History TheWorldCup / TropesQToZ

4th Aug '15 3:49:23 PM phoenix
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TheWorldCup/{{Tropes A To H}} | TheWorldCup/TropesIToP | '''Tropes Q To Z'''
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* RagtagBunchOfMisfits:
** The same US team that defeated England 1-0 in 1950 qualify as this (with the goal scored by a Haitian dishwasher no less! [[http://www.fifa.com/classicfootball/matches/world-cup/match=1202/index.html No, really]].)
** [[http://forums.bigsoccer.com/threads/south-korea-and-the-1954-world-cup.371992/ The South Korean team that managed]] [[http://forums.bigsoccer.com/threads/interesting-story-of-koreas-first-world-cup-1954-swiss-wc.361305/ to get to the 1954 World Cup]] one year after the KoreanWar also qualifies. They were trounced in both games, but both having a team and getting to Switzerland [[{{Determinator}} was a miracle]]!
** Every tournament will have a team that really has no business being there. Some perform admirably (North Korea 1966, Jamaica 1998) while others fail miserably (Saudi Arabia 2002, North Korea 2010).
** New Zealand 2010 gets special honor, as they managed to go the entirety of the Group Stage drawing all of their games, including defending champions Italy (and, in fact, finishing ahead of them, since Italy lost to Slovakia in their final group match). With Spain's loss to Switzerland in the Group Stage that year, this makes New Zealand the only undefeated team in that entire tournament's edition.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech / WhatTheHellHero:
** Commentator and former England player Chris Waddle was [[http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/world-cup-2014-chris-waddle-7301299 less than impressed]], to say the least, with England's loss to Uruguay in the 2014 World Cup.
--> "I'm not angry, I'm just fed up of talking about the same old problems. (...) It's not about picking your star players...it's about getting a balance of a side which is going to get you a result. We never ever do. (...) Why, why, why? Other countries go, 'You know what? I've got good players, but unfortunately so-and-so is going to sit on the bench tonight,' and are we bothered? No. Until we get that way of thinking, how do you win football matches? (...) We never, ever, ''ever'' learn."
** There was a reaction by announcer Ray Hudson to the news that Landon Donovan was not picked for the 2014 US Men's Squad. Coach Jürgen Klinsmann was somewhat vindicated when the team escaped the "Group of Death" and took their Round of 16 game into extra time, a better result than most predicted. However, during the Round of 16 match against Belgium, Chris Wondolowski, the striker that it seemed had replaced Donovan in the roster, missed a potential game-winning point-blank shot in stoppage time by skying it over the bar. The criticism began anew, but began to die off after Klinsmann defeated several top-ranked opponents in friendlies.
** In the last matchday of qualifying for the 2014 tournament, Mexico looked like they were going to miss the tournament entirely, losing to Costa Rica while Panama was beating the United States.[[note]]The US had already qualified and clinched the top spot in the final continental qualifying tournament, and were playing with their "B" team against Panama. Costa Rica had already qualified as well.[[/note]] Televisa Deportes had both matches on split-screen in Mexico when, in the final minutes, [[AmericaSavesTheDay the US suddenly scored the tying goal against Panama, which would allow Mexico to advance]] to an intercontinental playoff with New Zealand. Despite their loss, TV Azteca commentator Christian Martinoli [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKKeSG_bXAU gushed praise on America for granting them a chance, then ripped into the Mexican national team]] for a pathetic qualifying cycle where they had to rely on their rivals to get anywhere, and went a terrifyingly bad 1-3-1 (1 win, 3 draws, 1 loss, scoring ''just three goals in five matches'') at home, all in the usually-supportive Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. As the US scored one more goal to outright beat Panama, he said the US had finally surpassed Mexico in [[TheBeautifulGame soccer]], and told Victor Manuel Vucetich, the Mexican team's interim manager, to get his act together or resign.[[note]]His predecessor, Luis Fernando Tena, had been sacked during the competition for his team's pathetic performance. Vucetich himself was sacked two days after the match.[[/note]]
-->'''Christian Martinoli''' (in English)''':''' WE LOVE YOU!!! WE LOVE YOU FOREVER AND EVER!!! OHH, GOD BLESS AMERICA!
* RedemptionQuest:
** One may know from all the accolades he receives nowadays, but once upon a time [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Beckham David Beckham]] was perhaps England's most hated player, unto whom was attributed its elimination from the France 1998 qualifiers after being handed a red card for kicking Argentina's Diego Simeone in the calf for knocking him down (even though they lost at the [=PKs=]). After a few years of abuse, peaking with a 2-3 loss to Portugal in [[EuropeanChampionship Euro 2000]], during the Korea/Japan 2002 qualifiers he scored a free kick against Greece which automatically qualified England (even though the game ended at 2-2), and while he's at it he repaid the favor to Argentina with a penalty kick that helped advance the team as far as the quarterfinals. Coupled with a few more championship trophies until his retirement in 2013, and Beckham has since been purged of the stigma of 1998.
** Brazil had one in Korea/Japan 2002: they were thrashed in the 1998 final by hosts France, had disappointing performances in the previous two years, and the players disagreed with many of the coach's choices for the squad, including striker Ronaldo, who suffered a seizure on the day of the final that impacted his teammates, and had many stretches not playing due to harrowing knee injuries. [[GoldenPath The team won all seven games en route to its fifth title]], with Ronaldo as the top scorer.
** In Brazil 2014, France proved itself a Cup contender again after their [[WeAreStrugglingTogether disastrous]] [[EpicFail 2010 campaign]] with a solid gameplay that allowed them to reach the quarterfinal, where they honorably lost to future champions Germany, 0-1, in a highly defensive battle.
** After a decade and a half of disappointments, Colombia qualified for Brazil 2014 in not only their best-ever qualifying run, but also reaching further than they ever did in previous tournaments. Needless to say, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H795AOsKFv4 people were happy back home.]]
** On the women's side, Canada 2015 features two-time champion USA fighting to shake off the shadow of its 1999 winning team (and less-than-stellar results since), as well as memories of a PK heartbreaker against Japan four years ago. This time, they delivered, thrashing the same team 5-2, with its first four goals scored in the first sixteen minutes.
* RoyalBrat: The Kuwaiti sheikh Fahid Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, president of his country's FA, who interrupted their game with France in 1982 to contest a decision, and ''[[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney he got his way]]''. FIFA fined him $10,000 for the disruption. [[LaserGuidedKarma Plus, Kuwait took in another goal soon after.]]
* RunningGag / OverlyLongGag: '''Each''' edition, you can be pretty sure there will be some drama about bonuses with at least one African team. This is because of rampant corruption and an enduring lack of confidence between players and [[CorruptBureaucrat African federations' officials.]]
* SacredLanguage: All referees are expected to speak English in the modern World Cup, pretty much because the referee '''must''' be from a different continent[[note]] More accurately, from a country that is a member of a different continental governing body. For example, although Australia is geographically considered part of Oceania, it has been a member of the Asian Football Confederation since 2006.[[/note]] than those playing to ensure impartial decisions. (Unless two teams from the same continent play against each other. Then it could be a referee from that continent, just not from either country.) At least, that's the idea...
* SayMyName:
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azUgsIkBGYc Dutch commentator Jack van Gelder's reaction]] when Dennis Bergkamp scored the winning goal in Holland's 1998 quarter-final match against Argentina.
** In Brazil, there's Galvão Bueno, who is way too passionate while narrating the games. Him calling for Taffarel after his defenses or Ronaldo after his goals rendered him a fan favourite status (or an unbearable pain for others).
* SecondPlaceIsForLosers:
** Ask any player who has had to experience losing a World Cup final, and they will tell you that there is nothing worse. The game of a lifetime and you lost. There won't be another chance until four years later and who knows if you or your team will even be competitive then. And the worst part is that the defeated team has to stand around for 10's of minutes seeing their conquerors celebrate as they wait for the presentation and then go up the receive their runner up medals and then walk up right past the Trophy! And frankly no one remembers the runners up or how well they played. (the only second place teams who typically get recognition are Hungary '54 and Netherlands '74)
** History is even crueler to runner-ups that along the way [[http://mentalfloss.com/article/57466/disgrace-gijon-most-controversial-match-world-cup-history cheat]], [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPTOnClKCJc try to kill]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CexJn5kg-90 adversaries]], [[http://www.nytimes.com/1990/07/03/sports/world-cup-90-naples-loves-maradona-but-loves-italy-more.html eliminate the home team]], or [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAjWi663kXc do something stupid]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpbkRApq9qY in the final]].
** This trope was certainly invoked by German keeper Oliver Kahn in 2002. Until the final match, he had only conceded one goal, but this loss in particular sent his career plummeting (that's what he said at the time anyway; he kept up his regularity as first-pick keeper for Bayern Munich, which allowed him to keep his place in the national team, though he'd become a substitute for Jens Lehmann in 2006).
** Lionel Messi had a similar deal with Kahn: like him, he was given the Golden Ball as the best player in the 2014 World Cup despite losing the final. And said he would have preferred the title instead.
** Abby Wambach of the United States women has stated on live television multiple times that she would give back every single award she has ever won just to win one World Cup. She finally won it in 2015, leading to her sobbing with joy as the final whistle sounded.
* SecondPlaceIsForWinners: England's women. Only a few days before, they had been the victim of an own goal in the dying seconds of a match they had arguably deserved to win. There was much heartbreak from their supporters and especially from Laura Bassett, the defender who made the costly error. Their match was against Germany, in which they won 1-0. The English fans and even many neutrals made it quite clear they were proud of the way the team had played and what they had accomplished, especially because Germany is (much like their men's squad) a powerhouse in women's soccer and was - at the time - ranked #1 in the world by FIFA.
* SeparatedByACommonLanguage: The English speaking world says "football", except largely in the US, Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and South Africa. Interestingly, outside the English-speaking world football, futbol, fussball and other derivatives are usual (hence Federation Internationale de '''Football''' Association), except in Italy where "calcio" is used as a homage to the game that the [[BlatantLies Italian authorities claimed was the origin of the game]][[note]]It wasn't - similar sports, like kemari in Japan, tsuchu in China, epyskiros in Ancient Greece, and pasuckuakohowog by many of the native American tribes had been practiced hundreds of years before - , but it was certainly one of the predecessors of the modern game[[/note]]. Meanwhile, the football-based toy officially called table football is called "foosball" in American English, while Germans usually refer to it as a "Kicker" and French as "babyfoot" ([[ItIsPronouncedTroPay pronounced "bah-bee-foot")]]
* SeriousBusiness:
** Andrés Escobar was tragically shot dead on returning home to Colombia in 1994 after scoring an own goal in his team's last game against the United States in Pasadena. Some have suggested it was a hit orchestrated by drug lords who lost millions betting on the game.
** Honduras and El Salvador allegedly [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Football_War went to war over a World Cup qualifier]] in 1969, although undoubtedly there were serious tensions between the two countries beforehand. So, the match was basically a PretextForWar.
** The incumbent Labour Party are thought to have lost the 1970 British general election (when the polling had suggested a victory) purely because England crashed out of the World Cup a few days before.
** In the 2000's, Argentina's Diego Maradona filmed a commercial where he had a nightmare in which he was wearing a Brazil jersey, their most heated rivals. He was immediately and vehemently reproached in his home country to never, ever do it again.
* ShaggyDogStory: Teams that despite a great campaign come short in the final (1950 Brazil, 1954 Hungary, 1974 Netherlands).
** Finishing the group stage with a victory, only to discover you couldn't disqualify one of the teams on the other game ([[ShootTheShaggyDog particularly disheartening]] [[http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/soccer/longterm/worldcup98/results/articles/spain_bulgaria.htm if it's a 6-1 massacre]]).
** The unique case of 1978 Brazil, that managed to be an undefeated third place due to Argentina getting the spot for the final in shady conditions - see ThrowingTheFight below.
** And of course the qualifiers, where many teams get really close to the World Cup only to in the closing moments get surpassed - such as the so called [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agony_of_Doha Agony of Doha]] where Japan lost its 1994 spot due to a last-minute goal by Iraq.
** Australia scored ''74'' goals against fellow OFC teams in the 2002 qualifier, but eventually lost to Uruguay in the intercontinental playoff.
* ShirtlessScene:
** Players have felt the need for these before, now banned by FIFA (the rules do state that taking off your shirt awards you a yellow card). As Winston Reid of New Zealand proved in 2010, that hasn't killed them. The rules allow for the shirt trading after the game, however. Nevertheless, Brandi Chastain's shirtless scene after the US's 1999 Women's World Cup win is one of the most famous images associated with the women's side of the sport.
** None were seen during 2014's goal celebrations, although Germany winner Mesut Özil gave his shirt to Michel Platini when receiving the trophy.
* ShockingDefeatLegacy: Many, standing out three unexpected defeats in the final: 1950 (Brazil to Uruguay at home; 5 titles later, still a sore point in their history), 1954 (after Hungary lost, their football started a downfall that got even worse once the 1956 revolution made some standout players defect), and 1974 (the "Clockwork Orange" couldn't break the GermanicEfficiency). France's EpicFail campaign in 2002 made FIFA force the reigning champions to play the qualifiers. And Brazil's disappointing campaign at home in 2014, losing both the semifinal and third place match in blowouts, is expected to start another renovation.
* SiblingTeam: A few of them, most notably from the Netherlands (twins René/Willy Van de Kerkhof in the seventies, and Frank/Roland de Boer in the nineties) and the Laudrups from Denmark. Brothers Fritz and Ottmar Walter became World Champions with the 1954 West German squad. Averted with the Ghanaian-German [[CainAndAbel Boateng brothers]]. They have a very tense relationship with each other, and this is reflected in their on-pitch interactions, where they rarely interact. Kevin-Prince plays for Ghana, Jerome plays for Germany. They have met in the World Cup twice, both times with Jerome's German side defeating Ghana. Jerome even won a World Cup in 2014.
* SignatureStyle:
** Arjen Robben gets the ball on the right wing. Bet he jinks inside the defenders and shoots at goal with his left foot.
** Zinedine Zidane's gorgeous, full-speed spin move [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0cusxYv2Lw was something to behold ]]. Years after his retirement, he is still able to pull it off.
* SlaveToPR: Many of the players are this, since good PR is more likely to keep your place in the team than good performances (especially where the press are of the rabid variety.)
* SmallReferencePools: Any football pundit will have these. Name a Dutch player of the 70s. Johan Cruyff. A Brazilian from the 1970 team? Pelé. An Argentine number 10 who scored the winner in the World Cup final?[[note]]If you said Maradona, you're wrong. Mario Kempes, 1978.[[/note]] [[CaptainObvious Of course, it depends on said pundit's nationality]]; most Brazilians could name at least the midfielders and forwards from 1970 by heart. If not the entire starting eleven.
* SoreLoser: Some teams take losing not very well.
** Brazil really didn't stand being outmatched by Hungary in their [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Berne_(1954_FIFA_World_Cup) 1954 quarter-finals (aka the Battle of Berne)]]. When Hungary took their lead to 3-1, Brazilian supporters and journalists invaded the pitch, before being shooed out by the police. The Brazilian team then began resorting to UnnecessaryRoughness, to which Hungarians equally viciously answered. After the end of the match (Hungary won 4-2), it degenerated in a general brawl, with Brazilians players and officials invading the Hungarians dressing room. This shameful event is sometimes credited as the reason why Hungary wasn't able to win the final.
** When Argentina lost against Germany in the 2006 quarter-finals, they ''attacked'' them! Some violence later, there was a hard crackdown on them, including the first time a player got a red card (Cufrè) despite never having played in the match in question.
** After screwing up their last game of the group as well and leaving with not a single point in 2010, French coach Raymond Domenech, already under pressure due to a rebellion in the team, denied the South African coach a handshake, which is a horrible breach of the unwritten respect rules in football.
* SpecialGuest:
** In 2006, ITV brought in cricket legend Shane Warne to be an analyst for an Australia football game. Less {{egregious}} was their use of South Africa rugby union World Cup winner François Pienaar talking about the nation at the 2010 Opening Ceremony/Match.
** Also in 2006, ESPN dropped in veteran baseball announcer Dave O'Brien as the lead announcer for the tournament, selecting him over long-time soccer announcer JP Dellacamera. O'Brien was not only terrible, he was hostile about being terrible. Fortunately, ESPN learned from this, and avoided the mistake for the 2010 World Cup by hiring a flotilla of British soccer announcers and international analysts.
** In 2014, ESPN Brazil brought many foreign players (Colombian Freddy Rincón, Argentinian Juan Pablo Sorín), while the local Fox Sports had in their alternate channel both [[{{MST}} parody announcing]] with comedians, and an Islam specialist for Iran-Nigeria.
* StatusQuoIsGod: Despite all the 'equal opportunities', surprises and dark horses, in general, there are four teams which have largely dominated the tournament: Brazil, Italy, Germany and Argentina, collectively amassing 15 of the 20 first places (as of and including 2014) as well as 11 second places and 7 third places. (Except for the 1978 final between Argentina and the Netherlands, every final match between 1954 and 2002 has featured either Brazil or Germany; the 2002 final featured both countries.) Any match between any two of those four teams is a classic. Notably, only once has one of those 'big four' won the tournament after defeating the other three (Italy in 1982).
** In the women's version, substitute the USA for Brazil, Italy, and Argentina. The USA and Germany have won five of the seven editions so far (USA 3, Germany 2), each has one second place, the USA has been third three times, and Germany fourth twice.[[note]]If you're keeping count, that means the USWNT has never finished worse than third.[[/note]] Each of the seven finals so far has featured one of the two teams—but never both.
* StayInTheKitchen: Some nations outright banned women's soccer for decades (Brazil and West Germany are two notable examples) which left them at a decided disadvantage when the Women's World Cup began play. Fortunately, both countries have warmed to their women's teams, and while they still aren't as prestigious as their male counterparts, Brazil is a perennial World Cup contender whose star player Marta has been named the world player of the year five times and Germany won two consecutive World Cups. The attitude still exists in some places, though: as noted during the women's tournament at the 2012 Olympics, Japan's women's team (which at that time was the defending World Cup champion and fell just short of beating the United States for gold at the Olympics) is forced to fly coach while their men's team, which has not won an equivalent title, gets to fly first class.
* StoryBranchFavoritism: At times, the teams in final had very different paths.
** Easiest path wins: As noted under XanatosGambit, West Germany twice averted the favorite in Round 2 until the decision, in 1954 (where Hungary had difficult bouts with Brazil and Uruguay, while the Germans easily routed Yugoslavia and Austria) and 1974 (usual punching bags Yugoslavia, Sweden and Poland in their group, the "Clockwork Orange" in the other).
*** In the second case it should be noted that Sweden certainly was no punching bag in 1974 and Poland, the surprise team of the tournament, finished third by beating Brazil.
** Easiest path loses: On the other hand, the Germans had really favourable confrontations in 2002 (Paraguay, USA, South Korea) before getting beaten by Brazil. And 12 years later, Germany beat an Argentinian team that before beating the Netherlands on penalties, only had close wins over questionable adversaries (Bosnia, Iran, Nigeria, Switzerland, Belgium).
* SuicidalOverconfidence:
** In 1974, the Netherlands didn't bother to send someone to the game which would provide their adversary in the finals (Poland vs. West Germany) after the assistant coach assigned to observe it could not make it (he was sent home after throwing a bottle out of his hotel room and almost hitting players). Given how despite the Dutch starting ahead of the score the German tactics were effective enough for a title...
** Ghana attacking Brazil in 2006 qualifies as this. Brazil just picked them off on the break!
** Brazil in 2014, after losing their star player Neymar after an appalling foul in the quarter finals, were maybe not overconfident against a strong German side, but went all out "we must win for Neymar", holding his shirt during the national anthem while crying, and then started to viciously attack a German side which was known for being very strong against teams with loose defences. The result was Brazil 1 Germany 7.
* TemptingFate:
** In 1974, Brazilian coach Zagallo said "We're gonna make juice out of the Clockwork Orange!" The Netherlands won 2-0 and got their place in the final.
** Argentinian coach Diego Maradona said "The Germans only know how to run [...] We play football" before the quarter-finals in 2010. Cue Germany curbstomping Argentina 4-0 in that match.
** In 2014, Croatian coach Niko Kovač said "Mexico's knees will be trembling with fear" before the group stage closer between both teams. Mexico won 3-1, eliminating Croatia.
* TheatricsOfPain: Increasingly professional footballers, ''despite being healthy adult men'', cannot come into contact with, run past, or even go near an opposition player without falling and writhing dramatically on the ground. (see also: WorldOfHam) As RobinWilliams put it:
--> "OH SHIT! I'VE BEEN KILLED! I'VE BEEN BLINDED! I-- ...there's no one near me, huh? Okay, I'm just kidding..."
* ThrowingTheFight: There are several occasions where the only possible explanation for the result is the teams conspiring to play for a mutually beneficial result, or, more rarely, a team throwing a match for an easier draw in the knockout stages.
** In what was likely a complicated XanatosGambit, the West German side lost 8-3 to the Hungarians in the Group Stage of the 1954 World Cup, which meant that the Germans could go through to the next round after winning an additional game against Turkey.[[note]] The 1954 World Cup was played according to a complicated system that was never used again and consequently is not immediately remembered by most. Hereby it was necessary for West Germany to play and win against Turkey a second time, i. e. they had to play one game more than Hungary to reach the final.[[/note]] The Germans faced the Hungarians again in the final, and walked away with a 3-2 victory.
** West Germany are sometimes accused of having done it ''again'' in 1974, when they lost to East Germany ([[UsefulNotes/ColdWar yep]]) and avoided a group with the Netherlands, Brazil, and Argentina. Instead, by losing and qualifying second, they met Yugoslavia, Sweden, and Poland. However, West German coach and cross-Berlin Wall defector Helmut Schön was determined to win the match against East Germany, and was heartbroken when they lost. Also, whether the group in which West Germany ended up was easier is debatable, as the three other teams there were far from "familiar punching bags" as which they are described by their detractors: West Germany had been eliminated from the World Cup by Sweden in the 1958 semi-finals and by Yugoslavia in the 1962 quarter-finals, and also had come close to being thrown out by Sweden again in the 1966 qualifiers. In 1974 in the group phase Yugoslavia finished ahead of reigning World Champions Brazil, Sweden held the Netherlands to a goalless draw, while Poland won its group by defeating Argentina and Italy; Poland went on to win bronze by defeating Brazil.
** In the 1978 World Cup, thanks to creative rescheduling of the Brazil-Poland game, Argentina knew that it had to win by four clear goals against Peru to overtake Brazil on goal difference and reach the final. Argentina won 6-0 against a Peruvian team, many players of which did not even seem to want to put up a pretense of resistance (and whose goalkeeper, Ramón Quiroga, was a naturalized Peruvian born in Rosario, Argentina, to boot). According to Argentinian and British investigative journalists, the game was fixed at government level, Peru receiving 35,000 tonnes of grain, the unfreezing of a 50 million dollar credit as well as arms in return for throwing the game.
** In the 1982 World Cup, the Austrians threw a match with the West Germans 1-0 to ensure both teams qualified for the second round (as Algeria had already played Chile the day before, they knew the result they needed -- Germany had to win with a two-goal difference for both teams to qualify). The Spanish crowd at the stadium booed vigourously, and German supporters burned their flags. The game is today known in Germany as the Disgrace of Gijón. The players literally stood on the pitch motionless and passed the ball to each other for the whole game, after West Germany scored the 1-0 lead in the 10th minute of play. After what was nothing short of a farce, the rules were changed starting with Euro 1984 and Mexico '86 to ensure the final matches of the each group kicked off at the same time.
** Situations still arise where, after two games, the remaining game pits the first- and second-placed teams against each other, and they need only a draw to progress. Whatever happens is a matter of ethics; there were two examples in 2010:
*** Averted in Group A, Uruguay and Mexico needed to play for a draw to eliminate France and South Africa. Uruguay expressly didn't, won 1-0, and Mexico qualified on goal difference.
*** Though it's unknown if it's more "tying for convenience's sake" or "we're free to play badly, and did so": In Group G, Portugal and Brazil technically needed a draw to eliminate the Ivory Coast (Portugal had a 8-goal advantage over the Ivory Coast, but were still in danger of being knocked out). The game was pretty much a 90-minute kickabout[[note]]The last time the sides played, two years previous, Brazil beat Portugal 6-2[[/note]] complete with the boos at the end despite both sides qualifying.
*** Averted in the 2014 World Cup, where in Group G Germany played the United States, where a draw would automatically send both teams to the knockout stage. Instead, both teams gave their best shot (partly because the Germans wanted to beat their former compatriot and USA manager Jürgen Klinsmann), and Germany ended up winning, 1-0. The USA still made it to the knockout stage on goal difference.
* ToAbsentFriends: The Zambia team were killed in a plane crash on their way to a qualifying tie for 1994. Their bodies were flown back by military aeroplane amid much mourning. The President of Zambia neglected to mention his government had denied them the right to use the safe military aeroplane in life...
* TokenMinority:
** Going as early as Jean Tigana, born in Mali, who played for France in both 1980s tournaments, some European teams have naturalized players who become this: Nigerian Emmanuel Olisadebe played for Poland in 2002; Brazilian Marcos Senna played for Spain in 2006; Germany had the Ghana-born Gerald Asamoah in both 2002 and 2006, as well as black Brazilian Cacau in 2010 and Ghana-descended Jérôme Boateng in both 2010 and 2014; Portugal had Guinea-Bissau-born Éder in 2014; and Switzerland had two African players, Congolese Blaise Nkufo and Cape Verde-born Gelson Fernandes, in 2010 (and Fernandes was also on the 2014 Swiss squad).
** It also happens that there are players who ''were'' born in that country, but their ancestry is notably from another one. Sweden's 1994 team had two examples: Martin Dahlin, whose father is Venezuelan from African descent, and Henrik Larsson (who also played for Sweden in 2002 and 2006), whose father is Cape Verdean. The aforementioned 2014 Portugal team also has Silvestre Varela, born in Portugal of Cape Verdean parents. In 2014, Italy showed up only with their Token Black (Mario Balotelli, Italian of Ghanaian descent), as the team's Token Arab, AC Milan's Stephan El Shaarawy (Italian of Egyptian descent), had an injury-riddled 2013–14 season and didn't fully recover in time. The 2014 Belgian team has no fewer than seven such players, four with one or both parents from sub-Saharan Africa,[[note]]Vincent Kompany (father from DR Congo), Romelo Lukaku (both parents from DR Congo), Mousa Dembélé (Malian father), Divock Origi (Kenyan father)[[/note]] one with a father from the French Caribbean,[[note]]Axel Witsel[[/note]] and two sons of Moroccan immigrants.[[note]]Naser Chadli and Marouane Fellaini[[/note]]
** There are also cases of {{Token White}}s: Chris Birchall for Trinidad and Tobago and Paulo Figueiredo for Angola, both in 2006, and Matthew Booth for South Africa, in 2010.
* TooManyCooksSpoilTheSoup:
** The star-studded midfield of Brazil in 1982 and the wonderful attack of Argentina in 2010, not a lot of defending was considered. The latter in particular; Maradona did not call defenders Esteban Cambiasso and Javier Zanetti, who had just won the UsefulNotes/UEFAChampionsLeague with Inter.
** An English speciality, if Chris Waddle's rant listed under TheReasonYouSuckSpeech is to be believed.
* TradeSnark: According to Creator/{{ESPN}}, it is not the World Cup, but the World Cup™ (yes. Every single graphic, regardless of context, says this).
** FIFA has also aggressively been trying to combat non-sponsors making "unauthorized associations" with the tournament, primarily by forcing host countries to ban "ambush marketing" in and around tournament venues. In 2006, a Dutch brewery got in trouble for having fans wear "leeuwenhose" (orange colored overalls with a lion's tail and their logo on it, distributed with their beer before the tournament) to a Dutch game, considering it ambush marketing. They pulled the same stunt in 2010, but this time with orange miniskirts that were modeled by the wife of a Dutch player in advertisements; a group of 36 attendees wearing them were ''ejected'' from the game, two were arrested and sent to court, and an ITV Sport personality got fired after it was revealed that he had resold tickets intended for family to the brewery.
** In 2010, discount airline Kulula was pressured into pulling an advertisement that contained football and South African imagery (yes, even Vuvuzelas), and had described themselves as "The Unofficial National Carrier of the [[WritingAroundTrademarks You-Know-What]]", all but [[LampshadeHanging lampshading]] that they were not an official sponsor. After FIFA complained, they introduced a new ad [[http://www.worldcupblog.org/world-cup-2010/kulula-vs-fifa-round-two-not-next-year-not-last-year-but-somewhere-in-between.html further lampshading the incident]] with the new tagline: "Not next year, not last year, but somewhere in between". Furthermore, they offered free flights to anyone named Sepp Blatter (the current FIFA president) "for the duration of that thing that is happening right now"; and of course, the honors went to a Boston Terrier named Sepp Blatter.
* TrainingFromHell:
** Most {{egregious}} with Iraq in 1986, who were tortured by Udey Hussein [[http://fourfourtwo.com/blogs/worldcupwonderland/archive/2010/05/19/86-uday-hussein-shaved-my-perm-quot.aspx for many years]]. Somewhat unsurprisingly, his [[MoralEventHorizon morally questionable]] tactics did not work.
** The North Koreans' training is rumoured to be this.
** Before the 2002 Japan/South Korea World Cup, Guus Hiddink, Korea's manager at the time, supposedly gathered the team together some weeks before the tournament and put them in a military boot camp. This helped to build stamina and seemed to bring the team together, as the South Koreans showed great energy and willing effort in their matches along with appearing to be a very together group of players.
* TropeCodifier: The language-neutral yellow and red penalty cards, based on similarly language-neutral traffic lights, were introduced at the 1970 World Cup and have spread to other sports since then.
* TropeCoTropeOfTheWeek: Four of the individual awards have one of the partner's names ("Mastercard All-Star Team", "Gillette Best Young Player", and two for Adidas, Golden Ball -- best player -- and Golden Boot -- top scorer). Plus, the "Budweiser Man of the Match" chosen in the website by fans.
* TurnCoat: Banned now (in the sense that, if you've already played for one national team before, you are ineligible for another even if you naturalize), but there are several examples from the tournament's history.
** In 1930-34 Luis Monti played for both Argentina and then Italy in consecutive World Cup Finals. That Italian team also had three more Argentine players who had played for Argentina before (though not in the 1930 World Cup).
** José "Mazzola" Altafini won the 1958 Cup with Brazil and played in 1962 for Italy.
** Spain's 1962 World Cup squad included Ferenc Puskas (yes, the biggest star of the '54 Hungarian team) and Alfredo di Stefano, who'd represented both Argentina and Colombia (but never played for any of them in the finals).
** Ernst Willimowski was born a German in Upper Silesia in 1916, but his home town of Kattowitz/Katowice became Polish after World War I and thus he played in the Polish football league when he became old enough. A prolific striker, he soon became an international and played in the Polish national squad, scoring 21 goals in 22 games. His finest hour was in the 1938 World Cup where in the knock-out phase Poland went out against Brazil 5-6 after extra time. Willimowski here became the first player to score four goals in one World Cup match. When Nazi Germany overran Poland in 1939, Willimowski decided to become German again and played for his new/old country in 8 matches, scoring 13 goals. The Poles of course never forgave him for this, and not only was he forced to stay in East, then West Germany after 1945, but for many years Willimowski's name was erased from official statistics, as if his goals had been scored by someone else.
** Subverted in cases in which some people only played for more than one national team because their previous country [[BalkanizeMe ceased to exist]], as was the case with many Eastern European players in the 90s.
*** An example is Dejan Stanković, who played for Yugoslavia -- or what was left of it -- in 1998, then after his country collapsed for good and divided into Serbia and Montenegro, two weeks before the 2006 tournament (which is why they played as a still unified team) he played for Serbia and Montenegro, and in 2010, with the split said and done, represented just Serbia.
** Another notable example is Robert Prosinečki, he scored for both Yugoslavia (one goal) and Croatia (two goals) in the World Cup. As of 2014, he is the only player so far who has scored for two different countries in the World Cup finals. (Excluding own goals, of course.)
** Since friendlies and youth squad matches do not count towards a player's eligibility towards a national team, several players have played for one country's youth team and another country's senior team, and a few have played for one senior team for a friendly or two only to switch to another country's senior team for "official" matches. Several American players have done both (Fabian Johnson played youth matches for Germany before playing for the USA, and Jermaine Jones played a couple of friendlies for Germany). The reverse has also happened to the Americans, with one example being Vedad Ibišević, who played for the USA at youth level before choosing his homeland of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This held true for Brazilian-born Diego Costa, who played several friendlies for the Brazilian U-23 in the run-up to the 2014 World Cup held there, only to shock the nation by electing to play for Spain after the country granted him citizenship there (coupled with him not getting any chances with the first team); he was jeered roundly throughout Spain's (short) appearance in that World Cup.
* UngratefulBastard: The USA is often accused of these because of the country's apparent lack of interest in the sport; the United States have been able to qualify consistently since 1990, hosted the tournament on 1994 and have almost always gone past the group stage. To put that into perspective, the majority of football-playing countries where ''it's THE national sport'' have never even been able to qualify. The national team has gradually become more respected with time with the advent of MLS and the success of the Women's NT, but it's still mostly an afterthought to Americans that are already saturated with American Football, Basketball, Baseball and Hockey. Baby steps, but they're slowly realizing that they actually have a very good team if they put in the effort.
* UnnecessaryRoughness:
** The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Berne_(1954_FIFA_World_Cup) Battle of Berne]] (Hungary 4-2 Brazil), 1954 is called that for a very good reason. Not only had it three expelled players, but also had a field invasion and a horrible brawl after the game.
** The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Santiago_(1962_FIFA_World_Cup) Battle of Santiago]] (Chile 2-0 Italy), 1962.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DY8O9qhFbj4 Harald]] "Toni" [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harald_Schumacher Schumacher]].
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mauro_Tassotti Mauro Tassotti]] in the quarterfinal Italy--Spain shattered an opponent's nose with his elbow. Not sent off, but later banned by FIFA for eight matches, effectively ending his career in the national team.
** The Netherlands are involved in a few notable examples:
*** The 1974 The Brazil-Netherlands match is legendary for being a disappointment due to the violent play. One journalist in the Netherlands found himself blackballed during the WC in 1974 for commenting on the roughness of the Dutch team.
*** The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Nuremberg_(2006_FIFA_World_Cup) Battle of Nuremberg]] in Germany 2006 is the record-holder of red/yellow (4 red, 16 yellow) cards in the World Cup. Portugal would eventually win 1-0.
*** Then there was the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_FIFA_World_Cup_Final final of South Africa]] 2010 with Spain, an image from which has the dubious honour of illustrating the UnnecessaryRoughness page (something the responsible later admitted he should have been expelled for). It currently holds the record for cards given during a World Cup Final (13 yellow, 1 red). Neutrals pointed out that the Netherlands would have been ''fortunate'' to have 10 men on the pitch come half time, never mind the 11 they actually left with at the interval. Dutch footballing legend Johan Cruyff not only later slammed the Netherlands for their dirty tactics calling them "vulgar" and "anti-football" but also slammed the referee for not sending off ''two'' Dutch players in the first half alone.
** Entering the hall in the 2014 tournament is Brazil 2-1 Colombia, which had a record 54 fouls -- one on the highest level, with Colombia's Camilo Zúñiga flying knee to the back of Neymar. The foul was called, but the former didn't get a card (in fact, only 4 yellow cards were shown the entire game!). The latter was sent to the hospital with a broken vertebra and missed Brazil's final two games. Though there was some backlash against Zuñiga, most of the backlash from both sides agreed in the fact that the referee let the dirty playing get out of hand, resulting in the encounter between the two players. In the end, there were no penalties against either the ref or Zuñiga, and even Neymar recognized to Zuñiga that the incident was not intentional.
*** Also in 2014, Luis Suárez ''bit'' an opponent in the match Uruguay--Italy. Not sent off at first, but FIFA later punished him severely due to him being a repeat offender.
*** The 2014 final was just as aggressive as the previous one, culminating in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phfNc23HB9Y Bastian Schweinsteiger bleeding after getting punched in the face]].
* UseYourHead: On one hand, we have head goals (the arguably most famous being [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPzNStFGgno Pelé's in the 1970 final]]). On the other hand, we have the infamous Zidane headbutt in the 2006 final, which got him expelled.
* UnknownRival: Despite the intense importance placed on beating the Germans by England, the Germans themselves are more concerned with beating the Dutch.
* WeUsedToBeFriends:
** In the modern World Cup, opponents who are team-mates in club football appear in opposition. Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney in 2006 would be a good example. Also the Boateng brothers, who faced each other in 2010 in Group D ''and'' in 2014 in Group G on the German and Ghanaian teams (apparently they're half-brothers and not that close off the pitch).
** Zig-zagged to an extreme degree with the stars of the 1994 Brazilian winning squad, Romário and Bebeto.
*** First, they were rivals in the Brazilian championship in the late 1980s, one playing for Flamengo and the other for Vasco da Gama.
*** Then they ended up playing together for the national squad that finished second at the 1988 Olympic games and won the 1989 1989 Copa América.
*** In early to mid 1990s, they were rivals again, playing for Barcelona and Deportivo La Coruña in Spain, each of them topping the end of season league's top-scorers' list once.
*** After this, they emerged as one of the best forward duos of all time at the 1994 World Cup, having scored 8 out of the team's 11 goals. Despite rumours of them not liking each other, they hugged and even kissed on a couple of occasions; and when Bebeto did his famous "rocking the baby" celebration at the match against Netherlands, Romário was quick to join him.
*** Averted from 1995 when Romário left the Spanish league to the end of their respective player careers, as they received a couple more calls to the national team, but never appeared together on the pitch.
*** Late in 2009, Romário hired Bebeto as the coach of a minor team called America, and sacked him after just eight games in charge.
*** As of 2014, they're representatives of different political parties in their respective state of Rio de Janeiro, and as Romário is opposing FIFA and had urged the people to protest until right before the World Cup started, while Bebeto is one of the ambassadors of the World Cup and member of the organizing committee.
** After some rough in-game incidents, as of the 2014 World Cup and the 2015 Copa América, Colombia and Brazil don't quite like each other anymore. Colombia was very partial towards Brazil in the World Cups and they used to root for them, while Brazil always looked at Colombia as a friendly underdog; now, they are very content at kicking each other around.
* WeWinBecauseYouDidNot: Any match where a draw is enough to qualify a team while the other one absolutely needs to win. Moreover, a draw for a poor team against a good team feels like a win for them, and a loss for the good team. Case in point:
** England's run in 2010. A draw against USA was treated as a humiliating loss for England and [[http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_GwWyq5eGw9M/TBVDtFvvwyI/AAAAAAAACbU/xoxh5AvrVAU/s1600/USA+%20Wins+%201-1.JPG a soaring victory for the USA]]. A boring 0-0 against Algeria caused the England fans to boo the players at the end of the match.
** The New Zealand team from the same year drew all their games and did not advance from the group stage but were (controversially) named the Westpac Halberg team of the year in their country.
** While Brazil was sad their team got embarrassed at home in the 2014 semifinal, they still liked that ArchEnemy Argentina didn't win in the final (something the German supporters [[http://wscdn.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/assets/images/2014/07/13/140713204015_argentinia_512x288_ap.jpg made sure to exploit]]).
* WearingAFlagOnYourHead:
** The USA team in 1994 had both a "stars" uniform (all blue with the white stars decorating it) and a "stripes" uniform (red and white vertical stripes, with blue shorts). The current USA kit has a subtler version of the same theme: red and white horizontal stripes. (Yes, there are thirteen of them.) However, the US supporters play this straight, particularly the American Outlaws, who are famous for wearing American flag bandannas over their lower faces.
** Downplayed by the German team in 2014 -- their kit features the a stylized German flag proportioned such that only the red band is visible from afar. Played straight with their 1990 kit though.
* WhoNeedsOvertime: Numerous 90th minute winners.
** Italy's penalty win over Australia in 2006 ([[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zQpsQA2cLw allegedly caused by diving]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cS6Wqt00gTc but not really]] -- though other entries show Italians are experts on this).
** 2010 US vs Algeria: 91st minute goal by Landon Donovan allows US to progress to round of 16.
** 2014 Greece vs Ivory Coast: '''92nd''' minute penalty committed by the Africans allows Giorgios Samaras to give a 2-1 victory qualifying the Greeks.
** Subverted in a first round group match between Brazil and Sweden in Mar del Plata in 1978. With the score at 1-1, Brazil won a corner in the final seconds of injury time in the second half. Edinho took the corner, and Zico headed the ball into the back of the net... however, between those two events, Welsh referee Clive Thomas blew for full time, and the goal was disallowed. The Brazilian players were understandably upset and tried unsuccessfully to protest the decision. (It was not the only controversial decision Thomas made in a major tournament in his career -- basically owing to him being a sort of ByTheBookCop -- but it was perhaps the most high profile.) In a case of WhatCouldHaveBeen, had the goal been given, they would have topped the group and gone on to one of the greatest Groups of Death in the history of the tournament -- Brazil, Italy, West Germany, and the Netherlands. Instead Austria topped the group and Brazil (who later drew 0-0 with Spain and beat Austria 1-0) ended up in a group with Argentina, Peru, and Poland.
** Last minute ''[[HoistByHisOwnPetard loser]]'' example: in the 2015 Women's Cup, English defender Laura Bassett scored an own goal at the 92nd minute of the semifinal, causing the team's defeat to Japan.
** JustInTime: Considering actual extra time (in that case, Who Needs Penalties?): in 1990's round of 16, England scored over Belgium at the 119th minute; a record for 16 years -- then in the 2006 semifinals, Italy scored twice, 119' and '''121'''' over Germany. And then in 2011, Abby Wambach scored in the '''''122nd''''' minute to send the USA to a penalty shootout against Brazil, which they won.
* WhamEpisode: There's been no shortage of shocking matches over the years, but 2014's semifinals, with Germany winning 7-1 (and [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu against Brazil]] no less) is a day that will be remembered by football fans everywhere.
* WorldOfHam: Every goal and '''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ioyt2zzm530 especially]]''' every "injury".
* WoundedGazelleGambit: Sadly, seen way too often in the World Cup.
* XanatosGambit: West Germany lost 8-3 to Hungary in 1954, which put them in the [[IdiotBall "group runners-up" half of the draw]], allowing them an easier route to the final than the Hungarians who had to fight past Brazil (literally, in the "Battle of Bern") and then defeat Uruguay. Furthermore, German coach Sepp Herberger had predicted that if his team made the finals, their most likely opponents would be Hungary. Therefore, he played his reserves in the aforementioned 8-3 loss, withholding from the Hungarians firsthand knowledge of his strongest team. Armed with more rested bodies and better knowledge of the opposition, the Germans defeated them in the final.
** Under the controversial and [[{{Calvinball}} decidedly oddball rules]][[note]]Not each team of every group was scheduled to play each other. Each team played only two matches (the estimated favorites were not to play each other) -- so the Hungarians and the Turks never met. If the final games would have been played, most probably West Germany would have come out on top of Turkey after beating them 4-1 in their regular match, Turkey not having played Hungary and West Germany not having played whipping boys South Korea. Actually this was made to prevent favorites from being eliminated, but Turkey was only placed as a favorite since the seeding took place before the qualifications were finished and Turkey happened to eliminate the fancied Spanish team. Oddball indeed.[[/note]]of the 1954 World Cup cumulative goal differences were not taken into account, in the event of the second and third of a group being equal on points, a deciding game for second place became necessary. West Germany was equal on points with Turkey, so Herberger sensibly decided to rest some of his best players for the additional game with Turkey rather than seriously attempt to defeat the Mighty Magyars (in the event of a defeat his best players might not have been able to defeat the Turks in the decider). Also because of the rules of the competition, it was not really possible to foresee whom each team would come up against, because in the event of two teams being equal on points for first and second place, lots were cast. It was unforeseeable bad luck of the draw that determined that Hungary would come up against Brazil (2nd in Group 1 even though it had a better goal difference than Yugoslavia) and Uruguay (2nd in Group 3 even though it had a better goal difference than Austria).
** Some consider the defeat listed under UsefulNotes/ColdWar to also qualify: the defeat made West Germany avoid the Netherlands in Round 2, eventually leading them to face the Clockwork Orange in the finals.
* YamatoNadeshiko: The ladies from the Japanese Team in the 2011 Women's Cup were nicknamed "Nadeshiko Japan". [[PluckyGirl They]] [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome won the Cup.]]
* YankTheDogsChain: The United States drew one of the hardest groups in 2014, having to go against Ghana, Portugal, and Germany, the latter two of whom were both ranked in the Top 5 teams in the world coming into the tournament. The United States managed to score a late winner against Ghana, and Germany slaughtered Portugal, who lost two players to injury and one to red card, on the first day of their campaigns. Germany then drew Ghana 2-2 on their second match, meaning that if the USA defeated Portugal, they escaped the "Group of Death." Portugal started with a goal by Nani because of lazy defending. The United States scored a goal in the second half to knot it up, but then in the 81st minute, Clint Dempsey put a goal in to put the USA up with just ten minutes plus stoppage time to play. The USA looked to have won it, but with 30 seconds left in stoppage time, Cristiano Ronaldo crossed the ball to Silvestre Varela who headed it in, ending the game at 2-2. The USA did go on to qualify, losing to Germany but with Portugal defeating Ghana 2-1 and having a worse goal differential than the USA.
* YouShallNotPass: Any goalkeeper who makes a formidable performance when his team is clearly overmatched and his goal is bombarded with multiple shots. Usually subverted in the end, but sometimes played straight.
** Oliver Kahn, Germany's goalkeeper and captain in 2002, tried to ''win the World Cup'' in 2002 this way, being universally seen as the best player of his team then. He only failed 3 times. Two were in the final, against [[BadAss Ronaldo]].
** The 2014 World Cup provided several examples of heroic goalies put in this situation: Guillermo Ochoa (Mexico) against Brazil (0-0), Raïs M'Bolhi (Algeria) against Germany (1-2, only goals in overtime), Manuel Neuer (Germany) against Algeria (only conceding a goal in the final minute of extra time), Keylor Navas (Costa Rica) against Greece (1-1; Costa Rica won on penalties). Tim Howard (USA) facing Belgium, despite losing 1-2 (also on overtime), set a World Cup record of 16 saves in one game. He had more saves in that one game than the entire run up until that point. There's also the match between Costa Rica and the Netherlands, where Louis Van Gaal sent penalty-specialist GK Tim Krul in the dying minutes of the extra time; at the penalty kicks (and having thoroughly studied the Tico kickers), Krul stopped two penalties to send the Central Americans home.
** Some very defensive (usually weak, but not always) teams make this their strategy, to varying degrees of success. Most prominent examples may be Paraguay, Switzerland, Greece, Ukraine, Iran, and Italy.
** ESPN announcer Ian Darke name-dropped the trope when describing the Argentine defensive strategy vs. Germany in the 2014 final match.
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TheWorldCup/{{Tropes A To H}} | TheWorldCup/TropesIToP | '''Tropes Q To Z'''
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* RagtagBunchOfMisfits:
** The same US team that defeated England 1-0 in 1950 qualify as this (with the goal scored by a Haitian dishwasher no less! [[http://www.fifa.com/classicfootball/matches/world-cup/match=1202/index.html No, really]].)
** [[http://forums.bigsoccer.com/threads/south-korea-and-the-1954-world-cup.371992/ The South Korean team that managed]] [[http://forums.bigsoccer.com/threads/interesting-story-of-koreas-first-world-cup-1954-swiss-wc.361305/ to get to the 1954 World Cup]] one year after the KoreanWar also qualifies. They were trounced in both games, but both having a team and getting to Switzerland [[{{Determinator}} was a miracle]]!
** Every tournament will have a team that really has no business being there. Some perform admirably (North Korea 1966, Jamaica 1998) while others fail miserably (Saudi Arabia 2002, North Korea 2010).
** New Zealand 2010 gets special honor, as they managed to go the entirety of the Group Stage drawing all of their games, including defending champions Italy (and, in fact, finishing ahead of them, since Italy lost to Slovakia in their final group match). With Spain's loss to Switzerland in the Group Stage that year, this makes New Zealand the only undefeated team in that entire tournament's edition.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech / WhatTheHellHero:
** Commentator and former England player Chris Waddle was [[http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/world-cup-2014-chris-waddle-7301299 less than impressed]], to say the least, with England's loss to Uruguay in the 2014 World Cup.
--> "I'm not angry, I'm just fed up of talking about the same old problems. (...) It's not about picking your star players...it's about getting a balance of a side which is going to get you a result. We never ever do. (...) Why, why, why? Other countries go, 'You know what? I've got good players, but unfortunately so-and-so is going to sit on the bench tonight,' and are we bothered? No. Until we get that way of thinking, how do you win football matches? (...) We never, ever, ''ever'' learn."
** There was a reaction by announcer Ray Hudson to the news that Landon Donovan was not picked for the 2014 US Men's Squad. Coach Jürgen Klinsmann was somewhat vindicated when the team escaped the "Group of Death" and took their Round of 16 game into extra time, a better result than most predicted. However, during the Round of 16 match against Belgium, Chris Wondolowski, the striker that it seemed had replaced Donovan in the roster, missed a potential game-winning point-blank shot in stoppage time by skying it over the bar. The criticism began anew, but began to die off after Klinsmann defeated several top-ranked opponents in friendlies.
** In the last matchday of qualifying for the 2014 tournament, Mexico looked like they were going to miss the tournament entirely, losing to Costa Rica while Panama was beating the United States.[[note]]The US had already qualified and clinched the top spot in the final continental qualifying tournament, and were playing with their "B" team against Panama. Costa Rica had already qualified as well.[[/note]] Televisa Deportes had both matches on split-screen in Mexico when, in the final minutes, [[AmericaSavesTheDay the US suddenly scored the tying goal against Panama, which would allow Mexico to advance]] to an intercontinental playoff with New Zealand. Despite their loss, TV Azteca commentator Christian Martinoli [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKKeSG_bXAU gushed praise on America for granting them a chance, then ripped into the Mexican national team]] for a pathetic qualifying cycle where they had to rely on their rivals to get anywhere, and went a terrifyingly bad 1-3-1 (1 win, 3 draws, 1 loss, scoring ''just three goals in five matches'') at home, all in the usually-supportive Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. As the US scored one more goal to outright beat Panama, he said the US had finally surpassed Mexico in [[TheBeautifulGame soccer]], and told Victor Manuel Vucetich, the Mexican team's interim manager, to get his act together or resign.[[note]]His predecessor, Luis Fernando Tena, had been sacked during the competition for his team's pathetic performance. Vucetich himself was sacked two days after the match.[[/note]]
-->'''Christian Martinoli''' (in English)''':''' WE LOVE YOU!!! WE LOVE YOU FOREVER AND EVER!!! OHH, GOD BLESS AMERICA!
* RedemptionQuest:
** One may know from all the accolades he receives nowadays, but once upon a time [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Beckham David Beckham]] was perhaps England's most hated player, unto whom was attributed its elimination from the France 1998 qualifiers after being handed a red card for kicking Argentina's Diego Simeone in the calf for knocking him down (even though they lost at the [=PKs=]). After a few years of abuse, peaking with a 2-3 loss to Portugal in [[EuropeanChampionship Euro 2000]], during the Korea/Japan 2002 qualifiers he scored a free kick against Greece which automatically qualified England (even though the game ended at 2-2), and while he's at it he repaid the favor to Argentina with a penalty kick that helped advance the team as far as the quarterfinals. Coupled with a few more championship trophies until his retirement in 2013, and Beckham has since been purged of the stigma of 1998.
** Brazil had one in Korea/Japan 2002: they were thrashed in the 1998 final by hosts France, had disappointing performances in the previous two years, and the players disagreed with many of the coach's choices for the squad, including striker Ronaldo, who suffered a seizure on the day of the final that impacted his teammates, and had many stretches not playing due to harrowing knee injuries. [[GoldenPath The team won all seven games en route to its fifth title]], with Ronaldo as the top scorer.
** In Brazil 2014, France proved itself a Cup contender again after their [[WeAreStrugglingTogether disastrous]] [[EpicFail 2010 campaign]] with a solid gameplay that allowed them to reach the quarterfinal, where they honorably lost to future champions Germany, 0-1, in a highly defensive battle.
** After a decade and a half of disappointments, Colombia qualified for Brazil 2014 in not only their best-ever qualifying run, but also reaching further than they ever did in previous tournaments. Needless to say, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H795AOsKFv4 people were happy back home.]]
** On the women's side, Canada 2015 features two-time champion USA fighting to shake off the shadow of its 1999 winning team (and less-than-stellar results since), as well as memories of a PK heartbreaker against Japan four years ago. This time, they delivered, thrashing the same team 5-2, with its first four goals scored in the first sixteen minutes.
* RoyalBrat: The Kuwaiti sheikh Fahid Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, president of his country's FA, who interrupted their game with France in 1982 to contest a decision, and ''[[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney he got his way]]''. FIFA fined him $10,000 for the disruption. [[LaserGuidedKarma Plus, Kuwait took in another goal soon after.]]
* RunningGag / OverlyLongGag: '''Each''' edition, you can be pretty sure there will be some drama about bonuses with at least one African team. This is because of rampant corruption and an enduring lack of confidence between players and [[CorruptBureaucrat African federations' officials.]]
* SacredLanguage: All referees are expected to speak English in the modern World Cup, pretty much because the referee '''must''' be from a different continent[[note]] More accurately, from a country that is a member of a different continental governing body. For example, although Australia is geographically considered part of Oceania, it has been a member of the Asian Football Confederation since 2006.[[/note]] than those playing to ensure impartial decisions. (Unless two teams from the same continent play against each other. Then it could be a referee from that continent, just not from either country.) At least, that's the idea...
* SayMyName:
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azUgsIkBGYc Dutch commentator Jack van Gelder's reaction]] when Dennis Bergkamp scored the winning goal in Holland's 1998 quarter-final match against Argentina.
** In Brazil, there's Galvão Bueno, who is way too passionate while narrating the games. Him calling for Taffarel after his defenses or Ronaldo after his goals rendered him a fan favourite status (or an unbearable pain for others).
* SecondPlaceIsForLosers:
** Ask any player who has had to experience losing a World Cup final, and they will tell you that there is nothing worse. The game of a lifetime and you lost. There won't be another chance until four years later and who knows if you or your team will even be competitive then. And the worst part is that the defeated team has to stand around for 10's of minutes seeing their conquerors celebrate as they wait for the presentation and then go up the receive their runner up medals and then walk up right past the Trophy! And frankly no one remembers the runners up or how well they played. (the only second place teams who typically get recognition are Hungary '54 and Netherlands '74)
** History is even crueler to runner-ups that along the way [[http://mentalfloss.com/article/57466/disgrace-gijon-most-controversial-match-world-cup-history cheat]], [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPTOnClKCJc try to kill]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CexJn5kg-90 adversaries]], [[http://www.nytimes.com/1990/07/03/sports/world-cup-90-naples-loves-maradona-but-loves-italy-more.html eliminate the home team]], or [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAjWi663kXc do something stupid]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpbkRApq9qY in the final]].
** This trope was certainly invoked by German keeper Oliver Kahn in 2002. Until the final match, he had only conceded one goal, but this loss in particular sent his career plummeting (that's what he said at the time anyway; he kept up his regularity as first-pick keeper for Bayern Munich, which allowed him to keep his place in the national team, though he'd become a substitute for Jens Lehmann in 2006).
** Lionel Messi had a similar deal with Kahn: like him, he was given the Golden Ball as the best player in the 2014 World Cup despite losing the final. And said he would have preferred the title instead.
** Abby Wambach of the United States women has stated on live television multiple times that she would give back every single award she has ever won just to win one World Cup. She finally won it in 2015, leading to her sobbing with joy as the final whistle sounded.
* SecondPlaceIsForWinners: England's women. Only a few days before, they had been the victim of an own goal in the dying seconds of a match they had arguably deserved to win. There was much heartbreak from their supporters and especially from Laura Bassett, the defender who made the costly error. Their match was against Germany, in which they won 1-0. The English fans and even many neutrals made it quite clear they were proud of the way the team had played and what they had accomplished, especially because Germany is (much like their men's squad) a powerhouse in women's soccer and was - at the time - ranked #1 in the world by FIFA.
* SeparatedByACommonLanguage: The English speaking world says "football", except largely in the US, Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and South Africa. Interestingly, outside the English-speaking world football, futbol, fussball and other derivatives are usual (hence Federation Internationale de '''Football''' Association), except in Italy where "calcio" is used as a homage to the game that the [[BlatantLies Italian authorities claimed was the origin of the game]][[note]]It wasn't - similar sports, like kemari in Japan, tsuchu in China, epyskiros in Ancient Greece, and pasuckuakohowog by many of the native American tribes had been practiced hundreds of years before - , but it was certainly one of the predecessors of the modern game[[/note]]. Meanwhile, the football-based toy officially called table football is called "foosball" in American English, while Germans usually refer to it as a "Kicker" and French as "babyfoot" ([[ItIsPronouncedTroPay pronounced "bah-bee-foot")]]
* SeriousBusiness:
** Andrés Escobar was tragically shot dead on returning home to Colombia in 1994 after scoring an own goal in his team's last game against the United States in Pasadena. Some have suggested it was a hit orchestrated by drug lords who lost millions betting on the game.
** Honduras and El Salvador allegedly [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Football_War went to war over a World Cup qualifier]] in 1969, although undoubtedly there were serious tensions between the two countries beforehand. So, the match was basically a PretextForWar.
** The incumbent Labour Party are thought to have lost the 1970 British general election (when the polling had suggested a victory) purely because England crashed out of the World Cup a few days before.
** In the 2000's, Argentina's Diego Maradona filmed a commercial where he had a nightmare in which he was wearing a Brazil jersey, their most heated rivals. He was immediately and vehemently reproached in his home country to never, ever do it again.
* ShaggyDogStory: Teams that despite a great campaign come short in the final (1950 Brazil, 1954 Hungary, 1974 Netherlands).
** Finishing the group stage with a victory, only to discover you couldn't disqualify one of the teams on the other game ([[ShootTheShaggyDog particularly disheartening]] [[http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/soccer/longterm/worldcup98/results/articles/spain_bulgaria.htm if it's a 6-1 massacre]]).
** The unique case of 1978 Brazil, that managed to be an undefeated third place due to Argentina getting the spot for the final in shady conditions - see ThrowingTheFight below.
** And of course the qualifiers, where many teams get really close to the World Cup only to in the closing moments get surpassed - such as the so called [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agony_of_Doha Agony of Doha]] where Japan lost its 1994 spot due to a last-minute goal by Iraq.
** Australia scored ''74'' goals against fellow OFC teams in the 2002 qualifier, but eventually lost to Uruguay in the intercontinental playoff.
* ShirtlessScene:
** Players have felt the need for these before, now banned by FIFA (the rules do state that taking off your shirt awards you a yellow card). As Winston Reid of New Zealand proved in 2010, that hasn't killed them. The rules allow for the shirt trading after the game, however. Nevertheless, Brandi Chastain's shirtless scene after the US's 1999 Women's World Cup win is one of the most famous images associated with the women's side of the sport.
** None were seen during 2014's goal celebrations, although Germany winner Mesut Özil gave his shirt to Michel Platini when receiving the trophy.
* ShockingDefeatLegacy: Many, standing out three unexpected defeats in the final: 1950 (Brazil to Uruguay at home; 5 titles later, still a sore point in their history), 1954 (after Hungary lost, their football started a downfall that got even worse once the 1956 revolution made some standout players defect), and 1974 (the "Clockwork Orange" couldn't break the GermanicEfficiency). France's EpicFail campaign in 2002 made FIFA force the reigning champions to play the qualifiers. And Brazil's disappointing campaign at home in 2014, losing both the semifinal and third place match in blowouts, is expected to start another renovation.
* SiblingTeam: A few of them, most notably from the Netherlands (twins René/Willy Van de Kerkhof in the seventies, and Frank/Roland de Boer in the nineties) and the Laudrups from Denmark. Brothers Fritz and Ottmar Walter became World Champions with the 1954 West German squad. Averted with the Ghanaian-German [[CainAndAbel Boateng brothers]]. They have a very tense relationship with each other, and this is reflected in their on-pitch interactions, where they rarely interact. Kevin-Prince plays for Ghana, Jerome plays for Germany. They have met in the World Cup twice, both times with Jerome's German side defeating Ghana. Jerome even won a World Cup in 2014.
* SignatureStyle:
** Arjen Robben gets the ball on the right wing. Bet he jinks inside the defenders and shoots at goal with his left foot.
** Zinedine Zidane's gorgeous, full-speed spin move [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0cusxYv2Lw was something to behold ]]. Years after his retirement, he is still able to pull it off.
* SlaveToPR: Many of the players are this, since good PR is more likely to keep your place in the team than good performances (especially where the press are of the rabid variety.)
* SmallReferencePools: Any football pundit will have these. Name a Dutch player of the 70s. Johan Cruyff. A Brazilian from the 1970 team? Pelé. An Argentine number 10 who scored the winner in the World Cup final?[[note]]If you said Maradona, you're wrong. Mario Kempes, 1978.[[/note]] [[CaptainObvious Of course, it depends on said pundit's nationality]]; most Brazilians could name at least the midfielders and forwards from 1970 by heart. If not the entire starting eleven.
* SoreLoser: Some teams take losing not very well.
** Brazil really didn't stand being outmatched by Hungary in their [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Berne_(1954_FIFA_World_Cup) 1954 quarter-finals (aka the Battle of Berne)]]. When Hungary took their lead to 3-1, Brazilian supporters and journalists invaded the pitch, before being shooed out by the police. The Brazilian team then began resorting to UnnecessaryRoughness, to which Hungarians equally viciously answered. After the end of the match (Hungary won 4-2), it degenerated in a general brawl, with Brazilians players and officials invading the Hungarians dressing room. This shameful event is sometimes credited as the reason why Hungary wasn't able to win the final.
** When Argentina lost against Germany in the 2006 quarter-finals, they ''attacked'' them! Some violence later, there was a hard crackdown on them, including the first time a player got a red card (Cufrè) despite never having played in the match in question.
** After screwing up their last game of the group as well and leaving with not a single point in 2010, French coach Raymond Domenech, already under pressure due to a rebellion in the team, denied the South African coach a handshake, which is a horrible breach of the unwritten respect rules in football.
* SpecialGuest:
** In 2006, ITV brought in cricket legend Shane Warne to be an analyst for an Australia football game. Less {{egregious}} was their use of South Africa rugby union World Cup winner François Pienaar talking about the nation at the 2010 Opening Ceremony/Match.
** Also in 2006, ESPN dropped in veteran baseball announcer Dave O'Brien as the lead announcer for the tournament, selecting him over long-time soccer announcer JP Dellacamera. O'Brien was not only terrible, he was hostile about being terrible. Fortunately, ESPN learned from this, and avoided the mistake for the 2010 World Cup by hiring a flotilla of British soccer announcers and international analysts.
** In 2014, ESPN Brazil brought many foreign players (Colombian Freddy Rincón, Argentinian Juan Pablo Sorín), while the local Fox Sports had in their alternate channel both [[{{MST}} parody announcing]] with comedians, and an Islam specialist for Iran-Nigeria.
* StatusQuoIsGod: Despite all the 'equal opportunities', surprises and dark horses, in general, there are four teams which have largely dominated the tournament: Brazil, Italy, Germany and Argentina, collectively amassing 15 of the 20 first places (as of and including 2014) as well as 11 second places and 7 third places. (Except for the 1978 final between Argentina and the Netherlands, every final match between 1954 and 2002 has featured either Brazil or Germany; the 2002 final featured both countries.) Any match between any two of those four teams is a classic. Notably, only once has one of those 'big four' won the tournament after defeating the other three (Italy in 1982).
** In the women's version, substitute the USA for Brazil, Italy, and Argentina. The USA and Germany have won five of the seven editions so far (USA 3, Germany 2), each has one second place, the USA has been third three times, and Germany fourth twice.[[note]]If you're keeping count, that means the USWNT has never finished worse than third.[[/note]] Each of the seven finals so far has featured one of the two teams—but never both.
* StayInTheKitchen: Some nations outright banned women's soccer for decades (Brazil and West Germany are two notable examples) which left them at a decided disadvantage when the Women's World Cup began play. Fortunately, both countries have warmed to their women's teams, and while they still aren't as prestigious as their male counterparts, Brazil is a perennial World Cup contender whose star player Marta has been named the world player of the year five times and Germany won two consecutive World Cups. The attitude still exists in some places, though: as noted during the women's tournament at the 2012 Olympics, Japan's women's team (which at that time was the defending World Cup champion and fell just short of beating the United States for gold at the Olympics) is forced to fly coach while their men's team, which has not won an equivalent title, gets to fly first class.
* StoryBranchFavoritism: At times, the teams in final had very different paths.
** Easiest path wins: As noted under XanatosGambit, West Germany twice averted the favorite in Round 2 until the decision, in 1954 (where Hungary had difficult bouts with Brazil and Uruguay, while the Germans easily routed Yugoslavia and Austria) and 1974 (usual punching bags Yugoslavia, Sweden and Poland in their group, the "Clockwork Orange" in the other).
*** In the second case it should be noted that Sweden certainly was no punching bag in 1974 and Poland, the surprise team of the tournament, finished third by beating Brazil.
** Easiest path loses: On the other hand, the Germans had really favourable confrontations in 2002 (Paraguay, USA, South Korea) before getting beaten by Brazil. And 12 years later, Germany beat an Argentinian team that before beating the Netherlands on penalties, only had close wins over questionable adversaries (Bosnia, Iran, Nigeria, Switzerland, Belgium).
* SuicidalOverconfidence:
** In 1974, the Netherlands didn't bother to send someone to the game which would provide their adversary in the finals (Poland vs. West Germany) after the assistant coach assigned to observe it could not make it (he was sent home after throwing a bottle out of his hotel room and almost hitting players). Given how despite the Dutch starting ahead of the score the German tactics were effective enough for a title...
** Ghana attacking Brazil in 2006 qualifies as this. Brazil just picked them off on the break!
** Brazil in 2014, after losing their star player Neymar after an appalling foul in the quarter finals, were maybe not overconfident against a strong German side, but went all out "we must win for Neymar", holding his shirt during the national anthem while crying, and then started to viciously attack a German side which was known for being very strong against teams with loose defences. The result was Brazil 1 Germany 7.
* TemptingFate:
** In 1974, Brazilian coach Zagallo said "We're gonna make juice out of the Clockwork Orange!" The Netherlands won 2-0 and got their place in the final.
** Argentinian coach Diego Maradona said "The Germans only know how to run [...] We play football" before the quarter-finals in 2010. Cue Germany curbstomping Argentina 4-0 in that match.
** In 2014, Croatian coach Niko Kovač said "Mexico's knees will be trembling with fear" before the group stage closer between both teams. Mexico won 3-1, eliminating Croatia.
* TheatricsOfPain: Increasingly professional footballers, ''despite being healthy adult men'', cannot come into contact with, run past, or even go near an opposition player without falling and writhing dramatically on the ground. (see also: WorldOfHam) As RobinWilliams put it:
--> "OH SHIT! I'VE BEEN KILLED! I'VE BEEN BLINDED! I-- ...there's no one near me, huh? Okay, I'm just kidding..."
* ThrowingTheFight: There are several occasions where the only possible explanation for the result is the teams conspiring to play for a mutually beneficial result, or, more rarely, a team throwing a match for an easier draw in the knockout stages.
** In what was likely a complicated XanatosGambit, the West German side lost 8-3 to the Hungarians in the Group Stage of the 1954 World Cup, which meant that the Germans could go through to the next round after winning an additional game against Turkey.[[note]] The 1954 World Cup was played according to a complicated system that was never used again and consequently is not immediately remembered by most. Hereby it was necessary for West Germany to play and win against Turkey a second time, i. e. they had to play one game more than Hungary to reach the final.[[/note]] The Germans faced the Hungarians again in the final, and walked away with a 3-2 victory.
** West Germany are sometimes accused of having done it ''again'' in 1974, when they lost to East Germany ([[UsefulNotes/ColdWar yep]]) and avoided a group with the Netherlands, Brazil, and Argentina. Instead, by losing and qualifying second, they met Yugoslavia, Sweden, and Poland. However, West German coach and cross-Berlin Wall defector Helmut Schön was determined to win the match against East Germany, and was heartbroken when they lost. Also, whether the group in which West Germany ended up was easier is debatable, as the three other teams there were far from "familiar punching bags" as which they are described by their detractors: West Germany had been eliminated from the World Cup by Sweden in the 1958 semi-finals and by Yugoslavia in the 1962 quarter-finals, and also had come close to being thrown out by Sweden again in the 1966 qualifiers. In 1974 in the group phase Yugoslavia finished ahead of reigning World Champions Brazil, Sweden held the Netherlands to a goalless draw, while Poland won its group by defeating Argentina and Italy; Poland went on to win bronze by defeating Brazil.
** In the 1978 World Cup, thanks to creative rescheduling of the Brazil-Poland game, Argentina knew that it had to win by four clear goals against Peru to overtake Brazil on goal difference and reach the final. Argentina won 6-0 against a Peruvian team, many players of which did not even seem to want to put up a pretense of resistance (and whose goalkeeper, Ramón Quiroga, was a naturalized Peruvian born in Rosario, Argentina, to boot). According to Argentinian and British investigative journalists, the game was fixed at government level, Peru receiving 35,000 tonnes of grain, the unfreezing of a 50 million dollar credit as well as arms in return for throwing the game.
** In the 1982 World Cup, the Austrians threw a match with the West Germans 1-0 to ensure both teams qualified for the second round (as Algeria had already played Chile the day before, they knew the result they needed -- Germany had to win with a two-goal difference for both teams to qualify). The Spanish crowd at the stadium booed vigourously, and German supporters burned their flags. The game is today known in Germany as the Disgrace of Gijón. The players literally stood on the pitch motionless and passed the ball to each other for the whole game, after West Germany scored the 1-0 lead in the 10th minute of play. After what was nothing short of a farce, the rules were changed starting with Euro 1984 and Mexico '86 to ensure the final matches of the each group kicked off at the same time.
** Situations still arise where, after two games, the remaining game pits the first- and second-placed teams against each other, and they need only a draw to progress. Whatever happens is a matter of ethics; there were two examples in 2010:
*** Averted in Group A, Uruguay and Mexico needed to play for a draw to eliminate France and South Africa. Uruguay expressly didn't, won 1-0, and Mexico qualified on goal difference.
*** Though it's unknown if it's more "tying for convenience's sake" or "we're free to play badly, and did so": In Group G, Portugal and Brazil technically needed a draw to eliminate the Ivory Coast (Portugal had a 8-goal advantage over the Ivory Coast, but were still in danger of being knocked out). The game was pretty much a 90-minute kickabout[[note]]The last time the sides played, two years previous, Brazil beat Portugal 6-2[[/note]] complete with the boos at the end despite both sides qualifying.
*** Averted in the 2014 World Cup, where in Group G Germany played the United States, where a draw would automatically send both teams to the knockout stage. Instead, both teams gave their best shot (partly because the Germans wanted to beat their former compatriot and USA manager Jürgen Klinsmann), and Germany ended up winning, 1-0. The USA still made it to the knockout stage on goal difference.
* ToAbsentFriends: The Zambia team were killed in a plane crash on their way to a qualifying tie for 1994. Their bodies were flown back by military aeroplane amid much mourning. The President of Zambia neglected to mention his government had denied them the right to use the safe military aeroplane in life...
* TokenMinority:
** Going as early as Jean Tigana, born in Mali, who played for France in both 1980s tournaments, some European teams have naturalized players who become this: Nigerian Emmanuel Olisadebe played for Poland in 2002; Brazilian Marcos Senna played for Spain in 2006; Germany had the Ghana-born Gerald Asamoah in both 2002 and 2006, as well as black Brazilian Cacau in 2010 and Ghana-descended Jérôme Boateng in both 2010 and 2014; Portugal had Guinea-Bissau-born Éder in 2014; and Switzerland had two African players, Congolese Blaise Nkufo and Cape Verde-born Gelson Fernandes, in 2010 (and Fernandes was also on the 2014 Swiss squad).
** It also happens that there are players who ''were'' born in that country, but their ancestry is notably from another one. Sweden's 1994 team had two examples: Martin Dahlin, whose father is Venezuelan from African descent, and Henrik Larsson (who also played for Sweden in 2002 and 2006), whose father is Cape Verdean. The aforementioned 2014 Portugal team also has Silvestre Varela, born in Portugal of Cape Verdean parents. In 2014, Italy showed up only with their Token Black (Mario Balotelli, Italian of Ghanaian descent), as the team's Token Arab, AC Milan's Stephan El Shaarawy (Italian of Egyptian descent), had an injury-riddled 2013–14 season and didn't fully recover in time. The 2014 Belgian team has no fewer than seven such players, four with one or both parents from sub-Saharan Africa,[[note]]Vincent Kompany (father from DR Congo), Romelo Lukaku (both parents from DR Congo), Mousa Dembélé (Malian father), Divock Origi (Kenyan father)[[/note]] one with a father from the French Caribbean,[[note]]Axel Witsel[[/note]] and two sons of Moroccan immigrants.[[note]]Naser Chadli and Marouane Fellaini[[/note]]
** There are also cases of {{Token White}}s: Chris Birchall for Trinidad and Tobago and Paulo Figueiredo for Angola, both in 2006, and Matthew Booth for South Africa, in 2010.
* TooManyCooksSpoilTheSoup:
** The star-studded midfield of Brazil in 1982 and the wonderful attack of Argentina in 2010, not a lot of defending was considered. The latter in particular; Maradona did not call defenders Esteban Cambiasso and Javier Zanetti, who had just won the UsefulNotes/UEFAChampionsLeague with Inter.
** An English speciality, if Chris Waddle's rant listed under TheReasonYouSuckSpeech is to be believed.
* TradeSnark: According to Creator/{{ESPN}}, it is not the World Cup, but the World Cup™ (yes. Every single graphic, regardless of context, says this).
** FIFA has also aggressively been trying to combat non-sponsors making "unauthorized associations" with the tournament, primarily by forcing host countries to ban "ambush marketing" in and around tournament venues. In 2006, a Dutch brewery got in trouble for having fans wear "leeuwenhose" (orange colored overalls with a lion's tail and their logo on it, distributed with their beer before the tournament) to a Dutch game, considering it ambush marketing. They pulled the same stunt in 2010, but this time with orange miniskirts that were modeled by the wife of a Dutch player in advertisements; a group of 36 attendees wearing them were ''ejected'' from the game, two were arrested and sent to court, and an ITV Sport personality got fired after it was revealed that he had resold tickets intended for family to the brewery.
** In 2010, discount airline Kulula was pressured into pulling an advertisement that contained football and South African imagery (yes, even Vuvuzelas), and had described themselves as "The Unofficial National Carrier of the [[WritingAroundTrademarks You-Know-What]]", all but [[LampshadeHanging lampshading]] that they were not an official sponsor. After FIFA complained, they introduced a new ad [[http://www.worldcupblog.org/world-cup-2010/kulula-vs-fifa-round-two-not-next-year-not-last-year-but-somewhere-in-between.html further lampshading the incident]] with the new tagline: "Not next year, not last year, but somewhere in between". Furthermore, they offered free flights to anyone named Sepp Blatter (the current FIFA president) "for the duration of that thing that is happening right now"; and of course, the honors went to a Boston Terrier named Sepp Blatter.
* TrainingFromHell:
** Most {{egregious}} with Iraq in 1986, who were tortured by Udey Hussein [[http://fourfourtwo.com/blogs/worldcupwonderland/archive/2010/05/19/86-uday-hussein-shaved-my-perm-quot.aspx for many years]]. Somewhat unsurprisingly, his [[MoralEventHorizon morally questionable]] tactics did not work.
** The North Koreans' training is rumoured to be this.
** Before the 2002 Japan/South Korea World Cup, Guus Hiddink, Korea's manager at the time, supposedly gathered the team together some weeks before the tournament and put them in a military boot camp. This helped to build stamina and seemed to bring the team together, as the South Koreans showed great energy and willing effort in their matches along with appearing to be a very together group of players.
* TropeCodifier: The language-neutral yellow and red penalty cards, based on similarly language-neutral traffic lights, were introduced at the 1970 World Cup and have spread to other sports since then.
* TropeCoTropeOfTheWeek: Four of the individual awards have one of the partner's names ("Mastercard All-Star Team", "Gillette Best Young Player", and two for Adidas, Golden Ball -- best player -- and Golden Boot -- top scorer). Plus, the "Budweiser Man of the Match" chosen in the website by fans.
* TurnCoat: Banned now (in the sense that, if you've already played for one national team before, you are ineligible for another even if you naturalize), but there are several examples from the tournament's history.
** In 1930-34 Luis Monti played for both Argentina and then Italy in consecutive World Cup Finals. That Italian team also had three more Argentine players who had played for Argentina before (though not in the 1930 World Cup).
** José "Mazzola" Altafini won the 1958 Cup with Brazil and played in 1962 for Italy.
** Spain's 1962 World Cup squad included Ferenc Puskas (yes, the biggest star of the '54 Hungarian team) and Alfredo di Stefano, who'd represented both Argentina and Colombia (but never played for any of them in the finals).
** Ernst Willimowski was born a German in Upper Silesia in 1916, but his home town of Kattowitz/Katowice became Polish after World War I and thus he played in the Polish football league when he became old enough. A prolific striker, he soon became an international and played in the Polish national squad, scoring 21 goals in 22 games. His finest hour was in the 1938 World Cup where in the knock-out phase Poland went out against Brazil 5-6 after extra time. Willimowski here became the first player to score four goals in one World Cup match. When Nazi Germany overran Poland in 1939, Willimowski decided to become German again and played for his new/old country in 8 matches, scoring 13 goals. The Poles of course never forgave him for this, and not only was he forced to stay in East, then West Germany after 1945, but for many years Willimowski's name was erased from official statistics, as if his goals had been scored by someone else.
** Subverted in cases in which some people only played for more than one national team because their previous country [[BalkanizeMe ceased to exist]], as was the case with many Eastern European players in the 90s.
*** An example is Dejan Stanković, who played for Yugoslavia -- or what was left of it -- in 1998, then after his country collapsed for good and divided into Serbia and Montenegro, two weeks before the 2006 tournament (which is why they played as a still unified team) he played for Serbia and Montenegro, and in 2010, with the split said and done, represented just Serbia.
** Another notable example is Robert Prosinečki, he scored for both Yugoslavia (one goal) and Croatia (two goals) in the World Cup. As of 2014, he is the only player so far who has scored for two different countries in the World Cup finals. (Excluding own goals, of course.)
** Since friendlies and youth squad matches do not count towards a player's eligibility towards a national team, several players have played for one country's youth team and another country's senior team, and a few have played for one senior team for a friendly or two only to switch to another country's senior team for "official" matches. Several American players have done both (Fabian Johnson played youth matches for Germany before playing for the USA, and Jermaine Jones played a couple of friendlies for Germany). The reverse has also happened to the Americans, with one example being Vedad Ibišević, who played for the USA at youth level before choosing his homeland of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This held true for Brazilian-born Diego Costa, who played several friendlies for the Brazilian U-23 in the run-up to the 2014 World Cup held there, only to shock the nation by electing to play for Spain after the country granted him citizenship there (coupled with him not getting any chances with the first team); he was jeered roundly throughout Spain's (short) appearance in that World Cup.
* UngratefulBastard: The USA is often accused of these because of the country's apparent lack of interest in the sport; the United States have been able to qualify consistently since 1990, hosted the tournament on 1994 and have almost always gone past the group stage. To put that into perspective, the majority of football-playing countries where ''it's THE national sport'' have never even been able to qualify. The national team has gradually become more respected with time with the advent of MLS and the success of the Women's NT, but it's still mostly an afterthought to Americans that are already saturated with American Football, Basketball, Baseball and Hockey. Baby steps, but they're slowly realizing that they actually have a very good team if they put in the effort.
* UnnecessaryRoughness:
** The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Berne_(1954_FIFA_World_Cup) Battle of Berne]] (Hungary 4-2 Brazil), 1954 is called that for a very good reason. Not only had it three expelled players, but also had a field invasion and a horrible brawl after the game.
** The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Santiago_(1962_FIFA_World_Cup) Battle of Santiago]] (Chile 2-0 Italy), 1962.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DY8O9qhFbj4 Harald]] "Toni" [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harald_Schumacher Schumacher]].
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mauro_Tassotti Mauro Tassotti]] in the quarterfinal Italy--Spain shattered an opponent's nose with his elbow. Not sent off, but later banned by FIFA for eight matches, effectively ending his career in the national team.
** The Netherlands are involved in a few notable examples:
*** The 1974 The Brazil-Netherlands match is legendary for being a disappointment due to the violent play. One journalist in the Netherlands found himself blackballed during the WC in 1974 for commenting on the roughness of the Dutch team.
*** The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Nuremberg_(2006_FIFA_World_Cup) Battle of Nuremberg]] in Germany 2006 is the record-holder of red/yellow (4 red, 16 yellow) cards in the World Cup. Portugal would eventually win 1-0.
*** Then there was the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_FIFA_World_Cup_Final final of South Africa]] 2010 with Spain, an image from which has the dubious honour of illustrating the UnnecessaryRoughness page (something the responsible later admitted he should have been expelled for). It currently holds the record for cards given during a World Cup Final (13 yellow, 1 red). Neutrals pointed out that the Netherlands would have been ''fortunate'' to have 10 men on the pitch come half time, never mind the 11 they actually left with at the interval. Dutch footballing legend Johan Cruyff not only later slammed the Netherlands for their dirty tactics calling them "vulgar" and "anti-football" but also slammed the referee for not sending off ''two'' Dutch players in the first half alone.
** Entering the hall in the 2014 tournament is Brazil 2-1 Colombia, which had a record 54 fouls -- one on the highest level, with Colombia's Camilo Zúñiga flying knee to the back of Neymar. The foul was called, but the former didn't get a card (in fact, only 4 yellow cards were shown the entire game!). The latter was sent to the hospital with a broken vertebra and missed Brazil's final two games. Though there was some backlash against Zuñiga, most of the backlash from both sides agreed in the fact that the referee let the dirty playing get out of hand, resulting in the encounter between the two players. In the end, there were no penalties against either the ref or Zuñiga, and even Neymar recognized to Zuñiga that the incident was not intentional.
*** Also in 2014, Luis Suárez ''bit'' an opponent in the match Uruguay--Italy. Not sent off at first, but FIFA later punished him severely due to him being a repeat offender.
*** The 2014 final was just as aggressive as the previous one, culminating in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phfNc23HB9Y Bastian Schweinsteiger bleeding after getting punched in the face]].
* UseYourHead: On one hand, we have head goals (the arguably most famous being [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPzNStFGgno Pelé's in the 1970 final]]). On the other hand, we have the infamous Zidane headbutt in the 2006 final, which got him expelled.
* UnknownRival: Despite the intense importance placed on beating the Germans by England, the Germans themselves are more concerned with beating the Dutch.
* WeUsedToBeFriends:
** In the modern World Cup, opponents who are team-mates in club football appear in opposition. Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney in 2006 would be a good example. Also the Boateng brothers, who faced each other in 2010 in Group D ''and'' in 2014 in Group G on the German and Ghanaian teams (apparently they're half-brothers and not that close off the pitch).
** Zig-zagged to an extreme degree with the stars of the 1994 Brazilian winning squad, Romário and Bebeto.
*** First, they were rivals in the Brazilian championship in the late 1980s, one playing for Flamengo and the other for Vasco da Gama.
*** Then they ended up playing together for the national squad that finished second at the 1988 Olympic games and won the 1989 1989 Copa América.
*** In early to mid 1990s, they were rivals again, playing for Barcelona and Deportivo La Coruña in Spain, each of them topping the end of season league's top-scorers' list once.
*** After this, they emerged as one of the best forward duos of all time at the 1994 World Cup, having scored 8 out of the team's 11 goals. Despite rumours of them not liking each other, they hugged and even kissed on a couple of occasions; and when Bebeto did his famous "rocking the baby" celebration at the match against Netherlands, Romário was quick to join him.
*** Averted from 1995 when Romário left the Spanish league to the end of their respective player careers, as they received a couple more calls to the national team, but never appeared together on the pitch.
*** Late in 2009, Romário hired Bebeto as the coach of a minor team called America, and sacked him after just eight games in charge.
*** As of 2014, they're representatives of different political parties in their respective state of Rio de Janeiro, and as Romário is opposing FIFA and had urged the people to protest until right before the World Cup started, while Bebeto is one of the ambassadors of the World Cup and member of the organizing committee.
** After some rough in-game incidents, as of the 2014 World Cup and the 2015 Copa América, Colombia and Brazil don't quite like each other anymore. Colombia was very partial towards Brazil in the World Cups and they used to root for them, while Brazil always looked at Colombia as a friendly underdog; now, they are very content at kicking each other around.
* WeWinBecauseYouDidNot: Any match where a draw is enough to qualify a team while the other one absolutely needs to win. Moreover, a draw for a poor team against a good team feels like a win for them, and a loss for the good team. Case in point:
** England's run in 2010. A draw against USA was treated as a humiliating loss for England and [[http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_GwWyq5eGw9M/TBVDtFvvwyI/AAAAAAAACbU/xoxh5AvrVAU/s1600/USA+%20Wins+%201-1.JPG a soaring victory for the USA]]. A boring 0-0 against Algeria caused the England fans to boo the players at the end of the match.
** The New Zealand team from the same year drew all their games and did not advance from the group stage but were (controversially) named the Westpac Halberg team of the year in their country.
** While Brazil was sad their team got embarrassed at home in the 2014 semifinal, they still liked that ArchEnemy Argentina didn't win in the final (something the German supporters [[http://wscdn.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/assets/images/2014/07/13/140713204015_argentinia_512x288_ap.jpg made sure to exploit]]).
* WearingAFlagOnYourHead:
** The USA team in 1994 had both a "stars" uniform (all blue with the white stars decorating it) and a "stripes" uniform (red and white vertical stripes, with blue shorts). The current USA kit has a subtler version of the same theme: red and white horizontal stripes. (Yes, there are thirteen of them.) However, the US supporters play this straight, particularly the American Outlaws, who are famous for wearing American flag bandannas over their lower faces.
** Downplayed by the German team in 2014 -- their kit features the a stylized German flag proportioned such that only the red band is visible from afar. Played straight with their 1990 kit though.
* WhoNeedsOvertime: Numerous 90th minute winners.
** Italy's penalty win over Australia in 2006 ([[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zQpsQA2cLw allegedly caused by diving]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cS6Wqt00gTc but not really]] -- though other entries show Italians are experts on this).
** 2010 US vs Algeria: 91st minute goal by Landon Donovan allows US to progress to round of 16.
** 2014 Greece vs Ivory Coast: '''92nd''' minute penalty committed by the Africans allows Giorgios Samaras to give a 2-1 victory qualifying the Greeks.
** Subverted in a first round group match between Brazil and Sweden in Mar del Plata in 1978. With the score at 1-1, Brazil won a corner in the final seconds of injury time in the second half. Edinho took the corner, and Zico headed the ball into the back of the net... however, between those two events, Welsh referee Clive Thomas blew for full time, and the goal was disallowed. The Brazilian players were understandably upset and tried unsuccessfully to protest the decision. (It was not the only controversial decision Thomas made in a major tournament in his career -- basically owing to him being a sort of ByTheBookCop -- but it was perhaps the most high profile.) In a case of WhatCouldHaveBeen, had the goal been given, they would have topped the group and gone on to one of the greatest Groups of Death in the history of the tournament -- Brazil, Italy, West Germany, and the Netherlands. Instead Austria topped the group and Brazil (who later drew 0-0 with Spain and beat Austria 1-0) ended up in a group with Argentina, Peru, and Poland.
** Last minute ''[[HoistByHisOwnPetard loser]]'' example: in the 2015 Women's Cup, English defender Laura Bassett scored an own goal at the 92nd minute of the semifinal, causing the team's defeat to Japan.
** JustInTime: Considering actual extra time (in that case, Who Needs Penalties?): in 1990's round of 16, England scored over Belgium at the 119th minute; a record for 16 years -- then in the 2006 semifinals, Italy scored twice, 119' and '''121'''' over Germany. And then in 2011, Abby Wambach scored in the '''''122nd''''' minute to send the USA to a penalty shootout against Brazil, which they won.
* WhamEpisode: There's been no shortage of shocking matches over the years, but 2014's semifinals, with Germany winning 7-1 (and [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu against Brazil]] no less) is a day that will be remembered by football fans everywhere.
* WorldOfHam: Every goal and '''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ioyt2zzm530 especially]]''' every "injury".
* WoundedGazelleGambit: Sadly, seen way too often in the World Cup.
* XanatosGambit: West Germany lost 8-3 to Hungary in 1954, which put them in the [[IdiotBall "group runners-up" half of the draw]], allowing them an easier route to the final than the Hungarians who had to fight past Brazil (literally, in the "Battle of Bern") and then defeat Uruguay. Furthermore, German coach Sepp Herberger had predicted that if his team made the finals, their most likely opponents would be Hungary. Therefore, he played his reserves in the aforementioned 8-3 loss, withholding from the Hungarians firsthand knowledge of his strongest team. Armed with more rested bodies and better knowledge of the opposition, the Germans defeated them in the final.
** Under the controversial and [[{{Calvinball}} decidedly oddball rules]][[note]]Not each team of every group was scheduled to play each other. Each team played only two matches (the estimated favorites were not to play each other) -- so the Hungarians and the Turks never met. If the final games would have been played, most probably West Germany would have come out on top of Turkey after beating them 4-1 in their regular match, Turkey not having played Hungary and West Germany not having played whipping boys South Korea. Actually this was made to prevent favorites from being eliminated, but Turkey was only placed as a favorite since the seeding took place before the qualifications were finished and Turkey happened to eliminate the fancied Spanish team. Oddball indeed.[[/note]]of the 1954 World Cup cumulative goal differences were not taken into account, in the event of the second and third of a group being equal on points, a deciding game for second place became necessary. West Germany was equal on points with Turkey, so Herberger sensibly decided to rest some of his best players for the additional game with Turkey rather than seriously attempt to defeat the Mighty Magyars (in the event of a defeat his best players might not have been able to defeat the Turks in the decider). Also because of the rules of the competition, it was not really possible to foresee whom each team would come up against, because in the event of two teams being equal on points for first and second place, lots were cast. It was unforeseeable bad luck of the draw that determined that Hungary would come up against Brazil (2nd in Group 1 even though it had a better goal difference than Yugoslavia) and Uruguay (2nd in Group 3 even though it had a better goal difference than Austria).
** Some consider the defeat listed under UsefulNotes/ColdWar to also qualify: the defeat made West Germany avoid the Netherlands in Round 2, eventually leading them to face the Clockwork Orange in the finals.
* YamatoNadeshiko: The ladies from the Japanese Team in the 2011 Women's Cup were nicknamed "Nadeshiko Japan". [[PluckyGirl They]] [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome won the Cup.]]
* YankTheDogsChain: The United States drew one of the hardest groups in 2014, having to go against Ghana, Portugal, and Germany, the latter two of whom were both ranked in the Top 5 teams in the world coming into the tournament. The United States managed to score a late winner against Ghana, and Germany slaughtered Portugal, who lost two players to injury and one to red card, on the first day of their campaigns. Germany then drew Ghana 2-2 on their second match, meaning that if the USA defeated Portugal, they escaped the "Group of Death." Portugal started with a goal by Nani because of lazy defending. The United States scored a goal in the second half to knot it up, but then in the 81st minute, Clint Dempsey put a goal in to put the USA up with just ten minutes plus stoppage time to play. The USA looked to have won it, but with 30 seconds left in stoppage time, Cristiano Ronaldo crossed the ball to Silvestre Varela who headed it in, ending the game at 2-2. The USA did go on to qualify, losing to Germany but with Portugal defeating Ghana 2-1 and having a worse goal differential than the USA.
* YouShallNotPass: Any goalkeeper who makes a formidable performance when his team is clearly overmatched and his goal is bombarded with multiple shots. Usually subverted in the end, but sometimes played straight.
** Oliver Kahn, Germany's goalkeeper and captain in 2002, tried to ''win the World Cup'' in 2002 this way, being universally seen as the best player of his team then. He only failed 3 times. Two were in the final, against [[BadAss Ronaldo]].
** The 2014 World Cup provided several examples of heroic goalies put in this situation: Guillermo Ochoa (Mexico) against Brazil (0-0), Raïs M'Bolhi (Algeria) against Germany (1-2, only goals in overtime), Manuel Neuer (Germany) against Algeria (only conceding a goal in the final minute of extra time), Keylor Navas (Costa Rica) against Greece (1-1; Costa Rica won on penalties). Tim Howard (USA) facing Belgium, despite losing 1-2 (also on overtime), set a World Cup record of 16 saves in one game. He had more saves in that one game than the entire run up until that point. There's also the match between Costa Rica and the Netherlands, where Louis Van Gaal sent penalty-specialist GK Tim Krul in the dying minutes of the extra time; at the penalty kicks (and having thoroughly studied the Tico kickers), Krul stopped two penalties to send the Central Americans home.
** Some very defensive (usually weak, but not always) teams make this their strategy, to varying degrees of success. Most prominent examples may be Paraguay, Switzerland, Greece, Ukraine, Iran, and Italy.
** ESPN announcer Ian Darke name-dropped the trope when describing the Argentine defensive strategy vs. Germany in the 2014 final match.
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[[redirect:UsefulNotes/TheWorldCup]]
9th Jul '15 9:58:36 AM zero5889
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** One may not believe it, but once upon a time [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Beckham David Beckham]] was perhaps England's most hated player, having been handed a red card during the 1998 qualifiers for kicking Argentina's Diego Simeone in the calf for knocking him down (England ultimately lost at the [=PKs=]). After a few years of abuse, peaking with a 3-2 loss to Portugal during the [[EuropeanChampionship Euro 2000]], Beckham scored a free kick against Greece (the game ended with 2-2, but the result was enough for England to qualify for 2002), and while he's at it he repaid the favor to Argentina with a penalty kick that helped advance England as far as the quarterfinals. Needless to say, modern-day Beckham has achieved something of a demigod status both in England and abroad.
** Brazil had one in the 2002 World Cup: they were thrashed in the 1998 final, had disappointing performances in the previous two years, and Brazilians disagreed with many of the coach's choices for the squad - including striker Ronaldo, who suffered an HeroicBSOD the day of the 98 final that impacted his teammates, and had many stretches not playing due to harrowing knee injuries. [[GoldenPath The team won all seven games en route to the fifth title]], with Ronaldo as the top scorer.
** The French team in 2014 was this after their [[WeAreStrugglingTogether disastrous]] [[EpicFail 2010 campaign]]. They largely suceeded, winning back their supporters by playing good football and reaching the quarter-finals where they were honorably defeated (0-1) by future champions Germany.
** After a decade and a half of disappointments, the Colombian team qualified to the 2014 World Cup in not only their best-ever qualifying run, but also reaching further than they ever did before in the tournament itself. Needless to say, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H795AOsKFv4 people were happy back home.]]
** The US women in 2015 were fighting for redemption after falling in the 2011 final against Japan and earned it, facing Japan again in the final and thrashing them 5-2, including four goals in the first 16 minutes of the game. This was also redemption for the US as a whole, as it had been 16 years since they had last won the Women's World Cup and the women's team had languished in the shadow of the 1999 Cup-winning squad since then.

to:

** One may not believe it, know from all the accolades he receives nowadays, but once upon a time [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Beckham David Beckham]] was perhaps England's most hated player, having been unto whom was attributed its elimination from the France 1998 qualifiers after being handed a red card during the 1998 qualifiers for kicking Argentina's Diego Simeone in the calf for knocking him down (England ultimately (even though they lost at the [=PKs=]). After a few years of abuse, peaking with a 3-2 2-3 loss to Portugal during the in [[EuropeanChampionship Euro 2000]], Beckham during the Korea/Japan 2002 qualifiers he scored a free kick against Greece (the which automatically qualified England (even though the game ended with 2-2, but the result was enough for England to qualify for 2002), at 2-2), and while he's at it he repaid the favor to Argentina with a penalty kick that helped advance England the team as far as the quarterfinals. Needless to say, modern-day Coupled with a few more championship trophies until his retirement in 2013, and Beckham has achieved something since been purged of a demigod status both in England and abroad.
the stigma of 1998.
** Brazil had one in the 2002 World Cup: Korea/Japan 2002: they were thrashed in the 1998 final, final by hosts France, had disappointing performances in the previous two years, and Brazilians the players disagreed with many of the coach's choices for the squad - squad, including striker Ronaldo, who suffered an HeroicBSOD a seizure on the day of the 98 final that impacted his teammates, and had many stretches not playing due to harrowing knee injuries. [[GoldenPath The team won all seven games en route to the its fifth title]], with Ronaldo as the top scorer.
** The French team in 2014 was this In Brazil 2014, France proved itself a Cup contender again after their [[WeAreStrugglingTogether disastrous]] [[EpicFail 2010 campaign]]. They largely suceeded, winning back their supporters by playing good football and reaching campaign]] with a solid gameplay that allowed them to reach the quarter-finals quarterfinal, where they were honorably defeated (0-1) by lost to future champions Germany.
Germany, 0-1, in a highly defensive battle.
** After a decade and a half of disappointments, the Colombian team Colombia qualified to the for Brazil 2014 World Cup in not only their best-ever qualifying run, but also reaching further than they ever did before in the tournament itself.previous tournaments. Needless to say, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H795AOsKFv4 people were happy back home.]]
** The US women in 2015 were fighting for redemption after falling in the 2011 final against Japan and earned it, facing Japan again in the final and thrashing them 5-2, including four goals in the first 16 minutes of the game. This was also redemption for the US as a whole, as it had been 16 years since they had last won the Women's World Cup and On the women's team had languished in side, Canada 2015 features two-time champion USA fighting to shake off the shadow of the its 1999 Cup-winning squad since then.winning team (and less-than-stellar results since), as well as memories of a PK heartbreaker against Japan four years ago. This time, they delivered, thrashing the same team 5-2, with its first four goals scored in the first sixteen minutes.
8th Jul '15 6:59:29 PM KevinW
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* SecondPlaceIsForWinners: England's women. Only a few days before, they had been the victim of an own goal in the dying seconds of a match they had arguably deserved to win. There was much heartbreak from their supporters and especially from Laura Bassett, the defender who made the costly error. Their match was against Germany, in which they won 1-0. The English fans and even many neutrals made it quite clear they were proud of the way the team had played and what they had accomplished.

to:

* SecondPlaceIsForWinners: England's women. Only a few days before, they had been the victim of an own goal in the dying seconds of a match they had arguably deserved to win. There was much heartbreak from their supporters and especially from Laura Bassett, the defender who made the costly error. Their match was against Germany, in which they won 1-0. The English fans and even many neutrals made it quite clear they were proud of the way the team had played and what they had accomplished.accomplished, especially because Germany is (much like their men's squad) a powerhouse in women's soccer and was - at the time - ranked #1 in the world by FIFA.
8th Jul '15 6:57:43 PM KevinW
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Added DiffLines:

** The US women in 2015 were fighting for redemption after falling in the 2011 final against Japan and earned it, facing Japan again in the final and thrashing them 5-2, including four goals in the first 16 minutes of the game. This was also redemption for the US as a whole, as it had been 16 years since they had last won the Women's World Cup and the women's team had languished in the shadow of the 1999 Cup-winning squad since then.
6th Jul '15 7:03:27 PM KYCubbie
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* StayInTheKitchen: Some nations outright banned women's soccer for decades (Brazil and West Germany are two notable examples) which left them at a decided disadvantage when the Women's World Cup began play. Fortunately, both countries have warmed to their women's teams, and while they still aren't as prestigious as their male counterparts, Brazil is a perennial World Cup contender whose star player Marta has been named the world player of the year five times and Germany won two consecutive World Cups. The attitude still exists in some places, though: as noted during the women's tournament at the 2012 Olympics, Japan's women's team (which is at the time of this writing are the defending World Cup champion and fell just short of beating the United States for gold at the Olympics) is forced to fly coach while their men's team, which has not won an equivalent title, gets to fly first class.

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* StayInTheKitchen: Some nations outright banned women's soccer for decades (Brazil and West Germany are two notable examples) which left them at a decided disadvantage when the Women's World Cup began play. Fortunately, both countries have warmed to their women's teams, and while they still aren't as prestigious as their male counterparts, Brazil is a perennial World Cup contender whose star player Marta has been named the world player of the year five times and Germany won two consecutive World Cups. The attitude still exists in some places, though: as noted during the women's tournament at the 2012 Olympics, Japan's women's team (which is at the that time of this writing are was the defending World Cup champion and fell just short of beating the United States for gold at the Olympics) is forced to fly coach while their men's team, which has not won an equivalent title, gets to fly first class.



** Subverted in cases in which some people only played for more than one national team because their previous country [[BalkanizeMe ceased to exist]], as was the case with many Eastern-European players in the 90s.

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** Subverted in cases in which some people only played for more than one national team because their previous country [[BalkanizeMe ceased to exist]], as was the case with many Eastern-European Eastern European players in the 90s.
6th Jul '15 6:58:35 PM KYCubbie
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Added DiffLines:

** In the women's version, substitute the USA for Brazil, Italy, and Argentina. The USA and Germany have won five of the seven editions so far (USA 3, Germany 2), each has one second place, the USA has been third three times, and Germany fourth twice.[[note]]If you're keeping count, that means the USWNT has never finished worse than third.[[/note]] Each of the seven finals so far has featured one of the two teams—but never both.
5th Jul '15 9:17:52 PM MyFinalEdits
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** Abby Wambach of the United States women has stated on live television multiple times that she would give back every single award she has ever won just to win one World Cup. Considering how close the US women came in 2011, one can hardly blame her.
*** She finally won it in 2015, leading to her sobbing with joy as the final whistle sounded.

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** Abby Wambach of the United States women has stated on live television multiple times that she would give back every single award she has ever won just to win one World Cup. Considering how close the US women came in 2011, one can hardly blame her.
***
She finally won it in 2015, leading to her sobbing with joy as the final whistle sounded.
5th Jul '15 6:52:00 PM Rytex
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Added DiffLines:

*** She finally won it in 2015, leading to her sobbing with joy as the final whistle sounded.
* SecondPlaceIsForWinners: England's women. Only a few days before, they had been the victim of an own goal in the dying seconds of a match they had arguably deserved to win. There was much heartbreak from their supporters and especially from Laura Bassett, the defender who made the costly error. Their match was against Germany, in which they won 1-0. The English fans and even many neutrals made it quite clear they were proud of the way the team had played and what they had accomplished.
5th Jul '15 11:22:05 AM MyFinalEdits
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* UngratefulBastard and NeverAcceptedInHisHometown: The USA is often accused of these because of the country's apparent lack of interest in the sport; the United States have been able to qualify consistently since 1990, hosted the tournament on 1994 and have almost always gone past the group stage. To put that into perspective, the majority of football-playing countries where ''it's THE national sport'' have never even been able to qualify. The national team has gradually become more respected with time with the advent of MLS and the success of the Women's NT, but it's still mostly an afterthought to Americans that are already saturated with American Football, Basketball, Baseball and Hockey. Baby steps, but they're slowly realizing that they actually have a very good team if they put in the effort.

to:

* UngratefulBastard and NeverAcceptedInHisHometown: UngratefulBastard: The USA is often accused of these because of the country's apparent lack of interest in the sport; the United States have been able to qualify consistently since 1990, hosted the tournament on 1994 and have almost always gone past the group stage. To put that into perspective, the majority of football-playing countries where ''it's THE national sport'' have never even been able to qualify. The national team has gradually become more respected with time with the advent of MLS and the success of the Women's NT, but it's still mostly an afterthought to Americans that are already saturated with American Football, Basketball, Baseball and Hockey. Baby steps, but they're slowly realizing that they actually have a very good team if they put in the effort.
5th Jul '15 11:15:23 AM Beiahnu
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Added DiffLines:

* UngratefulBastard and NeverAcceptedInHisHometown: The USA is often accused of these because of the country's apparent lack of interest in the sport; the United States have been able to qualify consistently since 1990, hosted the tournament on 1994 and have almost always gone past the group stage. To put that into perspective, the majority of football-playing countries where ''it's THE national sport'' have never even been able to qualify. The national team has gradually become more respected with time with the advent of MLS and the success of the Women's NT, but it's still mostly an afterthought to Americans that are already saturated with American Football, Basketball, Baseball and Hockey. Baby steps, but they're slowly realizing that they actually have a very good team if they put in the effort.
This list shows the last 10 events of 141. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=TheWorldCup.TropesQToZ