Johannesburg - We have seen goals, we have seen controversies and we have seen records being broken. But what have been the outstanding moments of Brazil’s World Cup?
The Saturday Star has compiled a list of the most-talked-about moments in Brazil over the past month.
1 Brazil suffered their worst defeat in World Cup history on Tuesday night when they went down 7-1 to Germany at the semi-final stage of the soccer spectacle. The Brazilians, skippered by David Luiz, conceded four goals in a six-minute spell. Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari described the defeat in Belo Horizonte as “the worst” in the history of the Brazil team.
2 Uruguay striker Luis Suarez was the centre of controversy at this year’s World Cup after he bit Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during their quarter-final match. Suarez nibbled on Chiellini’s shoulder, but was not sent off as the referee had not seen the incident. However, after a review by Fifa, Suarez was banned for nine games for Uruguay and suspended from all soccer activity for four months.
3 Netherlands produced arguably the best performance of the group stages of the World Cup. The Dutch dismantled Spain in their opening game of the World Cup, defeating them 5-1. Dutch striker Robin van Persie scored one of the best goals of the tournament with a flying header.
4 US striker Clint Dempsey scored the fastest goal of the World Cup against Ghana in their group-stage game. Dempsey’s was the fifth-fastest to be scored in World Cup history. The US went on to defeat Ghana.
5 Cameroon star Benoit Assou-Ekotto caused a moment of controversy during their group-stage clash against Croatia when he head-butted his teammate, Benjamin Moukandjo. The two players had to be separated after rutting heads. The African team ended up losing 4-0 and crashed out of the World Cup.
6 Colombia striker James Rodriguez produced sublime performances in each of Colombia’s games and finished the tournament with six goals. Rodriguez scored a spectacular goal against Uruguay in the 28th minute.
7 Germany striker Miroslav Klose set a new all-time World Cup-scoring record. The 36-year-old matched Brazil’s Ronaldo’s record of 15 goals when he scored against Ghana in the group stage and claimed the record when he scored in the 23rd minute against Brazil.
8 Colombia defender Juan Zuniga fell victim to vile abuse from hundreds of thousands of fans at the World Cup after his rash challenge on Brazil star Neymar. The defender crashed into the forward from behind, kneeing him in the back, in a clash which broke the 22-year-old’s third vertebra.
9 Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal was hailed as a tactical genius after his team’s victory over Costa Rica in their quarter-final match. Van Gaal withdrew Jasper Cillessen in the 120th minute in favour of the taller Tim Krul, who made two saves in the penalty shoot-out to help the Dutch reach the semi-finals.
10 Colombia goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon became the oldest player to play in a World Cup. At 43 years and three days old, Mondragon surpassed Cameroon’s Roger Milla.