The World Cup has provided countless jaw-dropping moments of nuttiness, but if we went to those Lego guys and asked them to recreate ‘countless’ amounts of them, they’d just laugh at us and stare back blankly.
Instead, we asked them to recreate the Top 10 Nuttiest Moments in the history of the World Cup and that went much better – far less blank stares. You’ve probably seen most of them before, but not like this – in all their chunky Lego glory.
The phrase ‘SuperFantasticGloriousMagnifagorical’ is thrown around far too often these days, but in this case, it may well be perfectly accurate. Enjoy.
Nutty Moments 6 – 10
#10 Diana Ross’s shocking penalty
Happened at the opening ceremony of the 1994 World Cup in the US of A. The lamest penalty we’ve seen since one of UEFA’s anti-racism fines.
#9 Zaire’s aggressive approach to defending a free-kick
Against Brazil in the 1974, Zaire provided one of the most bizarre moments in the history of the World Cup. Mwepu Illunga was his name and he tried to save face by claiming he did it to get sent off in protest at Zaire’s government. He didn’t manage to get sent off and in 2013, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) was ranked the 154th least corrupt country in the world. Fair to say it wasn’t a resounding success.
#8 Toni Schumacher tries to kill Patrick Battiston
32 years on and still stomach-churning to watch. Michel Platini later confessed he thought Battiston was dead. In actual fact, the only thing that died was Platini’s sense of shame when he became UEFA President. Schumacher was later voted the second least popular man France – a notable achievement considering how much the French hate virtually everyone whose not French.
#7 The drugs do work (briefly)
After a troubled few years that involved snorting his way around Naples and subsequent ban, Diego Maradona looked like he was in the middle of an astonishing comeback when he provided a cracking finish to a nice Argentina goal against Greece. His ridiculous reaction hinted something wasn’t right and a couple of days later a failed drug test saw him sent home in disgrace.
#6 THAT Gordon Banks save v Pele
This is nutty purely for it’s physics defying implausibility rather than mediocrity or insanity. Banks pulls of one of the all-time great saves in a 1970 group game against the Samba Boys. Pele later called it “unbelievable” but he also later named El Hadji Diouf as one of the 125 Best Living Players in the World, so his judgement isn’t also watertight.
Nutty Moments 1 – 5
#5 Berkgamp’s complete control
Over the course of his 11 years at Arsenal, Dennis Bergkamp’s incredible mastery over ball control became routine, but at the time, his goal against Argentina was a superb novelty. He went on to be a sensation at Highbury, somehow managing to fend off the challenge of Francis Jeffers to keep his place in the team.
#4 The cheat of Mexico
The year is 1986 and the fallout from the Falklands War is still raw. Particularly for Argentina who got a military bitchslap for their invasion of British territory. That’s the context usually given to justify Diego Maradona’s desire to win and hyper-cheating, but ‘he’s a bit of a dickhead’ may explain it just as well.
#3 England’s ghost goal
There’s no blame attached to Geoff Hurst for his part in England getting the goal that basically won them the 1966 World Cup, but nearly 50 years later, we’ve yet to see conclusive proof the ball actually crossed the line and it ranks up there as one of the game’s nuttiest moments. Still, there’s a replica of the Jules Rimet trophy somewhere in the FA’s offices – what more proof do you need?
#2 England get a dose of Karma
It wasn’t a World Cup Final, but Germany got a degree of retribution in 2010. Frank Lampard struck from about 20 yards out and the ball bounce a good two yards over the line. How in god’s name it wasn’t given as a goal is still astonishing. Mind you, how a near 40 year old David James was the best goalkeeper available to England at the time is equally puzzling.
#1 Zidane butts out
What a way to go out. Yes, he may have disgraced himself and thrown away France’s chance of winning a second World Cup in eight years, but he also nutted Marco Materazzi and made possibly the coolest exit in the history of football.