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The Beautiful Game


Joe Jones
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Football often gets criticised. The players are overpaid. The sport has been corrupted by money. There's no pride in football any more. But even just in the last decade or so, I can pinpoint several runs, moments, happenings in football that are straight out of a feelgood Hollywood film, or a fairytale. And I'm not just talking "small club has amazing cup run", I'm talking about communities, nations that are ravaged by unrest, poverty, strife, disaster, that are given a huge shot of adrenaline thanks to moments in football. Moments that people will truly cherish for the rest of their lifetime. Here are just a few examples from the last few years in my ever so humble opinion.

Zambia winning the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations

Aside from the fact that Zambia are a small, unheralded team probably on a par with, say Latvia or Estonia, featuring no marquee names, they used to have a team back in the 90s that was deemed good enough to make the World Cup, but in 1993, a plane crash sadly killed most of the team. And where did this crash happen? Gabon, where the 2012 ACN was co-hosted. So for them to go on and beat some of the continent's greatest teams and win the competition outright was an absolutely incredible showing.

>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cevqpyz5y-g

 

Iraq winning the 2007 Asian Nations Cup

Iraq, a country in the middle of a war, went on to beat regional powerhouses Australia, Saudi Arabia and South Korea to win this trophy against all odds.

 

>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIwnWWeyRPo

 

Japan winning the 2011 Women's World Cup

The Japanese women's team is of an alright standard, but nowhere near the top echelons, which are graced by Germany, the USA and Sweden. Nevertheless, they went on to shock all three and win the trophy. In 2011 Japan also experienced a calamitous earthquake and tsunami, so the victory was all the more poignant.

>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNMTCT1lyhs

 

Tahiti's goal in the Confederations Cup against Nigeria

 

Only one measly goal, a consolation strike in a 6-1 thrashing at the hands of the African champions, before two games which saw 18 goals put past them without reply, but for lowly Tahiti, a small country in the Pacific, to even make it to the Confederations Cup (New Zealand was sensationally beaten by the Solomon Islands in the Oceania Nations Cup, with the victors of that bout being then turned over by Tahiti) was a miracle in itself, but for them to score a goal... you can see how much it meant to them, and to all football neutrals the world over. They will never forget that moment.

 

>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYlT-4Mav9g

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we dont see you for awhile and then post this explosive post!

im not really familiar with the africa cup of nations, though its good to learn that an underdog managed to win it. i also watched the highlight clip which mentioned 7-8 on pens, that would have been mentioned by the media if it was a bigger club. great post!

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we dont see you for awhile and then post this explosive post!

im not really familiar with the africa cup of nations, though its good to learn that an underdog managed to win it. i also watched the highlight clip which mentioned 7-8 on pens, that would have been mentioned by the media if it was a bigger club. great post!

Don't forget Joe's excellent match reports,etc @liampie.

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Brilliant post mate, I can't help but feel this could have been an excellent blog though.

Certainly I hope to see more people joining in with the discussion. You missed off Greeces famous Euro win, it was interesting to see how heavily they was tipped to do well at the world cup.

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