The World Cup n Qatar courted controversy but there can be no argument over the entertainment value of the Final.
Argentina were victorious over France in an enthralling 120 minutes and penalties. Six goals, countless head-in-hand moments and instances of genius and error – it was impossible to drag your eyes away from it.
Arsenal had one player involved in the final game – France’s William Saliba – but the young Frenchman never got the opportunity to strut his stuff for his country in the biggest match he has ever been involved in.
If he did manage to have a say in the final though – would it be the biggest moment for an Arsenal player at a World Cup?
Here’s 3 of the biggest Gunner moments at the World Cup – do you agree?
3 – Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski and Mesut Ozil lift the World Cup for Germany – 2014
All three Germans played their part for Die Mannschaft over their victorious World Cup campaign, but only Mesut Ozil started the Final itself – a win over Argentina in extra time, thanks to a goal from Mario Gotze.
At the time of the Final though, Ozil was considered to be amongst the greatest playmakers in the game. And both Podolski and Mertesacker had earned their medals during a tough run in. We all remember the trio holding the famous trophy – and all three were on our books – that qualifies as a big Gunner achievement, right?
2 – Petit and Vieira combine to see off Brazil – World Cup 1998
Brazil were overwhelming favourites, but home team France were on a roll.
The final was great evidence of the power of a stadium uniting to throw their support behind a team. Paris was rocking and after French general Zinedine Zidane blasted two headers past Claudio Taffarel, the wind had been blasted out of Brazil’s lungs.
The rest of the final was a case of France holding Brazil’s dangerman at arms length – until the end. Young Patrick Vieira was on the field and his slide-rule pass was perfectly weighted for the perfect target. His fellow midfield enforcer at Arsenal, Emmanuel Petit.
The ponytailed Frenchman finished with aplomb and embraced the supplier – an image that a newspaper iconically used in conjunction with the headline – “Arsenal Win the World Cup.”
Double winners in red and white, World Champions for France.
1 – Cesc makes the difference to win the first ever World Cup for Spain – 2010
At the time of this World Cup, rumours were rife of Cesc returning to his homeland of Catalonia. And it’s understandable that Barca would have been interested – Arsenal were not consistently challenging and Fabregas was by far the brightest light in London. His awareness, vision, his innate ability to take the game by the scruff of the neck and make something happen? It had bailed Arsenal out on many occasions.
And it helped Spain win a World Cup.
Cesc had been intermittent in his presence for La Rioja – he didn’t enter the field of play in their narrow semi-final win over Germany.
But in the 99th minute, Fabregas was summoned to replace Xabi Alonso – and it would be Fabregas’ dynamism that would prove decisive – his pass found Andres Iniesta, who duly buried the chance and thus, be crowned World Champions.
As far as Gunners moments in the World Cup go – this has to be the most high profile.
Don’t agree? Which moment have I missed? Comments below!