In 1911, the Corinthians traveled to North America, to begin a 44 day tour of the United States and Canada. After playing an assortment of the best teams on the continent, the Corinthians were invited to participate against a local team in Calgary to contest the first unofficial international trophy, the Locators Cup. The Corinthians, of course - refusing to play for prizes or money, believing that sport should only be played for the Love of the Game - politely had to decline the request.
107 years later, the 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held in Russia, the 21st tournament in its history. With the World Cup draw taking place at the start of December, we take a look back at our own favourite World Cup moments!
What are yours?
1) England win the World Cup (England vs West Germany, 1966)
After a spell bounding route to the final, the Three Lions found themselves facing former champions West Germany, in front of a raucous crowd at Wembley stadium, England. Being led onto the pitch by Captain Sir Bobby Moore, England were a revitalised side, following an F.A. shake-up in 1961. Following the appointment of all-time leading Corinthian goal-scorer Graham Doggart as the F.A. Chairman, Doggart changed the face of English football. Most crucially, following his 207 goals in 203 games during his Corinthian playing career, the Doggart appointed Sir Alf Ramsey as the new England manager.
Ramsey would go on to be manage the only England side ever to win the World Cup, beating a talented Germany side 4-2 after extra time. Unfortunately, Doggart was unable to witness his project first hand, as he passed away suddenly in 1963. The feat has yet to be matched, highlighting the work of both Graham Doggart and Sir Alf Ramsey.
2) Johan Cryuff stuns the World (Holland vs Sweden, 1974)
On the 19th June 1974, one of the world’s most famous but simplistic pieces of skill took the footballing world by storm, founding the aptly named ‘Total Football’ of Holland. In a tightly close-knit affair between The Netherlands and Sweden, the game was heading for a 0-0 draw. The Dutch captain Johan Cruyff retained the ball at the edge of the box, and seemed to have very few options with his back to the Swedish goal. Instead of passing the ball, the playmaker shimmied one way, flicked the ball back between his legs and left the defender in his wake. The tightly-marking Swedish defender was left in the dust, as the star premiered his now iconic skill move.
3) Uruguay defy the odds (Brazil vs Uruguay, 1950)
In 1950, the stage was set for a rampant Brazil to defeat Uruguay to win the World Cup for the first time, inside the Maracanã. After a scoreless first half, Brazilian striker Friaça gave the hosts the lead, sending 199,000 fans in attendance into rapturous jubilation. Local newspapers were reportedly so confident of Brazil’s inevitable victory, that printing machines had already began printing their newest editions, describing a dominating win for the men in yellow. But a 13 minute turnaround in the second half by Alcides Ghigga and Juan Schiaffino saw Uruguay stun the Maracana faithful into silence, with fans in disbelief of what they had witnessed.
According to further reports in recent years, a young Brazilian fan listened to the match on the radio with his father. After watching his father burst into tears after the match, he turned to his father and claimed that he would win the World Cup for Brazil one day, and 8 years later, and he just did that….
4) Brazil gain retribution (Sweden vs Brazil, 1958)
Just 8 years prior to the final in Sweden, a 9 year old Pele witnessed one of the most shocking results in World Football, as his beloved Brazil lost to Uruguay at the Maracanã.
While fellow Brazilian Garrincha was the more popular attraction for the Swedish crowd, Pele used the biggest stage to showcase his talent to the world — scoring the winner in the quarterfinal against Wales, a hat trick in the semis versus France — and a double in the final against hosts Sweden. At the young age of just 17 years and 249 days, Pele became the youngest goal scorer in World Cup Final history, allowing Brazil to win their first of 5 World Cup titles.
5) Gordon Banks' 'Save of the Century' (Brazil vs England, 1970)
Although Gordon Banks’ proudest achievement came 4 years earlier at the 1966 World Cup, a moment at the 1970 World Cup in Brazil is still regarded as his greatest moment between the posts.
Following a difficult group stage, England were seeded to play against Brazil, in a match that was set to bring the footballing world to a standstill, bringing together two footballing giants on the World stage. For much of the first half, the South American titans dominated, with a combining Jairzinho and Pele causing problems for the Three Lions defence. As the right-wing cross from Jairzinho drifted to the back post and was met powerfully by Pele, a goal seemed certain.
With a powerful leap, Pele beat an on-looking defense to muster a powerful header into the bottom corner. With a backwards leap, the Leicester Goalkeeper scoped the ball over the goal, stunning both Pele and Bobby Moore next to him.
”I heard Pele shout “Goal” after he headed it. Definitely. He thought it was past me.’ -Gordon Banks.
The intervention of Banks, his instinctive reaction and firm palm, is imprinted on the memory for all who saw it and the generations since who have watched it on YouTube. Gordon Banks to this day, however, claims that it was not even his best save! Here is the video, along with it's original, iconic commentary. What do you think?