Latin America has lived great moments in the almost nine decades of history of FIFA World Cup. Spectacular goals, impressive victories and nine universal titles, won among Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, have an essential place in the memory of soccer fans; but there are other facts that, for sure, teams, players and lovers of the most practiced sport in the planet would like to forget. What are the moments you would prefer not to remember from World Cups? PanamericanWorld proposes to approach 10 events that left a bad reminder.


Brazil is the team with the most world titles, with five, and the only one that has intervened in every Cup; but the “Canarinha” has also lived awful experiences in these contests.


In 2014’s World semifinal, in front of its audience, Brazil suffered its biggest defeat in history. Germans played a great first part and the South American defenders forgot basic soccer notions and, one by one, under the unbelieving look of millions of “Canarinha” followers, the goals kept falling, until five. The German feast continued in the second half and the Mineirão Stadium’s board, in Belo Horizonte, marked other two European goals. That goal wave, at the gate of another match for the Cup, will never be forgotten.


The “Maracanazo” awakes mixed feelings, depending on your favorite team. For Uruguayans, that game of July 16, 1950, in front of almost 200 thousand people, in Rio de Janeiro, is one of the most glorifying moments; however, surely, Brazilian fans would love to bury that memory. A simple tie was enough for Brazil to become world champion, for the first time in history; yet, the Uruguayan claw went to play and the goals from Juan Schiaffino and Alcides Ghiggia delivered the second crown to Uruguay and provoked a pitiful period in the so-called “South American giant”.


After the “Maracanazo”, Brazil had never again lost a World final. In 1998, the “Canarinha”, led by Ronaldo Luiz Nazario de Lima, came as favorite to the title match, facing the local, France. What did happen that day with the South American team? Tens of articles were written about Ronaldo’s physical state; but beyond the poor level shown by the great star, the truth was that the French players, with two head-goals by Zinedine Zidane, entirely dominated the game. The goal wave of 3-0 could have been bigger.

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In the finals of 1986’s World Cup, Argentina defeated the former Federal Germany 3-2 and conquered its second crown. After that day, the South Americans have been unable to overcome their rivals in the following Cups. In 1990, unified Germany won the title-match, 1-0, with a penalty shoot-out, which invented the sadly famous Mexican referee Edgardo Codesal. In 2006, in quarterfinals, the challenge ended 1-1, but in the penalty series the Europeans prevailed, 4-2. Four years later, with Maradona in the bench, the Germans humiliated the Argentinians, with a goal wave of 4-0. In the most recent match, in the finals of Brazil 2014, a goal by Mario Gotze gave Germany its fourth title in history.


The game between Argentina and Peru, in 1978’s World Cup, has remained in the books as one of the biggest shames in the Cups’ history. To get to the finals, Argentinians needed to overcome Peru 6-0. Only with that difference, they would left Brazil out. Videla’s dictatorship needed that triumph no matter what, thus he used his influences so the board would mark the necessary goals (it was later known that there was a donation of 35 thousand tons of wheat, the unfreezing of a 50 million dollars credit line in favor of Peru). It wasn’t a coincidence that the Peruvian technical director asked his team to wear a different shirt, “to not go through the shame with the traditional white-red”.



Colombia was considered one of the favorite for 1994’s World Cup; however, the team led by Francisco Maturana was surprisingly eliminated in the event’s first phase, after losing against Rumania and United States. Playing against the locals, the defender Andrés Escobar was unlucky enough to mark a goal against his own team. The Colombian mafia, which had hugely bet for sure, considered that the player was guilty of the team’s early exit from the World Cup and organized his murder. Escobar’s death has been one of the saddest moments in the Cups.


Argentina hoped to play its third consecutive world final in US 1994; however, the players’ aspirations ended after the second match, when it was known that the team’s star, Diego Armando Maradona, had tested positive in antidoping control for ephedrine, norephedrine, pseudoephedrine, norpseudoephedrine and methephedrine. These substances help losing weight… but also have stimulating effects. Maradona was expelled from the World Cup and, with his exit, Argentina’s dreams were over.


The so-called “Santiago’s battle” was a challenge which has a little bit of soccer and a lot of boxing, starring Italy and Chile, in the Cup of 1962. The Italian press had been very critical with the Chilean social-economic situation, specially its capital’s and a reportage titled “Santiago, the edge of the world”, was republished in a national newspaper in Chile and it heated the moods in the hub. The Italian players, when entering the stadium, threw white carnations to the public, in a sign of peace; but the gesture was not well received by the fans, who didn’t accept the flowers and sent them back to the play field, in the middle of a huge catcall. Barely seven minutes later, the front-man Giorgio Ferrini punched a Chilean defender and the English referee Ken Aston immediately expelled him. Ferrini refused to leave the play field and the police had to intervene, arresting the angry player. Later on, there was other conflicts and the players exchanged punches as if it was a boxing fight. At the end, Chile won 2-0 and this “battle” is remembered as one of the most violent games in the history of soccer World Cups.


In eighth-finals of 1994’s World Cup, the super favorite Brazil faced one of the contest’s revelations, United States. The duel was a lot closer than expected and there was only one goal, marked by Bebeto, in minute 72. In a struggle, close to the side line, the Brazilian Leonardo de Araújo gave a brutal elbow hit to the American (borne in Uruguay) Tab Ramos. Leonardo was expelled from the game and later sanctioned to four games. The hit was so strong that fractured Ramos’ skull and kept him away from the play field for several months.


In the last day of group D, in the World Cup Brazil 2014, Italy and Uruguay fought the pass to the eighth-finals, tooth and nails… literally. In a moment of the game, the Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini strongly complained to the referee for a bite he had suffered in the shoulder. At that moment, there was no punishment for the “cannibal”, but the TV replays clearly showed how the frontrunner Luis Suárez introduced his teeth in Chiellini’s flesh. The FIFA decided to punish the rebellious player with several sanction matches, after considering him recurrent at this “practice”.