Now is the time for legends to be born

10:00am Wednesday 11th June 2014

By Michael Duberry

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.

Oxford Mail:

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.

Oxford Mail:

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!

FOOTBALL: City beaten at Ardley

Oxford Mail: Callum Convey scored Ardley United's winner in their 1-0 success at Ascot United on Tuesday

8:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Oxford City slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Ardley United in their penultimate friendly before the new season gets under way.

RACING: Longsdon's double bid

Oxford Mail: Charlie Longsdon

8:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Chipping Norton trainer Charlie Longsdon is double-handed in the thetote.com Galway Plate (5.30) at the Irish track today with Vulcanite and Grandads Horse.

RACING: Charlie in action again

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Charlie Wells, the horse trained by Eve Johnson Houghton at Blewbury, near Didcot, who tested positive for morphine, runs in the 7.15 at Ffos Las tomorrow.

Appleton's closing in on striker for Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Michael Appleton says Oxford United are “super close” to signing a striker to boost a side which lacked a cutting edge in a 1-0 home defeat to Wolves last night.

AUNT SALLY: Title race thrown open as Six Bells falter

Oxford Mail:

7:20am Wednesday 30th July 2014

THE battle for the Premier Section crown is alive after leaders Six Bells C lost for the second match in succession, writes ANDY BEAL.

CRICKET: Ayaz's nine-wicket blitz crushes Minster

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Cowley Internationals’ bowler Ayaz Khan nearly took all ten for a second time when he bagged a nine-wicket haul in their 65 win at Minster Lovell in OCA League Division 1.

Commonwealth Games: Watson aiming to lift crown

Oxford Mail: Ben Watson just missed out on a place in 2010

7:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

BEN Watson will look to convert his English title into a Commonwealth Games medal tonight.

Commonwealth Games: England pays price for lack of finishing power

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

HANNAH England admitted she did not have enough finishing speed after fading to seventh place in the 1500m final last night.

Commonwealth Games: Fox frustrated as hockey team lose

Oxford Mail: hockey - field

7:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

DAN Fox was left frustrated as England’s men’s hockey team lost 2-1 to New Zealand.

Commonwealth Games: Clarke trails in last

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Lawrence Clarke had a final to forget as he finished last in the 110m hurdles.

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