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World Cup: Top Ten Moments

Dan looks back and reflects on his favourite World Cup moments.

Clive Rose

I absolutely adored the World Cup. It was been filled to the brim with special, unique moments of hilarity and controversy, determination and ability, and simple humbleness. These countless little moments, added to the drama, unpredictability and excitement of nearly every match, made this World Cup the best of my lifetime and I certainly will never forget it.

Here are just some of my favourite moments from the 2014 World Cup:

10 - Charles Aranguiz' penalty

Chile had missed their first two penalties in the shootout against Brazil, when Charles Aranguiz trudged up from the halfway line on weary legs. He'd ran tirelessly for 120 minutes, and some wondered if he was physically able to score the penalty.

Aranguiz had no such concerns.

It was only a short run up, but he hit the penalty thunderously, as if he was saying "enough of this", and it flew into the top corner, with Julio Cesar rooted to the spot.

It was the best penalty I've ever seen.

9 - Miguel Herrera

One of the characters of the World Cup, Mexico manager Miguel Herrera was stunning to watch. With every goal his country scored a flurry of gifs and vines were surely created, to capture his beauty in celebrations.

His passion and antics on the touch line were surely unmatched, and he got his tactics spot on in every game too. I hope to see more of Herrera in the future.

8 - 50% of England's goals resulting in a physio with a broken ankle

Now, it might be slightly distasteful and make me look like quite a bad person for laughing at a man breaking his ankle, but let me explain myself. In the after math of an actual happy moment for England; from celebrating like a mad man, at the jubilation of England scoring, to then be jerked with the solemn juxtaposition of suddenly see a lot of people surrounding someone who's obviously injured on the floor, is quite a comedown. I was so worried, I thought one of our best players was down injured. So when I saw the physio lying on the floor in a heap, the relief hit me like a tidal wave, and in my hazy intoxicated state, I couldn't help but laugh hysterically.

*whispers* It's still a bit funny now too.

7 -  Valon Behrami v Ecuador

The game between Switzerland and Ecuador was tied at 1-1 as it entered the dying moments. Ecuador were on the attack, looking for the winner. Antonio Valencia found Jefferson Montero in the box, the winger was just about to shoot on goal before he was denied by a perfectly timed tackled by Valon Behrami.

The midfielder then starting taking the ball forward, and was body checked by an Ecuadorian, completely taking him out. But Behrami didn't dawdle, he was straight back on his feet to take the ball further forward and pass it to a team mate.

Ten seconds later Ricardo Rodriguez sent a dangerous cross into the box and it was turned in by Haris Seferovic. From nearly losing the game at one end, to winning it at the other, due to Behrami's determination to carry on.

6 - Pearson v goal line technology

Goal line technology made it's stunning, hilarious and completely correct, first meaningful appearance at the World Cup, when France faced Honduras. Karim Benzema connected with a sublime Yohann Cabaye pass, hitting a side footed volley goal wards, which clipped the inside of the post and didn't go in, as the goal line technology told us. But then the ball hit the goalkeeper's arm and he was just too slow in clawing the ball back out again, meaning that this time the ball had gone in.

Jonathan Pearce could not work it out at all, as he came close to breaking down live on air. He couldn't seem to grasp that in one position in space and time, the ball was not in the goal, then in another, it was. Magic, I tell you.

I was in stitches.

5 - Colombia's dancing

After every goal Colombia scored, and they scored plenty, a little dance followed. And to me, it just epitomised the joy and vibrant colour that Colombia brought to the tournament.

They played with happiness, and that's what they emitted.

4 - Jonathan Brooks' celebration

The USA had led the game against Ghana since the first thirty seconds, when Clint Dempsey put them ahead. But constant pressure from Ghana for most of the game finally saw the Africans draw level on the 82nd minute. The US could have easily let their heads drop at that point, but they didn't and only four minutes after conceding, they were back in front.

Graham Zusi swung a corner into the box, and it was met by the head of Jonathan Brooks, who headed the ball into the ground and it bounced into the net.

His celebration was really heart warming, he was so surprised that he had scored and truly humbled at the fact. He just couldn't believe it and ended up lying on the floor in his shock, as his team mates engulfed him.

I loved the USA in this tournament, everything about them. From their amazing "I believe" chant, to the passion of the fans and the determination, togetherness and resolution of the players. They were a joy to behold.

3 - Miroslav Klose breaking the goal record

I didn't get many prediction right in the World Cup, but this one I did.

Miroslav Klose broke the all time World Cup goal record of 15, set by Ronaldo, and setting the new record at 16. His first strike, which equaled the record, was a typical instinctive slide at the back post, to turn in a knocked on header. His second came against Brazil, of all teams, at first Cesar saved from him, but he could do nothing but watch, as Klose buried the rebound.

I'm glad Klose managed to do it, because when you think of the game's best ever strikers, Klose, for some unknown reason, doesn't really spring to mind. And that's a shame because he's had a fantastic career and scored so many goals.

It's also somewhat symbolic of the downfall of Brazil, once they had this aura about them, as if they couldn't be completely broken. Germany, in more ways than one, proved that they certainly can.

2 - Tim Krul for penalties

It was quite a controversial call at the time, but Louis Van Gaal, had the bottle to make the big decision and substitute Tim Krul for Jasper Cillisen, for the penalty shoot out.

A lot of people were losing their minds over the decision, saying it's unfair on Cillisen and the like. But football is a squad game and if you can't utilise the entirety of your squad in key situations, then what's the point?

The call he made and the homework Krul and the Netherlands' goal keeping coach did paid off, as Krul dived the right way for every kick and saved two. Sending the Dutch through to the semi final.

1 - Faryd Mondragon

Colombia were comfortably ahead  against Japan, in the last game of group C. So Colombia manager, Jose Pekerman, decided to throw on Faryd Mondragon for the last few minutes. Making him the oldest player to ever play at a World Cup, at 43 years and 3 days old.

It was a wonderful gesture to make and just seeing how much it meant to Mondragon, as the fans chanted his name, was wonderful to see. It's those little moments that mean so, so much, that you remember.

That trip down memory lane has left me pining for the World Cup to be back even more, but alas, it will be another four years until we something of this magnitude again. They're are just some of my favourite moments from Brazil, but there are so many more that made the World Cup utterly spectacular. What are your favourites? Don't hesitate to let me know in the comments below.