For many analysts, the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ was the best of all time, and not without good reason. As well as thrilling and fiercely fought encounters, last year’s edition threw up some of the most captivating stories of recent years.
With that in mind, FIFA.com sat down with some of the main protagonists of Brazil 2014 for a look back at the memorable tournament. And the first to do so was none other than Lionel Messi. The winner of the adidas Golden Ball for Player of the Tournament accepted our invitation during his recent visit to Zurich and gave his take on five key moments from the finals.
“I didn’t realise the crowd were chanting my name in the previous move,” Messi said of his first goal in the competition. “I don’t know if they particularly wanted me to score, but expectations were certainly high, given our form coming into the tournament,” he added. If you’d like to hear more, just click on the adjoining video. You might be as surprised as the Rosario-born star was after watching each of them.
As well as his opening goal, we hear Messi’s thoughts on the shock early exit of Spain and ask him if he was in contact with any of his Barcelona team-mates at the time. We also talk to the Argentinian captain about Germany’s unforgettable 7-1 win that shook the very foundations of Brazil, his side’s dramatic penalty shootout against the Netherlands in the semi-final, and one particular move from the decider at the Maracana that could have changed the course of the Final.
If I were to highlight one legend whom I have read about but had not seen the pleasure of playing, it will be Just Fontaine.
Just Fontaine was born in French Morocco in 1933 and played for Les Bleus and at the 1958 World Cup, Fontaine scored a total of 13 goals in 6 matches. Since then, no other player had scored more goals in a single World Cup and although this record is unbeaten, who knows if some ambitious player can come along and beat that record in the future?
Looks like it’s going to stay that way for a long time though!
It’s quite unfortunate that Fontaine is never/hardly mentioned along with the greatest strikers of all times. We tend to overlook him in favor of the favorites. Based on what I’ve learned/read, the Frenchman was quite the striker. I wish I was alive in that era to see him play. Fontaine’s Les Bleus made it to the semi-finals of the 1958 World Cup, only to be beaten/bested by Brazil (5-2). They eventually settled for 3rd place after destroying Germany 6-3.
At the Opening Ceremony before the FIFA Congress ahead of Brazil 2014, he was awarded an Adidas Platinum Boot:
Read more about the French legend here:
For a list of the top scorers in the World Cup, go here:
Those historic 13 goals:
I was just reflecting …
If it’s one thing I disliked about the World Cup this year, it was the penalties. Of course, rules are rules and penalties are part of the rules, but some of them were heartbreaking to watch.
Brazil beating the hard working Chile 3-2 on penalties in the round of 16 was a major heartbreak. Most felt it was unfair and I felt their sympathy. Chile could have made the Quarters had it not been for losing on penalties.
Costa Rica surprised not only their nation, but the football loving world during their group stage in which they beat Uruguay, Italy and drew goalless with England and topped their group. They worked hard and it paid off and the world’s hearts beat for them when they made it into the round of 16 and beat Greece 5-3 on penalties. However, hearts broke when Netherlands beat them 4-3 on penalties during the Quarters.
Costa Rica and Chile were the two teams who did not deserve their heart breaks on penalties. Yet, at the end of the day, it’s football and we can only say ‘what if’, but what has happened already happened. We have to accept that penalties are rules no matter how unfair it might seem that they are used to decide an important match.
Well, someone complied their Top 30 goals of the World Cup and came up with this:
You don’t have to agree with the list. Just relive some of the goalen memories. Here’s one of my favorite goals which didn’t make it. It comes from football’s sexiest:
Lloris is my quintessential Frenchman. You know? The one we read about in books who comes across as dashing, romantic and drop dead handsome? I could write sonnets about Oogie!
And before I write them, I present my captain.
On their way to Brazil.
Missing the wifey
‘And this is why I’m so sexy. I exercise.’
And this is my ULTIMATE fave photo of the captain at the World Cup:
Think about all the haha memes I can make with that one!
Smoky mirrors, apple pies and too much glitters! Le Captain is PURRFECT in this close-up!
Peek-a-boo! Lloris, we know its you!
Leaving the presser on June 29th
Playing it up for the cameras. He knows he’s drop dead beautiful!
Just as the headline says! Relive the World Cup with Mexico’s finest and the fluffy curly bouncy hair.
This took a little long because apart from work, I am trying REALLY hard to study and get back on track after the World Cup. However, I did not forget to mention our last game of the World Cup. As I said in the last rewind, I have so many topics left over from the World Cup, I’ll just have to find some way to post them all.
So. We’re still winless against the Germans in the World Cup, eh? The game against Germany saw us not pressing the Germans enough. Pressing can hurt them and we did not do enough of it especially in the first half to make them aware that France can be a threat. The second half was much better, yet Les Bleus did not play with that sense of urgency. They went out fighting, but not hard enough, but I am proud of this team.
This team is young and inexperience, but Deschamps can only take notes from this tournament to serve as future lessons. There was team spirit and dynamics, a sense of unity and most of all, love within the team.
Landreau said his good bye:
Go read Julien Laurens’ article on France’s bright future:
And the stars keep aligning for the future Real Madrid player.
23-year-old James Rodriguez was awarded the Goal of the Tournament in the 2014 World Cup for that stunner against Uruguay in the last round of 16. Van Persie’s header against Spain came in second.
To see Rodriguez’s goal, go here: