Friday, November 14, 2014

Quiz with Chamara Sumanapala. Part 29: Football World Cup 1994-98

The Football World Cup was held for the first time in the United States in 1994. This tournament provided large crowds and enthusiasm even in the home country was evident. This showed the heights of popularity football (Americans call it Soccer) in the United States. Just a few decades ago, the game had been a much less popular game. Actually, in 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, the organizers had removed the game from the Olympics, which led to the start of a separate World Cup.

A lot of political changes had also occurred. Yugoslavia had fractured into several states and still was in a midst of civil war. Germany was reunited after Berlin Wall collapsed in November 1989. The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Russia took part in the tournament and so did the now reunited Germany.

This tournament also provided the first final to be decided on penalties. Brazil won 3-2, defeating Italy, thereby winning their fourth title.

In 1998, France hosted the World Cup after 60 years. It saw the hosts emphatically defeat the favorites Brazil in the final 3-0. Thereby, France won their first ever title. This tournament also saw two countries of former Yugoslavia also taking part. They were Yugoslavia (what remained of the original country) and Croatia. Croatia surprised the football world by coming in the 3rd place.
Zidane with the World Cup in 1998

1. The 1994 World Cup Golden Boot for the best scorer was won by a Russian, Oleg Salenko. He scored six goals and tied with Hristo Stoichkov of Bulgaria. But Salenko had played a lesser number of matches. By winning the golden boot, Salenko became the only player to have won the title in an open World Cup and also a U-20 World Cup. In 1989, in the U-20 World Cup in Saudi Arabia he had scored six goals. Against which African team did Salenko score five of his six goals in the 1994 World Cup, thereby establishing an unbeaten record for the highest number of goals by a player in a World Cup match?

2. When a player awards a goal to the other team by mistake, it is called an own goal. These are always costly. But the most costly own goal in a World Cup match was that of Andres Escobar’s. His own goal meant that Colombia lost that particular game on June 22, 1994. But when he returned home, he was shot dead. No one knows the exact reason, but it is believed that someone who lost a huge debt may have caused this. Many in Colombia never believed that they will lose to the country against which they played this game. Against which country was this match?

3. Another game which produced an unbelievable result in 1994 World Cup was the game between Argentina and Romania. Star-studded Argentina was completely undone, defeated by a score of 3-2, by a Romanian side led by a footballer ironically nicknamed “Maradona of the Carpathians.” Who is this player?

4. Croatia reached the third place in the 1998 World Cup, taking part in the first ever world cup as an independent country. A major factor which helped the team was their main striker. In this world cup he scored six goals. Overall, in an international career spanning a decade from 1992, he played 69 matches and has scored 45 goals, becoming the highest goal scorer in independent Croatia’s football history. Born on January 1, 1968, he started his international career in the Yugoslav U-20 team in 1987. Who is he?

5. The hero of French victory in 1998 world cup was Zinedine Zidane, also known as Zizou, his nickname. He is considered to be one of the best ever footballers. In 2013, the UEFA selected him as the best ever footballer in Europe in the last 50 years. Known for his elegant style of play, he was discredited after an unsavory incident in the 2006 Football World Cup final, after which he retired from international games. Zidane is the child of immigrants to France. His parents were from Algeria and belong to a community which lives in North Africa west of the Nile. They have a distinct language different from Arabic and were historically nomads. There are over 30 million people belonging to this community worldwide, mainly in North Africa. What are these people called?

Answers to Quiz No 28: King Juan Carlos of Spain

1. House of Bourbon
2. Francisco Franco
3. Antonio Tejero
4. Santiago Carrillo
5. Botswana

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