While all matches have their pros and cons and the game itself is a spectacle to watch, some football games just stand out. These are games where teams match each other tackle to tackle and shot to shot. The best occassions have often come in World Cup games or UEFA Champions League nights. We rank the 10 games that were too difficult to forget.
10. Liverpool v Chelsea 4-4, 2008-09 UEFA Champions League Quarterfinals 2nd Leg
A classic contest between two English sides on a European night. Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benitez’s Chelsea and Liverpool had played out a number of stalemates before but this one went right to the wire with braces from Dirk Kuyt and Frank Lampard in the dying minutes of the game. The match finished 7-5 on aggregate.
9. Liverpool v Alaves 5-4, 2001 UEFA Cup Final
It wasn’t a game that was supposed to go down the wire, but it did. Liverpool won the UEFA Cup Final of 2001 thanks to a Golden Goal from Gary McAllaister after Alaves had matched step to step with the Anfield outfit to make it 4-4 with two men sent off.
8. France v Portugal 2-1, 2000 UEFA Euro Championships SemiFinal
On a spongy night in Brussels, Zidane’s France locked horns with Figo’s Portugal in a memorable contest that ultimately went France’s way thanks to a late penalty awarded after brilliant goalkeeping from Barthez throughout the match. Zidane converted from the spot to take France to the Final.
7. England v Brazil 0-1, 1970 World Cup Group Stage Round-robin
England and Brazil had the best teams at the time, while Bobby Charlton, Craig Lee and Gordon Banks pulled on the Three Lions, Pele featured for the Brazillians, well into his prime. The match featured Greatest Save Ever from Banks to deny Pele. Brazil scored the single goal of the match thanks to Jairzinho off a Pele assisst.
6. West Germany v Hungary 3-2, 1954 World Cup Final
West Germany and Hungary played the 1954 World Cup Final, a crazy affair where fans saw 3 goals in the first 10 minutes and 4 in the first 10. The match ended in regulation time with the Germans getting one more to make it 3-2. Puskas opened the scoring for Hungary and Czibor made it 2-0 for the Hungarians in the 8th minute. The rest of the match was a German show.
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5. Liverpool v AC Milan 3-3(3-2), 2005 UEFA Champions League Final
Liverpool were featuring in a European Final after 20 years and had their hopes cut in half in 50 seconds as they conceeded to a Pirlo freekick scored by Paolo Maldini. Hernan Crespo made it 2-0 and then 3-0. Liverpool almost were in tatters as Gerrard started the comback with a wonderful header, Smicer got a second and Alonso finally made it 3-3 on a dramatic night in Instanbul.
4. Argentina v England 2-1, 1986 World Cup Quarterfinals
This one was a Diego Maradona show as first he scored the controversial Hand of God goal and then followed it up with the goal of his career as he dribbled past six English defenders, at pace and found the back of the net. England could only score one back put were put out in awe of eventual champions Argentina.
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3. Manchester United v Bayern Munich 2-1, 1999 UEFA Champions League Final
The final piece in United’s treble campaign of 1999, the Final of the Champions League at Camp Nou had the scoreline in Bayern’s favour for most of the night before Teddy Sheringham pumped one in the 88th minute and Ole Gunner Solskjaer won it for the Red Devils in extra time from a David Beckham corner.
2. Italy v Brazil 3-3, 1997 France Tournament
The 1997 France tournament was an exhibition featuring Brazil, France, Italy and England. The game between Italy and Brazil was a topsy-turvy ride as Italy came out firing, scoring very early through Juve striker Alessandro Del Piero. The Brazillian pair of Ronaldo and Romario had to score in the dying minutes for Brazil to save face.
1. Italy v West Germany 4-3, 1970 World Cup SemiFinal
Arch-rivals Italy and West Germany locked horns in the Semis of the 1970 World Cup that resulted in being a true spectacle. The Italians scored really early through Roberto Boninsegna and then the match was swinging this way or the other throughout as the teams traded blows. The “Game of the Century” had the Kaiser Franz Bekenbauer dislocating a shoulder but he played the entire game with a sling on.