The saddest moments in World Cup history

The saddest moments in World Cup history

FR Stories

The World Cup delivers iconic moments time and time again on the biggest stage, but for every winner, there are millions of losers.

James Rodriguez’s tears vs Brazil - 2014

James Rodriguez had torn up the 2014 World Cup with Colombia, playing at an incredibly high level that he couldn't quite replicate throughout the rest of his career.

Brazil's heaviest-ever defeat - 2014

With no Thiago Silva or Neymar, the Selecao looked a shadow of the side that had dominated earlier in the tournament and were carved open time

Lionel Messi walks past the trophy - 2014

The legendary attacker had chances during the final to put his side ahead but they were left heartbroken when Mario Gotze popped up with the winner.

Messi was then snapped looking suitably forlorn walking past the World Cup trophy on his way to receive a runners-up medal.

The death of Andres Escobar

At the 1994 World Cup, he scored an own goal in a 2-1 defeat to the United States.

Asamoah Gyan misses penalty vs Uruguay - 2010

Black Stars were on the verge of becoming the first African side to reach a World Cup semi final when they were awarded a penalty as Luis Suarez used his hands to prevent a goal.

Suarez was sent off but stuck around to watch Asamo Ghana Gyan's penalty. It soared over the bar, Suarez celebrated and Uruguay ended up progressing.

Henry’s handball vs the Republic of Ireland

In a 2009 World Cup play-off, Henry handled the ball en route to setting up William Gallas, who scored the winner from close range to take Les Bleus to the World Cup.

Henry admitted to the offence and the referee and officials in question received significant backlash.

David Beckham’s red card - 1998

Beckham was sent off in the last 16 of the 1998 World Cup for a slight flick of the right leg on Diego Simeone.

Ronaldo's mystery illness before the final

In 1998, Confusion reigned as Ronaldo was first out and then back in Brazil's starting XI to face France in Paris.

Spain robbed in quarter final exit - 2002

Playing at the World Cup is the pinnacle of any player's career, so have the dream of winning it ruined by some controversial refereeing decisions must be incredibly tough to take

Pele’s last World Cup - 1970

Brazil legend Pele bowed out in style after the 1970 tournament, bringing his era of greatness on the international stage to an end.

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