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 World Cup memories 1994 --> 2006 
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Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:29 am
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Post World Cup memories 1994 --> 2006
Germany 2006

Not the most memorable of tournaments and for England fans this will be remembered for the exploits of the diving winker Ronaldo, who played a 'small' part in getting Wayne Rooney sent off .

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Other things this particular tournament will be remembered for is the Germans actually entertaining fans with entertaining, attacking football, yes, that's right. Unfortunately for them despite finishing top scorers thanks to Klose's 5 goals, the usual German efficiency was not there under Klinsmann and as a result they failed at the semi final stage against Italy, eventually finishing 3rd.

There was also the emergence of some African Nations in the Ivory Coast, Ghana and Angola. Whilst none of them really made an impact on the tournament they proved they could stand toe to toe with some of the nations, with Angola gaining draws against Mexico and Iran, and Ghana beating the Czech's and the US.

Surprisingly the final of this tournament was contested by the French and the Italians, neither of whom boasted a young, attacking team with flair. The Italians relied heavily on the experience of Cannavaro and Buffon, who did their job tremendously with Italy conceding only 2 goals (one a penalty and the other an o.g.) on the way to the Final. France seemed rejuvenated by the return of Zidane, who came out of International retirement to lead the French to the final only to lose it in extra time after Materazzi commented on his mothers hospitality. Unfortunately you have to give credit to the French, who dispite having an ageing team beat the likes of Spain and Brail on their way to their second WC final in less than 10 years. The match ended 1-1 with Zizou getting sent off and Italy finally winning a penalty shootout to secure the ultimate crown in World Football.

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Winner: Italy
Runners-Up: France
Third: Germany
Fourth: Portugal
adidas Golden Ball: Zinedine ZIDANE (FRA)
adidas Golden Shoe: Miroslav KLOSE (GER)
Yashin Award for the Best Goalkeeper: Gianluigi BUFFON (ITA)
Best Young Player Award: Lukas PODOLSKI (GER)
FIFA Fair Play award: Spain, Brazil
FIFA Award for the Most Entertaining Team: Portugal
Soccer Predict award for biggest cock – RONALDO (Portugal) - the winker

Korea/Japan 2002

A thrilling tournament which had everything, including some major surprises. Perhaps the biggest of them all was South Korea reaching the semi finals. The tournament began with one of the biggest shocks when Senegal beat reigning champions France one nil in the opening match, with Henry getting sent off to add icing to the cake. Senegal went on the repeat the success of Cameroon in 1990 by reaching the semi final only to be beaten by Turkey. Like France, Portugal also fell at the first hurdle losing to the US and S.Korea in the group stages without really shining, their only success being a win over an average Polish side.

Argentina, another nation tipped to shine in this tournament were another nation sent packing in the group stages, Argentina started well beating Nigeria, however defeat to England courtesy of a Becks penalty and a draw against Sweden meant England qualified at the expense of the Argies. England's performance in the group was hardly anything to write home about, however a draw with Nigeria in the last game was enough to see them through.

The knockouts were full of controversy. South Korea continued to seemingly have decision go their way, don’t get me wrong, I am taking nothing away from them however they did get a lot of dubious decisions which did help them along their way to the semi finals, beating Italy with a golden goal before riding their luck against the Spanish to prevail on penalties. They finally lost to Germany and funnily enough this was probably the one game they deserved to win, they destroyed the Germans in the semi final however Kahn (who went on to win keeper of the tournament) was having a fantastic tournament and it was mainly down to his efforts the Germans made it to the Final, winning all 3 of their knockout matches 1-0.

The other host nation also did their country proud, topping their group to qualify for the knockouts before losing to Turkey in the first knockout stage. Turkey then went on to beat Senegal for a place in the semi finals, a magnificent achievement for the country however this is the World Cup and not Walt Disney and they lost out in the semi finals to the eventual winners, Brazil.

Brazil won the final thanks to a brace from Ronaldo, who capitalised on a rare mistake by Kahn to give Brazil the lead before sealing victory after a moment of magic from Rivaldo left him with a simple finish.

As mentioned earlier, this tournament will be remembered for the likes of Senegal, Turkey, South Korea reaching the very latter stages, however this was mainly due to the likes of France, Argentina and Portugal going out early on.

Winner: Brazil
Runners-Up: Germany
Third: Turkey
Fourth: Korea Republic
adidas Golden Ball: Oliver KAHN (GER)
adidas Golden Shoe: RONALDO (BRA)
Yashin Award for the Best Goalkeeper: Oliver KAHN (GER)
Best Young Player Award: Landon DONOVAN (USA)
FIFA Fair Play award: Belgium
FIFA Award for the Most Entertaining Team: Korea Republic
Soccer Predict award for biggest cock - In Brazil's group match against Turkey, Rivaldo was waiting to take a corner when Hakan Unsal stupidly kicked the ball at him. But Rivaldo's reaction was disgusting, falling to the ground and holding his face despite the ball striking him on the leg. Unsal was given his second yellow card and dismissed, allowing Rivaldo to succeed in fooling the officials to the cost of a fellow professional.
Soccer predict award for biggest cock part II : Ronaldo (Brazil) for this hairdo

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France 1998

What a world cup this was, with England possibly having one of their strongest, most skillful teams ever and the introduction of the Golden Goal. This marked the emergence of the likes of Ferdinand (Rio), Campbell (Sol), Owen, Beckham and Scholes who along with Shearer and Sheringham did England proud, however this was to be a World Cup remembered for being the first to have 32 teams compete and also an unlikely win from the host nation against Brazil in the final, which finally meant they joined the elite group of countries who have won the world cup.

The runners up began their quest with a victory against Scotland, hardly a significant achievement but it's always nice to remember the Scots losing. The main shock of the group stage was Spain failing to progress after losing 3-2 to Nigeria in a stunning match with great goals to match.

In the knockouts the tie of the contest was once again England v Argentina, and what a match it was. With the match poised at 1-1 Michael Owen made his mark on the World stage with the goal of the tournament, scoring beautifully from an acute angle, however possibly one of the best worked free kicks of all time levelled after Veron slid the ball to the right when the world expected a direct shot to leave Zanetti through on goal to level for Argentina. Extra time saw a young David Beckham sent off for kicking out at Simeone, however the drama did not end there as 10 man England had a goal disallowed before eventually sucomming to Penalties (again).

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Argentina went on to play the Dutch in the ¼ finals and were beaten 3-2 in one of the great games of the finals, with Bergkamp scoring a wonderful goal to seal victory and a place in the semi-finals against Brazil. Brazil against Netherlands should have been a great game, with 2 teams who have always played great, attacking football, however it was not the best of games and after a 1-1 draw over 120 minutes the Brazilians went through on penalties.

The first Golden goal of the tournament came from France as they beat the mighty Paraguay in extra time, with the match finishing 7 minutes short courtesy of a Laurent Blanc Golden goal (although there was nothing golden about the goal itself). France continued to ride their luck in the ¼ finals against beaten finalists from the US, Italy. The Italians were the better team however once again they fell short in a penalty shootout and it was France who progresses to the semi-finals.

This tournaments surprise package were Croatia, who courtesy of tournament top scorer Davor Suker made the semi-finals before losing to eventual winners France, who came through to win a close fought match 2-1.

The final saw the World Cup won in the first 45 minutes, with Zidane scoring 2 identical goals from corners to set up a 3-0 wni against Brazil, with Emmanuel Petit adding to the scoreline in the last minute, all this despite France being reduced to ten men in the second half.

Winner: France
Runners-Up: Brazil
Third: Croatia
Fourth: Netherlands
adidas Golden Ball: RONALDO (BRA)
adidas Golden Shoe: Davor SUKER (CRO)
Yashin Award for the Best Goalkeeper: Fabien BARTHEZ (FRA)
Best Young Player Award: Michael OWEN (ENG)
FIFA Fair Play award: England, France
FIFA Award for the Most Entertaining Team: France
Soccer Predict award for biggest cock : A young, inexperienced Beckham who lashed out when England were in control and seemed destined for the ¼ finals, and as a result got sent off which dented any chances of progression.

USA 1994

The first World Cup to award 3 points for a win as opposed to 2. No England thanks to Graham Taylor, however England were not the only notable absentees, France and Denmark also missed out on this one. This tournament was infamous for being set in a country who at the time did not appreciate the beautiful game, and some might say a majority still don't. I remember interviews with Americans outside the newly built Rose Bowl whilst a match was being played, they were asdked if they knew about the World Cup and stared blankly at the camera.

This tournament will also be remembered for two other events, the Columbian defender who scored an own goal against the US, and as a result was murdered on his return home and the expulsion of Diego Maradonna after testing positive for drugs. The only reason this came to light was due to the coke induced celebration in front of the camera..

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The hosts made it to the knockout stages where they fell at the first hurdle against the eventual winners, Brazil. Other highlights included Saudi Arabia qualifying from their group, Ireland stunning eventual finalists Italy with a Houghton wondergoal in a 1-0 win. and Roger Milla making history as the oldest goal scorer at the age of 42.

Every tournament has one surprise package, and this year was Bulgaria's turn, with Stoichkov leading them to the semi's beating Germany 3-0 on the way.

If you though the Italians we lucky to qualify from their group having scraped into the knockouts as one of the best 3rd place teams, you may have been forgiven for thinking their luck was over. It had only just begun, they were 90 seconds away from defeat against Nigeria and down to 10 men before Baggio equalised before scoring the winner in extra time. His run of form came at the right time as he scored against the Spanish in the ¼ finals, before scoring twice in the 3-2 win over Bulgaria.

In the other side of the draw Bebeto and Romario downed the Dutch in a thrillnig ¼ final encounter which ended 3-2 in Brazil's favour. Brazil then went on the defeat Sweden 1-0 to set up an encounter against Italy, it was not to be a repeat of the 1970 cup final, in fact it was a million miles away. The final match ended 0-0 after extra time and the fate of the World Cup would be decided on penalties for the first time, and it was the 'divine ponytail' (Baggio) who missed the all important spot kick to once again crown Brazil as champions of the world for the fourth time. More notably, a yojng 17 year old Ronaldo was on the bench but could not make the starting line up due to the brilliance of Bebeto and Romario.

Winner: Brazil
Runners-Up: Italy
Third: Sweden
Fourth: Bulgaria
adidas Golden Ball: ROMÁRIO (Romário de Souza Faria) (BRA)
adidas Golden Shoe: Oleg SALENKO (RUS), Hristo STOICHKOV (BUL)
Yashin Award for the Best Goalkeeper: Michel PREUDHOMME (BEL)
Best Young Player Award: Marc OVERMARS (NED)
FIFA Fair Play award: Brazil
FIFA Award for the Most Entertaining Team: Brazil
Soccer Predict award for biggest cock : Baggio for that stupid ponytail

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Soccer Predict award for biggest cock II : Bebeto for inventing that baby cradling goal scoring celebration, which we now have to endure everytime some idiot who can kick a ball shoots his load.

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Fri May 28, 2010 2:02 pm
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