The best individual moments from the 2006 FIFA World Cup
The 2006 World Cup was one that had everything. Stunning goals, exquisite skill moves, controversies, the whole lot.
It was also a tournament that solidified European dominance in football as all four semi-finalists happened to be European nations.
Choosing the best individual moments, or epic wins at this tournament was tough due to the abundance. But, here they are.
P.S- Be prepared for some amazing long-range strikes
Zinedine Zidane skill moves vs Brazil
Against all conventional wisdom, a 34-year-old Zinedine Zidane dominated the World Cup favorites in the quarter-finals.
He not only assisted the only goal of the game but Zizou also toyed with the Brazilians in a manner that was never seen before.
He controlled proceedings in the midfield, by pinpoint passing and taking on multiple defenders at once. Some of the highlights here include Zidane evading three Brazilian players with step-overs, bamboozling Ronaldo with superb ball control in the air and leaving Ze Roberto in the dust with a perfect 360.
Zidane’s performance in this game is regarded as one of the finest in World Cup history, and for good reason
Gianluigi Buffon save vs France
This was the save that won Italy the World Cup.
With the scores tied at 1-1, Zidane got a brilliant opportunity to break the deadlock with a header. He had scored from a similar situation in the final eight years ago and it looked like he would do so again.
Zizou jumped for the header and sent a bullet towards goal, but Buffon pulled off an acrobatic save to deny the French talisman. The Italian goalkeeper jumped high and got his hand on the ball to deny what would have been a sure shot goal.
Gigi isn’t called one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time for nothing.
Torsten Frings goal vs Costa Rica
There are some long-range goals, and then there are long range bombs.
Frings’ goal against Costa Rica in a group stage game was nothing short of extraordinary.
The Werder Bremen workhorse unleashed a piledriver from way out and the ball thundered past, giving the goalkeeper no chance as it entered the goal.
This is a goal that oozes power and accuracy. Frings’ shot had the power and the accuracy of a B-52 Bomber. No goalkeeper in the world could have saved that.
Zinedine Zidane penalty vs Italy
If you get a penalty in a World Cup final, the general thought is to take a high percentage shot, preferably in the top corner.
Not if your name is Zinedine Zidane.
Zizou executed, of all things, a cheeky Panenka in the biggest stage of them all to give France the lead. The Real Madrid man sent it down the middle, where Buffon jumped to his right. To add more drama, the ball clipped the crossbar before crossing the line.
Cheeky. Audacious. You can call it anything you want. Bur only Zidane had the caliber to do something like this in a World Cup final.
Joe Cole goal vs Sweden
Another long-range beamer from the 2006 World Cup. Told you that there will be a few.
In a 2-2 draw with Sweden, Joe Cole scored an absolute belter with this long range strike to open the scoring.
After the ball was cleared by Tobias Linderoth following an England corner, it fell to Joe Cole.
Cole controlled the ball with his chest, set himself up and took a stab at it. The ball went and went and before you knew it, it was past the goalkeeper.
A sumptuous strike from the then Chelsea midfielder. One of the most memorable pieces of individual brilliance in World Cup history.