Finally the FIFA World Cup 2014 is here.
The long wait is over and we can now sit back, watch the world’s top teams and the best players fight for football’s ultimate prize.
The World Cup finals are the place where legends are born, reputations cemented and the pretenders found out.
Every World Cup so far has produced ‘that’ star, ‘that’ player to take the tournament by the scruff of the neck and just own it.
When people look back at a certain World Cup finals they remember the star player just as much as the winning team.
I took a look at some previous finals, and thought of a player that I associate with that particular World Cup, for being just simply the star of the show.
Starting off in Mexico 86, there is only one man that this World Cup will be remembered for.
Love him or hate him you have to give it to him.
This was his World Cup, he owned it and owned every team he played against including England.
Not without controversy, Diego Maradona came away from Mexico as the star of the show and enhanced his reputation as possibly the greatest ever player.
Gazza as Oxford United fans will remember him in a Yellows shirt as Middlesbrough celebrated promotion to the Premiership after a 4-1 win over the U’s at the Riverside at the end of the 1997-98 season
Maybe I’m just biased, but Italia 90 is all about one man for me.
He didn’t win the World Cup and didn’t even get to the final, but this star shone the brightest in my eyes.
Gazza made himself a world star and won the hearts of a nation.
He was immediately elevated to hero status by young kids to grown men.
Even now he is still in the hearts of so many.
France 98 was about one man who carried his country to glory.
Zinedine Zidane spearheaded France’s charge to glory in the 1998 World Cup
Zinedine Zidane took all the pressure that came with playing for the host nation, and the expectation of being the team’s biggest star.
Brilliant throughout and with his brace in the final against Brazil, he cemented himself as one of the all-time greats.
The golden goal was introduced in the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan, and it was the man with the golden touch who was the star of the show.
With eight goals to his name, including two in the final, it helped Brazil’s Ronaldo (the original one!) become the player of the tournament.
His unique haircut, so his son could recognize him on TV, was just one of the reasons that set him apart from the rest.
He is still the World Cup finals record goalscorer with 15.
Wouldn’t it be great if Brazil 2014 was the World Cup remembered for Steven Gerrard dominating the tournament like he does for Liverpool or for Wayne Rooney winning our hearts with outstanding performances just like Gazza did in Italia 90?
Let’s be honest, we would ultimately just like to remember Brazil 2014 for England winning the World Cup.
Every kid who has ever kicked a football has had that dream of scoring the winning goal in the World Cup final.
This summer in Rio, dreams will come true, and on football’s biggest stage a new legend will be born.
Let’s just hope that the legend is born with English blood running through his veins.
Come on England!
2:00pm Friday 19th December 2014
BRIAN Howard’s situation at Oxford United is unclear after head coach Michael Appleton admitted he did not know whether the midfielder would be offered an extension to his short-term contract.
12:33pm Friday 19th December 2014
PIRI Weepu returns to the London Welsh starting line-up for tomorrow's Aviva Premiership fixture with Saracens at Allianz Park (KO 3pm).
12:00pm Friday 19th December 2014
JOSH Ashby is good enough to play in Oxford United’s side right now, but the teenager knows his time will come, according to head coach Michael Appleton.
9:40am Friday 19th December 2014
RONNIE Moore is braced for a tough first game in charge of Hartlepool United after comparing opponents Oxford United to Real Madrid.
9:30am Friday 19th December 2014
John Campbell admits it would be difficult to keep his kit on if he was able to make an impact on debut for Oxford United tomorrow.
Interactive match preview: Appleton and Hylton on goals; Moore likens United to Real Madrid; Howard's future; Ashby; club stalwart departs + video
9:34am Friday 19th December 2014
Get ready for kick-off with our interactive preview of Oxford United's trip to Hartlepool
9:10am Friday 19th December 2014
THERE were times earlier this season when it felt like Danny Hylton was scoring in every game, but Oxford United’s top scorer is not getting weighed down by a sudden barren run in front of goal.
9:00am Friday 19th December 2014
FINDING a predator to turn dominance into goals has been an Achilles’ heel for Oxford United this season, but Michael Appleton is hopeful two candidates will emerge over the festive period.
8:00am Friday 19th December 2014
ABOUT 150 supporters have taken advantage of Oxford United’s offer of free transport to tomorrow’s game at Hartlepool United.
7:30am Friday 19th December 2014
North Leigh boss Mark Gee admitted he is ‘wary’ of struggling Wantage Town as his side travel to Alfredian Park in Division 1 South & West of the Evo-Stik Southern League tomorrow, writes Matthew Bruce.