In the lead-up to the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Herald writers are looking back on their favourite World Cup memories.
Today, Daniel Richardson, Herald football writer who covers the Wellington Phoenix, shares his top moments.
First World Cup memory
Watching France 1998 and being wowed by the brilliance of French midfielder Zinedine Zidane. The guy seemed to have the ball on a string throughout the tournament and he rode a wave of home support to guide France to a title. His two-goal display in the final, where they beat Brazil 3-0, was legendary.
Favourite World Cup match
For pure upset value I can't go past Senegal beating France 1-0 in the opening game of the 2002 World Cup in Korea. The French came in to the tournament as defending champions but fairytale stories don't come much better than Senegal making that World Cup and when the brilliantly-named Papa Bouba Diop scored a crucial first-half goal that proved the winner, the World Cup came alive.
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Favourite World Cup player
Being a goalkeeper myself I have a soft spot for Oliver Kahn's performance between the sticks for Germany at the 2002 World Cup. He was nearly unbreakable during Germany's run to the final as he conceded only one goal in their first six games. Granted, they lost the final 2-0 to Brazil but he's still the only goalkeeper to have ever won the Golden Ball for being the tournament's best player.
Prediction for 2014 final
Brazil to beat Spain. The previous four World Cups staged in South America have been won by South American teams. Brazil have the home crowds and Neymar.