You've waited four, long, long years, but the ultimate football tournament is now back. From sheer highs of being in the stadium to relaxing back with a beer when it's on in the pub, it's unmissable wherever you watch it. Full of hits... and the odd miss too, it's the answer to everything we love about the beautiful game. To celebrate the unpredictability of this popular sport, we're complied a list to showcase weird (and wonderful) footie fails that'll go down in history. Want to relive these iconic mis-steps? Read on for our top 5 craziest World Cup moments.
Craziest World Cup Moments: Schumacher’s Foul - 1982
You might be a bit too young to remember this one first hand, but you’ll definitely be aware of the infamous clash when West Germany's Goal Keeper Toni Schumacher clattered purposefully into France’s Patrick Battiston, knocking him out cold. What's more, Battiston lost three teeth in the incident... Unfortunately justice wasn’t served and France went on to lose the game 2-0.
Craziest World Cup Moments: Rijkaard’s Spitting - 1990
This one is just beyond belief. After a pretty dubious tackle on German player Voller, the Dutch player Rijkaard decided payback would be in the form of spitting into Voller’s mullet. Later in the game, Rijkaard again takes umbrage with Voller for leaping out the way of a collision with the Dutch keeper. Rijkaard then earns himself a red card, after trying to drag Voller up and stomping on his foot. The bemused ref serves Voller one too, and as they go to leave the pitch, Rijkaard again spits directly into Voller’s fluffy mullet. This concludes one of the most bizarre ‘spats’ (pun definitely intended) in World Cup history.
Craziest World Cup Moments: Leonardo’s Elbow - 1994
Ouch, we can’t help but grimace watching this one. A frustrates Leonardo forcefully elbows Ramos square in the face, breaking his cheekbone and residing Ramos to 3 months in hospital recovering. The punishment? A red card and a ban for the remainder of the tournament. Not that this stopped the mighty Brazil who went on to win the match 1-0.
Craziest World Cup Moments: Italy V Korea – 2002
The Germans have never been as popular as during their Semi Final match against South Korea in 2002. Why? It came to a head when the ‘underdogs’ took on Italy in a match refereed by Ecuador's Byron Moreno who disallowed a goal for being offside. Francesco Totti was sent off for diving and South Korea were given a penalty all rather dubiously. In the Quarters, South Korea miraculously also beat Spain, thanks in no small part to two disallowed goals for Spain. No doubt this caused outrage from the Spanish and Italian fans who were right behind the Germans in the semi final. Incidentally, in 2010, controversial ref Byron Moreno was caught at US customs with 6kgs of heroin on him. Perhaps not the straightest sports ref in the history of football.
Craziest World Cup Moments: THAT Headbutt - 2006
Zinedine Zidane dealt a mighty headbutt right into the chest of Italian Marco Materazzi, sending him tumbling to the ground. Winded and writhing on the floor, it was an unforgettable last chapter in his football career. To make matters worse, France were triumphed by Italy in penalties - making the head-bowed image of Zidane walking past the World Cup trophy as iconic as ever.