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!

BRADLEY SMITH: Rain in Spain gave me a chance to shine

Oxford Mail:

3:00pm Thursday 2nd October 2014

I CAME into the Aragon weekend determined to focus on all the weaknesses we’ve experienced.

GOLF: Pepperell out to break duck

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 2nd October 2014

Eddie Pepperell will tee off at St Andrews today believing it is only a matter of time before he sec-ures a maiden win on the European Tour.

ATHLETICS: Carter breaks own record to take Woodstock crown

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 2nd October 2014

Sophie Carter broke her own ladies’ course record as she stormed to victory at the Woodstock 12.

RUGBY UNION: Purdy praised

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 2nd October 2014

Former Chipping Norton junior Henry Purdy was praised for his try-scoring display in Gloucester’s 46-10 win over London Welsh at Oxford’s Kassam Stadium.

ICE HOCKEY: Elliott's exclusion adds to misery for sad Stars

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 2nd October 2014

Player-coach Darren Elliott was excluded in controversial fashion as Oxford City Stars slipped to a 9-6 defeat away to London Raiders in English National League South Division 1.

RUGBY UNION: Harlequins miss out on Twickenham trip

Oxford Mail: rugby generic

8:00am Thursday 2nd October 2014

Oxford Harlequins Under 12s missed out on the chance of walking out at Twickenham by the narrowest of margins after suffering an agonising defeat in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup.

BOWLS: Campion's title

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

8:00am Thursday 2nd October 2014

Banbury Central’s Caroline Campion was crowned Oxfordshire Ladies’ Champion of Champions at South Oxford.

RUGBY UNION: Trophy tribute to brave Widdowson

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 2nd October 2014

Andrew Widdowson was visibly moved at the presentation of a trophy in his honour after Oxford University Greyhounds took on Edinburgh University at Iffley Road.

BAR BILLIARDS: Trafford and Gordon set standard in defence of pairs crown

Oxford Mail: cue and cue ball for images of snooker and billards for sport

8:00am Thursday 2nd October 2014

Pairs holders Mark Trafford and Ian Gordon marched on in the Oxford League’s competition, writes PETE EWINS.

RACING: Berkshire on way back

Oxford Mail: Jim Crowley guides the Paul Cole-trained Berkshire  to victory in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot

8:00am Thursday 2nd October 2014

Forgotten horse Berkshire is set for an imminent return to competitive action.

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