Looking for the 10 best World Cup matches of all time? We’ve agonized for hours over the lengthy list of brilliant sides and world-class fixtures in the global showcase’s cracking history, and come up with a top ten sure the turn some heads (Belgium v. USSR?). Behold…
- Brazil vs. Italy: 1970. Brazil’s team at the 1970 showcase went undefeated, taking Italy 4-1 in the final. The side is considered the best offensive team in football history. This finals match showcased one of the best Word Cup goals, which included eight of Brazil’s players. A highlight of the global showcase, Brazil v. Italy is one of the ten best World Cup matches of all time.
- West Germany vs. Italy: 1970: Before being trounced by Brazil, the Italian side took on West Germany in one of the ten best World Cup games of all time. Only two goals were scored in the first 90 minutes; the additional five-two for West Germany, three for Azzurri came during one of the most nerve-racking extra-time shootouts in history. Some call this the Match of the Century.
- Brazil vs. Italy: 1982. How do you say revenge in Italian? The titans who battled for the championship in ’70 met in the second round of ‘82’s global showcase. A Seleção spent the majority of the 90 minutes attacking, but couldn’t find the back of the Italian goal more than twice. Thanks to a stupendous defense and a hat trick from Paolo Rossi, Azzurri took the match, in one of the best World Cup matches of all time.
- West Germany vs. France: 1982. Described by football great Platini as “my most beautiful game”, the West Germany France showdown of ’82 was one of the ten best world cup games. Though ahead by two goals, "Les Blues" would lose the match to West Germany in extra time, during a shootout.
- England vs. Argentina: 1998. The England Argentina rivalry dates back to 1966. The ’98 showdown proved one of the best World Cup matches of all time. The game was marked with David Beckham’s controversial red card, Michael Owen’s phenomenal goal, and a nail-biting extra-time shootout that saw the Argentine’s take one more goal than the Three Lions Squad.
- France vs. Brazil: 1986. A 4-3 win for France in the ’86 quarterfinals was marked by drama galore, as the Gallic defense held strong against an aggressive A Seleção side. A tie during regular time, with goals from France’s legendary Michel Platini and Brazil’s Careca lead the team’s to a hair-raising penalty shootout, in which Luis Fernandez won the game for the Europeans. With suspense galore, the match was one of the ten best World Cup matches of all time.
- Portugal vs. North Korea: 1966. Playing for the honor of their Leninist patriarch, Kim Il-sung, the Asian reds spanked the turd out of a highly favored Italian side before facing Portugal in a semi-final fixture. Playing aggressive football, the Koreans went three up quickly, though Portuguese great Eusebio gave it his all, finding the back of the net four times, propelling Portugal to a 5-3 victory in one of the ten best World Cup matches of all time.
- England vs. West Germany: 1966. England’s finest hour saw the Three Lions side defeat West Germany at London’s Wembley stadium. The harrowing match went to extra time, though thanks to a hat trick by Briton Geoff Hurst and a hometown crowd of 98,000, England managed to take the match, and the trophy.
- West Germany vs. Hungary: 1954. The ’54 final was a match full of suspense. The Hungarian side hadn’t lost a match in 31 goes, and were Olympic Champions. They quickly went two goals up, though Germans rallied. The game-winning goal came when Hungary’s goal keeper slipped on wet turf and the West German cracker shot past him and into the goal.
- Belgium vs. USSR: 1986. Another strong showing for the commies, this ’86 match proved a terrific thrill for football fans. Igor Belanov fought hard for the Soviets, notching two goals, only to have the Belgians tied in the 77th minute, forcing an overtime. Despite another goal by Belanov, the Belgiums pulled out a miraculous victory in one of the ten best World Cup matches of all time.
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