1970 Carlos Alberto’s stunning goal
1970 Carlos Alberto’s stunning goal

World Cups past are littered with memorable incidents etched into the annals of football history.

So on the eve of Brazil 2014, here are a few examples of goals, sending-offs and celebrations that are synonymous with their specific year.

Come on, as if you forgot Roger Milla’s corner flag jig...

1970 Carlos Alberto’s stunning goal

Widely regarded as one of the best team goals in history — and it came in the final. A total of eight Brazil outfield players touched the ball before Pele laid off an inch-perfect pass to captain Carlos Alberto, who hammered the ball into the corner of the Italy goal. The move featured defender Clodoaldo beating four Italian players in his own half before passing to Rivelino, who hit a perfect pass down the wing to Jairzinho. Jairzinho crossed to the centre of the box to Pelé, and the rest has gone down in football immortality. Brazil won 4-1 to lift the Jules Rimet Trophy for the third time and earn the right to keep it. 

1982 Marco Tardelli’s goal celebration

Italians are nothing if not emotional and dramatic.

But there was something particularly raw and wild about Tardelli’s reaction to scoring in the final against West Germany to help Italy win the game 3-1.

After putting his side 2-0 up, Tardelli, with tears in his eyes, sprinted towards the Italian bench, fists clenched in front of his chest, screaming “Gol! Gol!” as he shook his head wildly. The iconic celebration would become known as the “Tardelli cry”.

The ecstasy that came over the Italian’s face may have something to do with the fact he was a defensive midfielder — albeit a technically very good one — who’s game was based around his ability to break up play.

But there he was, scoring a decisive goal on the greatest stage of all. Tardelli scored only six goals in 81 games for the national team.

He also won five Serie A titles but it is for this celebration that he is best remembered. 

1986 Maradona’s Hand of God

Mention this to an England fan to this day and they are likely to give you a dirty look before spitting on the ground.

Steve Hodge’s miscued clearance went high in the air and Maradona jumped with keeper Peter Shilton, beating him to it with his left hand and scoring.

The referee saw no infringement and awarded the goal. Afterwards came Maradona’s Goal of the Century that saw him run half the pitch and beat four players before rounding Shilton to score.

Argentina won 2-1 and advanced to the semi-final. Maradona’s explanation that he scored “a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God” did little to appease furious England. 

1990 Roger Milla’s jiggle

Not only was Milla ancient — he was 38 but went on to play in USA 1994 and become the oldest player to grace the World Cup — but he also had the most rhythm.

Whenever he scored, and it happened four times during the tournament in Italy, Milla would race to the corner flag, clasp one hand to his stomach and the other in the air, and get his hips moving. Result: an instant fans’ favourite and one of the most enduring goal celebrations in history.

Milla’s most-replayed goal was undoubtedly his strike against Colombia, where he dispossessed keeper Rene Higuita on the half-way line before striding away to slot home.

The striker’s 102 caps for his country spanned 21 years in a remarkable career that also saw him play for a raft of clubs in France and in his native country. However, ask the average football fan about Milla and they will instinctively re-enact that corner flag jig. 

2006 Zidane butts in

No-one is doubting Zinedine Zidane’s legendary status — and no-one ever doubted his ability to look after himself. Raised in a notoriously-tough neighbourhood in Marseille, Zidane’s place in history was already assured with his starring role in France’s World Cup win in 1998 and 2000 European Championship. Unfortunately for him, he is also remembered for his sending off during the loss, in a penalty shootout, to Italy in the 2006 World Cup final. Zidane had put his team ahead with an early penalty before Italy’s Marco Materazzi equalised. The two weren’t done. With 10 minutes of extra-time remaining, Materazzi said something to Zidane — reported to be about the Frenchman’s mother. Zidane turned around and headbutted the Italian full-on in the  chest, knocking him over and earning a red card. There is even a statue dedicated to the moment.