By 90Min
July 03, 2018

On the biggest stage of all, we as spectators watch in anticipation as football's greatest players all come together for the most phenomenal competition on the planet. We watch eagerly and continue to do so for the football alone, but when a moment of insanity takes place at a World Cup, you can hear the heart of an entire nation skip a beat. 

We have been blessed with a few frantic moments in the history of the World Cup - some bearing more significance than others - but they've all cemented a special place in our footballing memories. 

Let's take a look at some of the craziest moments the World Cup has had to offer...


Frank Lampard's Goal That Never Was 

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In what was perhaps a moment of great closure for Germans still bearing the pain of Sir Geoff Hurst's arguable second goal in the 1966 final, Frank Lampard's goal that never was in the 2010 round of 16 stage is one of the more stunning moments in recent World Cup memory. 

With the score at 2-1, the then Chelsea midfielder struck a fine shot beyond Manuel Neuer which clipped the underside of the crossbar, crossing the line by a good distance, before bouncing back into Neuer's gloves. However, officials never gave the goal, deeming that it hadn't in fact crossed the line. 

Its fine though. Completely forgotten. Not bitter at all. Whatever. 


Zaire Produce the Best Piece of Time Wasting of All Time 

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Whether it was a deliberate attempt to waste time at the risk of conceding more, or just a complete rush of blood to the head, Zaire produced arguably one of the funniest moments in World Cup history against Brazil back in 1974. 

With Rivelino and Jairzinho standing over a freekick, with ten minutes left on the clock, a Zaire defender broke out of the wall and promptly booted the ball towards the opposite end of the pitch. 


Political blackmail - Zaire's president had said that, following the 9-0 defeat to Yugoslavia in the last game, conceding four or more goals to Brazil would see them not welcomed home - was the main motivator behind the bizarre moment; nevertheless, it would become part of World Cup history. 


The Big Boys Are Humbled Early In Russia

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It's fair to say this summer's World Cup has produced some wonderful surprises, perhaps not if you're German or Spanish.

 

Having been drawn in a group consisting of Mexico, South Korea and Sweden, many expected the holders Germany to at least progress through to the round of 16. However, Joachim Low's men failed spectacularly. The Germans amazingly finished bottom of their group, losing to Mexico and South Korea in embarrassing fashion, bowing out with barely a whimper.  


Spain came into the tournament in tumultuous fashion, sacking their coach days before the start of the competition. But La Roja had crushed Argentina 6-1 in a pre-tournament friendly, andthe quality in their squad was impeccable - with World Cup and Champions League winners aplenty. 


After unconvincingly progressing through the group, a clash with the Russian hosts in the first knock-out stage looked testing, but not a real danger. Spain's control of the ball couldn't bring the goals they hoped for. 


Russia, the lowest ranked team in the World Cup at no. 70 in the world, hung on and hung on to the 1-1 scoreline before a flawlessly converting all their penalties to send the country into delirium. It'll remain one of the biggest knock-out stage upsets in World Cup history.


Germany Humiliate Brazil Inside the Maracana 

Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

5-0 up inside 30 minutes and eventual 7-1 winners against a Brazil side on their own turf; Germany utterly humiliated the Selecao in the 2014 semi final - so much so that it left locals in tears, utterly distraught. 

One tiny silver lining, perhaps, would be the fact that the Germans went on to win the final.

However, the result was one of the craziest in footballing history and will be remembered forever. Unless you're German, it was like watching a car crash in slow motion.


Diego Maradona and the Hand of God 

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It needs no explanation. Diego Maradona's 'Hand of God' goal against England at the 1986 World Cup is one of the strangest moments in the tournament's history. 

The diminutive Argentina star leapt into the air to challenge Peter Shilton in an aerial battle, and surprisingly came out on top as the ball bounced into the net. However, replays showed that Maradona had used his hand to nudge the ball past the England number one. 

He did however score one of the tournament's greatest goals in the same game, so we'll let him off?


Luis Suarez Crushes the Hopes of a Nation 

Michael Steele/GettyImages

This moment saw Luis Suarez become a national hero in his home nation, and an enemy in Africa for the remainder of his days. 

Ghana were centimetres away from becoming the first African team to reach the World Cup semi finals, only for Uruguay's number nine to punch the ball off the line in a bizarre moment of instinct. 

The Black Stars missed the consequential penalty, and went on to lose the resulting penalty shootout. Suarez's risk had paid off, but Uruguay's success came via evil circumstances. 


Zinedine Zidane Draws the Curtains on a Glittering Career in Crazy Fashion 

ROBERTO SCHMIDT/GettyImages

An absolutely phenomenal career littered with silverware came to an unromantic and abrupt end in the 2006 World Cup final. Zinedine Zidane, one of the game's greats, would be playing the final match of his career against Italy on the absolute biggest stage there is, where success would see him bow out in deserved fashion. 

However, Marco Materazzi and France's number 10 became embroiled in a war of words on the pitch, leading to Zidane planting his head into the Italian's chest. He was duly given his marching orders. France consequently lost the game, and a legacy that deserved a fitting send off received the most notorious finales. 


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