modern Woman (Dumper!)
Joined
Sep 4, 2012
Messages
32,005
Location
Legalise drugs and murder
2002 was the first one I remember, 98 I just remember England being knocked out and nothing else.

2002 seemed to have added glamour. That Brazilian side had an aura about them.
 

Eurotrash

Full Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2005
Messages
974
Location
Cake or Death?
Most memorable for me are 94, 98 and 2018.

South Africa (2010) was the worst, and the others (2002, 2006, 2014) don't really stick in my mind.
 

OleBoiii

Full Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2019
Messages
498
South Africa was awful. Awful games, awful 'atmosphere', awful commentator (Peter Drury). Had about three good games and perhaps the worst game in the history of the world cup (England v Algeria)

Germany 2006 and Russia 2018 were great tournaments. Especially Russia after all the stick they copped from the (surprise surprise) Russophobic British media. Where Brazil 2014 fizzled out after the group, Russia got better and better. So many magnificent games and at one stage nearly every goal seemed to be a world class strike. Everything was made better by the fact that there was no standout team. The uncertainty made every game electric.
I disagree about South Africa, but it seems like we value different things when it comes to the world cup anyways. And that's fine.

Germany 2006 and Russia 2018 probably had the best quality football in my lifetime, but apart from Zidane's headbutt I don't think I'll remember anything from those two tournaments 10 years from now. To me, the world cup is about the big moments and storylines. I also love to watch weaker nations from all over the world go up against powerhouses.
 

Champagne Football

Full Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2015
Messages
3,067
Location
El Beatle
Italian 90 for me being Irish. Was 11 at the time. I just remember everyone in my gaf crying their eyes out when Italy dumped us out.

Packie Bonner was the hero of the tournament. He turned up in our classroom a couple of months later to say hello to the students. The teacher asked if we know who this person is. Nobody had the first clue as he looked so different in his suit. So it must have been slightly embarrassing for Bonner who was the national hero at the time.

But of all the WC's I've watched, I enjoyed Russia 2018 the most. The quality of football and goals were unreal. In some previous WC's all the big teams resorted to slow defensive football but that went out the window in Russia. I wanted England to win it as they were playing really well. Perisic and Modric were insane. Harry Kane was awesome and Maguire a rock. Belgium were awesome too.
 

Can7onA

Full Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2008
Messages
888
Italia 90 for me.

The whole run to the semis had so many moments, David Platt's goal against Belgium, coming from behind to win 3-2 against Cameroon, all the shit Robson took in the build up and through the group stages and then how magnanimous he was afterwards. Obviously Gazza's tears and the fact that we were so close ... we would have won that final if we hadn't gone out on penalties.

I think it also changed how football was seen in this country. Before Italia90 supporters were still seen by many as thugs and hooligans, we'd come of the back of the 80s which had witnessed plenty of fighting in the stands at both national and league level of course there'd been the Heysel disaster and the Bradford fire (though that was nothing to do with hooliganism) and then of course Hillsborough, again not hooliganism though in 1990 because of the way it had been reported, much of the UK still blamed Liverpool fans, of course we know differently now.

But Italia 90 changed that, it was the first world cup really when streets would empty when England were playing and almost everyone got sucked into the ride. Then of course the premiership launched in 92, bit I would argue that Italia90 helped the premiership massively it was a tournament that for the first time drew in the masses not just the established fans.
Yep Italia 90 and the aftermath of Italian football on C4 changed football for me. Well put dude.
 

kafta

Perpetual Under 11's Team Player
Joined
Sep 29, 2004
Messages
4,710
Location
Beirut
My first world cup was '94, and baggio got me in tears in the final (I was 7).

My favorite world cup was 2006, that Grosso goal against Germany from Pirlo's no look pass was just crazy.
 

AshRK

Full Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2017
Messages
6,108
Location
Canada
2002 for me as that was the first one for me. I was 10 and that Brazilian team made me fall in love with football. I will never forget the beckam's celebration against Argentina after scoring the penalty. My father told me the back story about becks red card 4 years back.

Speaking of WC, I have been watching the WC documentaries in amazon prime. So far done with 02 and 06.
 

Rob

Full Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2009
Messages
2,408
Supports
Liverpool
1998 for me. Partly because that France side was the best NT I've ever seen and partly because Denmark were really good as well with the Laudrup brothers and Schmeichel. Beat Nigeria 4-1 in the round of the last 16 in a match that included a marvelous goal set up by a moment of genius by Michael Laudrup. Then went to meet Brazil in the QF's and lost 2-3 in another fantastic match that had it all.

 

Hawks2008

Full Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2015
Messages
4,314
Location
Melbz
2010 will always have a place in my heart vuvuzelas and all as it was the first one I watched pretty much every game and staying up all night even on school nights. I understand why some might not remember that fondly but I love it.

I vaguely remember watching some of the 2002 but 2006 I watched all the Australian games and had fun until we were knocked out the way we were so my feelings toward it arent great.

I really enjoyed 14 and 18.
 

AshRK

Full Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2017
Messages
6,108
Location
Canada
I disagree about South Africa, but it seems like we value different things when it comes to the world cup anyways. And that's fine.

Germany 2006 and Russia 2018 probably had the best quality football in my lifetime, but apart from Zidane's headbutt I don't think I'll remember anything from those two tournaments 10 years from now. To me, the world cup is about the big moments and storylines. I also love to watch weaker nations from all over the world go up against powerhouses.
2006 will actually be remembered forever for the very reason you said, Zidane's headbutt. I was watching the 06 documentary and the quality of football was really amazing.

I agree with 2018. Maybe because it is recent people are overrating it but I don't think anything stood out. No Italy, dutch and US took the shine from the tournament. It's fine when underdogs do well but when you don't have Italy and dutch and then Germany being out in group stages along with one of the worst Argentina sides the tournament becomes boring.
 

OleBoiii

Full Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2019
Messages
498
2006 will actually be remembered forever for the very reason you said, Zidane's headbutt. I was watching the 06 documentary and the quality of football was really amazing.
The headbutt will always be remembered as it's probably the most iconic world cup moment. But apart from that, I don't think people will remember much from it.

Maybe it's just me, but I think 1998, 2002, 2010 and even 2014 are more memorable world cups, even though the quality was poorer.
 

GenZRed

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Aug 10, 2019
Messages
213
I think South Africa 2010 is the worst world cup I have watched so far. I have only watched four of them though, but I hope neve rhaving to endure a WC like that again. Boring football. Vuvuzelas going off in every game non-stop. Rubbish referring.

2014 world cup was ok-ish. I did enjoy the final and Germany beating Argentina. Brazil losing the way they did in the semi-final was great. 2018 World Cup was awesome. Never enjoyed a world cup like it before. Great opening game. Portugal-Spain game was great. France vs Argentina was another great game. England finally winning on penalities. A great final to top it all off.
 

Lay

Correctly predicted Portugal to win Euro 2016
Joined
Jan 29, 2013
Messages
9,006
Location
England
2002 and 2006.

2002 the tournament of shocks. Senegal, South Korea (with help), Turkey. Portugal and Argentina going out in the groups. Japan making it to the knockouts. And of course Ronaldo’s redemption.

2006. Loved it. Picked Italy from the first game and was glad they won it.
 

Redcy

Full Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2014
Messages
1,211
Being older I remember 86 and 90 as iconic, not because of the football played but because of the atmosphere. 98 is probably the best , followed maybe by 2006 for quality.
 

Lynty

Full Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2014
Messages
1,598
Too hard to choose.

Shocked that South Africa is considered poor. I enjoyed that one, even if England were abysmal.

Disliked 2006 the most. Nothing really stands out. From what I remember, Zidane's headbutt was the best part of a dull final. Ronaldo's wink was the best part of a dull knockouts. And Italy defended their way to a World Cup win. I remember far more from 98 and 02.
 

OleBoiii

Full Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2019
Messages
498
Shocked that South Africa is considered poor. I enjoyed that one, even if England were abysmal.
To be fair to them, WC2010 was a nightmare in almost every single way from an English perspective. I think it's hard to separate these feelings from the rest of the tournament. Especially when it's accompanied by vuvuzelas and Spain's snooze-worthy(according to many) tiki-taka :lol:

Still: memorable as feck! And like you, I enjoyed it.
 

Gio

★★★★★★★★
Joined
Jan 25, 2001
Messages
16,658
Location
Bonnie Scotland
Supports
Rangers
It's usually your first.

So 1990 for me - ticks the memorable/iconic boxes of drama and high stakes too.
 

Offside

Euro 2016 sweepstake winner
Joined
Jun 9, 2012
Messages
17,290
Location
Yorkshire
South Africa 2010 was the worst World Cup in living memory. Shite game after shite game. One team miles ahead of everyone else but having to break down a parked bus every game.
 

Josh 76

Full Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2018
Messages
1,701
Mexico 86.
My first world cup. I was fascinated by all the build up and media coverage. The days when there was one live game a week and now there was going to be football on every day....Think I was more excited about that than the actual games.

And it was the first time everyone was going to see Maradona at his peak.

The theme tune was awesome from both BBC and ITV.

This world cup will never be beaten just because it was the last one that you would only get the chance to see south American and European players for the first time.
 

Gio

★★★★★★★★
Joined
Jan 25, 2001
Messages
16,658
Location
Bonnie Scotland
Supports
Rangers
I think South Africa 2010 is the worst world cup I have watched so far. I have only watched four of them though, but I hope neve rhaving to endure a WC like that again. Boring football. Vuvuzelas going off in every game non-stop. Rubbish referring.
Yeah. I desperately tried to love it, but every long range shot floating into the stands due to the silly over-engineered ball and a general negativity amongst most of the top contenders made it a tough sell.
 

Lynty

Full Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2014
Messages
1,598
To be fair to them, WC2010 was a nightmare in almost every single way from an English perspective. I think it's hard to separate these feelings from the rest of the tournament. Especially when it's accompanied by vuvuzelas and Spain's snooze-worthy(according to many) tiki-taka :lol:

Still: memorable as feck! And like you, I enjoyed it.
Ye, I understand peoples arguments. The ball was silly, the vuvuzelas were annoying and Spain (despite being clearly the best) were boring. Think they're exaggerating slightly.

There hasn't been a bad world cup in my lifetime.

I fully expect Qatar to end that though.
 

FrankDrebin

Don't call me Shirley
Joined
Aug 25, 2019
Messages
2,565
Location
Police Squad
Supports
A Alien invasion.
France 98 and I can only remember watching the England vs Argentina match.

Abit of a odd period for me growing up with football. I enjoyed playing the sport but watching ? nah,had little interest in it.
The treble season really kicked it off for me on that front.
 

Gringo

Full Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2019
Messages
687
Supports
Portugal
2002. The nation was football hungry. Flags everywhere, even schools showing matches before morning assembly. Football fever swept the nation.

But whenever I think of a world cup mascot or match ball my first thought is 1998.
 
Last edited:

madzo2007

Full Member
Joined
May 2, 2007
Messages
1,766
Location
Belfast, Ireland
1998 for me, watched an hour long video of all the goals from it and there were so many legends playing in that one.

2006 also deserves a mention as well
 

Invictus

Poster of the Year 2015 & 2018
Staff
Joined
Mar 22, 2014
Messages
13,197
Supports
Piracy on the High Seas
France '98 for me. Started to develop a slightly deeper interest in football at this age, and the tournament was objectively of a high standard too — that awe-inspiring French defense, Ronaldo e Rivaldo, Šuker and the Croatian lot, Laudrup², Davids, Verón, Bergkamp and Owen's goals, Zidane's dramatic return, Gamarra and Chilavert standing tall for minnows Paraguay, as well as the blockbuster knockout matches — so good, probably the last historically great World Cup and the pinnacle of international tournaments for football fans of a certain age (like España '82 or Mexico '70 for older viewers). Experience/entertainment-value: superb, not perfect but delightfully close close to it! :drool:

Worst: Either 2002 (where Brazil won by default as no one else was arsed) or 2010 (Spain were much less entertaining than in EURO 2008). Thoroughly disappointing, both of them — and I was pretty frustrated by the time the lackluster semi-finals rolled around.
 

Inter Yer Nan

Full Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2016
Messages
5,743
Location
Los Angeles, CA (from UK)
I remember England going out of Italia 90 but not much else since I'd just turned 5. The first one I watched was 1994. I was living in England back then and while England wasn't in it I got behind Spain before the tournament. I found myself then jumping onto Romania's bandwagon during their opening 3-1 win over the heavily fancied Colombian's. That Hagi goal..Bulgaria also with Stoichkov was a very memorable team for me. That was my first full world cup so very nostalgic for me. I think 1998 was perhaps the most iconic though. Again, I was rooting for Spain who flopped but also England were in it but of course went in the last 16. Really loved the Dutch, Brazilian and French teams of that cup. Some big performances too that stand out like Zidane in the final. I think more teams were genuinely top quality in 1998 even if their performances were underwhelming like the Spain performance.

I found 2002 fun but almost too many upsets and questionable refereeing decisions. 2006 was my last watching in England that was a fun one too but a lot more boring games than the previous cups. That trend carried on into 2010 which was full of boring games. I've watched the last three tournaments in America where there is interest and fans but doesn't feel quite the same as being around full-time footy fans.
 

paraguayo

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Jun 24, 2019
Messages
477
Supports
neutral
France 98 for me. Also because the image quality seemed so high compared to my local TV at the time, and because it was my first world cup with a notion of football.
 

Sandikan

aka sex on the beach
Joined
Mar 14, 2011
Messages
28,386
Even though Italia 90 was just a little too early for me to really understand what was going on, that theme tune can't ever be beaten.