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(May 18, 2002)

British people in generosity of spirit shocker

Ah, those great World Cup moments - Geoff Hurst's hat trick, Gordon Banks' save in a game we lost, Gazza's tears in a game we lost, Pierce and Waddle missing those penalties, Paul Ince and David Batty missing those penalties... um, well, Geoff Hurst's hat trick anyway.

Two World Wars and one World Cup, etc (which famous chant ignores two crucial facts - firstly the Russians have never won the World Cup, and secondly the Germans, with 4 World Cups, appear to be leading the combined World Cup World War challenge 4-3).

Given our national character, you might have expected the winning moment to have been Maradonna's hand of God from 1986. It seems to have all the right ingredients - a devious foreigner, memories of victory in a war to counterbalance the humiliation on the football field, the English lads plucky and diligent, but too honest for their own good.

What a shock, then, that the audience's choice for the best moment from World Cup history was Maradonna's sublime second goal from the same game.

It was the Channel 4 audience, but none the less. What's the world coming to when you can't even stereotype yourselves?

My favourite World Cup moment? The Iranians seeing off the Americans in 1998.

posted by Jon 23:30
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