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Top 10 most popular moments in football history

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Football is not just a game, it is also a source of joy, sorrow, and debate for all who follow and play it. Throughout its history, football has produced some moments which are good as well as bad. 

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There are 10 most popular moments in football history, some of which you may have experienced. Let’s get started.


10. Munich Air Disaster 1958 for Manchester United


Eight Manchester United players who were members of Busby Babes’ generation died along with members of the Manchester United staff, some journalists, and other passengers and crew when the plane crashed while trying to take off. 

After returning from an European Cup match (in Belgrade, Yugoslavia), the team eliminated Red Star Belgrade in order to advance to the competition’s semi-finals round. Matt Busby survived although he had some bad injuries and he established a new generation of “Babes” including talented players for the club. 

This new generation won the European Cup in 1968, ten years after the accident. The disaster is the Red devils’ unforgettable memory.

9. The 2005 UEFA Champions League Final


What a comeback. This match was held in Istanbul, Turkey on 25 May 2005. Milan was evaluated highly before the match and when the match began, the captain Paolo Maldini scored the first goal which helped Milan take the lead. 

After that, Milan striker Hernán Crespo scored two more goals before half-time which made Milan’s fans dream about the victory. But in the second half, Liverpool made a comeback and scored three goals in just six-minute to send neutrals the scores at 3–3, with goals from Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer, and Xabi Alonso. 

The scores were unchanged during extra time, and two teams went to a penalty shoot-out to decide who would lift the trophy. The score was 3–2 to Liverpool when Andriy Shevchenko’s penalty was saved by Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek. The rest is history.

8. Greece won Euro 2004 


The 2004 UEFA European Football Championship was full of surprises: Germany, Spain, and Italy were knocked out in the group stage, while the former champion 2000 France was disqualified in the quarter-finals by Greece. Greece versus Portugal in the final. 

Greece played the ugliest and most defensive football at the time while Portugal attacked inefficiently. At the end of the game, Greece defeated Portugal with a goal from Angelos Charisteas. Otto Rehhagel, the coach of Greece, became a hero of Greece.

7. Thierry Henry Handball 2009 Football History


This incident happened in the match between the Republic of Ireland and France in 2009 as part of the UEFA second round of qualification for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In the first half of extra-time in that match to determine a World Cup spot, Henry illegally handled the ball and passed it to William Gallas who scored the decisive goal. 

Henry, before the match, was seen by many people as a fair footballer, was described as cheating, and his action being compared to Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” goal, and TIME magazine comparing Henry’s handball to a top ten list of sporting cheats. Henry considered quitting international football because of the reactions to the game. 

The result led to the debate on the issue of fair play in football, and that’s why VAR (Video Assistant Referee) has appeared.

6. Zidane Headbutt 2006 Football History


This incident happened in The 2006 FIFA World Cup Final to decide the champion of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. That match began wonderfully for Zinedine Zidane when he scored the first goal which helped France take the lead but it ended his career in a nightmare. 

In the 109th minute, Zinedine Zidane and Materazzi were walking on the pitch alongside each other. They briefly exchanged words and surprisingly Zinedine Zidane turned around and headbutted Materazzi’s chest, knocking Materazzi to the ground. 

The referee immediately gave Zinedine Zidane a red card after having a consultation from the assistant referee. France lost that year and Zinedine Zidane became a culprit.

5. Eric Cantona’s Kung-Fu 1995 Football History


During a 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace, the Manchester United forward had lost his temper when he was given a red card for kicking Palace defender Richard Shaw, on the way he went out the pitch, a Crystal Palace fan insulted him, he reacted by performing a kung-fu kick at him. 

Cantona received a lengthy ban and faced legal actions. After all, Eric Cantona is still a legend of Old Trafford.

4. Brazil was defeat 1-7 at home in 2014


In 2014, Brazil was hosting the FIFA World Cup for the second time. They had won the World Cup on five previous occasions. Germany was also a good team at that time. Before the match, Brazil lost forward Neymar to injury, and captain Thiago Silva for an accumulation of yellow cards. This match was expected to be tight despite the absence of these players. 

But in the end, Brazil was defeated 7-1. A shocking result. Germany took a lead 5–0 at half time, with four goals scored within six minutes. In the second half, they scored two more goals, while Brazil had the only goal of Oscar. The match ended at 7–1. 

Finally, the match was described as a national humiliation for Brazil.

3. Barcelona was defeat 2-8


Another humiliation. The 2019–20 UEFA Champions League quarter-final match between Barcelona and Bayern Munich was played on 14 August 2020. As part of a single-elimination tournament, this match is under the UEFA’s decision to complete the 2019–20 UEFA Champions League and 2019–20 UEFA Europa League seasons, which had been halted since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, at neutral venues. 

Thomas Müller helped Bayern Munich take the lead in the opening 10 minutes. The others scored for Bayern Munich included: Perišić, Gnabry, Kimmich, Lewandowski, and Coutinho. Meanwhile, Barcelona had only two goals. 

This was the worst defeat of Barcelona since 1951. Quique Setién, the manager of Barcelona at that time, was fired three days after the game.

2. Roberto Carlos free-kick against France in 1997


On June 3, 1997, Roberto Carlos made the world impressive with one of the most powerful free kicks in football history. He scored the most famous goal of his career. After a huge run-up, he kicked the ball. The ball was headed to the corner flag. 

However, it curved back and stopped only when it hit the net. That was the unbelievable way of the ball’s trajectory.

1. Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” 1986 


That was the moment that made Diego Maradona become a hero of Argentina and a legend of the football world. This incident happened in the match between  Argentina and England in the quarterfinals match of the 1986 FIFA World Cup. 

Under the football rules, because of using hand, Maradona should have received a yellow card and the goal disallowed. However, the referees did not have a clear view of the play so the goal was accepted. That was unfair to England but it is a part of football.  

We have introduced to you the 10 most popular moments in football history in our opinion. If you have another idea, please let us know your opinion.