Major tournaments - most to least favourite

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Major tournaments - most to least favourite

Post by stillmanjunior on Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:58 pm

Include the ones you watched only, or just limit to WC if you like. I was only going to do World Cups but only have five, not including this one, to choose from. I remember bits and pieces of USA 94 but probably only saw about half an hour of it. Weirdly one of my first football memories was a game where the goal net broke and they had to bring in another set. Not seen that happen since.

I've gone for favourite at the top, least at the bottom, with a couple of explanations:
WC Brazil 2014 - slightly personal reasons. Loved football back-to-back straight after work. Some cracking group matches and a semi-final which was beyond bizarre. Shame the final was a let down.
WC Germany 2006 - the infamous Battle of Nuremberg, Germany playing entertaining football, England actually winning a knock-out game.
Euros Poland/Ukraine 2012 - watched every minute. Spain were fantastic. And the end of a brilliant 16-team format.
WC South Korea/Japan 2002 - clashed with my GCSEs, was nearly late for my first exam as was engrossed in opening game shock which set the tone for the tournament. The only time I've ever thought England might actually win it.
Euros Austria/Switzerland 2008 - some great games (recall Holland dismantling France), start of Spain's dominance, free of updates from the England camp.
WC France 1998 - pretty good. We had our school trip to France straight after it started, bumped into some drunken Scots on the ferry home, unaware of their upcoming barren spell from qualifying.
Euros England 1996 - yes, England reached the semis, but their dazzling win over Holland and engrossing semi-final are the only games I fondly remember. Won with a farcical Golden Goal.
Euros Holland/Belgium 2000 - just can't remember much. England flopped, think there was a classic group game between Spain and Yugoslavia, but nothing else stands out.
WC South Africa 2010 - the vuvuzelas would have only been great had they drowned out Lawrenson. A few memorable moments but the final was appalling.
Euros Portugal 2004 - Greece's workmanlike victory reminds me of the entry below. Other than Czech's classic 3-2 success over Holland it's another tournament I seemed to lose interest in. Probably because of those damn penalties.
Euros France 2016 - awful, and not because of England's exit (see what I ranked first). A 24-team format just doesn't work and resulted in poor football, with a rather unimpressive Portugal side winning it. I know the Welsh will fairly look back at it differently, but I seldom miss semi-finals of any big tournaments. I went to Chipping Sodbury rather than see the Wales game, and don't remember watching France v Germany either.

Weird how World Cups stand out in my mind a lot more. Obviously it's a more prestigious tournament but still.
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Re: Major tournaments - most to least favourite

Post by BenE on Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:56 am

I'm afraid for me they only fade into a nothingness apart from (1) 1966 which was the first football I ever watched and Bobby Charlton became my all time hero.
(6)1974 and Johann Cruff, (4) 1988 and a fabulous Holland side, (2)1990 with Chris Waddle and Terry Butcher dancing on the pitch, (3) 1996 and the Gazza Goal, (5) 2012 and Spain at their very best.

A lot have been marred by the British Media.
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Re: Major tournaments - most to least favourite

Post by comrade powell on Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:58 am

1970 - by a country mile - the classic tournament often only remembered for its final goal when a superb Brazil put on an exhibition against an Italian team exhausted from their semi final. That game against West Germany was probably the best WC match I've seen and labelled by Fifa as the 'insane game of the century'. If you don't know what happened, watch it on Youtube. Earlier the world champions England had been eliminated in another brilliant match by West Germany - I remember going up to Victoria Park after the game and everyone was walking around stunned that our reign was over. The group game between Brazil and England was Bobby Moore's finest in my opinion and is also remembered for that save. And as a footnote, a group match between Peru and Bulgaria, featuring an incredible fight back.

1966 - again remembered for England's success and the wonderful and controversial final. England's group stage featured the worst games, the best being Gp 3 which featured the world champions Brazil. It's remembered for the Bulgarians kicking Pele out of the tournament but the holders' defeats to Portugal and Hungary were both classics. The 4th group featured the elimination of the fancied Italians by North Korea who proceeded to be knocked out by Eusebio in another sensational comeback in the quarters.

For me, other tournaments have had their highlights but none come anywhere near those two for the number of memorable games.

1978 - Argentina 2-1 France - a repeat of that masterpiece this afternoon please! With England again failing to qualify the media, especially the dreadful ITV panel expected us all to support the Scots whose manager seriously expected them to win the cup. How we laughed when they were played off the park by Peru before saving face in the Holland match.

Other memories..
The Beckham red card which changed the course of that match with Argentina - it was promising to be another classic before his idiotic mistake.
Schumaker's assault on Battiston
Watching England get thrashed by Germany in South Africa in a marquee at Glasto with Lord Bear (remember him?) - we were the only ones still watching at the end.
The media going into overdrive over Gascoigne in 1990

Frankly I find it difficult to rank tournaments, although those first two are definitely my favourites. Here's TalkSport's list...

https://talksport.com/football/293524/every-world-cup-finals-tournament-ranked-worst-first-1930-2014-171006257278/

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Re: Major tournaments - most to least favourite

Post by comrade powell on Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:11 pm

BenE wrote:A lot have been marred by the British Media.

100% agree. You can't expect any better from the usual suspects - ITV, right wing press etc - but even some of the less jingoistic platforms just can't keep things in perspective. Normally Radio 5's football coverage is pretty good and tucked away in some of the late evening slots there have been some good, informative discussions with knowledgeable journalists from around the world. I'm a big fan of its breakfast programme hosted by Nicky Campbell and Rachel Burden - but she is presently out in Russia and has been transformed into a flag waving, ultra patriot who is helping to build up the usual over expectation of England's prospects.

But I'm looking forward to Chris Waddle's traditional rant about the state of the game in England when our glorious run comes to an end!
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Re: Major tournaments - most to least favourite

Post by comrade powell on Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:25 pm

How could I forget my funniest WC memory...

Brazil 1-7 Germany Very Happy
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Re: Major tournaments - most to least favourite

Post by stillmanjunior on Sat Jun 30, 2018 4:57 pm

comrade powell wrote:1978 - Argentina 2-1 France - a repeat of that masterpiece this afternoon please!

Wish granted.
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Re: Major tournaments - most to least favourite

Post by comrade powell on Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:27 pm

Yes it was good but didn't have the quality of the 78 game. TBH I enjoyed this evening's game more. Superb performance by Uruguay who are deservedly many people's dark horses for the title. Some cracking goals in the two matches - the other six games will do very well to match these.
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Re: Major tournaments - most to least favourite

Post by stillmanjunior on Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:39 pm

I missed all three goals for various reasons in the second game.

Pavard’s goal for France is one of my favourites so far.
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