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

Today, Steven Holloway, football writer for the Herald, shares his top moments.

First World Cup memory
I remember being nine years old and wanting a ponytail like Roberto Baggio had at the 1994 World Cup. He was the best player in the world and oozed class and style. But then he missed that penalty in the final and I instantly fell back in love with my crew cut.

Favourite World Cup match
New Zealand 1 Italy 1 2010. It kicked off at 2am NZT and by 2.07am my World Cup flat party was absolutely bumping. We were beating the world champions, at the World Cup. No one could believe it, no one could sit down and no one could shut up. I have never been so transfixed on a screen in my life. Paston was unbeatable (bar a gut-wrenchingly soft penalty), Nelsen became a Kiwi legend and 18-year old Chris Wood very nearly scored the winner. The final whistle was met with a mixture of pride, relief, despair, high fives and hugs. It was the ultimate roller coaster of emotions. I didn't sleep that night and neither did the neighbours.


Favourite World Cup player
Fat Ronaldo. Not to be confused with pretty boy Ronaldo.
I was an impressionable 13 year old striker in 1998 and Ronaldo was my hero. He was the world's greatest footballer and blew my mind with his pace, power and finishing. I wore his shirt to mufti days, called his name as I scored goals at lunchtime and my dad even got a Rnald0 car number plate. At his best, he was one of the top players to ever play the game and a thrill to watch.

4) Prediction for 2014 final
Brazil over Germany.

World Cup memories
Daniel Richardson
Kris Shannon
Coen Lammers
David Leggat