This is it. The final few football-free days. For those fans bursting for the World Cup 2014 tournament to kick off, it’s three interminable, pointless, torturous days. For everyone else wholly indifferent to the World Cup’s charms, these are the final days of peace and quiet.
Today’s infographic celebrates 10 iconic moments from past World Cup tournaments. All the classics are here: they think it’s all over, the Hand of God, Pavarotti, Pele, Zidane and the debut of the Jules Rimet trophy, awarded to Uruguay on beating Argentina.
It struck us earlier this week how small the Jules Rimet trophy actually is. The biggest football tournament on the planet and the cherished trophy is smaller than the FA Cup! Look at the size of the European Cup, sorry, Champions’ League trophy in comparison. No wonder that’s earned the nickname Big Cup.
Saying that, the European Cup lost a lot of its appeal for us when it was rebranded the Champions’ League and let in dozens of clubs WHO WEREN’T ACTUALLY CHAMPIONS in their respective domestic leagues the season before! Liverpool famously (and deservedly) won Big Cup in 2005, but only after having finished FOURTH in the English Premier League the season before, ferchrissakes. Fourth?? In what bizarre UEFA world does fourth place make you a Champion? That’s not even a bronze medal position!
Nope, call us old-fashioned, but winning the European Cup really meant something when it was a simple game-by-game knockout competition, played by champions of each participating country. Oh well, times change, if not always for the better.
For now, at least, the World Cup remains relatively true to its knockout origins. It may award a smaller trophy, but the prize is exponentially greater in stature.
Click on the graphic for an expanded view.