Biggest surprises in the FIFA World Cup - Part 1
Despite being countries with few odds, they managed to make history
The World Cup is, without a doubt, the most important sporting event of all time. In fact, according to FIFA, the 2018 World Cup final between France and Croatia reached an average television audience of 517 million viewers.
With each World Cup, there are always great memories, revelation players, players who became great stars, unforgettable matches, spectacular finals and of course, surprise teams. Only a few teams have a real chance of being champions, while others seek to represent their country with dignity. However, in almost the entire history of the FIFA World Cup, there have always been countries that, against all odds, managed to make history and remain in people's memories.
Costa Rica - Brazil 2014
The Costa Rican football team has participated five times in the World Cup. But his best participation (and also the most remembered) was in Brazil 2014.
Group D without a doubt, was the much-feared group of death. Costa Rica had to face 3 champions, Uruguay, Italy, and England. No one believed in them except their inhabitants. Surprisingly, they managed to beat La Celeste 3-1, Gli Azzurri 1-0, and finished with a goalless draw against the English, thus obtaining the first place.
In the round of 16, they faced the Greek National Team, whom they defeated on penalties in a heart-stopping match. In the quarterfinals, their luck would run out and despite drawing 0-0 with one of the candidates, they would fall on penalties against the Netherlands (the last runner-up).
Croatia - France 1998
Surely, many think of Croatia in the 2018 World Cup. But in that year, his team was made up of famous stars such as Rakiti, Manduki and Modri, who would be awarded the Ballon d'Or. The real surprise occurred in France 1998, its first participation in a World Cup.
They played group H, where they faced Jamaica, Japan and Argentina. In the first match, they beat the Caribbean country 3-1, 1-0 against debutant Japan and would lose only by the minimum against Argentina. Despite the defeat, it was enough for them to be second in the group.
In the round of 16, they faced Romania and defeated them 1-0. But many more surprises are missing. In the quarterfinals, they beat the German team 3-0. Rarely in history, a German team has been so easily beaten as on this occasion. In the semifinals, they would fall 2-1 against the host country and future champion, France. The icing on the cake came in the match for third place, where they beat the Netherlands 2-1.
Turkey - Korea-Japan 2002
The Turks returned to the World Cup after a 48-year absence and they did it in the best way. Turkey was in group C together with Brazil, China and Costa Rica. They would start with a loss against future champions Brazil, and a draw against the "Ticos" but, thanks to a 3-0 win over China, they managed to reach the round of 16 for the first time in their history.
In the next game, they faced the local Japan, beating them 1-0. Quarterfinal was already exceeding their wildest expectations. But they did not give up there, as they beat another World Cup surprise, Senegal, with a golden goal. Already in the semifinals, they could do little against the Brazilian power and lost 1-0. But, they would have the match for third place, where they would beat South Korea 3-2. Thanks to this, this group of players became heroes for their nation.