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When the brilliance and fighting spirit of England ended in tears

There was no hope   After the dramatic exit from the quarterfinals in Mexico, 1970, England did not feature in a FIFA World Cup until 1982. In Spain, their blistering start to lose its momentum in the second round, while in...

Italy watch and die at Naples

Diego Maradona played a psychological game before the mega clash and immediately it put Italy under pressure. Italy feared Maradona and as soon as Argentina equalized, they turned pale. Argentina fed their anxiety and ultimately brought the whole of...

The fairytale of Sergio Goycochea

Argentina, the defending World Champions, were shocked by Cameroon in the opening match of the World Cup 1990. It put them in such a situation, where they can’t lose in the remaining matches. Surely the matches against the Soviet...

David Platt magic at Bologna

In the most crucial match in the history of English Football, Mark Wright nudged in a header against the stubborn Egyptian to help England through as the toppers of Group F, where the fate of the teams was hanging...

The chaotic clash between Germany and Holland at San Siro: Frank Rijkaard spits on...

On June 24, 1990 – two high voltage matches took place. In the afternoon, an unimpressive Argentina knocked out the favourites Brazil in Turin courtesy of Holy Water Scandal and in the evening at the iconic San Siro Stadium,...

The forgotten Yugoslavian side of Italia 90

Introduction   Those were the days when teams from Eastern Europe were a powerhouse in World Football. Hungary and Austria gave football a lot to relish. The former Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia were feared and respected. The Polish side were highly...

Cameroon and Roger Milla: The delight of Italia 90

A sad exit in Spain   For the first time, 24 teams competed in the FIFA World Cup 1982 in Spain where two teams from Africa featured. One of them was Algeria, who shocked the European Champions Germany in the opening...

Viva Brazil

Introduction   The sand of the desert is sodden red Red with the wreck of a square that broke The Gatling’s jammed and the Colonel’s dead, And the regiment blind with dust and smoke. The river of death has brimmed his banks, And England’s far and...

Match of the Century

Introduction   How does one define “Match of the century”? What are the criteria that fulfill a football match to become the “Match of the century”? In my opinion, it is never easy to point out one particular match as the...

A piece of magic from Pele

It should have been the Soviet Unions in the semifinals at Guadalajara against Brazil, but against the fighting spirit of Latina America's toughest side, the Russians failed to advance. Uruguay would meet Brazil again in a World Cup match...

Germany and England repeat another epic, but this time, Germany win

The rivalry   The Football Association instigated a four-game tour of Germany and Austria by a representative England team in November 1899. The England team played a representative German team in Berlin on 23 November 1899, with the German side losing...

Peru conquer tragedy in Mexico 1970

Defying all the odds in the World Cup Qualifiers   The World Cup Qualifiers have never been easy since they were introduced. Especially those contests in the African and South American regions require enough grit and skill to overcome the challenges...

The historic goal of Victor Esparrago

The Quarterfinals of the ninth FIFA World Cup in Mexico kicked on June 14, 1970, at Azteca where two heavyweights from Eastern Europe and Latina America met each other to claim a place in the semifinals. The USSR had...

Diego Maradona plays the ball with his hand again

The hype and buzz about the Hand of God goal against England in Mexico 1986 is so much that many forget, Diego Maradona repeated the feat four years later in Naples in their second Group Match against the former...

Impressive Egypt in Italia 90

A tough qualifying contest   The Confederation of African Football (CAF) section of the 1990 FIFA World Cup qualification saw teams competing for two berths in the final tournament in Italy. 26 nations in total entered the qualifying stage. FIFA rejected the entries...

A red letter day for Costa Rica

116 teams entered the 1990 World Cup, including Italy as the host nation and Argentina as reigning World Cup champions, who were both granted automatic qualification. Thus, the remaining 22 finals places were divided among the continental confederations, with...

The story of Morocco in Mexico 1970

For the first time in the history of the FIFA World Cup, a country from Africa would feature in the Greatest Show on Earth. http://gty.im/80752550 The draw for the qualifying stages was conducted on 1 February 1968 in Casablanca, Morocco, with...

The origin of “Group of Death”

In the mega-events, teams are often seeded to provide an even distribution of strong and weak competitors across all preliminary groups. However, in association football, the ranking methods used for seeding may be crude. http://gty.im/80752552 In the World Cup, until 2018...

The birth of Toto Schillaci

In the southern part of Italy, Palermo is located in the northwest of the island of Sicily, right by the Gulf of Palermo in the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital of both the autonomous region of Sicily and...

Cameroon finish their lunch with Maradona and Argentina

The summer of 1990 was endless, but the world was not bored because of the music and colour the fourteenth FIFA World Cup provided – the hype started as soon as the 80s ended. One could hear people saying,...

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