With the World Cup 2018 in Russia fast approaching, it’s safe to assume that there will be a fair share of talking points and contentious moments, particularly when the competition has the likes of Diego Costa, who is no stranger to controversy! We have taken a look back at the previous World Cup tournaments to find the most controversial moments:
World Cup 2006: Zidane Headbutt
One of the most infamous moments in World Cup history came in the final in 2006 between France and Italy.
Throughout the competition, French maestro, Zinedine Zidane was inspiring his country one game at a time, most notably against the Brazilians in the quarter-final.
France were the favourites for the grand finale against Italy and were in a promising position after Zidane chipped in a penalty past Buffon. Italy soon equalised though, and the game was dragged into extra time when Materazzi uttered some profanities in Zidane’s direction and was met with a headbutt to the chest from the Frenchman!
This turned out to be Zidane’s last ever action on a football pitch, as he was shown a straight red card, ending France’s dream of a 2nd World Cup.
World Cup 1986: Hand of God
In 1986, England squared up against Diego Maradona’s Argentina in the quarter-final, in what turned out to be one of the most memorable matches of all time.
The match will forever be remembered for Maradona’s unbelievable mazy run that started from the halfway line and ended in one of the greatest goals in football history.
However, it was overshadowed by a goal that was punched into England’s goal by the controversial Argentine, unbeknownst to the match officials. After the game, Maradona infamously claimed that the goal was the ‘hand of God’.
World Cup 2010: Suarez Handball
Luis Suarez is another footballer who will sometimes do whatever it takes to win, and this was no more evident than when Uruguay met Ghana in the quarter-final in 2010.
As the game reached its climax in extra time, Ghana’s Dominic Adiyah fired in a goal-bound header only for Luis Suarez to instinctively punch the ball away in his own box. Suarez then carried on like he knew nothing about what he had just done, but was then sent off by the referee.
A penalty was awarded to Ghana, which was missed by a visibly flustered Asamoah Gyan. Uruguay went on to win the game on penalties, vindicating Luis Suarez’ moment of madness.
World Cup 1982: Schumacher Foul
A truly memorable match between France and West Germany was marred by a terrible challenge by the German goalkeeper, Harald Schumacher.
Michel Platini played in a through ball to Battiston who was one on one with the keeper, when Schumacher clattered into the player knocking him out cold.
Battiston was stretchered off straight after, and the German goalkeeper’s lack of empathy left a bad taste in the mouth. Germany went on to win on penalties after the game ended 3-3.