sport

11 moments that shook the World Cup

By Euan McKirdy, with illustrations by Gianluca Costantini

Published June 14, 2018

Russia 2018 will be the 21st World Cup. The preceding 20 tournaments have thrown up a host of dramatic and controversial moments. CNN Sport picks out 11 of them that have entered into the realm of legend.

Geoff Hurst's 1966 goal

Running onto a cross, England's Geoff Hurst controlled the ball and shot high, hitting the crossbar. The ball went straight down, making it virtually impossible to see if it crossed the line.

STAFF/AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Pelé's wild 1970 celebration

Pelé leaped for a long cross, and seemed to hang in front of the goal before scoring. He spun around in joy, grinning broadly, before his teammates came to give him a bear hug. Brazil won the tournament that year.

STAFF/AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Cruyff makes magic in 1974

Johan Cruyff, the mercurial Dutchman, faked out his opponent, dragging the ball behind his standing leg and pirouetting away from the defender and toward the goal. He astonished everyone watching.

AFP/Getty Images

Schumacher's 1982 foul on Battiston

The World Cup can give us moments of sublime beauty, but it has plenty of capacity for ugliness, too. One of these less lauded moments came in the 1982 semifinal between France and West Germany -- a game that will forever be remembered for the jarring moment when French substitute Patrick Battiston was floored by German goalkeeper Harald Schumacher.

STAFF/AFP/AFP/Getty Images

El Diego's 1986 'Hand of God' -- and the goal of the century

Even people who know nothing about soccer know about the "Hand of God" incident. Maradona made one of the most controversial goals ever seen in the sport -- and a few minutes later, one of the most beautiful.

Getty / Gianluca Costantini

Roger Milla's 1990 celebration

Milla's four goals for Cameroon -- and his stylish, hip-swinging celebrations -- injected class and humor into the competition.

STAFF/AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Ecobar's fateful 1994 own goal

Colombian Andrés Escobar accidentally made a goal in the other team's net while playing defense. The mistake led to his country's elimination from the tournament and, ultimately, his murder. The killing was linked to drug lords who had suffered gambling losses because of Colombia's early exit from the tournament.

STAFF/AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Bergkamp's 1998 moment of genius

Dutch master Dennis Bergkamp receives a long pass, stops the ball dead, transferring it to his left foot as he twists past a defender. His next touch, again with his right boot, flicks it past the goalkeeper; three perfect touches to take the ball from a speculative punt upfield to what remains one of the ultimate moments of skill ever displayed in a World Cup.

STAFF/AFP/AFP/Getty Images

2006 Coup de Boule

French soccer hero Zinedine Zidane, unquestionably the player of his generation, shocked the world in his very final match when he rammed an Italian opponent squarely in the chest with his head.

STAFF/AFP/AFP/Getty Images

2010 Suárez handball

Another infamous handball entered World Cup lore as Uruguayan star Luis Suárez found himself face to face with an almost-certain goal headed by a Ghanaian player. So what did the striker do? He instinctively stuck out a hand, swatting the ball away.

STAFF/AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Brazil's 2014 collapse

A punch-drunk Brazil were an incredible 5-0 down after 30 minutes, and unable even really to comprehend what was happening as the sixth and seventh went in. The damage -- to the team, and the nation's psyche -- was complete.

STAFF/AFP/AFP/Getty Images