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Why do we always go back to our childhood for our favourite World Cup tournaments?


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Why do we always go back to our childhood for our favourite World Cup tournaments?

https://thesefootballtimes.co/2018/06/22/why-do-we-always-go-back-to-our-childhood-for-our-favourite-world-cup-tournaments/

06/22/2018 by Stuart Horsfield

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As another World Cup pushes on, the thirst for nostalgia is ramped up to an unquenchable level. Doe-eyed fans of the game seek every possible outlet to satiate their thirst for the latest updates or retelling of stories so familiar they can be recognised from photographs or the opening lines of commentary. Images of players from previous tournaments are remembered with warmth and heartfelt emotion, as if reminiscing over a long lost family photo album.

I consider myself a seasoned campaigner of World Cups. Russia 2018 is my 10th proper competition – by that I mean a World Cup in which I will gorge upon as many fixtures as possible, engage in irreverent dissection of influential moments, commit the protagonists and antagonists to eternal memory, and complain that this tournament isn’t as good as the ones when I was a kid.

As likeminded fans of the beautiful game congregate towards each other to indulge in  discussion about World Cups past, the inevitable question arises: “Which is your favourite World Cup?” It is at this point that the conversation fractures based upon chronological age, because the answer invariably lies in how old you were for your first World Cup.

On a personal level, the question of preference for World Cups is simple. I Just pick the edition that had the greatest impact on my life. It was a World Cup that brought to my attention a literal fantasy football team, a side who played a brand of football that I still regale to anyone who is interested, and participated in a game by which I still judge all other alleged great games against. For me, it will always be Spain 82.

Aged 10, it was the perfect time to be swept up and absorbed into this global spectacle. I could count on one hand the number of live games I’d watched on television at the time, yet in 1982, for four weeks, my young football-obsessed senses were bombarded by 52 games in 29 days. However, it wasn’t the volume of games that grabbed my attention; it was the intense heat of those sticky Spanish summer nights that seemed to radiate through our faux wooden boxed television.

To me, immortal athletes took to the pitch every day looking resplendent in their international kit, an image that was only superseded by the introduction of the Adidas Tango ball. Spain was its second outing as the official ball of the World Cup. In Argentina its design looked futuristic; in Spain, the slight sheen from the moisture in the air made it look like a monochrome jewel being caressed around the lush green surface.

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Original Series  |  Hot Bovril and Cold Terraces

All of these vivid images, beamed back to a mesmerised child sat in a semi-detached house in East Yorkshire, were accompanied by a low thrumming soundtrack. To my mum it was an annoying drone; to me, it was a rolling sound of excitement and anticipation that set the tempo for the games and provided a soundtrack to the summer of ’82.

Talking to football fans outside of my generation, I recognise the passion in their voices as they plead the justification of their favourite World Cup. I can hear in their voices the almost childlike obstinance in their insistence that the goals in their tournament were better, the teams were better, the players were better, and the matches were better. As much as my childlike obstinance immediately dismisses all their comments, I cannot help but hear the same juvenile tone of excitement in their voice as their memory races back to that same childish bewilderment at what they were witnessing.

With the advent of 24-hour sports channels and the opportunity to watch live football seven days a week from every corner of the globe, I wonder how this year’s young generation perceive the World Cup. Do they see it as that same global spectacle as my 10 year-old eyes did? Or is it just a VAR regulated, HD, multi-camera angled, condensed version of the Champions League?

It is not my place to pontificate on the superiority of my World Cup experiences compared to others. I want to believe that this year’s 10 year-olds will commit images to memory and witness classic matches that will perpetuate a love of the beautiful game. I want the children of Russia 2018 to witness performances like those of Zico, Sócrates and Éder. I want there to be matches that’ll be verbally replayed to their children and grandchildren. I want them to have their football epiphanies in the same way I did during Italy-Brazil.

World Cup tournaments are personal to every individual; football fans are very possessive over their favourite edition. Nobody is ever right and nobody is ever wrong, but the justification of what made it their favourite is always accented with the voice of a child. Because as a child we only see the good bits. We dismiss the politics because our capacity for cynicism hasn’t fully developed. As children, we just sit back wide-eyed, unable to believe what we are watching.

I really hope that one day in the future, someone sits me down and explains to me why 2018 was their favourite World Cup. I will suppress a smile and listen intently. When they have finished I will then proceed to tell them why 1982 was my favourite and why it was better than 2018.

By Stuart Horsfield @loxleymisty44

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The 1982 World Cup was my all time favourite. I was just 14/15 and it had that Brazilian side.

I always compare every one since to that side and tournament.

Suppose it's like those of us on here who refer to our iconic season of 1983/84,:biggrin: (there mentioned it in almost the same breath as that 1982 Brazilian side!):smile:

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Back to the thread title, it is when we are young and evaluating it as a new experience.

I remember Mario Kempes and that goal by Gemmill against Holland.

Next tournament in 82 watching Santana's attractive side getting dumped out by the busy Italian side and the short striker Paolo De Rossi.

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I think we were lucky to witness four great world cups between 1978 and 1990. Hosting the competition in generally football mad countries definitely helped along with the best players performing to their highest levels.

The 82 competition I think is widely accepted as one of the best. The winners perhaps being criminally undervalued,we all fondly remember the great Brazil team entertaining us.

 

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22 hours ago, Strider6003 said:

Back to the thread title, it is when we are young and evaluating it as a new experience.

I remember Mario Kempes and that goal by Gemmill against Holland.

Next tournament in 82 watching Santana's attractive side getting dumped out by the busy Italian side and the short striker Paolo De Rossi.

The 1978 tournament still reverberates in Scotland !

The build up just gathered more and more hype about the belief ,yes belief  that Scotland could actually win it and then it all came crashing down...

The Scottish footballing media certainly hyped up this belief. From memory there were very few urging caution about this belief/hype, but they quickly turned on Ally McLeod and the players when it went wrong.

Edited by erskblue

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3 hours ago, erskblue said:

The 1978 tournament still reverberates in Scotland !

The build up just gathered more and more hype about the belief ,yes belief  that Scotland could actually win it and then it all came crashing down...

The Scottish footballing media certainly hyped up this belief. From memory there were very few urging caution about this belief/hype, but they quickly turned on Ally McLeod and the players when it went wrong.

Yes indeed, I blog on a UK current affairs site and some of those Scots were talking about it saying that they did not even like football yet got swept up with it.

Scotland felt in a good place, loads of football stars in the EPL and a good music scene with artists like Bay City Rollers and Rod Stewart and the manager Ally McLeod said they would bring back a medal 

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I’m lucky in one way in that I remember very clearly the great Brazil side of 1970.  Probably the greatest International side ever IMO, although that is maybe because it was my first memorable WC.

Unlucky in that I’m such an old goat. 

Strangely my only recollection of 1966 was not of the England win but the Portugal comeback against North Korea, with Eusebio scoring 4.

 

Edited by goose

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On ‎24‎/‎06‎/‎2018 at 10:53, Strider6003 said:

Yes indeed, I blog on a UK current affairs site and some of those Scots were talking about it saying that they did not even like football yet got swept up with it.

Scotland felt in a good place, loads of football stars in the EPL and a good music scene with artists like Bay City Rollers and Rod Stewart and the manager Ally McLeod said they would bring back a medal 

The previous manager Willie Ormond who resigned in the spring of 1977 doesn't in my opinion receive the recognition he deserves for building a team.

 His team qualified, then were undefeated in West Germany 1974 and were half way to Argentina when he resigned.

From memory many tipped Jock Stein to take over from Ormond back then.

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On ‎24‎/‎06‎/‎2018 at 10:53, Strider6003 said:

Yes indeed, I blog on a UK current affairs site and some of those Scots were talking about it saying that they did not even like football yet got swept up with it.

Scotland felt in a good place, loads of football stars in the EPL and a good music scene with artists like Bay City Rollers and Rod Stewart and the manager Ally McLeod said they would bring back a medal 

The whole Scottish nation were seemingly from what I remember (then aged 10) swept along by the expectation of Scottish glory in 1978 !

I know I know have to shake my head at that memory !

 

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11 minutes ago, erskblue said:

The previous manager Willie Ormond who resigned in the spring of 1977 doesn't in my opinion receive the recognition he deserves for building a team.

 His team qualified, then were undefeated in West Germany 1974 and were half way to Argentina when he resigned.

From memory many tipped Jock Stein to take over from Ormond back then.

Agree, Willie Ormond did a wonderful job and sadly the work he did isn't appreciated as much as it should be. If only Scotland had scored more against Zaire they would had qualified for the next round. Two good draws against Brazil and Yugoslavia. The Scotland squad of 1974 was superb. No Chelsea players in the squad but one, David Hay, signed for us soon afterwards.

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One of my lasting images of an old World Cup was the one in Argentina, 1978 I think, where the Holland-Argentina final was played with an unbelievable amount of toilet paper on the pitch (I guess the fans were throwing toilet paper rolls onto the pitch throughout the match).  It was absolutely crazy.

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16 minutes ago, Phillip said:

One of my lasting images of an old World Cup was the one in Argentina, 1978 I think, where the Holland-Argentina final was played with an unbelievable amount of toilet paper on the pitch (I guess the fans were throwing toilet paper rolls onto the pitch throughout the match).  It was absolutely crazy.

I remember that too, light blue and white streamers and confetti like material.

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18 hours ago, Boyne said:

Agree, Willie Ormond did a wonderful job and sadly the work he did isn't appreciated as much as it should be. If only Scotland had scored more against Zaire they would had qualified for the next round. Two good draws against Brazil and Yugoslavia. The Scotland squad of 1974 was superb. No Chelsea players in the squad but one, David Hay, signed for us soon afterwards.

I'm sure Davie Hay was our record signing when he signed in the summer of 1974.

 Amazingly, he never played for Scotland again after the 1974 World Cup !

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43 minutes ago, erskblue said:

I'm sure Davie Hay was our record signing when he signed in the summer of 1974.

 Amazingly, he never played for Scotland again after the 1974 World Cup !

Yes, he was our record signing. We paid £225,000 to sign him from Celtic. Strange that he never played for Scotland again. 

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On 24/06/2018 at 07:13, erskblue said:

The 1978 tournament still reverberates in Scotland !

The build up just gathered more and more hype about the belief ,yes belief  that Scotland could actually win it and then it all came crashing down...

The Scottish footballing media certainly hyped up this belief. From memory there were very few urging caution about this belief/hype, but they quickly turned on Ally McLeod and the players when it went wrong.

Typical Scotland. Back home before the postcards!

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On 26/06/2018 at 07:48, erskblue said:

I'm sure Davie Hay was our record signing when he signed in the summer of 1974.

 Amazingly, he never played for Scotland again after the 1974 World Cup !

And poor old Willie Donachie never pulled on a Scotland shirt again after scoring a cracker of an own goal against Wales in a 78 World Cup warm up game.

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Sorry mate. I couldn't see the footage yopu posted. Posted it again.

Some OG !

Jim Blyth never played for Scotland again after this match. He had a very good season for Coventry City in 1977/78.

Willie Donnachie and Asa Hartford were a very good left sided combination for both Man City and Scotland in the mid -late 1970s.

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