5 Wild Stories That Rocked The Soccer World

By: Hugh Stapleton | hugh.stapleton@activecities.com

Soccer is the world’s most popular sport, there’s not doubting that. Every year billions of dollars are spent on ticketing, merchandise, advertising, venues and salaries. With all of the money and compassion that goes into fueling this sport, one should not be surprised to see how the soccer world reacts when wild stories emerge. Some soccer stories have such a profound effect that they remain in the memories of fans for a very long time. Here is a popular list of wild stories that shook the soccer world.


1. Maradona and the Hand of God

Diego Maradona Hand Ball

One of the most notorious moments in soccer history is attributed to one of its greatest players, Diego Maradona. He was a superstar in his own right, doing magical things with the ball throughout his entire career. However, his fantastic play is marred by a single incident in the 1986 World Cup. Maradona chased a through ball towards the English side and as it bounced above his head, he slapped it over the keeper’s hands to score a goal, feinted as a header. Since the referee did not see his hands make contact it was counted as a goal. This “hand of god” goal enabled Argentina to not only win the game, but also win the entire tournament.


2. Leicester City Wins the Premier League Title

Leicester City Season

Leicester City accomplished something something completely incredible during the 2015-16 season. After being extremely close to relegation earlier in the season, the highly underestimated club rocketed past giants like Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, and Tottenham Hotspur to comfortably hold the first place spot in the Premier League. This stunning rise to hegemony is a testament to the fact that soccer remains a team sport, and when the chemistry is right, amazing things can happen. With teams like Chelsea and Manchester United pouring millions of dollars into their clubs to bring in the brightest stars, Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez created a synergy and fortitude that led to the team’s unprecedented success.


3. René Higuita and the Scorpion Kick

Higuita Scorpion Kick

Pablo Escobar was the richest, most powerful drug kingpin in the world, ruling the Medellin Cartel with an iron fist. He also had a ferocious passion for soccer, pouring money into Colombian soccer in an effort to bring it onto the world stage for the first time. He hand-picked both the club he owned, as well as a good portion of the international team. One particular keeper by the name of René Higuita, who was highly liked by Escobar for his capricious style, ended up giving one of the most spectacular saves the soccer world has ever seen.


4. Algeria Defeats West Germany (1982)

1000-1 are pretty wildly daunting odds. In the 1982 World Cup, first-time qualifier Algeria was squared up against West Germany in the opening rounds. Until then, an African team had never beaten a European team in Cup play and spectators expected a German routing of the Algerian team. Yet Algeria scored two goals to West Germany’s one, staving off many offensive attacks to win the match. However, Algeria did not advance to the next round of play. In what became known as the Disgrace of Gijon, Algeria ended up 3rd in the group after West Germany defeated Austria 1-0, enabling both teams to advance, a controversial match that is still contested to this day.


5. Brazil’s 2014 World Cup Humiliation

In 2014 Brazil hosted the Word Cup, constructing several brand new stadiums deep within their tropical territory and spending millions more on infrastructure and opportunities for their citizens to become more closely engaged with the competition. Brazil’s team did well for themselves gliding into a semifinal match against Germany, who were favored by many to win the Cup. Anticipated to be one of the most entertaining bouts of the tournament, the enormous home crowd and onlooking country was quickly stunned and brought to tears as an efficient German team humiliated the Brazilian’s 7-1, crushing the country’s dreams to win it’s first World Cup on home soil.