Come to think of it, I’ve watch many World Cups, here’s a rundown of what i remember of each one of them.
I was a small kid, not into football yet. All I remember was watching a replay of the Argentina-Brazil match and my uncle saying that it was a ‘dirty game’. I also remember thinking the name ‘Boniek’ was pretty funny.
This was the first World Cup that I really got into, I was Form 1 at that time and everyone in school was football crazy. This was the World Cup of Maradona, Socrates, Scifo, Platini and Lineker. Not to mention the Hand of God.
Form Five, a few months before SPM, but that didn’t stop us from watching the matches at an ungodly hour of 6am. In retrospect it turned out to be a disappointing World Cup, but at that time it never struck us as boring at all. Two teams that stood out was Cameroon with Roger Milla doing that (mildly disturbing) jig at the corner flag, and Jack Charlton leading Republic of Ireland who reached the quarterfinals without winning a single match. Also, Stuart Pearce blasting the penalty kick into the sky.
I remember clearly we started collecting Figurine Panini commemorative stickers which were pretty cool back then (not to mention expensive).
Everybody was like ‘What? USA?!’ Personally i was hugely disappointed when they didn’t have basketball-style statistics flashing across your screen during the game. That would have been cool!
I was in university, games were 3am and 7am I think (of course when in university, staying up through the night was pretty normal). While everybody had to pack the common room to watch matches in the small TV shared by hundreds, my pal Ray smuggled a small TV into my dorm. That meant I got to watch every single match, even the boring 3/4 placing. I was partly supporting Nigeria, coz I had a Nigerian friend in uni at that time.
I remember watching the game in my room with pals Ray and Dave. We were all supporting Brazil, when Baggio missed the penalty, Dave started dancing in the room.
All in all I didn’t really follow this World Cup that much, since I had just started work. The highlight was probably France’s Zidane leading his team against Ronaldo’s Brazil. I also remember clearly that in this campaign, most of France’s goals came from midfielders and defenders.
This was also the World Cup with that annoying Ricky Martin song. You know, the one that goes “Go! Go! Go! Allez, allez, allez!”
Korea Japan 2002
I was working as contractor in a construction site. Most of my colleagues watched the matches with the Indonesian workers at the canteen, I watched it in the comfort my subcon’s air-conditioned cabin. It was also my first World Cup with Astro at home. By this time the broadband was widespread in Malaysia already, so football was everywhere and anywhere.
Did anyone ELSE think that a mediocre South Korea reaching the semifinals was a bit fishy?
Strangely, with this being only 4 years ago and me having watched most of the games, I can’t really remember much about it. Maybe it had more to do with me going off football in general during that time. But I do remember all that unnecessary fuss about Wayne Rooney’s broken toe and Cristiano Ronaldo getting him sent off. Oh and also that Zidane headbutt.