The USA Soccer World Cup 1994
One of the greatest sporting events in history occurred back in 1994, in the United States of America. For the first time in history, FIFA World Cup took place at the North-American soil.
This was probably the best World Cup in terms of organization and atmosphere that ever happened.
Without a doubt, this was one of the most popular and known events during the 90’s and clearly, it marked that decade.
It was the 15th FIFA World Cup and was held in 9 cities all around America. Six years earlier the United States were declared as hosts, despite the fact that soccer wasn’t very popular in this country.
At that time the level of competition was amateur, comparing to the European or South American leagues.
In the end, this proved to be worthless, because the World Cup in America broke all the records considering attendance at the games.
69000 people, were an average at every game.
The total attendance, in the end, was 3.6 million, and this is the highest in the history. But you have to be aware that at that point the competition had 24 teams while today, that number is 32.
The whole of America was on their feet because they wanted to prove to the world that although they don’t have a lot of quality they do love football in the same way like all of them.
We saw for the first time in history that the finals and the champions were decided on penalties. Brazil defeated Italy after extra time, with 3-2, when Roberto Baggio missed a key penalty, sending the ball way above the goal.
The finals were held at the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena in front of 94,000 fans.
At that point, Brazil was the first national team with four World Cups.
Many interesting things happened at this fantastic sporting event. We saw for the first time Greece, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.
Also, Russia was competing as an independent state because the Soviet Union fell apart.
The Germans, on the other hand, came as a united team after both Western and Eastern Germany formed a strong and respectable squad.
Not one national team from Great Britain qualified for this tournament.
The biggest surprise was Bulgaria who defeated the reigning champions the Germans and reached the semifinals. Even today that team stands as the best in history for this European country.
We saw the end of a magnificent career. Diego Armando Maradona one of the best players if not the best player in the history of football, was caught using an illegal substance and also having traces of drug in his blood.
The fantastic Argentinian and this situation when he failed a doping test was one of the most famous moments during the 90s.
For you who remember that period and who are football/soccer fans, there is no doubt that the World Cup tournament in the USA is the golden moment in the history of these tournaments.
If only those days could come back.