Skip to content
en-gb GO TO bet365 Sports
  1. Football
  2. World Cup

World Cup: Greatest World Cup Moments

Football fans in the UK would typically be basking in the sunshine and watching the World Cup at this time of year, but for a change, we have to wait another five months for the biggest prize in the sport.

This article was originally published on 22 June 2022

This year's World Cup will take place in Qatar, but the excitement is building after the conclusion of the recent qualifiers and opening games of the Nations League.

Some fans have better memories than others, and for England fans, 22nd June is a day to forget when it comes to football as we take a look at some of the greatest World Cup moments.

The Goal of the Century

Iconic moments and Diego Maradona go hand in hand, pardon the pun, and the Argentinean is known for multiple World Cup memories, sadly not all of them with his feet.

At the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, Maradona scored what many consider to be the greatest goal of all time against England in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

The maestro picked the ball up inside his own half and beat anyone who dared to try and tackle him before drifting past Peter Shilton and slotting the ball home.

Maradona made the entire move look effortless, but he sadly will be remembered for all the wrong reasons during that game, that is unless you are Argentinean.

Maradona's "Hand Of God"

36 years ago, on Wednesday, Maradona put himself in the history books as he crushed England's dreams on the biggest stage of all.

Sadly, it wasn't for his memorable solo goal but for his act of cheating four minutes before he killed the game with his brilliance.

After a defensive mix-up, the ball was deflected up in the air between Shilton and Maradona, with the latter using his hand to punch the ball into the net.

Despite the protests, the officials didn't see anything, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The iconic photo of the combative former Napoli player using his hand will send shivers down the spine of Shilton forever, but it proved so crucial in the end.

Maradona and co went all the way in the competition, reaching the final before beating West Germany 3-2.

Pele's magic lifts Brazil

Like Maradona, Brazilian legend Pele is widely regarded as one of the best footballers of all time, and he holds a Guinness World Record for scoring 1,279 goals in 1,363 matches, although that does include friendly games.

Pele won the first of his three World Cups in 1958, but it was in 1970 that he and his teammates rose to superstardom. In 1958 he was only 17 when he scored a hat-trick to help his team reach the final, while in 1970, millions of fans around the globe watched on in awe.

The 1970 World Cup was the first to be broadcast worldwide in colour and fans will remember watching the Selecao cruise their way around the park, mainly thanks to the brilliance of their inconic number 10.

Banks' "Save of the Century"

The 1970 World Cup belonged to Brazil, and their winning squad could be the best to ever play in a final.

While they got the better of their rivals in the end, England's Gordon Banks did have a moment of joy to celebrate during the group stages.

The former Leicester City and Stoke City stopper kept Pele at bay with one of the best saves ever seen at a World Cup. The Brazilian appeared destined to score when heading the ball into the floor, but Banks somehow got across to his right and flicked the ball over the crossbar and away from danger.

England went on to lose the match 1-0, but Banks' save will never be forgotten.

Tardelli's tears the highlight of 1982

Italy won their third World Cup at the 1982 tournament in Spain, with 14 cities hosting some memorable matches.

The Azzurri actually finished second in their group behind Poland, but they rallied to get revenge over the Poles in the semi-finals.

They then scored three goals in the final against West Germany to get their hands on the trophy, with Paolo Rossi scoring his sixth and final goal of the tournament.

While Rossi won the vote for the tournament's best player, it was Tardelli's strike that everyone remembers.

Tardelli scored the second of Italy's goals, but the emotion got the better of him. He ran towards the Italian bench in a moment of euphoria and he later admitted it was everything he had dreamed of.

When asked about the goal, Tardelli said: "After I scored, my whole life passed before me - the same feeling they say you have when you are about to die.

"The joy of scoring in a World Cup final was immense, something I dreamed about as a kid, and my celebration was a release after realising that dream. I was born with that scream inside me; that was just the moment it came out."

Related Articles

bet365 uses cookies

We use cookies to deliver a better and more personalised service. For more information, see our Cookie Policy

New to bet365? Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets

Join Now

Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.