World Cup Top 20

Top 20 World Cup Moments: Pelé, Brazil school Italy in 1970 — No. 1

0 Comments

As we continue our countdown to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil here at PST, each day from now until the tournament begins we will look back at a memorable moment from years gone by. 

Here is number 1. 

PST’s Top 20 World Cup moments – No. 1: Pelé, Brazil school Italy in 1970 final

They were no longer the unknown entity, the nation that won its first World Cup behind a 17-year-old Pelé in 1958.

No, Brazil were going for its third title in four tournaments, and Edson Arantes do Nascimento was as famous as The Beatles (or any other cultural touchstone of the time). The legend struck first with a powerful header to put Brazil ahead, though Italy would tie the score at 1.

RELATED: Countdown, World Cup Top 20 moments

Despite the 4-1 score line, the match didn’t shift until the 66th minute. Gerson scored. Then Jairzinho.

Then came a fabulous example of what Brazil was all about: an 8-man passing play that punctuated title No. 3 with much aplomb.

Clinical.

Top 20 World Cup Moments: The Cruyff Turn — No. 2

0 Comments

As we continue our countdown to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil here at PST, each day from now until the tournament begins we will look back at a memorable moment from years gone by. 

Here is number 2. 

PST’s Top 20 World Cup moments – No. 2: The Cruyff Turn

It seems so common now: the feint one way to draw the defender’s momentum before the cutback. But when Dutch legend Johan Cruyff toasted Swedish defender Jan Olsson at the 1974 World Cup, it brought us a term that would live forever.

The Cruyff Turn is a thing of beauty, and it almost defines what soccer in the Netherlands was all about in the 1970s and forward: Total Football.

RELATED: Countdown, World Cup Top 20 moments

The 1974 final was the first of two-straight losses in the World Cup’s title match for the Netherlands, but those crushing defeats couldn’t take the shine off of what the Dutch brought to football in that decade.

Cruyff and his turn were the symbols of that beauty and arguably represented an entire culture, chronicled in David Winner’s captivating book, “Brilliant Orange.”

Top 20 World Cup Moments: South Korea shocks Italy in 2002 — No. 3

2 Comments

As we continue our countdown to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil here at PST, each day from now until the tournament begins we will look back at a memorable moment from years gone by. 

Here is number 3. 

PST’s Top 20 World Cup moments – No. 3:

South Korea has played in the World Cup consistently. In fact, they are one of only a handful of teams to have appeared in each of the last eight tournaments.

But what they did on their home soil in 2002 was special, and how they did it was even more remarkable.

Defeating Poland and Portugal while drawing the US to win Group D was special for the South Koreans, who shared hosting duties with Japan, but how they got by Italy in the quarters was out of this world.

RELATED: Countdown, World Cup Top 20 moments

After the South Koreans were stymied on an early penalty by Gigi Buffon — one of two keepers to play incredible in the match (Lee Woon-Jae was fantastic as well) — Christian Vieri got it started with a headed goal to put Italy up, and the Italians looked set to defend to the death. But Ki Hyeon Sol picked up a loose ball in the box and buried it in the 88th minute to provide bonus soccer.

Francesco Totti was given his second yellow card in the 105th minute — for diving, a questionable call — and brought Italy down to 10 men.

And in the tournament of the Golden Goal, Ahn Jung-hwan headed home the winner in the 117th minute. South Korea would defeat Spain in kicks during the quarterfinal before falling to Germany in the semifinal and Turkey in the third-place game, but their mark was made against Italy.

Top 20 World Cup Moments: Zidane headbutt precedes Italy win — No. 4

2 Comments

As we continue our countdown to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil here at PST, each day from now until the tournament begins we will look back at a memorable moment from years gone by. 

Here is number 4. 

PST’s Top 20 World Cup moments – No. 4: Zidane’s headbutt precedes Italy’s third title.

He lost his head, and launched it into Marco Materazzi’s chest.

Thirty-four year-old Zinedine Zidane was looking to add a second World Cup to his trophy case in the 2006 final between France and Italy, and was well into extra time before his role in the game went from ordinary to infamous.

“Zizou”, whose seventh-minute penalty put France up 1-0 before Materazzi tied it in the 19th minute, went toe-to-toe with the Italian scorer in overtime before going head-to-chest. After a substantial period of talk between referees and players, Zidane was shown the red.

RELATED: Countdown, World Cup Top 20 moments

Zidane once said he’d “rather die” than apologize to Materazzi, alleging that the defender insulted his mother and sister. The French legend went on to be named best player of the tournament, but the red card cost him the chance to compete in penalty kicks.

David Trezeguet missed France’s second kick, and Italy made all five of their attempts.

The Italians won the World Cup, and Zidane retired from professional soccer after the game.

Top 20 World Cup Moments: De Boer to Bergkamp for win — No. 5 (video)

1 Comment

As we continue our countdown to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil here at PST, each day from now until the tournament begins we will look back at a memorable moment from years gone by. 

Here is number 5. 

PST’s Top 20 World Cup moments – No. 5: De Boer to Bergkamp equals beauty in 1998

Perhaps you haven’t heard someone scream “Dennis Bergkamp” violently for a solid 5 seconds before screaming in elation, in which case you’ve never seen the Dutch commentary of this remarkable goal that sent the Netherlands past Argentina and into the semifinals of the 1998 World Cup.

From 10 yards inside his own half, Frank de Boer sends an absolutely marvelous ball into the 18 that Bergkamp settles with his first touch, torches a defender with the second and scores a wondergoal with his third.

RELATED: Countdown, World Cup Top 20 moments

It’s beautiful, a goal that stirs up the guts of a soccer lover but Bergkamp arguably shouldn’t have been in the game. The Arsenal star was not sent off for stomping on the leg of a Yugoslavian player in the second round, leaving him available for the game against Argentina. The Netherlands would fall to Brazil penalty kicks during the semifinals.

And since I don’t speak Dutch, here’s what the commentator’s verbage seems to say in the above video if the Dutch were heard as English:

“Dennis Berg-kamp! Dennis Berg-kamp! Dennis Berg-kamp! Dennis Berg-kamp! Dennis Berg-kamp! Oooooooooooooh! Frank de Boer snapped the ball to Dennis Bergkamp, he made the ball’s final shot and he snapped the ball in there. The Spain and all can shout no Danish are coming! Dennis Berg-kamp!”

It’s a loose interpretation, but weird how he ended it. Also, below, Legos tell the story well. Thanks to The Guardian: