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Italia 90

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Was chatting to a few old miserable arses in work today about footy generally being shit these days etc and we harked on about the good old days.

 

My contribution was that football for me pretty much started dying for me from from the autumn of 1990 onwards, not just because we haven't won the league since but because, for me, Italia 90 was the pinnacle.

 

I was 9 going on 10 at the time and naturally your first 'World Cup proper' is always a memorable one. I had the full sticker album and ran home from school to watch the games.

 

Footy then for me was like watching my arl fella or my hard uncles playing. The likes of voller, Klinsmann, gullit, etc. They seemed to be the type of fellas who could score worldies during the day but still be able to have 7 or 8 pints of a night in the boozer and would to knock you out if you got tricky.

 

Back then boots were black, muzzies were muzzles and the music and telly graphics during the World Cup were unbeatable.

 

There's some boss YouTube videos of the tournament. Make me cry almost.

 

Football is a bit different when you're idolising spoilt millionaire teens who can't speak properly with boss teeth and shit hair.

 

 

Anyone else love a bit of Italia 90?

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The football was largely dour and defensive but I still have fond memories as it was my first World Cup ( I was too young in 1982 and can barely remember 1986). Even the fact I was laid low with chicken pox during the knockout phase couldn't spoil it for me. Most of the players were unknown so the tournament still held an aura of mystique and the exotic. Some Cameroonian bloke who was older than Joe Louis made a huge impact.

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I was eight, my first proper World Cup. It'll always be number 1 by a distance. My highlight was betting 50p with my next door neighbour that Germany would beat England in the semi. I was fucking delighted. All you need to know about my character, right there.

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I'm tempted to prefer Korea and Japan as I was at uni and had finished my exams so could afford to do fuck all every day, up at 6am for the first of 3 group games, beer with the second at 10, joint or two with the third at 2, then a kick about before going out to the pub for the evening.

 

But circumstances aside, at the age of 9, Italia 90 was probably the best in my mind.

 

94 was obviously a wash out. Games on too late at night and England not being there, it's just the odd memory of houghtons goal against Italy, Aldo arguing with the linesman, stoitvhkov being ace and the rubbish final.

 

98 was very good, probably more social than the others, skipping down to the pub from college, everyone in the same place as we knew it would serve us.

 

Anything since '02 has been forgettable.

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I was eight, my first proper World Cup. It'll always be number 1 by a distance. My highlight was betting 50p with my next door neighbour that Germany would beat England in the semi. I was fucking delighted. All you need to know about my character, right there.

I was just about to finish juniors and was getting bang into my football, although that properly started 2 years earlier in Euro 88 when I became fascinated with Marco Van Basten.

 

I remember our class on the day of the England semi discussing it and the teacher asked everybody to pick the score and who'd score. I remember saying Brehme would score for Germany as he always took free kicks for them. Most of my classmates hadn't even heard of him.

 

Some great players in that Germany team.

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Italia 90 was brilliant and I think the opening game captured the imagination.

 

Younger people have no idea just how little was thought of African football prior to 1990, it was derided, an utter triviality. Maradona was going to tear Cameroon apart, in his native Italy, and we were all going to watch it.

 

Instead, Cameroon just turned the game into a battle, a horrible physical battle, two red cards, the worst goalkeeping for a goal ever, and Cameroon had th biggest badge on a shirt ever.

 

It wasn't amazing football, it was just drama with decent kits in amazing stadiums.

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Benjamin Massing taking Caniggia out was brutal but funny. A couple of his teammates had tried to foul him unsuccessfully but Massingwent full alehouse. He lost his boot in the process and one of the Argentina players sneakily trod on his foot while running up to the ref.

 

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I was only 8 and this was Ireland's first world cup appearance.

 

Just like every other kid me and my brother has the full sticker album. If I'm not mistaken it was a ring binder it was so big wasn't it?

 

Besides being our first world cup, we had England in the group stages and even more mythical was my uncle was at it. And for us, that was the biggest bragging point to all our mates.

 

I loved that summer. As a kid the tournament seemed to go on forever, it nearly took up the whole summer.

 

I remember the sheedy equaliser against England. The quinn one against Holland but above else, the packie bonner penalty save against Romania. I actuality cried with joy.

 

Yep, they don't make world cups like that anymore.

 

Saying that, I thought the France 98 was a great world cup, even though Ireland weren't in it.

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Yeah 98 is my favourite.

 

94 was the first I really remember but was boring without England.

 

All I remember from 90 is dad crying at the penalties.

 

Now I hate them all

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