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

Dwazza Gunnar Solskjær

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2014. Germany dismantling Brazil in their own backyard was just to good to ever forget.

France '98 was good, too, as I was fairly hyped up for the tournament.
 

matherto

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France 98 for being the first WC I remember watching and the sheer quality of players in hindsight. Some great matches too (Brazil-Netherlands being a biggie).

2002 was memorable for the mad kick off times, going into school at 7am to watch England in the arts theatre but I don't remember many great games. Great kits, balls and boots though.
2006 was really good as a feel good WC but I can't remember many matches beyond the Portugal-Netherlands debacle
2010 was turgid in every aspect and those fecking vuvuzelas destroyed it.
2014 group stage was amazing and the atmosphere was incredible but the knockouts were crap.

2018 was brilliant and it was coming home for most of it too so everyone was in an ecstatic mood all summer. Group stages AND knockouts were great. I think it's the best WC overall that I remember but probably not the most iconic. Too many great names at France 98. Maybe in 20 years time we'll look back at 2018 with similar reverence at the quality on show.
 

Gasolin

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I had reasons to enjoy almost all of those that I have witnessed.

1990 because I was moving from Cameroon to Togo at that time, and Cameroon at its best world cup ever, with Roger Milla goals! I really thought they could beat England.
1994 because I was impressed with Italy reaching the final and losing in penalty shootout, but they had a soul.
1998 because France won for the first time.
2002 because South Korea did fantastic with their 3/4/3, help or not, they had to score those goals and they also played with a soul.
2006 because France was again exceptional, especially against Spain and Brazil.
2010 because South Korea did well again and I thought they could have beat that Uruguay team.

2018 because I have never seen France beat Argentina like that in a world stage... and second star for France.
 
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Alabaster Codify7

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1990 came slightly too early - I was 7ish, I remember Nessan Dorma sounding amazing and moments of it, but nothing much.

For me, USA 1994.

I was 12, in my prime of worshipping everything about football and I was on holiday in Spain for 2 weeks during a busy portion of the tournament - that tournament to me is vivid:

- scorching sunshine, correlating to the stadiums and breaks for water in the USA.
- wearing numerous teams shirts while playing 5-a-side with strangers in the sun and pretending to be Bebeto.
- watching loads of games in a packed resort pub with loads of other families.

I also had a big USA fetish as a kid/teenager so the setting also seemed perfect.
 

TheReligion

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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.
Funny you mention England getting humiliated by Germany (they weren't really) but don't talk of the Lampard ghost goal which was pretty iconic as it was the catalyst in bringing in goal line technology such was the monumental balls up made in not awarding the goal to make it 2-2.
 

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France 98 for being the first WC I remember watching and the sheer quality of players in hindsight. Some great matches too (Brazil-Netherlands being a biggie).

2002 was memorable for the mad kick off times, going into school at 7am to watch England in the arts theatre but I don't remember many great games. Great kits, balls and boots though.
2006 was really good as a feel good WC but I can't remember many matches beyond the Portugal-Netherlands debacle
2010 was turgid in every aspect and those fecking vuvuzelas destroyed it.
2014 group stage was amazing and the atmosphere was incredible but the knockouts were crap.

2018 was brilliant and it was coming home for most of it too so everyone was in an ecstatic mood all summer. Group stages AND knockouts were great. I think it's the best WC overall that I remember but probably not the most iconic. Too many great names at France 98. Maybe in 20 years time we'll look back at 2018 with similar reverence at the quality on show.
Would agree with that.

France 98 also seemed to me when most of major international teams had great mix of youth and experience in their squads...just look at the quality of striking talent in that competition from teams who made knock outs.

2002 you had France in decline and Germany had arguably their weakest world cup squad (although of course they still made the final). Spain weren't that strong although could've had a Germany style run.

Even Brazil didn't have as strong a 11 as in 2006 given Ronaldo was coming back from his serious ACL, Kaka only went for experience and Ronaldinho was still at PSG and settling into european football. Just shows you need to win the trophy when opportunity really presents itself which likes of Holland, Argentina and England have failed to do.

Not sure which recent world cup has had best knock out games. 2014 had the most iconic result but many other games were forgettable. 2018 had some intense games I guess but even then it's not a huge list.
 

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2014 for obvious reasons is memorable as a lifelong Germany fan, but 2006 was my favourite World Cup.

Though we reached the final in 2002, it was honestly undeserved and the tournament was full of horrible performances. 2006 was a different story, we were the 2nd best team in that tournament and the football we played was also so different from the dour tripe put out from 2002 to 2004 (even before that). Exciting, attacking football with mixture of world class players and talented youngsters throughout the squad.

That really was the catalyst for what was to come after, eventually lead to the title in 2014. I don't think Germany would've become as great a team as it did for the following decade had they not had that wonderful tournament, really brought back fanfare to not only the national team but also the domestic league (stadiums were also rebuilt into better, more modern, versions for the World Cup).

Most memorable moment was Klose's equalizer versus Argentina, still remember the scream I let out upstairs reaching the whole house :D
 

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82 - watching Northern Ireland top their group after beating hosts Spain 1-0 even having Mal Donaghy sent off. The in the second stage having a good goal disallowed against France when it was still 0-0. If they had of won that match they would have been in the semi final. Just think about that, Northern Ireland in the semi final of the World Cup.
Also a young Norman Whiteside became the youngest player to play in the World Cup finals.
 

VorZakone

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Wasn't Russia 2018 full with late winners? Something was special about it, that I can remember.

2014 was actually pretty good too. 2010 wasn't memorable for me. 2002 was fun with S. Korea, although a bit dodgy mind.
 

matherto

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Wasn't Russia 2018 full with late winners? Something was special about it, that I can remember.

2014 was actually pretty good too. 2010 wasn't memorable for me. 2002 was fun with S. Korea, although a bit dodgy mind.
2018 was literally banger-o-rama.

Like every third goal was something potentially goal of the tournament worthy.

And there were plenty of last minute winners/drama with knockouts.

 

tentan

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2006.

First WC I watched from start to finish. Great games especially the final. Lots of team were in their golden generation and many legends played in this tournament.
 

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Has to be 66 because England won it and I managed to see a game live. From a football perspective 1970 in Mexico was a great tournament , a super Brazilian team winning it, but the runner up Italian team was no slouch. The semi final between Italy and West Germany 4-3 after extra time was one of the greatest games ever.
 
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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.
Great summary, even if a little too England focused.
It was an incredible tournament for Ireland too, and had so many moments: the man with Sicilian eyes (Schillaci), Baggio’s goal :drool:, THAT Pavarotti song, the emergence of the Africans, Gazza’s tears, Milla’s dancing, those tackles on Caniggia.
I can pretty much still recount the bbc commentary word for word for the post tournament documentary.
 

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Great summary, even if a little too England focused.
Sorry, but those England matches are a part of what made it iconic to me and to England as a whole!

You are absolutely right though, Italia 90 cannot be properly remembered without a special mention for Toto Schillaci, almost coming from nowhere in the Italian team, he started as a sub scoring winning goals I think and ended up with Golden boot, he was the face of that tournament!
 
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clarkydaz

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Sorry, but those England matches are a part of what made it iconic to me and to England as a whole!

Italia 90 cannot be properly remembered without a special mention for Toto Schillaci, almost coming from nowhere in the Italian team, he started as a sub scoring winning goals I think and ended up with Golden boot, he was the face of that tournament!
Don't forget Roger Millah and his little dance
 

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The 1994 tournament is my first real clear memory of WC football. Still remember Baggio's penalty like it was yesterday.

The 1998 WC is my fave. My memories of the WCs after that can't compare to the impressions from that one.
 

Jeppers7

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86 the sheer aura around Maradona. Lineker scoring for fun with his cast on.

90 Baggio and Italy, England and Gazza almost winning it.

2018 Just the sheer amount of great games and goals. England’s failure to overcome the only decent side they faced and France winning it with Pogba pulling the strings from a deep disciplined position.
 

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USA 94 was my first World Cup, but France 98 sticks out more in the mind.

Brazil 2014 sticks out in the mind a lot - often go and revisit games from that tournament. 2018 was brilliant too.

I bloody love the World Cup, best sporting competition on earth.
 

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'94 is the first real memory of football.

I remember not knowing much about the game...like how do you get a corner? Do you have to kick it into a corner?
 

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2018 was very unusual and entertaining BUT it didn’t feel like a World Cup for me. Starting 2006, the “World Cup feeling” start to vanish. Or is it me getting old?
 

OleBoiii

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Starting 2006, the “World Cup feeling” start to vanish. Or is it me getting old?
Some of the magic will inevitably fade with age, but I've found that there are 2 things that can salvage any world cup, regardless of the quality of the games:

1.Have several nations to root for! You'll obviously focus on your own country first(if your country is good enough to qualify), but there's nothing wrong with having secondary teams. I've always had a soft spot for East Asian teams, so I always root for South Korea or Japan as long as they don't play Norway or England. I have German relatives, so Germany is also a team for me to follow. Every world cup there seems to be at least one underdog story, so that's another team right there. And if there happens to be a team with many players that I like in general, then I might root a little for that nation too. So basically: before every world cup there's potentially 7 teams that I follow. That makes it a lot more fun.

2. Watch the game in "outdoor arenas" together with supporters from all over the world. This is easier if you live in/near big cities, though.
 

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World cup in the US - 1994 definitely. Roberto Baggio blowing that penalty far above the crossbar was such a moment.
 

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Italia 90 hands down, a really entertaining tournament (final let it down a bit) opening with a great upset, Irelands heroics, Milla's shuffle, Schillaci scoring, Higuita dribbling. Good times
 

Mr Smith

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I've only really been old enough to see the last 4 through.

Germany 2006 is special for me because it was the first I was old enough to pay attention to, and because my country (Australia) did so well.

South Africa is also a little special for me; I think mostly because after 2006 I was so excited for another one. In hindsight it was obviously a pretty poor tournament.

Brazil 2014 was a delight on the pitch, but the whitewashing of social issues leading up to the tournament never sat well with me.

Objectively Russia 2018 was probably the best I've seen, no matter how salty I was about the final :mad:

To rank them based on personal preference to revisit:

1. Russia 2018
2 Germany 2006
3. Brazil 2014
4. South Africa 2010
 

Josh 76

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World cup in the US - 1994 definitely. Roberto Baggio blowing that penalty far above the crossbar was such a moment.
Shame the final was a let down.
Had the final been entertaining (Brazil v Italy) it would defo have been one of the most memorable ones.
 

Rozay

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France 98’ comfortably my favourite international tournament. Ronaldo at his best is good enough reason alone for me.
 

Kopral Jono

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2018 was very unusual and entertaining BUT it didn’t feel like a World Cup for me. Starting 2006, the “World Cup feeling” start to vanish. Or is it me getting old?
You're just getting old. The World Cup to me is, and will always be, a nod to my coming-of-age years and a celebration as to why I fell in love with football in the first place.

As to which edition is most memorable/iconic for me, it has to 1998. I was too young to remember 1994 properly so it was my first proper World Cup, and I swear I was on a month-long natural high following every minute of action in it. 2006 was very good and likewise 2018 -- I really do feel the last edition was fantastic.

This is slightly out of topic but as far as international tournaments go, Euro 2000 remains GOAT in my opinion.
 

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Most Iconic and memorable WC for me,

1) Germany 2006 :keano: - It was impressive. Many entertaining games from start by the host and the rest of the team until final. Group stages are all so good. Italy were also fun but I felt the host stole the whole show with Schweini, Klose and Lahm the standouts imo, I think my interest in football and the way Germany play started here - systematic and efficient yet also entertaining. Also, the wink, Ronaldo and Rooney moments were too memorable leading to the next awesome EPL season where basically "United is back!". The last time I also see Brazil's unique gung-ho top attacking yet winning with good defence playstyle. This tournament also have the best logo with that 3 smiles (IK it's not too important but definitely had a mark on my memory).

2) South Africa 2010 :cool: - Waka Waka, let's face it, that opening is so good and catchy. Germany with new gen breed of young talents with Muller, Ozil, Khedira and Neueur alongside Schweini and Lahm playing awesome football which for me is United-ish. This is also where the France squad controversy happened iirc. Spain were impressive here with their tiki-taka but only with David Villa for me they finally have sharp teeth to win. Fun. Chicharito also delivered eye-catching performances here.

3) Korea & Japan 2002 :devil: - Fun and cool. Unexpected achievement by South Korea (& Turkey, were they that good around late 1990s?) reaching semi finals, and the SK players also donned red sprayed hair iirc. It was so fun. Brazil were monster here.

4) Brazil 2014 - mostly boring but memorable in a bad sense where here it's too obvious Brazil is too weak now, no longer one of the powerhouse in football imo. 7-1 is just embarassing. But good side we get to see the continuation of Germany's football. Also, RVP's flying dutchman goal. Lastly, iirc Pirlo showed his class with graceful intelligence here, his final WC I think.

Don't remember much the 1990s.

The most recent one Russia 2018 is mainly so boring, I doze off losing interest in watching majority of the games, don't remember many good moments except for Mbappe's driving France's attacks, Pogba's one hollywood pass in final(?), Meunier bombing up and down the right wing with limitless energy, Fellaini and co stopped Neymar's futile attempts, De Bruyne's cool long passes, and England's younger team bizarre nice cruise to semi. Maybe I'm getting old.
 

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Japan and South Korea was epic as a 20 yr old with little or no responsibility and meeting mates at the pub for 0600 KOs to start drinking.
 

Bennz McCarthey17

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Our World Cup obviously, 2010, first time on African soil. Big stars in my country, oh and the damn Vuvuzelas, that is our pride and joy. Just because those spoilt brat English players played crap (as usual), it doesn't mean it was a shitty tournament. Who could ever forget Suarez playing goalkeeper, in a World Cup quarterfinal, in Africa, against an African side, that could have gone on to make history?.

I think for the Spanish and us Africans, it's the best of the lot.
 
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