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!

AUNT SALLY: Townsend hits six for Cricketers

8:10am Thursday 18th December 2014

GEOFF Townsend hit a six in his 14 dolls as Cricketers whitewashed Garsington B 6-0 in the Molson Coor Gladiator Friday League.

BAR BILLIARDS: Pincombe triumphs after epic encounter

Oxford Mail: Bar billiards

8:10am Thursday 18th December 2014

BOB Pincombe reached the second round of the Johnsons Buildbase Oxford League’s Men’s individual event after a thrilling win over Chris Bateman, writes PETE EWINS.

F1 fans race in to snap up Marussia souvenirs in Banbury factory auction

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 18th December 2014

FORMER show cars from the collapsed Oxfordshire Formula 1 team Marussia sold for a total of £106,000 at a two-day auction.

RACING: Grandads Horse surprises Charlie Longsdon

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 18th December 2014

Chipping Norton trainer Charlie Longsdon admitted even he was surprised by Grandads Horse’s recent winning run after the gelding’s heart-stopping victory at Doncaster.

RUGBY UNION: Saar stars as Banbury rally

Oxford Mail:

7:20am Thursday 18th December 2014

Hugh Saar bagged a brace of tries as Banbury Under 18s A finished with a flourish to win 33-14 at Newbury in OBB League Division 1.

ATHLETICS: Amend defends ladies' crown

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Thursday 18th December 2014

SAMANTHA Amend defended her ladies’ title at the Andy Reading 10k race.

BOWLS: Oxon A are swept aside

Oxford Mail: image of bowls close up of bowling woods and jack for sport

7:00am Thursday 18th December 2014

Oxfordshire A were beaten 27-13 by Avon A in the English Short Mat Bowling Association’s Inter County Competition at Bristol.

FOOTBALL: Scotland star Anya so grateful to Oxford City spell

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Thursday 18th December 2014

Ikechi Anya admitted he might never have achieved such considerable success as a professional footballer if not for his spell at Oxford City, writes Matthew Bruce.

ATHLETICS: Hat-trick heaven as City veterans prove class apart

Oxford Mail:

6:50am Thursday 18th December 2014

OXFORD City’s men retained the vet 60 team title for the third year running at the SEAA Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships.

Roberts pushes claims for Oxford United recall after featuring in development squad victory

Oxford Mail:

6:30pm Wednesday 17th December 2014

JAMES Roberts edged closer to a first-team return for Oxford United after playing in a 2-0 win for the development side at Bournemouth.

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