Soccer  

World Cup 2022: Top 10 most shocking World Cup moments

The World Cup always has shocking moments and there is sure to be more to come this year.

Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Micah Richards discussed the most memorable ones in the latest Match of the Day: Top 10 podcast.

You can listen to the podcast on BBC Sounds and have your say by ranking your choices at the bottom of this page.

Lampard’s ghost goal (Richards: 10th, Shearer: 10th)

Lampard goal
Germany finished third in the 2010 World Cup, losing to eventual winners Spain in the semi-finals

England were trailing 2-1 to Germany in a last-16 match at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Frank Lampard’s shot then looped over the head of Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, clipped the underside of the crossbar and bounced over the goalline. But the officials said the ball had not gone in and the goal was not given, much to everyone’s bafflement. A couple of years later, goalline technology was introduced.

Richards: It clearly went over the line. All the confidence was sapped from England after that.

Lineker: It was so far over the line.

Roy Keane leaves World Cup (Richards: 8th, Shearer: 9th)

Roy Keane and Mick McCarthy in training in 2002
Roy Keane (right) described his first training session as being on a pitch that was “like a car park” in Japan

Republic of Ireland captain Roy Keane was sent home from the 2002 World Cup after falling out with manager Mick McCarthy. Keane had criticised the team’s training facilities and programme in the build-up to the tournament and emotions spilled over in a meeting with his boss in Japan.

Richards: I’ve not asked him about it. I don’t know what the actual truth is.

Lineker: He was one of the integral players. To leave and storm off is quite something, isn’t it? He’s never left before the end of a show yet!

Rivaldo dive (Richards: 9th, Shearer: 7th)

Rivaldo holds his face in 2002
Rivaldo won the 2002 World Cup with Brazil in the same year he was shamed for an embarrassing dive

Rivaldo won the 2002 World Cup with Brazil but he was fined by Fifa and sparked outrage for an embarrassing dive in their group game against Turkey. Hakan Unsal fired the ball at Rivaldo’s knee while he was taking his time over a corner and the Brazilian fell to the floor dramatically, holding his face. Unsal got sent off for it and Brazil went on to win 2-1. Rivaldo scored the winning penalty in the 87th minute.

Richards: He was down for ages. What was he thinking?

Shearer: It was pathetic. It was that bad you laugh when you see it.

Suarez handball (Richards: 7th, Shearer: 8th)

Ghana penalty
Asamoah Gyan missed a penalty in the third minute of stoppage time at the end of extra time, before Uruguay won 4-2 in the penalty shootout to reach the World Cup semi-finals in 2010

Ghana were hoping to be the first African nation to reach a World Cup semi-final and were on the attack in the last minute of extra time as their thrilling 2010 quarter-final with Uruguay was tied at 2-2. Luis Suarez blatantly blocked Dominic Adiyiah’s header off the line with his hand and was sent off but Asamoah Gyan could not take advantage. His penalty bounced off the crossbar with Suarez, watching on from the tunnel, wildly celebrating the miss. Ghana then lost the penalty shootout 4-2.

Richards: Suarez was gloating and celebrating. It’s disgusting. He’s cheated, hasn’t he?

Lineker: Do you not think he was putting his country ahead of himself? He’s not cheated, he’s committed a foul. He wants to win at all costs.

Rijkaard spitting (Richards: 6th, Shearer: 5th)

The 1990 World Cup last-16 match between West Germany and the Netherlands was overshadowed by Dutch midfielder Frank Rijkaard spitting at Rudi Voller after the pair were sent off. West Germany went on to win 2-1 and won the tournament.

Lineker: I don’t know what drove him to spit on him. Once can be a gut reaction but to do it twice? It’s unacceptable.

Suarez bite (Richards: 5th, Shearer: 4th)

Luis Suarez
Uruguay advanced into the knockout stages of the 2014 World Cup after beating Italy in the group stage, although Luis Suarez would play no further part in the tournament

Luis Suarez took a bite out of Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder in 2014. Chiellini pulled his shirt down to reveal teeth marks, while Suarez held his mouth in an attempt to look like he was the victim. He got away with it in the game, not even getting booked, as Uruguay won 1-0 but Suarez was then banned from all football-related activity for four months.

Shearer: We were in the studio and were all shocked. We couldn’t believe what we had seen.

Lineker: He’s a nibbler…

Maradona drug test (Richards: 3rd, Shearer: 6th)

In 1994 Argentina superstar Diego Maradona tested positive for ephedrine and was expelled from the World Cup in the United States. In the aftermath, a picture of him celebrating a goal against Greece became infamous.

Richards: I wonder what he was going through.

Lineker: I spent two days with him in Buenos Aires. It was mad. Every time he moved he was hustled by people everywhere. The adulation for him, people treated him like a god. Maybe it’s just living with that genius and adulation.

The Hand of God (Richards: 2nd, Shearer: 3rd)

Maradona
Argentina won the 1986 World Cup, with Diego Maradona winning the Golden Ball for being the player of the tournament

Argentina’s talisman Diego Maradona scored twice in the 2-1 win over England in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final in Mexico City – the second one a truly brilliant individual run from inside his own half and the first, the infamous ‘Hand of God.’ With goalkeeper Peter Shilton coming off his line, Maradona got to the ball first and punched it into the net. England went out and Argentina went on to win the tournament.

Shearer: Because of that second goal he scored, the genius of it, it helped him get away with it a little.

Lineker: I don’t know how many times I’ve spoken about it in interviews but I didn’t actually see it. He was the one who said it was partly the Hand of God. It’s probably the most famous game of football ever.

Zidane headbutt (Richards: 4th, Shearer: 1st)

Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane scored three goals in World Cup final matches – the same number as England’s Geoff Hurst and Brazilian pair Vava and Pele

France midfielder and three-time Fifa World Player of the Year Zinedine Zidane had already announced he would retire after the 2006 World Cup and it appeared to be a fairytale ending as he converted an early penalty to put France ahead against Italy in the final. But Marco Materazzi equalised for Italy, then provoked Zidane in extra time with insulting comments and the Frenchman lost control, headbutting the defender and getting sent off. Italy won the penalty shootout 5-3.

Shearer: Many things have happened at the World Cup but I just couldn’t believe that. We have all been on a football pitch when someone says something to you but that…

Lineker: That cost France that World Cup, didn’t it? I remember being at the game and thinking ‘what’s just happened?’

Ronaldo left out of the team (Richards: 1st, Shearer: 2nd)

Ronaldo looks dejected after the 1998 World Cup final defeat to France
Ronaldo went on to score two goals in the 2002 World Cup final as Brazil beat Germany

Brazil striker Ronaldo had been a star player during the 1998 World Cup but he suffered a convulsive fit a few hours before the final with France. He was taken to hospital and was dropped from the team, only to be reinstated at the last minute. Brazil went on to lose 3-0.

Shearer: He was a superstar. What he brought to that team and who he was – the pressure got to him.

Lineker: It was extraordinary. He went and played and obviously they lost so there were all these conspiracy theories.