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41 Iconic Photos That Prove Why Football Is The Biggest Sport In The World

41 Iconic Photos That Prove Why Football Is The Biggest Sport In The World

The story 41 Iconic Photos That Prove Why Football Is The Biggest Sport In The World appeared first on StoryPick.

Football is beautiful.

It breaks down barriers of language, race, creed and color. The most important thing for me is the emotion and passion that football brings to us. It’s something that I cannot explain and put into words but I am pretty sure you know the feeling.

There have been some incredible football images over the past decade or so. From the iconic shots of David Beckham retiring from football to Dani Alves eating a banana, the images range from eye-catching to the unorthodox, memorable to the bizarre.

So here’s a list of 41 iconic images the game has ever seen.

1. Because saving with hands is too mainstream.

The ‘Rene Higuita Scorpion Kick’ save is one of the greatest moments in goalkeeper history.


2. The man who is respected, admired and loved everywhere.

Ronaldinho left FC Barcelona and joined AC Milan in July 2008 having played more than 200 matches. When he returned to play against his former club, the team asked Ronaldinho to join and take a picture with the team.


3. Liverpool and the miracle of Istanbul – Six minutes that shook the world.

The most thrilling encounter in the history of any sport.Liverpool beat AC Milan 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out to win the Champions League after sensationally coming from three goals down at half-time.


4. Diego Maradona, 6 Belgian defenders and an iconic World Cup photograph.

It is one of football’s most iconic images – Diego Maradona taking on the Belgians as he tried to conquer the world.


5. An ecstatic Kaka dropping to his knees and praying in his ‘I Belong To Jesus’ jersey.


6. Andrés Escobar’s ‘deadly’ own goal.

This is perhaps the most notorious accident in football history.  Andrés Escobar made an infamous own goal that led to Columbia’s elimination from the 1994 World Cup. Five days after his return to Columbia, he was murdered.


7. Inter Milan’s Marco Materazzi and AC Milan’s Manuel Rui Costa waiting on the pitch as supporters threw flares onto the pitch.

It’s just a game but there are those who take it much more seriously.


8. Kung fu kick in Eric Cantona style.

Manchester United’s Eric Cantona stunned the football world with his infamous kung-fu kick at a fan who he claimed had baited him.


9. Maldini and Del Piero – Two legends of football.


10. When the Class of 92 returned to Manchester United

The reins were given to Ryan Giggs after the sacking of David Moyes as Manchester United manager. The first thing he did as the manager of the greatest club of the world was to bring in Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville in the coaching team.


11. The night when Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the most brilliant goal in the history of football.

What did Zlatan do? Oh, he just scored a stunning goal 25 yards out with a seemingly impossible bicycle kick against England.


12. When Sir Alex briefly reunited with former Manchester United hero Cristiano Ronaldo.

Cristiano Ronaldo defeated Manchester United but after the match, instead of celebrating with his team mates, he came to the United half and hugged his former boss.


13. Ajax players celebrated Mother’s Day in unique style.

The players of the Eredivisie side paid tribute to their mothers by walking out with each of them onto the pitch in a heartfelt gesture.


14. Dani Alves responded to racism by peeling and eating the banana thrown at him during a match.

Dani Alves provided a memorable response to racism when he decided to eat a banana thrown at him as he was about to take a corner.


15. Two young fans of the biggest rivals in the world showing what the game stands for.

To this day Hillsborough disaster remain as the worst stadium-disaster claiming 96 lives. In a moving show of solidarity, two mascots, one young girl in Everton (blue) and one small boy in the red of Liverpool, led the players on to the pitch.


16. How to dribble like Lionel Messi.

Lionel Messi makes professional defenders and great defenders look like fools.


17. Oliver Kahn consoling the opposition goalkeeper, Santi Canizares.

Football can be an incredibly touching game at times. One of the finest goalkeepers of his generations consoling Canizares after Valencia lost the Champions League final to Bayern Munich.


18. Robbie Fowler snorting ‘cocaine’ on the pitch.

In 1999, amidst rumors in the press that Robbie Fowler was involved with drugs, he decided to respond to those stories on the pitch.


19. Pele and Bobby Moore exchanging their jerseys after a beautiful game.

What made this photo so timeless was that you can hardly tell who had won and who had lost based on their touch, their smiles, and their eyes.


20. Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney scored one of the best goals of his career, an overhead kick against bitter rivals Manchester City.


21. It only takes one leg to score a goal.

This is Nico Calabria. He showed the world that being a handicap is no barrier for enjoying the beautiful game.


22. When Frank Rijkaard spat at Rudi Voller.

Rudi Voller was walking away from the Dutch hardman Frank Rijkaard who aimed his saliva towards the striker’s curly hair.


23. 10 heroic lions, 1 stupid boy – David Beckham sent off against Argentina in 1998 WC.

The pin-up boy unnecessarily kicked out at Diego Simeone to earn himself a straight red. England lost an infamous penalty shootout.


24. But he came back from nowhere and sent England to the World Cup.

England needed only a point to secure automatic qualification but were trailing 2-1 in the dying seconds. Beckham stepped up to curl home a stunning free kick at Old Trafford and seal a place for the Three Lions at the 2002 World Cup.


25. The eye-catching goal celebration by Brandi Chastain after winning the 1999 World Cup.

Brandi Chastain ripping off her shirt after converting the final penalty kick defined U.S. women’s soccer and cemented the World Cup for the United States over China.


26. Beckham… into Sheringham… and Solskjær has won it.

One of the greatest comebacks ever and probably one of the most iconic lines of commentary. 2 injury time goals from substitutes Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer secured the European Cup for Manchester United against Bayern Munich who led for 85 minutes.


27. If you could ever picture disappointment..this is it!

The moment Roberto Baggio handed Brazil the 1994 World Cup. The most talked about penalty miss in the history of football. Baggio is one of the greatest Italian players of all time, but sadly he is remembered for missing the decisive spot kick in the 1994 WC final.


28. Maradonas infamous “Hand of God” goal.

The 1986 quarter-final between England and Argentina is famous for one of football’s most iconic moments. The Hand of God Argentina’s Diego Maradona scored the ‘Hand of God’ goal against England in 1986.


29. Zidane headbutts Materazzi as Italy strike gold.

The 2006 World Cup final will always be remembered for the Zinedine Zidane headbutt on Marco Materazzi.


30. February 6, 1958 –  The darkest day in the history of football.

The sporting world was stunned on this day in 1958, as 7 members of Manchester United football team were killed when their chartered aeroplane crashed at Munich’s Riem airport.


31. David Luiz made an incredible, sliding goal line clearance against Spain.

Confederations Cup final, in 2013. Yes, Brazil won.


32. Materazzi and Zanetti fight for Arsenal hero Thierry Henry’s no. 14 shirt.

Just proves how good Thierry Henry was.


33. One of the most painful images in modern football history.

The reaction of Michael Ballack after John Terry missed the penalty in the Champions League final against Manchester United in Moscow.


34. Indeed a hard nut to crack.

Vinnie Jones grabbed Gazza by his balls.


35. Paolo Di Canio and his fascist salute.

Lazio player Paolo Di Canio gave a straight-arm fascist salute, i.e. the stretched arm used by fascists around the world to Lazio supporters.


36. The day Zinedine Zidane walked out from the football field,  thereby ending one of the greatest careers of all time.

French midfielder Zinedine Zidane walked past the World Cup trophy as he left the pitch for one last time after getting a red card for head-butting Materrazi.


37. One of the greatest tragedies seen on a football pitch.

Marc-Vivien Foe was playing for his country against Colombia in the Confederations Cup semi-finals when he collapsed in the center circle after 72 minutes. A national hero who died at the service of his country.


38. What a ‘priceless’ Gareth Bale picture.


39. The rivalry that unites and divides Kolkata.

East Bengal players carrying Mohun Bagan striker Syed Rahim Nabi after one of the bricks thrown from the stands hit him on his face.


40. The heart-wrenching image of Bayern Munich players after losing the 1999 Champions League final.


41. The day David Beckham retired from football and brought an end to a glittering career on the field.

Some moments will be remembered forever.

A picture is worth a thousand words and this has never rung so true as in the world of football. :)

The story 41 Iconic Photos That Prove Why Football Is The Biggest Sport In The World appeared first on StoryPick.