Ten memorable moments at the World Cup
By Andrew Cawthorne
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - From swashbuckling goals to inglorious exits, on-field shenanigans to sideline lunacy, the World Cup in Brazil has been one of the most remarkable of recent times.
Here are 10 picks from a host of memorable moments:
No. 1 - THE "MINEIRAZO"
This was the tournament where Brazil were supposed to shake off the historical scars of the 1950 "Maracanazo" when Uruguay defeated them 2-1 in Rio de Janeiro's famous stadium the last time they hosted the World Cup. Yet they never even made it to the Maracana this time, collapsing horribly to Germany 7-1 in the semi-final in Belo Horizonte's Mineirao stadium. It would be hard to pinpoint one pivotal moment as goal-after-goal flew past the imploding Brazilians. But it was perhaps when Toni Kroos's left-foot shot put the Germans 3-0 up in the 24th minute that the horror really set in for the capacity crowd and millions of Brazilians watching round the nation. Five goals went in during a 19-minute spell of the first half in Brazil's record World Cup defeat and their first loss at home in 64 competitive matches since 1975. The "Mineirazo" will haunt Brazil forever.
No. 2 - THE BITE
Uruguay striker Luis Suarez had been the two-goal hero of a 2-1 victory over England, but he turned villain in the next game against Italy by inexplicably biting defender Giorgio Chiellini towards the end. The Italians were still complaining when Uruguay scored from a corner to win 1-0 and reach the last 16. Suarez's joy at victory was short-lived, though, as his action touched off worldwide controversy and brought a nine-match ban from playing for Uruguay and four-month prohibition from football - the toughest sanction ever given at a World Cup. After initially clutching his teeth on the pitch as if he was the injured party, Suarez eventually apologized and Chiellini forgave him. The incident did not stop Suarez's 81 million euro ($111 million) move to Barcelona. Continued...