The 2010 FIFA World Cup begins in South Africa on June 11. If you aren’t eagerly anticipating the most hallowed sporting event on the planet, there are two football-related online items to check out that will get you sufficiently pumped. 1) The Dutch Football Federation’s new line of t-shirts for hardcore fanatics, which SportsGrid calls “The Reverse Cornholio,” and 2) ESPN’s I Scored a Goal in the FIFA World Cup Final, a series of short films about some of the most memorable goals in World Cup Finals history starring the players that scored them.
Sponsored by Bing, each installment of I Scored a Goal is equal parts autobiography, historical perspective, and sports documentary. Players ranging from Josef Masopust, who references what it was like to be an athlete under Czechoslovakia’s communist regime and scored his country’s only goal in its 1962 loss to Brazil, to Marco Materazzi, who tied up the 2006 World Cup Final for Italy with the help of a ray of light and his deceased mother, all tell heartfelt, intimate stories. Each man, in hist native tongue, relates what it was like to be a hero in the world’s biggest game.
My favorite of all has to be Uruguay’s Alcides Ghiggia. In 1950, in front of a crowd of nearly 200,000 Brazilians at Estádio do Maracanã, Ghiggia scored Uruguay’s winning goal against Brazil in the 79th minute of play. As he tells it, “The Maracanã has been silenced by three people…the Pope, Frank Sinatra, and me.” To this day, he’s still approached by Uruguayans for photos and autographs.