A shattered dream, the end of an era and two great goalkeepers

The past #WorldCupAtHome weekend began with the shattered dream of a host nation. We also experienced the end of a 20-year era and were able to watch two great goalkeepers at work.


Friday, April 24th  
2006 FIFA World Cup Germany, Germany – Italy 0:2 a.e.t. (Semi final) 
(Click here to watch the full match

Everyone was expecting a penalty shoot-out. But then the Italians struck. With his goal in the 119th minute Fabio Grosso opened the door to the Final of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. A minute later Alessandro Del Piero scored the second to secure the win. With these two goals, the Italians shattered Germany’s dream of winning the World Cup at home for a second time. The defeat also meant that Germany’s extraordinary run without a win against the Italians at the World Cup was extended to five matches (1962 0-0, 1970 3-4, 1978 0-0, 1982 1-3, 2006 0-2). Four days later, the German team beat Portugal 3-1 to finish third, while Italy defeated France in the Final to become world champions for the fourth time. For Alessandro Del Piero it had been a childhood dream of his to hold the trophy in his hands. But for him the Final didn’t match the drama of the semi-final. "The most exciting game was the semi-final" he stated. Del Piero's jersey from the tournament is in our collection.


Saturday, April 25th 
1998 FIFA World Cup France, Argentina - England 2:2 (4:3 a. p.) (Round of 16) 
(Click here to watch the full match

Games between Argentina and England are rarely boring. Who can forget Maradona’s "Hand of God" in the quarter-final between the two at the 1986 World Cup? The round of 16 encounter at the 1998 World Cup in France was just as epic, packed with great goals and drama. Four goals in the first half, a red card for David Beckham, an England goal disallowed just before the end and finally the penalty shootout. Lots of action for the official World Cup ball. The Adidas Tricolore already caused excitement at its presentation, because it was the first World Cup ball with the tango design that was not black and white, but colourful. The well-known tango design used since the World Cup in 1978 was applied in the colours of the host nation France: blue, white and red. In tribute to the hosts the Gallic rooster, the French national symbol, was also incorporated into the design. The Adidas Tricolore was not only the first colourful World Cup ball, it also marked the end of an era. It was the last World Cup ball to feature the tango design. Four years later for the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan, adidas completely redesigned the ball and the tango design was history. Of course, you can take a closer look at all the official World Cup balls at the FIFA Museum.


Sunday, April 26th  
2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan, Germany – Brazil 0:2 (Final) 
(Click here to watch the full match

The big star of the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan was undoubtedly Ronaldo. His eight goals went a long way to securing a fifth World Cup for Brazil, but he didn’t win the Golden Ball as the player of the tournament. Instead that honour went to the German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn, who with a series of outstanding performances, had helped ensure his team made it all the way to the Final, something few had predicted. Prior to the match, Kahn had conceded just the one goal in six games and it wasn’t until the second half that he was beaten in the Final. Uncharacteristically he wasn’t able to hold on to a shot from Rivaldo. The ball bounced off him and landed at the feet of Ronaldo, who had no trouble putting it into the net for Brazil. This knocked the fight out of the German team who had been Brazil’s equals up until that point and just 12 minutes later Ronaldo added a second to make sure of the victory. The picture of a disappointed Oliver Kahn, leaning against his goalpost after the final whistle, became one of the iconic images of the tournament. Kahn was the first and only goalkeeper to be honoured as the player of the tournament, and the first and only German to win the award. That makes us all the prouder to have his goalkeeper gloves from the 2002 World Cup in our collection.


Monday, April 27th   
FIFA Women’s World Cup China 2007, Germany – Brazil 2:0 (Final) 
(Click here to watch the full match)

The last game of the past #WorldCupAtHome weekend was again a World Cup Final between Germany and Brazil. And again it ended 2-0, but this time for Germany. And also in this game, the German number one played an important role. Goalkeeper Nadine Angerer was the first goalkeeper (female or male) to win a World Cup without conceding a single goal. In the Final she even saved a penalty from Brazilian superstar and tournament top-scorer Marta, setting the record of unbeaten consecutive minutes of play at a World Cup to 540 minutes. Like Oliver Kahn five years earlier, Marta had to settle for the Golden Ball (alongside also taking home the Golden Shoe) instead of hoisting the World Cup trophy into the sky. It was the second World Cup Final the Brazilians had lost and they have not been back since. Germany, on the other hand, became the first women's national team to successfully defend their World Cup title. That makes the gold winner’s medal from this World Cup, which is in our collection, even more special than it already is.