World Cup memories: Kris Shannon

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Uruguay's Luis Suarez was sent off in the 2010 quarter-finals. Photo / AP
Uruguay's Luis Suarez was sent off in the 2010 quarter-finals. Photo / AP

In the lead-up to the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Herald writers are looking back on their favourite World Cup memories.

Today, Kris Shannon, who was in South Africa four years ago as a fan, shares his top moments.

1) First World Cup memory
The knockout stages of France '98, specifically David Beckham lashing out against now-Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone. I think I remember Michael Owen's wonder goal but that might be from watching the replay roughly 300 times. I definitely remember Beckham's petulant kick and the Mirror's subsequent headline after England's penalty shootout defeat: '10 Heroic Lions, One Stupid Boy'.

2) Favourite World Cup match
Uruguay v Ghana, 2010 quarter-finals. Having stayed in South Africa after the All Whites' exit, this was the last match I attended and, with apologies to Winston Reid, easily the most dramatic.

From Luis Suarez's 'heroic' handball in the last minute of extra time, to Asamoah Gyan missing the resulting penalty and sending the game to a shootout, to Sebastian Abreu sealing Uruguay's passage to the semifinals with a Panenka...the fans walked out of Soccer City as exhausted as the players.

3) Favourite World Cup player
Roy Keane played in just one World Cup but it was the tournament where he didn't feature that made a bigger impact. Ireland's best player in their run to the second round in 1994, the Manchester United captain was set for a commanding role at the 2002 edition. Until, that is, he politely expressed his misgivings about Ireland's preparations to coach Mick McCarthy: "Mick, you're a liar and you're a wanker. I didn't rate you as a player, I don't rate you as a manager, and I don't rate you as a person. You're a wanker and you can stick your World Cup up your arse." Keane was sent home.

4) Prediction for final
Brazil v Argentina. The dream final. No European team has won the World Cup from six editions in Latin America, so this year's event could come to a close with one of world football's great local rivalries. Brazil and Argentina have played 95 times in their history, with Argentina winning 36 and Brazil 35. Expect the hosts to tie that up and claim their sixth World Cup.

World Cup memories
Coen Lammers
David Leggat

- NZ Herald

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