THE GREATEST UPSETS IN THE FOOTBALL MAJOR TOURNAMENTS

In the games of the World Cup and European Cup they are several upset that happens that shocked the football world. Today we will look at the several upsets that had happen in the World Cup and European Cup and decided on which is the greatest upsets in the history of football all the time. The greatest upsets win that so shocking that it rocked the football world and created an unbelievable headline at that time and without any referee mistakes or one off performance.

We start off in the 1950 World Cup where England were defeated by the then amateur team USA. England were one of the big powerhouse at that time and this defeat were misinterpreted as misprint or mistype by the press in England at that time. They think that the score line is 10-0 instead of 1-0. But this only a one off games as the USA had only this win in that tournament. The next upset is so great that even a film had been made on this match called as Miracle of Bern. The upset happens in 1954 World Cup when the West Germany had beaten  The Magical Magyar team of Hungary whom until the defeat had not been defeated in 39 games and recorded several wins including the famous 6-3 thrashing of England in Wembley where they become the first foreign team to beat England in Wembley , 7-1 thrashing of England in Budapest, 8-3 thrashing of the West Germany in the group stages and beating the defending champion Uruguay 4-2 in the semi-final before collapsing in the final stages. In this games Ferenc Puskas the Hungary talisman was not fully fit and the referee had wrongly disallowed the 3rd Puskas goal for offside. So the referee decision and injured player had been a decisive in this games. If Ferenc Puskas had been fully fit and the referee does not disallow the 3rd goal things Hungary may had won the World Cup at that time.

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England beaten by US in 1950

The next biggest upset happen 28 years later when an African team Algeria beating the reigning European Champion the West Germany in the group stages in 1982 World Cup by a result of 2-1 but were eliminated in a controversial circumstance in that year World Cup. The tournament rules loop holes had been used by the West Germany team and Austria team to eliminate the Algerian team. Since this tournament ,FIFA and UEFA had decided that all the last games in the group stages will be played simultaneously. Another upset happens when Cameroon beat the defending champion Argentina 1-0 in the opening games of 1990 World Cup. With this win Cameroon had gained a momentum and became the first African team to play in the quarter final of the World Cup in 1990 against England where 2 penalties from Gary Lineker had knocked team out. Cameroon will also helped by a good  luck where Diego Armando Maradona was not fully fit in this World Cup, the Argentinian goalkeeping error and in the second round if not the crazy play by the Colombian goalkeeper Rene Higuita maybe Cameroon will not have scored in second round and in the quarter final England need 2 penalties from the referee to eliminate them. So a good luck, goalkeeping error and referee decision had been decisive in their run.

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Algeria shocking the West Germany team in 1982

In 1994 another upset happen when the defending champion German was knocked out by the talented Bulgarian side with Hristo Stoichkov in it. However, this can’t be considered an upset as the Bulgarian team in the 1994 is one of the best Bulgarian side that ever played in the World Cup. But a win against the German side is considered to be one of the best performance for the Bulgarian side and they are able to beat any team in the world at that time. The German team again had been beaten by a minnow in the 1998 World Cup when they had been beaten severely by the Croatian whom making their debut in World Cup with a score line of 3-0. However, this Croation side is some with the Bulgarian with some talented players like the evergreen striker Davod Sukers and the German had been down 10 men’s when Jens Jeremies had been sent off. When the team is a goal down and with a man down and need to chase team a flattering score line can happen and that is the thing that happen in this games.

In 2002 World Cup that held in the Asia for the first time Senegal and South Korea had make an upset. Where Senegal had beaten the defending champion France in the opening games and using the momentum to progress to the quarter final equalling Cameroon run in the 1990, South Korea had progressed further to the semi-final and on the way they had knocked out the Italy via a golden goal and defeating the Spanish team via a penalty shootout in the quarter final. The Senegal games against France with Zidane is injured and France over confidence let them beaten and were knocked out in the first round itself while some controversial referee decision had been seen in the South Korea games and with the golden goal any team can eliminate anyone via scoring first in the extra time and in the penalty shootout is basically a lottery type of games. Due to this FIFA had decided to abolished the golden goal rules.

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Senegal beating the defeating the defending champion Senegal in 2002

So which is the biggest football upset. The upset must be without any bad referee decision, not a one off and team progressed further and making a statement. In this case the biggest football upset in any major tournament is belong to Greece when they had won the European Cup in 2004.What Greece did in the Euro 2004 was a miracle in football.

Greece first major tournament that they had qualified is the Euro 1980 where they had not win any matches and only drew once to get their first major point in a tournament. The next tournament that they had qualified is the World Cup 1994 where it is a dismal performance when they had lost all their 3 games in the groups stages and did not earn any point. Then when the qualified to the Euro 2004 they were drawn with the host Portugal , Spain and Russia. They shocked the football world when they had beaten the host Portugal in the first game and earn their first major point in the tournaments. Then they drew with Spain 1-1 and lost to Russia in the last games but still qualified as the runner ups of the groups.

In the knockout stages they created another shock where they had defeated the defending European Champion at that time France with 1-0 score line. In the semi-final they had meet the team of the tournament the Czech Republic and won 1-0 in extra time with a silver goal. Then in the final against Portugal again they had defeated the host again and given a major blow for the Portuguese quest for the first title. In the end they had won the European Champion when nobody had given hope for them even in the final.

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Greece winning the Euro 2004

Greece win can be considered as the greatest upset in the football world because they had won the tournament with the opponent playing at the full strength, no major refereeing error and going all the way to conquer the tournaments. This achievement will not be able to matched by any team until now in a major tournament. The downside of the Greece victory is they had played a defensive man to man marking football in whole tournament but this victory can be considered as the one of the greatest achievement for any minnow team in a major tournament.

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