There are always stunning moments at the World Cup, and this year is guaranteed to bring more of those moments.
In the most recent episode of the Match of the Day: Top 10 podcast, Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer, and Micah Richards analyzed the most notable ones. By rating your top choices at the bottom of this page, you may voice your opinion while listening to the audio on BBC Sounds.
Lampard’s ghost goal (Richards: 10th, Shearer: 10th)
In a round of 16 World Cup match in South Africa in 2010, England was down 2-1 to Germany. The following shot by Frank Lampard sailed over Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, grazed the underside of the crossbar, and landed outside the goal. To everyone’s surprise, the authorities said that the goal had not been awarded since the ball had not gone in. Goalline technology was adopted a few years later.
Richards: It crossed the line. After then, England’s confidence was completely lost. Lineker: It went so far beyond the pale.
Roy Keane leaves World Cup (Richards: 8th, Shearer: 9th)
Roy Keane, the captain of the Republic of Ireland, was expelled from the 2002 World Cup following a disagreement with manager Mick McCarthy. In the lead-up to the competition, Keane had criticized the team’s training facilities and schedule, and tensions flared during a meeting with his boss in Japan.
Richards: I haven’t questioned him about it. What is the genuine truth? I’m not sure. Lineker: He was a key member of the team. It’s rather something to storm off and leave, isn’t it? He’s never left a performance early before!
Rivaldo dive (Richards: 9th, Shearer: 7th)
Rivaldo and Brazil won the 2002 World Cup, but after a humiliating dive against Turkey in their group stage match, he received a reprimand from Fifa and generated uproar. Rivaldo was taking his time over a corner when Hakan Unsal shot the ball at his knee. The Brazilian collapsed to the ground holding his face theatrically. Brazil went on to win 2-1 as a result of Unsal’s dismissal. In the 87th minute, Rivaldo converted the go-ahead penalty. Richards: He was unconscious for a very long time. What did he have in mind? Shearing: It was pitiful. When you see that, you can’t help but laugh.
Suarez handball (Richards: 7th, Shearer: 8th)
As their dramatic 2010 quarter-final match with Uruguay was poised at 2-2 in extra time, Ghana, hoping to become the first African nation to reach a World Cup semifinal, launched an attack. Asamoah Gyan was unable to take advantage when Luis Suarez flagrantly used his hand to clear Dominic Adiyiah’s header off the line and was consequently dismissed. Suarez was watching from the tunnel and passionately celebrated the missed opportunity as his penalty flew off the crossbar. Then, Ghana defeated 4-2 in the penalty shootout.
Richards: Suarez was jubilant and giddy. It’s repulsive. He lied, isn’t it true? Lineker: Do you not believe that he prioritized his country over himself? He didn’t cheat; he just made a mistake. At any cost, he wants to win.
Rijkaard spitting (Richards: 6th, Shearer: 5th)
West Germany and the Netherlands’ 1990 World Cup round of 16 matches were marred by Dutch midfielder Frank Rijkaard’s spitting at Rudi Voller following the pair’s dismissals. West Germany eventually prevailed 2-1 to claim the championship. Lineker: I have no idea what made him spit on him. A gut reaction can be felt once, but twice? It is not acceptable.
Suarez bite (Richards: 5th, Shearer: 4th)
In 2014, Giorgio Chiellini of Italy was defending when Luis Suarez bit his shoulder. Suarez held his lips open to appear the victim, while Chiellini pulled his shirt down to display tooth marks. Suarez avoided punishment during the match, going unpunished as Uruguay triumphed 1-0, but he was later suspended for four months from all football-related activities.
Shearer: We were all stunned while in the studio. We were in awe of what we had witnessed. He’s a nibbler, says Lineker
Maradona drug test (Richards: 3rd, Shearer: 6th)
Diego Maradona, a renowned player for Argentina, was kicked out of the 1994 World Cup in the United States after testing positive for ephedrine. Following that, a photo of him celebrating a goal against Greece went viral.
Richards: I’m curious about his situation. Lineker: I saw him in Buenos Aires for two days. It was insane. People everywhere tried to swindle him whenever he moved. People treated him like a deity because of their admiration for him. Perhaps it’s just enduring that genius and admiration.
The Hand of God (Richards: 2nd, Shearer: 3rd)
In the 2-1 victory over England in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal in Mexico City, Argentina’s icon Diego Maradona scored twice, the first of which was the infamous “Hand of God” goal and the second of which was a truly magnificent individual run from within his half. Maradona intercepted the ball as Peter Shilton, the goalie, stepped off his line and punched it into the goal. Argentina won the competition after England was eliminated.
Shearer: His brilliant second goal enabled him to get away with a little bit. Lineker: I don’t recall how much I mentioned it in interviews, but I wasn’t there. He was the one to claim that it was influenced by the Hand of
Zidane headbutt (Richards: 4th, Shearer: 1st)
Zinedine Zidane, a midfielder for France and three-time Fifa World Player of the Year, had already declared his retirement after the 2006 World Cup, but it seemed like a fairytale ending when he successfully converted a penalty kick to put France ahead of Italy in the championship game. Italy’s Marco Materazzi then provoked Zidane with derogatory remarks during extra time, which led to the Frenchman losing control, headbutting the defender, and receiving a red card. The penalty shootout was won by Italy 5-3.
Shearer: The World Cup has seen many events, but that one just seemed too unbelievable to me. Everyone has experienced having someone say something to them on a football field, but that… Lineker: Didn’t that cost France the World Cup? I recall attending the game.
Ronaldo was left out of the team (Richards: 1st, Shearer: 2nd)
Ronaldo, a great player for Brazil during the 1998 World Cup, had a convulsive seizure just hours before the match against France. He was transported to the hospital after being removed from the team, but he was later added back. Later, Brazil was defeated 3-0.
He was a superstar, said Shearer. The pressure got to him because of what he contributed to that squad and who he was. Lineker: It was remarkable. He played, and they lost, so there were all these rumors of conspiracies.