With the biggest football leagues coming to a conclusion for the 2017-’18 season (and many summer leagues taking a break for it), thoughts of the football world and football media are turning in earnest to the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The ever informative goal.com has written an article on the “Top 10 World Cup bust-ups”.
With fragile/inflated egos often paramount at world sport’s biggest/most watched event, there is plenty of source material!
The infamous 2002 bust-up between Roy Keane and Mick McCarthy, forever known by Irish people as “The Saipan Incident” comes in at number three. Even 16 years later, it still leaves a sour taste.
The number one bust-up is voted as being France’s disastrous 2010 campaign. Many/Most (Irish) people took great pleasure from Les Bleus’ implosion in South Africa* because of Thierry Henry’s underhanded handball which led to William Gallas’ goal that knocked the Republic of Ireland out of qualification in the November 2009 play-off for the 2010 tournament.
I however, was not one of those who took pleasure from the French demise in 2010 as, Thierry Henry didn’t deserve the abuse he received in the aftermath of the handball, particularly considering the fact that Damien Duff (among other Irish players) rightly acknowledged that they would have done exactly what Henry did in similar circumstances: “You’d chance it,” said the crying Dubliner to the media immediately after the November 2009 play-off.
Also, like Zinedine Zidane in 2006, this was a sad way for such a great player that Thierry Henry was to exit the highest level of the game.
Anyway, this piece is well worth a look.
*The late great Irish broadcaster Jimmy Magee was one of very few people who publicly said that he took no pleasure from France’s collapse at the 2010 World Cup, for similar reasons to those I have outlined above.