World Cup Betting: The Most Heartbreaking Moments in World Cup History
May 07, 2018
Football has the power to move us, make us feel sheer exultation and devastating lows and none of this is more present at the World Cup.
With the hope of a nation behind their side, the pressure can make or break some players – producing some jaw-dropping moments.
From home nation thrashings to teary-eyed farewells, every addition of the blockbusting tournament has moments that live long in the memory.
So, we’ve looked at the most heart-breaking World Cup moments in the competition’s recent history.
World Cup Outright Odds:
Samba Boys humiliated (2014)
The stage was set for Brazil to progress past Germany in the semi-finals in Belo Horizonte and go on to lift the trophy on home soil.
But it didn’t quite end like that.
Without Neymar through injury, the Samba Boys were thoroughly taken apart by Joachim Low’s Die Mannschaft.
Goal after goal followed the first-whistle and the game ended 7-1, sending shockwaves throughout the world of football.
Scenes of devastation followed on television screens across the world, with Brazilian’s mourning their footballing loss.
Germany went on to win the World Cup, defeating Argentina in the final.
Zidane’s memorable farewell (2006)
Looking to end his career on a high, Zinedine Zidane came out of retirement for France and led Les Bleus at the World Cup, hosted in Germany.
In the final, Zidane put France ahead from the penalty spot, but Italy’s Marco Materazzi pulled his nation level.
The two players were at the heart of everything. Near the end of extra time, Zidane head-butted Materazzi in the chest and was sent off – cueing heart-breaking scenes as the Frenchman walked past the World Cup trophy and down into the tunnel.
Italy went on to win the clash on penalties and Zidane announced his retirement from international and club football.
Gazza’s tears (1990)
Alongside Paul Gascoigne’s excellent performances at the 1990 World Cup in Italy, Gazza’s tears became one of the defining images of the tournament.
Gazzamania gripped England with the 23-year-old sparkling as the Three Lions’ youngest squad member.
Gascoigne began crying on the pitch after he was handed a 98th-minute yellow card in England’s semi-final defeat to West Germany – realising if Bobby Robson’s men progressed to the final he would miss it.
“When I was a young kid playing at my youth club, every night I used to dream about playing football at the World Cup. I lived that dream in Italy,” Gascoigne later reflected.
The tremendously skilled star never played a World Cup game for England again.
Andrés Escobar’s deadly own goal (1994)
Escobar was a quiet and generally loved leader of a terrific generation of Colombian footballers that had a genuine chance at winning the competition in the USA.
They had conceded just two goals in qualifying and lost only once in their previous 26 games leading up to the tournament – featuring a supremely talented squad with the likes of Carlos Valderrama, Freddy Rincón, Alexis García and Faustino Asprill.
During the match against the United States, Escobar mistimed a slide and inadvertently deflected the ball into his own net – subsequently losing the game.
Five days after Colombia’s elimination from the World Cup, Escobar was shot dead in nightclub carpark in his hometown of Medellin
His murder was widely regarded as retribution for his own goal, with the killer shouting ‘GOAL!’ after every shot.
At the time, Colombia was a corrupt nation run by powerful drug cartels, a place where arguments were settled not with words, but with guns.
Escobar was a victim of the violent gangs that gripped his beloved South American nation. More than 120,000 attended his funeral and a statue of the slick footballer was later erected.