With a World Cup in Qatar on the horizon, all the teams involved will be stepping up their preparations and putting their best foot forward for the footballing extravaganza.
The fans will also be in countdown mode for the tournament that will be like no other, and we can expect plenty of fascinating subplots.
In the meantime, the World Cup has produced many breath-taking moments that have left us in awe.
So, without further ado, we have unlocked the vault, and revisited some of the most memorable World Cup incidents that are still discussed.
Gordon Bank’s ‘Save of the Century’ (1970)
Arguably one of the best shot-stoppers of his generation, Gordon Banks etched his name into the annals of World Cup history with a superlative display against Brazil in the group stages, producing what has been aptly described as ‘Save of the Century’.
After just 10 minutes into the game, Pele towered over the England defence and he cannoned a header into the ground. Banks looked to have been well and truly beaten. But somehow, he scrambled across his line and flung out a hand to flick the ball over the bar from point-blank range.
It was truly remarkable and it is one of those saves that you could watch over and over again!
Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ (1986)
Perhaps the archetypal antihero, Argentina legend Diego Maradona broke England’s hearts in the 1986 World Cup quarter-finals with one of the most controversial goals.
Instead of using his head from a cross that was stood up for him, Maradona beat Peter Shilton to the ball and punched it into the net. Nevertheless, this was missed by the referee and the goal stood.
That was before Maradona produced a spectacular moment when he slalomed past a raft of defenders before slotting home to cap an incredible day.
Senegal stun France (2002)
Facing the defending World Cup and European champions, few would have held out much hope for Senegal. At the time, they were rather unheralded, and it seemed like there would only be one winner.
But Senegal tore up the script and they stunned Les Bleus when on the half-hour mark, Papa Bouba Diop bundled the ball over the line after his initial effort was saved by Fabien Barthez.
France laid siege to Senegal’s goal in the second half, but to no avail. This upset had greater ramifications for France, who crashed out in the group stages, while Senegal propelled themselves into the quarter-finals. This was only the second time in the history of the competition that an African team had reached the last eight.
Senegal will be hoping to create a stir at this year’s World Cup. Many of the most reputable bookmakers in the world, including online betting in Australia sites, such as Unibet, have already posted some intriguing outright odds on the dark horses. Senegal is currently available at a long 66/1 to win the World Cup, but they are trading at a much shorter 10/1 to seal a semi-final spot.
Zinedine Zidane’s headbutt madness (2006)
Despite being one of the greatest midfielders of all time, unlike in 1998 when Zinedine Zidane powered home two headers in the Final against Brazil, the Frenchman lost his cool in extraordinary circumstances in the 2006 Final.
After scoring from the spot with a panenka-style effort, Zidane got involved in an angry exchange with Italy defender Marco Materazzi. Lip readers may have a clearer idea of what was said, but it was enough to provoke Zidane who forced his head into Materazzi’s chest and he was duly sent off.
It was to be Zidane’s last ever professional game, but it was hardly the way he would like to have signed off what was an otherwise glittering career.
Germany annihilate Brazil (2014)
This was the nadir of Brazil’s international history. The five-times World Cup champions were on home soil, but their dreams ended in humiliating fashion.
Germany were rampant and they tore Brazil from limb to limb. Joachim Low’s charges surged into a 5-0 lead after just 29 minutes, and they ended up thrashing the host 7-1.
It was Brazil’s biggest World Cup defeat, and their first home competitive defeat in 39 years. But the wider significance of this defeat for Brazil can never be underst