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!

Crocombe striving to be spot-on at Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 25th July 2014

Max keeping it simple in order to impress

HOCKEY: Shipperley on a high as England start with win

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Friday 25th July 2014

ZOE Shipperley described her Commonwealth Games debut as unreal after helping England beat Wales 2-0 in their women’s hockey opener, writes STUART WEIR.

TENNIS: Oxfordshire men on brink of promotion

Oxford Mail: tennis racket hitting ball for sport

8:30am Friday 25th July 2014

OXFORDSHIRE’S men are on the brink of promotion from Group 5 after a thrilling 5-4 success over Durham & Cleveland at West Worthing yesterday.

CRICKET: Banbury enjoy Twenty 20 vision

Oxford Mail: Jimmy Phillips

8:20am Friday 25th July 2014

Banbury captain Jimmy Phillips believes they are well-placed for another decent run in the ECB National Club Twenty20 competition.

CRICKET: Promotion would be amazing, says Eason

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 25th July 2014

Horspath captain Will Eason says it would be remarkable achievement if they can secure promotion from Serious Cricket Home Counties Premier League Division 2.

CRICKET: No panic for Rowant ahead of crunch clash

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 25th July 2014

Chris Watling says there is no panic in the Aston Rowant camp, despite being just one place above the Serious Cricket Home Counties Premier League Division 1 relegation zone.

ROWING: Headington girls storm in for Britain

8:00am Friday 25th July 2014

Headington School rowers are still celebrating after starring for Great Britain in a junior international match against France at Nantes.

ROWING: National medals for Wallingford crews

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 25th July 2014

Two Wallingford RC crews won bronzes medals in the British Junior Championships at Nottingham.

FOOTBALL: AFC Hinksey fold

Oxford Mail: football generic

7:30am Friday 25th July 2014

UHLSPORT Hellenic League side AFC Hinksey have folded after only two seasons, writes NICK FARRANT.

Oxford United seal trio of deals for shirt sponsorship

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

7:20am Friday 25th July 2014

OXFORD United have agreed deals for three new shirt sponsors this season.

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