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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 June 2006, 09:27 GMT 10:27 UK
World Cup memories
Jonathan PearceAlan ShearerLeonardoIan WrightMark Lawrenson

From Nobby Stiles dancing on the Wembley turf, to Maradona's 'Hand of God' and Gazza's tears, the World Cup has produced countless memorable moments.

We asked Match of the Day's experts to pick out a few of their favourite World Cup memories.


Jonathan Pearce
Match of the Day commentator

What's your earliest memory of the World Cup?
Mexico 1970: getting the World Cup 1970 coin collection; getting up early to watch games on TV; Pele trying to score from the half-way line; Gordon Banks' save; Bobby Moore embracing Pele; crying when England lost to West Germany.

What is your favourite World Cup goal?
Geoff Hurst's final goal in the 1966 final. I never tire of seeing the defining moment in English football.

The goal, the occasion and the commentary were all an incredible conclusion.

What World Cup match do you consider the best?
England losing to West Germany in the 1990 semi-final - the game just gets better and better each time you see it.

It was my first World Cup finals as a commentator. I worked with Bobby Moore in Turin that night and that, plus Gazza's tears and Chris Waddle's penalty, made it an unforgettable night.


Alan Shearer
Match of the Day analyst

What's your earliest memory of the World Cup?
1982, and Italy striker Paolo Rossi. He scored a hat-trick against Brazil in the second round, then both goals in the semi-final against Poland.

He scored again in the final, which Italy won, to win the Golden Boot. That's when I knew I wanted to be a striker!

What is your favourite World Cup goal?
Well, I'm not sure I should describe it as my favourite goal, but Maradona's second goal against England at Mexico '86 was the best I've ever seen.

What World Cup match do you consider the best?
For obvious reasons, 1966. England's only World Cup win, and an iconic moment in our country's history.

It was also a brilliant game of football - Germany equalising in the last minute, Geoff Hurst's hat-trick. And yes, the ball did cross the line!


Leonardo
Match of the Day analyst

What's your earliest memory of the World Cup?
My first memory is an incredible goal scored by Nelinho, a Brazilian right-back, against Italy in the third-place match of the 1978 World Cup in Argentina.

I was eight years old, starting to understand what a World Cup means to my country.

What is your favourite World Cup goal?
Maradona's second goal against England in 1986 was more than a goal; it represents the essence of football, the unstoppable synergy between the player and the ball.

I would say it was the most beautiful goal ever.

What World Cup match do you consider the best?
Perhaps, because it is my first memory of a World Cup final, I'd say when Argentina beat Holland 3-1 in 1978.

It wasn't the most beautiful game but there was an unbelievable atmosphere in the Monumental de Nunez Stadium, Buenos Aires, and the passion and commitment shown by both sides made this game unforgettable for me.

It finished 1-1 after 90 minutes, and Argentina went on to score two goals in extra-time to win the World Cup for the first time. And it was all the more important given it was a very delicate period politically in Argentina at that time.


Ian Wright
Match of the Day analyst

What's your earliest memory of the World Cup?
Mexico 1970. The Brazil team of that World Cup was the best squad ever. Pele, Jairzinho, Carlos Alberto - that side was unbeatable.

They won every game, and thrashed Italy in probably the best final ever. I was six years old and would watch Brazil on the TV and then head outside to recreate the goals.

I was always Pele, of course!

What is your favourite World Cup goal?
It's from that same World Cup - Carlos Alberto against Italy in the final.

You know the one - Jairzinho to Pele, Pele rolls the ball to Carlos Alberto who blasts it home. That goal basically sums up Brazil and sums up why we all love football.

What World Cup match do you consider the best?
Italy v Brazil in 1982. What a game! Italy needed a win to reach the semi-finals, Brazil just needed a draw.

Brazil had a brilliant team that couldn't stop attacking. But Italy had Paolo Rossi. He had been banned for two years for match-fixing, but all that was forgotten when he scored a hat-trick and Italy won 3-2.

One of the greatest, most thrilling games of football ever.


Mark Lawrenson
Match of the Day co-commentator

What's your earliest memory of the World Cup?
1966, watching Korea at Ayresome Park. Pak Doo Ik, that's a name I will always remember.

No one knew anything about them, but they knocked out Italy in the group stage and then went 3-0 up against Portugal in the second round (but still lost!).

I also remember watching the final at my mate's house, Steven Dewhurst, in Preston. His dad had a telly so completely different from ours. I think it was colour.

And I remember when it was extra-time, we went outside to play and we missed England's third goal to make it 3-2 because we were out in the garden!

What is your favourite World Cup goal?
Maradona's second goal against England at Mexico '86. It was a great goal at the time, but Gary Lineker has said to me since that when you walked on that pitch it moved, because it had recently been re-layed.

So to be able to control it and run with it and beat about five players illustrates why he was the best player in the world.



WORLD CUP HISTORY
 

SEE ALSO
Classic World Cup goalscorers
30 May 06 |  World Cup 2006
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24 May 06 |  Photo Galleries
Classic World Cup matches
26 May 06 |  World Cup 2006
World Cup on BBC TV
19 May 06 |  BBC coverage


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