Cyprus Mail

The 5 most unpredictable moments in World Cup history

Zinedine Zidane's headbutt on Italy's Marco Materazzi in the 2006 final is part of World Cup folklore

By WC Guru App

The beauty of the World Cup are those moments that nobody saw coming. Here is a look at the five moments that no one could have predicted. From the Sheikh to the leopards we’ve covered it all.

5. Mwepu Illunga defends a free-kick 1974
Zaire came to the 1974 tournament in a bright green kit with a huge Leopard’s face on the shirt, most unlike the more professional nation’s kit. Sadly for Zaire, their World Cup experience was an absolutely rotten one, best summed up by Illunga’s illegal and bizarre interpretation of the ‘wall’ when defending a free kick.

4. The Cryuff turn 1974
There a few moments when something never done before is invented in football. There are even fewer that are captured on camera and broadcast to the world, but that’s what happened when Johan Cryuff’s Netherlands faced Sweden in 1974. Being held up by Jan Olsson, Cryuff rolls the ball one way before leaving Olsson looking the other as he turns away to the touchline.

3. Kuwait sheik things up 1982
While playing against France in 1982, Kuwait’s President Sheik Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, came down from the stands and demanded that a French goal be disallowed after claiming the Kuwaitis stopped playing because of a whistle from the stands. Amazingly, the Russian referee overturned his own decision and disallowed the goal. Sadly for Al-Sabah, the French still won 4-1.

2. Rijkaard spits in Voller’s hair 1990
Despite England thinking they’re Germany’s number one enemy on the international football stage, these European neighbours consider each other their biggest rivals. During the 1990 second round, the rivalry became all too much for Frank Rijkaard who, after a tussle with Rudi Voller, felt the need to spit in the German’s rather large mullet. The following fracas saw both players sent off with just 22 minutes played.

1. Zidane’s head-butt 2010
It remains to be seen if the truth about this event will ever come out. With the game heading towards penalties it seemed that the fairytale of Zidane, in his last ever football match, might end with him lifting the Jules Rimet trophy for the second time. As it was, with 10 minutes to play, he turns, he ducks, he head-butts Marco Materazzi. He gets sent off and France lose on spot-kicks.

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