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!

MOTORSPORT: Smith storms to third in Australian GP

Oxford Mail:

2:05pm Sunday 19th October 2014

Bradley Smith rode an unforgettable race today to clinch his best ever MotoGP result and a debut podium at the Tissot Australian Grand Prix.

Who was Oxford United's man of the match against Tranmere?

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

5:56pm Saturday 18th October 2014

Oxford Utd 2 (Barnett 28, Potter 73), Tranmere Rov 0

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

4:57pm Saturday 18th October 2014

OXFORD United climbed out of the bottom two as goals from Tyrone Barnett and Alfie Potter gave them a crucial win against rock bottom Tranmere Rovers.

Oxford Utd v Tranmere Rov - updates

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

1:59pm Saturday 18th October 2014

All the news from Oxford United's bottom two clash at home to Tranmere Rovers.

Oxford United legend John Aldridge sad to see former sides propping up table

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 18th October 2014

JOHN Aldridge says he will have divided loyalties when Oxford United and Tranmere Rovers meet this afternoon, but the former striker – a legend at both clubs – is desperate to see them climb away from trouble.

SNOOKER: Butcher squeezes Witney home

8:20am Saturday 18th October 2014

WITNEY D progressed into the next round of the Gentworks Oxford & District League’s Colin Cutler Memorial Trophy by the skin of their teeth.

BIATHLON: All-rounder Lottie fastest in the pool and on the track

8:00am Saturday 18th October 2014

Lottie James won the girls’ under 11 title at the Abingdon Vale Schools Biathlon trials held at Abingdon School Sports Centre and Tilsley Park.

GYMNASTICS: Abingdon youngsters land places in nationals

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 18th October 2014

Abingdon Vale's Lexie-Mae Neal and Lilli-Mae Snuggs secured places in the national finals after superb displays in the regional finals at Milton Keynes.

SWIMMING: Whitbread the toast as City come a super second

Oxford Mail: Abingdon Vale’s ONB junior champion David Murphy

8:00am Saturday 18th October 2014

City of Oxford were beaten only by reigning champions Guildford City A when they competed in the first round of the Premier Division South contest at Tunbridge Wells.

ANGLING: Wickens wins league warm-up by a clear water

8:00am Saturday 18th October 2014

Martin Wickens won the practice match for the second round of the Oxford Winter League with a weight of 16lb 11oz to beat off competition from 37 rivals on the Channel and Folly sections of the Thames.

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