10 of the most talked about matches in the last ten FIFA World Cups (excluding the final)

10 of the most talked about matches in the last ten FIFA World Cup excluding the finals
Germany annihilated Brazil in what came to be known as the repeat of the Maracana

The FIFA World Cup is one of the most talked about sporting events. From Rob Rensenbrink's missed opportunity in 1978 to the Argentine heartbreaks in 2014, the viewers will remember the final as if it happened yesterday.  

However, the final isn't the only game which the people will talk about for ages to come. Some matches in the group and the knockout stages will be remembered by the fans for years too. 

While some teams showed brilliant sportsmanship in their World Cup journey, others inscribed their names in the history books with their unscrupulous spirits.

Then, there was the Hand of God

Experts till date debate whether Maradona should have celebrated the goal or condemned it. The goal augmented the rivalry between the English and the Argentines. The English felt it cheated them out of the World Cup while the Argentines had no regrets for Maradona's deeds.

But that's not all. Despite the match not taking place at the final of the tournament, they had made a significant impact and corroborated that their outcomes were imprinted on the memory cells of the audiences permanently. 

Also Read: 10 FIFA World Cup records that will never be broken

#10 Match-fixing allegations in the 6-0 thumping

Match-fixing allegations in the 1978 FIFA World Cup
Mario Kemes celebrates after scoring the third goal against Peru

Controversy surrounded 1978 FIFA World Cup even before the tournament had begun. Two years before the tournament, Argentina had suffered a military coup which was known as the National Reorganization Process.

The world witnessed political manipulation of sports in the 1934 FIFA World Cup and 1936 Berlin Olympics. Fearing the same, many countries like the Netherlands publicly considered whether they should participate in the tournament or not.  

Even with all the teams participating in it, controversies didn't take a backseat. In the final round of Group B, Argentina delayed the kick-off. As a result, they knew that they had to beat Peru by four goals or more to qualify for the finals, and they won the game 6-0.

As expected, many people questioned the Peruvian players' patriotism. Brazilian media pointed the fact that the Peruvian goalkeeper had been born in Argentina. The British media alleged that a large grain shipment had been delivered by Argentina and a Peruvian bank account held by the Argentine Central Bank had been unfrozen. 

A Colombian drug lord proclaimed in his book that the Peruvian team had been bribed without any political implications. And on top of that, a Peruvian leftist-politician claimed that 13 Peruvian dissidents exiled in Argentina had been sent back to Peru. All of this in exchange for their loss.  

At the end of the day, none of the match-fixing allegations could be proved. But the match tarnished the image of Argentines in front of the world. Even 44 years later, no one applauds the Argentines' brilliant footballing skill in that match. All they talk about is how Argentina, supposedly, cheated their way to the World Cup.  

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Edited by Shambhu Ajith
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