Unlike the Uefa Champion League where it will hold every year, the World Cup and European Competition will be held once in 4 years. A player maybe will be aged and knew that this will be their last chance to get their chance to lift this trophy and making themselves as immortal. Players like Pele, Gerd Muller, Diego Maradona, Fabio Cannavaro, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Marco Van Basten and many others had made themselves as one of the legends of the game with their one of kind performance in this competition. Ronaldo had achieved a legendary status in 2002 when he had lifted the World Cup by scoring 8 goals including 2 in the finals, Fabio Cannavaro had displayed a defensive masterclass when Italy had lifted the trophy in 2006, Marco Van Basten had risen to fame with his stunning volley in 1988 Euro final against USSR and many other great performances.
However, like in the UCL, they are some unexpected performance from an underdog team in this competition too and here is some of them.
Greece Euro Champion in 2004
Greece had qualified for the World Cup for the first time in USA 1994 and they do not have as Jose Mourinho will like to say a football heritage. They had progressed beyond than the group stages and was not one of the European football powerhouses. But Greece under their manager Otto Rehegal had stunned the world when they had defeated the host Portugal in the opening game of the Euro 2004 and continue their momentum by progressing to quarterfinal for the first time in their history. In the knockout stages where their momentum is expected to dry up, they again had shocked the football world they had overcome the odds by knocking out the defending champion France in the quarter-final, knocking out the favorites the Czech Republic in the semi-final and finally meeting the host again and beating them in the final to clinch their first major honors. It is a run that will never be emulated against by another underdog or minnow team.
South Korea in World Cup 2002.
Another team that had astonishing run in the World Cup were South Korea in 2002 where they co-hosted with Japan. South Korea even though had appeared in the World Cup for 4 consecutive tournaments starting from 1986, they had never progressed beyond the group stages but in 2002 World Cup under Guus Hiddink South Korea had makes some unexpected performance. First, they had progressed from the group stages for the first time while at some time knocking the Euro 2000 finalist Portugal. In the second round, with a golden goal from Ahn Jung Hwan they had eliminated Italy, and in the quarter-final, they also had eliminated Spain via a penalty shootout to become the first Asian team to appear in the World Cup semi-final but their run had been stopped by German when they had defeated them. But their performance and they’re a passionate supporter who turn the stadium red in color had given Asia team one of their great performance in the World Cup.
England vs Iceland at 2016 Euro Second Round
Iceland the tiny nation that had less citizen then some celebrities Twitter follower had put a good performance and progressed from the group stages from their first-ever appearance in a major competition. Waiting for them is England and surely England will be knocked out Iceland and progressing to the quarter-final as in the paper but in the field, England had been shocked to a 2-1 defeat which knocking team from the competition. This marks the first time that England had been knocked by minnows in any major competition since they famous defeat to the USA in 1950 World Cup.
Senegal in World Cup 2002
France were heavy favorites to win the tournament in 2002 where Zidane at his peak, Henry had established as one of the deadliest striker, Viera as the combative midfielder, and some of their players had been in the peak form too. Even when Zidane was injured, France is expected to defeat Senegal in their first game, but Senegal had shocked the defending champion to a 1-0 defeat like Cameroon defeating Diego Maradona Argentina in 1990. While Argentina had recovered and progressed to the final, France meanwhile had been crippled by this defeat and knocked out in the group stages. Senegal had progressed past the group stages, knocking out Sweden via a golden goal and before finally defeated by Turkey in the quarter-final stages via the golden goal. Senegal had produced a stunning performance in the World Cup since Cameron in 1990
Hungary vs West Germany 1954 final
Hungary the team that had embarrassed England in Wembley 6-3, defeating them again 7-1 in Budapest, beating West Germany 8-3, defeating the defending champion Uruguay 4-2 in semi-final and scoring 27 goals in these tournaments is considered as one of the greatest national team ever hence when Hungary and West Germany had met again in the final, Hungary is expected to be crowned as the world champion . In the first 10 minutes, thing going according to the script for Hungary as they had stormed to a 2-0 lead, but West Germany had equalized the scoreline before scoring the crucial 3rd goals that had led to Hungary demise and made West Germany as the world champion for the first time. A shocking result as the German is not the football powerhouse during those time.
Brazil vs Germany in 2014 World Cup Semi Final.
When both teams meet in the semi-final stages it was only their 2nd meeting in the World Cup. The first meeting happens in the final of World Cup 2002 where Brazil had been victorious but, in these game, the Maracanazo had been revisited. Brazil had clinched the World Cup 5 times, but they had never clinched it when they had hosted the tournament. With Neymar injured, Brazil is expected to struggle against the German and they did struggle. Struggling physically as they are unable to cope the well drilled German team and struggling emotionally for their player and fans as they had been defeated 7-1 in their own home ground. The defeat had been so severe that players like David Luis had broken down to tear when he had been interviewed and the passionate Brazilian unable to take the results too as they too broke down on a tear and had been devastated. This is the biggest scoreline in semi-final stages in the World Cup and the German had recorded their biggest win in the World Cup semi-final stages.
They are many unexpected results in the World Cup and Euro, but this game is the most unexpected. Big defeat, shocking defeat, and some great performance by the minnows are what makes the World Cup and European tournament memorable. Unlike UCL where the player and manager can try again next year, in the World Cup and Euro once they had defeated they need to wait another 4 years by the time the player will be aged or not in his prime anymore hence the player will put their once in a lifetime during these tournament in order to make themselves as immortal of the games but unfortunately an unexpected can derail all the hard work and this is one of the reason as why football is unpredictable and the most watched sports by people in the world.