A videogame dance, a confident substitute, a pair of boots and a figurine of an Italian superstar

This weekend’s #WorldCupAtHome matches took us back as far as the 90s, where we witnessed one of the all-time-greats of the game hit the net twice. We also saw a more recent Fortnite goal celebration, the continuation of a terrible curse and the last Golden Goal in a FIFA tournament.


Friday, April 10th
FIFA World Cup USA 1994, Nigeria vs Italy 1:2 (a.e.t) (Round of 16)
(Click here to watch the full match)

Italy entered the FIFA World Cup USA 1994 as one of the favorites. Their star player was playmaker Roberto Baggio, who in the previous year was named FIFA Player of the Year and won the Ballon d’Or. At the FIFA Museum, we have a Forza Campioni figurine of him in our collection (mint condition in its original packaging). Surprisingly, Baggio and his teammates struggled in the group stage and were lucky to advance to the round of 16. After the group stage, they were ranked at the bottom of the four best third-place teams. Nigeria on the other hand, were able to top their group. Not bad for a World Cup debut. Nevertheless, when the two teams met in the round of 16, Italy was still favored to win. But it was Nigeria who opened the score in the first half. And they almost went all the way. With just one minute to go Baggio managed to equalize the game with his first goal of the tournament. Again, in the 11th minute of extra time it was Baggio, who secured Italy’s advance to the quarter final by converting a penalty. Having narrowly avoided elimination, Baggio finally found his form and led his team into the Final, by scoring three out of the four goals for Italy in the quarter final and semifinal. After taking the role of triumphant hero in the first three knock-out games, in the Final Baggio became the tragic hero when he missed the deciding shot for Italy in the penalty shoot-out. His unfortunate miss meant that Brazil lifted the trophy for a record fourth time. Baggio was awarded the Silver Ball as second-best player of the tournament and made the All-Star Team that year. He never came closer to winning a World Cup title than in the summer of ‘94, but he still holds the record as the only Italian to score in three different World Cups (’90, ’94 & ’98).


Saturday, April 11th
FIFA World Cup Russia 2018, France vs Argentina 4:3, (Round of 16)
(Click here to watch the full match)

France and Argentina’s face-off in the round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup in Russia featured many highlights. It was the first World Cup match in history to end with a 4-3 score line without extra time. French defender Benjamin Pavard scored his first and to date only international goal, which later won the vote for goal of the tournament. His coach, Didier Deschamps, became the longest-serving coach in the history of the French national team, making his 80th appearance at that match. And then there was Antoine Griezmann. After scoring the opening goal he celebrated with a dance move from popular video game Fortnite called Take the L. It wasn’t the first time that Griezmann took the L after scoring and he isn’t the only player to celebrate a goal with a video game move. But he definitely had the biggest audience at this World Cup match. His short-sleeved shirt which was prepared for the game is now in our collection. Griezmann went on to score two more goals, which earned him the Silver Boot, and won the title with France after an exciting final where he was named Man of the match.


Sunday, April 12th
FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014, Netherlands vs Mexico 2:1 (Round of 16)
(Click here to watch the full match)

When the Netherlands’ Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was substituted in in the 76th minute of the round of 16 match at the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014, Mexico was leading 1-0. In this moment, it seemed like the Mexicans would be able to achieve something that they hadn’t since hosting the World Cup in 1986r which was reaching the quarter final. But Huntelaar had other plans. First, he gave the assist for Wesley Sneijder’s equalizer in the 88th minute. A couple of minutes later, when everybody was expecting the game to go to extra time, Huntelaar scored the winning goal by converting a penalty. Fun fact: Huntelaar offered to replace dedicated penalty shooter Arjen Robben to take the penalty, because he felt very confident given his performance after coming off the bench. Huntelaar’s shirt from the match is now part of our collection at the FIFA Museum. Mexico’s loss upheld their unlucky series of eliminations in the round of 16. A curse which started at the 1994 World Cup and still continues today, after Mexico also lost the round of 16 match for the seventh time in a row at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The 2014 tournament also happened to be the first FIFA World Cup since 1986, when the round of 16 was introduced, that winners of all eight groups made it to the quarter-finals.


Monday, April 13th
FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003, Germany vs Sweden 1:0 (Golden Goal in e.t.) (Final)
(Click here to watch the full match)

Germany’s Nia Künzer needed less time than Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to have an even bigger effect. She came on as a sub in the 88th minute of the Final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003 between Germany and Sweden. The score was 1-1 and a couple of minutes later the game went into extra-time. Back then, the Golden Goal rule was still active, meaning that every goal scored would end the game immediately in favor of the scoring team. With only eight minutes played in extra-time Nia Künzer headed a free-kick by Renate Lingor past Sweden’s keeper to score the last Golden Goal ever in a FIFA tournament. This goal consequently ended the game and secured the first Women’s World Cup title for Germany. A title the Germans would successfully defend four years later in China. 2003 was also a landmark tournament, as it was the first World Cup to have a female coach win the title. Künzer’s golden goal also became the very first women's goal to be awarded the German "Goal of the Year”. Even though she scored the goal with her head, we are very proud to have the boots she wore in the Final in our collection.


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