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Ball Dispute 1930
At the very first final, hosts Uruguay faced neighbours Argentina in Montevideo. The teams could not agree on which ball to use. So they decided to use an Argentinean ball the first half and a ball supplied by Uruguay the second half. As it turned out, Argentina was ahead at halftime 2-1. However; Uruguay came back to win the match in the second half 4-2 using their ball!
Foul Feast 1934
In the quarter finals, Italy squeezed past Spain after a replay. The first match was played in a highly aggressive manner with several players of both sides injured due to rough play: Spain's remarkable goalkeeper Ricardo Zamora was injured in the first meeting, leaving him unable to participate in the replay. At the second game even rougher play by Spaniards broke the leg of the Italian Mario Pizziolo who would not play in the national team again. In the final, Italy won against Czechoslovakia.
Win or Die 1938
Before the final between Hungary and Italy in Paris 1938; it is said that Benito Mussolini sent a telegram to the Italian team that read “Vincere o morire!” After the Italians defeated Hungary 4-2, Hungarian goalkeeper Antal Szabó said, “I may have let in four goals, but at least I saved their lives.” Mussolini´s message to the Italian team is represented by the skulls in the 1938 sock.
In front of some 200,000 spectators at Maracanã Stadium, everyone seemed convinced that Brazil would win the trophy for the first time. However, Uruguay beat Brazil in a shocking 2-1 victory. Maracanã was silenced, and the fans in the stadium were instantly overcome with disbelief. The defeat also had an emotional and psychological impact on the Brazilian people as a whole and on Brazilian society in general. The match against Uruguay, nicknamed the “Maracanazo,” is considered to be a national tragedy and the tears of Brazil are to be seen in the pattern of the sock.
West Germany defeated Hungary in the final, also called ”The Miracle of Bern”. However, the sock has got its name from the intriguing fact that Spain did not pass the qualifying round eliminated by Turkey: after the two countries had tied a three-game series, Turkey progressed by drawing of lots(!).
Silver at Råsunda 1958 – Limited edition
Just 5.8 kilometres away from the head office of Nostalgia socks, Sweden faced Brazil at Råsunda stadium. The final put an end to the Brazilian trauma from 1950 as they won by 5-2. The world saw the entrance of a 17-year old genius named Pelé. Råsunda is nowadays wrecked, but the memories of the silver prevail – therefore the sock is made of silver thread.
Battle of Santiago 1962
When Chile faced Italy, the match got a bit messy. “The Battle of Santiago” is remembered as a brutal encounter. From the start Chileans spat in the faces of Italians, they poked and kicked and provoked, but when the Italians retaliated it was they who were punished. The first sending-off was awarded after four minutes. Giorgio Ferrini, the Italian involved, refused to leave the field and play was held up for 10 minutes until armed policemen frogmarched him to the dressing-rooms. Italy got two red cards, pictured in the sock, and Chile won by 2-0. In the end, Brazil won their second Trophy.
Pickles the hero 1966
The world cup trophy was stolen from the Methodist Central Hall in Westminster where it was being exhibited in a glass cabinet. However, Pickles found the trophy wrapped in newspaper lying on the street a week later! Now Pickles began the life of a celebrity. He starred in a film and many other TV shows and was made Dog of the Year. On 30 July, the hosts won the final 4-2 against West Germany at Wembley stadium. The hero Pickles is to be found on the 1966 sock.
Partita del Secolo 1970
In Mexico 1970, the semi-final between Italy and West Germany is known as the Game of the Century, where five goals were scored in extra time. There is a monument commemorating this match in front of the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. On a plaque the following sentence is engraved: El Estadio Azteca rinde homenaje a las selecciones de: Italia (4) y Alemania (3) protagonistas en el Mundial de 1970, del "Partido del Siglo" 17 de junio de 1970. Brazil won the throphy after a 4-1 victory against the winners of Partita del Secolo.
East vs West 1974
Sometimes, worlds collide on the pitch. So was the case during the cold war when East Germany faced West Germany in Hamburg. In one of the most politically charged matches of all time, it was the East that won, thanks to a late Jürgen Sparwasser goal. This embarrassing result forced a realignment of the West German team that helped them win the tournament. The divided colours in the sock represent the clash between East and West.
Tulips in the Pampas? 1978
In 1976 Argentina’s government was overthrown by a military coup. As the tournament approached, talks of boycotting the playoffs came increased, but with little effect on most people, except for one of the best players of the time; the legendary Dutch player Johann Cruyff refused to participate in protest against the military government. Despite that, Holland reached the final. "Tulips in the Pampas?" asked French newspaper L'Equipe on the eve of the game. But there were no tulips growing; the title was won by Argentina led by hero Mario Kempes in a 3-1 victory.
3 teeth of Battiston 1982
The semi-final between West Germany and France in Spain 1982 is foremost remembered by one of the worst attacks ever. When Patrick Battiston leapt for the ball, German keeper Harald Schumacher rushed from his area and collided with the French defender. As the French medical staff attended to the unconscious player, Schumacher retreated to the edge of the box and began a series of stretching exercises that incensed the French fans. Battiston lost three teeth, later exhibited in Germany(!). The teeth, inspired by the colours of of Miró, can be found on the 1982 sock. Italy won the cup beating West Germany in the final.
Hand of God 1986
In Mexico City 1986, the game between Argentina and England was held four years after the Falklands War between Argentina and the United Kingdom and was a key part in the already intense football rivalry between the countries. It was also a match which included two of the most famous goals in football history, both scored by Diego Maradona. The first goal was the Hand of God that can be found on the sock. Maradona said to the teammates: “Come hug me, or the referee isn't going to allow it.” His second goal was brilliant; dribbling past five England players. Argentina won the game 2–1 and went on to win the 1986 tournament with a victory over West Germany in the final.
Wild eyes 1990
Being a novice in the arena of national team competitions, Salvatore “Toto” Schillaci surprised everyone in the tournament of 1990. Six goals made him the tournament's top scorer, despite the hosts falling in the semi-finals. The Sicilian striker, who never went to school and grew up in poverty on the streets of Palermo's slums, is foremost remembered by the wild eyes when celebrating a goal. West Germany won the final against Argentina.
Cradle Rocking 1994
Having recently become a father, the Brazilian attacker Bebeto 'rocked' USA 1994 with this iconic moment after bagging a goal against Holland. After scoring, Bebeto ran to the sideline, brought his arms together and began rocking an imaginary baby. Teammates Romário and Mazinho quickly joined in. This type of goal celebration became iconic and is widely used by newly-become footballing fathers since then. Bebeto and Brazil lifted the trophy after a penalty shootout against Italy.
In the tournament in France 1998, politics and football once again collided: USA faced Iran. Since the Iranian revolution in 1979, relations between the two countries had become hostile. But on the pitch; football overcame aggression. The two sides had a joint team photo taken and the game itself was a fair match that Iran won 2-1. USA was eliminated, but despite this the players recognised the part they played in a historic match. "We did more in 90 minutes than the politicians did in 20 years," said US defender Jeff Agoos at the time. As in the national motto of France – Fraternité – the players on the pitch showed that football can unite. Hosts France won the tournament with a 3-0 win against Brazil in the final.
Three yellow 2002
At the Korea-Japan Tournament in 2002, the Croatian player Šimunic had the unique experience of being awarded three yellow cards during the same game. Croatia faced Australia in the group stage. Refree Graham Poll failed to send off Šimunic for a second yellow card late in the match, eventually sending him off for a third yellow for dissent at the final whistle. The judge had erred in his second booking of Šimunic, marking in the wrong column; effectively noting it against Australia's Craig Moore. The sock of 2002 therefore tributes the three yellow turned into a red card in a graphical pattern. Brazil won their fifth trophy, winning 2-0 versus Germany.
Head-butt history 2006
The brilliant French playmaker Zinedine Zidane made a shocking exit from professional football. In his last match, Zidane was sent off for headbutting Materazzi in the chest in the second period of extra-time in the final in Berlin. France lost to Italy after penalty shoot-out.Zidane made apologies afterwards. The same head that notched two goals in the final of 1998 now once again had created history.
Orange Kung-Fu 2010
Netherlands midfielder De Jong’s infamous tackle can be seen on the 2010 sock. De Jong planted his studs into Xavi Alonso's chest, leaving the Spaniard needing treatment before he was able to continue playing. De Jong only received a yellow card for the tackle, which some felt merited more severe punishment. Despite this, the Dutch team lost the final in Johannesburg and Spain claimed their finest victory ever. Crime does not pay.
Bitten in Brazil 2014
Who does not remember Luiz Suarez snack of Italian cuisine in the match between Uruguay and Italy in Natal, Brazil? Surely, Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini does. Mexican referee Marco Rodríguez – whose nickname is Dracula (!) – took no action during the game. Maybe Dracula thought it was OK. But a harsh penalty awaited the Uruguayan striker: Suarez was later banned 4 months from football activity due to the biting incident. In the final, Germany claimed their fourth trophy, beating Argentina.