Football is the most important sport in the world so it’s not a surprise when you see how many fans it gains every year. This game has given us plenty of things to be happy, angry or sad and all of that can happen in the span of 90 minutes. A football game can define a lot of things in the life of a supporter or someone trying to know more about it.
History has given us plenty and plenty of good games to enjoy and to be happy or mad about, but there are others that don’t have more purpose than attract new fans. Games with a great pace, with plenty of scoring opportunities, drama, deep backgrounds and more have built the name and reputation of football.
Now, we are going to present five games we consider anybody who wants to be a football fan should see.
Brazil vs. Netherlands
(1998 FIFA World Cup semi-finals)
Although it’s not as commented as others, Brazil and the Netherlands have a big rivalry considering the times they have clashed in World Cups and the important stages where these games took place. Back in 1998, both teams landed in the World Cup semi-finals as two of the best national sides at that moment and that game was the confirmation of that.
With some of the best players in the world within their ranks, both Brazilians and Dutch were keen to qualify to the World Cup final, where France was waiting. They landed in Marseille trying to defeat one another and gave us one of the best games in the FIFA World Cup history. Ronaldo was responsible for opening the scoreboard after a great pass from Rivaldo and a sublime definition. Later, Patrick Kluivert would score the tying goal that put the definite score.
After all the chances and drama we saw during the game, there was more reserved since they get to the penalty shoot-out, where Brazil stood up and helped by Taffarel, qualified to the big game.
Manchester United vs. Bayern Munich
(1998/99 UEFA Champions League final)
One of the best and most dramatic games in the history of the Champions League is this one between two European giants. Trying to win the Treble and make history, Manchester United landed in Camp Nou with a team full of future legends and promising youngsters in front of Bayern who didn’t have much competition on his way to the final.
The Bavarians took the lead of the game after an early goal from Mario Basler at the 6th minute of the encounter; after that, Bayern tried to increase its advantage but Danish goalie Peter Schmeichel wasn’t going to let that happen. There were opportunities for both teams, but none of them could take them and score until the late minutes of the game.
Injury time was here and when everybody expected Bayern to become European champions, Teddy Sheringham tied the game before Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored the last-gasp that gave Man. Utd. its second Champions League in history.
Liverpool vs. Milan
(2004/05 UEFA Champions League final)
Again the Champions League and again an English team doing the unthinkable. Manchester United’s archrival, Liverpool, came back to the Champions League final after 30 years of absence and they had to face the powerful Milan, which counted with some of the best players on earth in their ranks. As expected, Milan did everything they wanted with Liverpool, who could only see how the Rossoneri scored three goals in the first half of the game.
The second half saw how the Reds completely transformed their reality, the way they play and the score of the game. Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso pulled off the miracle, releasing the madness all over Istanbul. After that, the Italians tried and tried to beat Polish goaltender Jerzy Dudek without having success.
The game went to the penalty shoot-out and Dudek showed his quality again and gave Liverpool its fifth Champions League in history in one of the most unforgettable games ever.
Germany vs. Italy
(2006 FIFA World Cup semi-finals)
Germany and Italy always deliver when they face each other, as this is considered one of the biggest rivalries in Europe and the world. Back in 2006, the Teutons were hosting the FIFA World Cup and seeing the good level they were showing during the tournament, the fact that they were playing at home and that Italy hadn’t had a good cup, this encounter looked very favorable for the Germans.
Well, they sure had plenty of opportunities to score, but they actually never did. This game was full of chances for both squads and was one of those 0-0 matches full of emotions. However, when everything pointed out we were going to the penalties, Fabio Grosso scored the tie-breaker before Alessandro Del Piero ended the hopes of Germany to win their World Cup.
This was a very dramatic game even though you weren’t rooting for any of the teams involved; nevertheless, it was one of those moments when you remember why you love football.
Manchester City vs. Queens Park Rangers
(2011/12 Premier League last matchday)
Following the buying of the club, Manchester City had a primary goal that they couldn’t reach during the first stage of their new-rich time: win the Premier League. That was until the 2011/12 season, where the Citizens put all their efforts to get the title they were eager to win since a couple of seasons earlier.
To have more drama, they were fighting for the title with city neighbors Manchester United and that was like that until the last matchday of the season. The Red Devils did their job and were virtual champions seeing that City was losing its game against Queens Park Rangers. After trailing 2-1, Edin Dzeko equalized the game at the 90th minute before Sergio Aguero put the definite scoreboard on the last minute of the game that released madness at Etihad Stadium.