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6 Unbelievable World Cup Performances – You Won’t Believe What Happened in These Past Finals!

World cup finals
Charles Perrin - Author

Betting expert

English betting expert and writer. Huge Tottenham supporter, and aside from being an avid soccer fan, has a keen interest in golf and tennis. Produces betting tips, reviews and sports articles.

The World Cup Final is always an occasion to be treasured, and 2022’s offering which sees Argentina and France tangle in the Lusail Stadium in Qatar is unlikely to be any different. Usually, there are notable moments throughout any given World Cup Final, and it will hinge on key turning points.

The Six Craziest Performances

In the case of Argentina v France, this World Cup Final is being billed as being Kylian Mbappe v Lionel Messi, and we could well see a bit of magic from the pair. But who has stolen the show in past World Cup Finals? Well, we have decided to jog your memory by recapping six of the best individual displays in the biggest game in world soccer. Remember, these have been picked in no particular order.

Ronaldo (2002 – Brazil v Germany)

1998 was destined to be Ronaldo’s moment to shine, but the build-up to the World Cup Final in Paris was shrouded in mystery, when Ronaldo was initially left out after having a seizure, but he was then included. However, it was an anonymous display as his side crashed to a 3-0 defeat to France. Nevertheless, his coup de grace came four years later in Japan. He was imperious from start to finish in the tournament, and he rounded things off by netting both goals in Brazil’s 2-0 win over Germany in the Final.

Ronaldo wound up with eight goals at the 2002 edition, and nobody has eclipsed that total at a World Cup since.

Pele (1958 – Brazil v Sweden)

The original GOAT (Greatest of All Time) before Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi came along, Pele just oozed class. In 1958, Pele was just 17, but he illuminated the World Cup, and in the Final against Sweden, he was simply unstoppable. He helped himself to a double, and one of his goals was truly spectacular, as he flicked the ball over the defender’s head before volleying with aplomb into the net.

Although he only featured in two games in the 1962 tournament due to injury, Pele got his hands on the Jules Rimet trophy again in 1970.

Diego Maradona (1986 – Argentina v West Germany)

Diego Maradona was known for more than just his infamous ‘Hand of God’ moment against England in the quarter-finals. He was the sort of player that could go on jinking runs and slalom between defenders and leave them on their backside before planting the ball into the net.

Maradona was instrumental in the dramatic 3-2 win over West Germany, providing an assist, and in total, he contributed five goals and five assists throughout the tournament, walking away with the Golden Ball award for being the competition’s best player.

Zinedine Zidane (1998 – France v Brazil)

Zinedine Zidane was one of the best midfielders of his generation. He was always calm under pressure, and he boasted incredible vision. With Zidane in your team, anything that could happen. The top players always grab games by the scruff of the neck, and the 1998 World Cup Final was no different.

And against Brazil, Zidane popped up with two powerful headers from corners before Emmanuel Petit wrapped things up with an unerring left-footed finish to seal the win. However, it was Zidane’s night, and two years later, Les Bleus underlined their dominance by winning Euro 2000.

Paolo Rossi (1982 – Italy v West Germany)

There was plenty of flair in the Italy class of 1982, and Paolo Rossi made for irresistible viewing. And in the Final, Rossi delivered a masterclass in a truly all-action display. Rossi netted the first in a 3-1 victory over West Germany, and he scooped a double accolade — the Golden Boot for his six-goal showing — and the Golden Ball for best player.

Mario Kempes (1978 – Argentina v Netherlands)

Rounding off this decorated list is Mario Kempes. The Argentine had gone into the tournament on the back of a superb season for Valencia where he was La Liga’s top scorer. And he saved his best at the 1978 World Cup for the knockout stages, and in the Final, he was too hot to handle. The Netherlands were the victims as Kempes plundered two goals in a 3-1 victory, and Kempes was the top scorer and the tournament’s best player.