Fox Sports, kings of written internet content, have made a new thing called the FIFA World Cup Highlight Machine, and it is actually wonderful. A portal that lets you load up highlights and matches from World Cup matches from 1958 to now, it is a very nice way to waste a ton of the time in the lead up to the 2018 World Cup.
The thing is powered by IBM’s Watson, so I guess it runs the risk that it will become cognizant at some point and kill us, but until it does, watching highlights and matches are really great.
Anyway, now that I’ve been granted these powers, here are the five things I’m most excited to go back and watch with this machine.
5. Watch the 1982 semifinal between West Germany and France so my dad can finally shut up about how I “needed to see Platini in his prime”
Alright, Pops. Here we go. I knew Platini as a UEFA president, and he was extremely unimpressive in that regard, but I will now watch him as a player, and you can finally stop telling me how I “don’t understand” how good he was. It’s been 32 years of this. Today, it ends.
4. Zinedine Zidane in the 1998 World Cup Final
For me at least, I’ve never seen a better performance in a big match. Sure, he had some sort of incident a few years later, some kind of headbutt or some such thing, but whatever. Don’t let that be his legacy. Don’t even let his (very good) coaching be his legacy. Let this match be what you remember.
Johann Cruyff was so incredibly good, and this Netherlands team was so incredibly fun, it’s a delight to just sit and watch them work. The greatest team ever to not win a final, which is still weird, and feels like an injustice even though it happened 44 years ago.
2. The Landon Donovan goal from USA vs. Algeria, 2010
1. Maradona vs. England, 1986
Come for the Hand of God goal, stay for the greatest individual goal scored in World Cup history. The fact that two of the, I don’t know, five most iconic goals in World Cup history happened in the same game is so wild to me.