In the lead-up to the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Herald writers are looking back on their favourite World Cup memories.
Today, Herald sub-editor Duncan Gillies, shares his top moments.
Your first World Cup memory
I would like to think I can remember Johann Cruyff in the 1974 World Cup but I was only 5 and any image of him then has probably been imprinted into my brain by my brother who is three years older than me and loved Cruyff. My clearest early World Cup memory, though, is the 1978 final between Argentina and Holland.
It was a special time in my household. Our black-and-white TV had started to play up a couple of weeks before the tournament began and my father decided there was no way he was going to risk it dying on him in the middle of a game and so hired a colour TV. Colour TV. That was huge. The final was also at a good time for New Zealand audiences and screened live at about 7am. But the Argentinians were late coming on to the field. It wasn't until years later that I learnt it was because they had a problem with the Dutch player Rene van de Kerkhof taking the field with a plaster cast on his wrist. The Dutch put extra padding around van de Kerkhof's cast and was able to play. But then the game went to extra-time. My dad used to bike to school with us but there was no way he was taking us before the game ended. Argentina ended up winning 3-1 and we (one brother and sister) arrived at school very late but at least we had a note from my father.
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Favourite World Cup match
I don't have a favourite World Cup match but I have plenty of favourite World Cup moments. Archie Gemmell's solo-effort goal for Scotland against Holland in the 1978 World Cup is up there with Diego Maradona's amazing run through the England side to score in 1986 (and his Hand of God goal). Carlos Alberto's goal for Brazil against Italy in 1970, Eder's freekick which led to Zico scoring in Brazil's 1-0 win over Argentina in 1982. Zinedine Zidane against Brazil in the final in 1998 (two goals in a match-winning performance) and against Italy in the 2006 final (sent off for head-butting in a bizarre final act of violence that still fails to tar such an amazing international career), Ronaldinho's fantastic freekick that left English goalkeeper David Seaman swinging at air in 2002. A crying Pele, just 17 years old, at the end of Brazil's 5-2 win against Sweden in the 1958 final. YouTube has made it possible to relive these moments over and over again.
Favourite World Cup player
Zinedine Zidane and Socrates. Without Zidane France probably wouldn't have won the final in 1998, they struggled when he struggled in 2002, and rose and fell with him in 2006. Socrates was my footballing god. I was a tall, lanky teenager who could run, tackle and head and he made me believe it was possible to be tall and lanky and to also be graceful, to be able to dribble and score great goals. I suppose it is possible, but I never managed it.
Prediction for final
Brazil v Argentina. I'm not confident this will happpen but I'd love to see it.