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World Cup Final: Five Iconic moments

The 2022 World Cup will reach a conclusion on Sunday with former champions Argentina and France set to lock horns in the final at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar.

Argentina, led by talisman Lionel Messi, who is set to play his final World Cup match, are 10/11 To Lift the Trophy, while defending champions France are 9/5 Full Time Result to become the first team to successfully retain their crown since Brazil in 1962.

This will be the 21st World Cup final to be played at the 22nd tournament (the 1950 showpiece had no official final and was settled via a round-robin format) and there have certainly been some iconic moments over the years.

We have taken a look at five of those memorable pieces of World Cup history which should hopefully whet the appetite ahead of Sunday's final.

What: Argentina v France
Where: Lusail Stadium, Lusail
When: 15:00, Sunday 18th December 2022
How to watch: BBC1 and ITV1
Odds: Argentina 9/5, Draw 2/1, France 9/5

1954 - When West Germany were the underdogs

It is hard to imagine these days given their success on the global stage, but West Germany were very much the underdogs heading into the 1954 final against Hungary's 'Golden Team' that contained the likes of Ferenc Puskas and Sandor Kocsis.

Hungary were considered the best team in the world having thrashed England 7-1 in a pre-tournament friendly at Wembley before defeating the West Germans 8-3 during the group stage.

Wins over Brazil and Uruguay followed for the Mighty Magyars and they were 2-0 up inside the opening eight minutes of the final in Bern thanks to goals from Puskas and Zoltan Czibor.

However, West Germany had not read the script, as a Max Morlock goal and a brace from Helmut Rahn sealed a famous win which helped shift the power in European football, with Die Mannschaft having gone on to win a further three world titles, while Hungary have not been beyond the quarter-finals since.

1966 - Did Geoff Hurst's goal cross the line?

"Some people are on the pitch! They think it's all over! It is now!" is one of the most iconic pieces of sporting commentary ever heard, as the BBC's Kenneth Wolstenholme described Geoff Hurst's hat-trick goal that put England 4-2 up in their 1966 final win over West Germany.

Hurst remains the only player to have ever scored a hat-trick in a men's World Cup final, but it is his second goal, which put England 3-2 up during extra time, that remains iconic and/or controversial, depending what side of the fence you sit on.

The West Ham forward swivelled and shot from close range, only to see his strike hit the underside of the crossbar before bouncing down and being cleared away.

Referee Gottfried Dienst was unsure if the ball had crossed the line so consulted his assistant, Tofik Bakhramov, who said it did, which meant the goal was awarded and England never looked back.

1970 - Carlos Alberto scores perfect team goal

Brazil's 1970 World Cup winning side is arguably the greatest of all time and they emphasised their superiority by thrashing Italy 4-1 in the final in Mexico City to seal their third title, which meant they were able to keep the iconic Jules Rimet Trophy.

Pele, Gerson and Jairzinho were already on the scoresheet for Brazil by the time captain Carlos Alberto sealed the victory with a fourth that has gone down as one of the greatest team goals in history.

Eight players were involved in the move that culminated in the legendary Pele rolling the ball into the patch of the onrushing Carlos Alberto, who rifled an unstoppable shot beyond the dive of Italian goalkeeper Enrico Albertosi.

It took Brazil another 24 years to win a fourth World Cup and by the time the 2026 tournament comes around it will have been the same amount of time since they last lifted the trophy in 2002.

1998 - Ronaldo mystery

Brazilian forward Ronaldo was considered the best player in the world heading into the 1998 World Cup final with France in Paris so it was a major shock when he was not included in the starting XI when the teamsheets were submitted some 72 minutes before kick-off.

However, within 30 minutes the sheet had been amended and Ronaldo was named, but he was little more than a bystander as Brazil slumped to a 3-0 defeat at the Stade de France.

It later emerged that Ronaldo had suffered a seizure on the day of the final and spent time in hospital prior to kick-off.

Injuries would then blight the forward's career for several years after the 1998 final, but he received his moment of redemption at the 2002 World Cup, as he scored both goals in the final to help Brazil beat Germany 2-0 and claim their fifth world title.

2006 - Zidane using and losing his head

Ronaldo's struggles during the 1998 final enabled another legend to step up to the plate, as French playmaker Zinedine Zidane struck twice to seal his country's first World Cup success.

Fast forward eight years to the 2006 World Cup and Zidane, who was to retire from professional football after the finals, was once again inspiring France to the showpiece game.

The former Real Madrid star even opened the scoring with a characteristically impudent penalty during the final against Italy, but Marco Materazzi soon levelled for the Azzurri, thus sending the match to extra time.

It was during extra time that Zidane became involved in a verbal exchange with Materazzi that escalated into the France captain head-butting his opponent in the chest.

Referee Horacio Elizondo had no option but to send Zidane off and despite France taking the game to penalties, it was Italy that prevailed, meaning one of the greatest players of his generation ended his career in ignominious fashion on the grandest stage of them all.

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