The Best World Cup Tournament of All Time
The FIFA World Cup is the world’s premier international soccer tournament for national teams. Every four years, the 32 strongest clubs from across the globe fight for the world champion title. Throughout its history, the competition has been held 21 times. Undoubtedly, the World Football Championship cannot be dull or go unnoticed. Surely, every tournament is worth going down in history; it gives experts pause for thought and causes excitement for sports betting fans. Sensations, the incredible pace of developments, fiery showdowns, unpredictable standings, amazing goals – that’s what marks out some tournaments from others. Thus, among those 21 championships, there are some that can be justly considered the best World Cups ever. So, let’s look back and remember their highlights – here, we compile the ranking of the most unforgettable World Cups.
The best World Cup tournaments ever
A huge number of both journalists and fans alike consider the 1986 Mexican championship the best FIFA World Cup not only in the twentieth century but also in the new century. And this comes as no surprise, you’ll hardly ever come across a person who hasn’t heard such figurative expressions as “Hand of God” or “Goal of the Century”! As you may have guessed, it was Diego Armando Maradona that brought victory to Argentina and glory to the 1986 edition, which was consequently named after him. The “Maradona championship” brought in a lot of memorable moments and afforded ample opportunities in terms of betting online on football. Certainly, the main point of the quarterfinals, or rather the entire championship, was the battle between Argentina and England, where, in the fight against goalkeeper Shilton, the legendary Argentine drove the ball into the net with his hand. Four minutes later, he performed another miracle – having passed through the entire English defense, he masterly ‘poked the ball home’. One week later, at Azteca, the Argentines, in a match with the Germans, definitively salted a game away!
Mexico became the first country to have the honor of hosting the best World Cup in history twice. The 1970 Cup put itself on record thanks to the triumph of the fantastic Brazilians, which gave this edition the name of “Brazilian Carnival”. Led by Pelé, the future champions set a record that could not be surpassed – they did not lose a single point throughout the entire event. Having started brilliantly right from the qualifiers, which was proved out by the skyrocketing number of World Cup qualifier bets, they were paving their way for the victory confidently and had earned just reward. The “Brazilian Carnival” was also notable for thrilling attacking soccer along with the gentlemanlike atmosphere on the fields – at Mexican stadiums, the referees did not take the red cards out of their pockets. Another thing that brings back to memory here is the outlandish turn of events in the quarterfinals where an improved England’s team suffered a bitter defeat – in the 68th minute, they lost 0:2 to its former final rivals, West Germany.
South Korea/Japan ’02 is one of the best World Cups of all time in terms of organization. The edition is also well-remembered for a series of refereeing scandals that pinnacled a team that had not previously shone on the world stage. We are talking about the home team, the Koreans, who sensationally reached the semifinals, which is said to be the result of Korean biased refereeing. And yet, in spite of numerous surprises (group failures of France and Argentina, Italy’s and Spain’s quarterfinals losses), the national teams of Germany and Brazil met in the final. And here, nobody could come anywhere near Ronaldo, who scored two stunning goals and brought Brazil the fifth triumph!
The next spot in our FIFA World Cup rankings goes to the so-called “Extraordinary July”. As you may remember, the ’66 edition in England sprang a lot of surprises. For instance, North Koreans managed to outplay Italians and move into the quarterfinals. However, their winning streak was stopped by Eusébio, who responded to three goals scored by Koreans with four ones and brought Portugal a bronze medal.
And finally, the English – they have a lot to remember! After a shaky start (0:0 against Uruguay), they made superb efforts to win all the matchups, having lost only one single goal before the finals, where they also proved their superiority over Germans with a 4:2 score. It’s also worth mentioning the well-known questionable “third goal” scored by Geoff Hurst – after his shot, the ball bounced off the crossbar onto the goal line and flew into the field. The situation stirred up controversy, but the Azerbaijani linesman Tofiq Bahramov upheld this goal. Hurst also distinguished himself by the first and so far the only hat trick in the World Cup finals.
The 1998 edition holds the No. 5 spot in our top World Cup list. The tournament sensation was the performance of the Croatian team that blasted Germany (3:0) and managed to reach the semifinals.
Although France was the highest-scoring team of the tournament (15 goals), its offense was unimpressive. It was Ronaldo again that was leading Brazil to victory, however, he suffered a seizure and couldn’t participate in the final match. In his absence, France won an unlikely 3:0 victory thanks to two goals scored by Zinedine Zidane and another one by Emmanuel Petit.