📽 World Cup countdown: When dreams become nightmares | OneFootball

📽 World Cup countdown: When dreams become nightmares

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Representing your country at a World Cup should be the pinnacle of any footballer’s career.

But it only takes a split-second’s lapse in concentration, or a stroke of bad luck, to turn dreams into nightmares.

Between 1930 and 2014, 41 different players scored own goals at the World Cup. All of them are united by despair but three of them in particular will be remembered forever.

The first: Manuel Rosas (Mexico v Chile – 1930)

Manuel Rosas appeared for Mexico at the World Cup in Uruguay at the age of just 18. His brother, Felipe, was also with him in the squad, and the stage was set for a memorable Rosas family adventure.

But in the second match, disaster struck. Manuel put through his own net against Chile and became the first ever scorer of a World Cup own goal.

Fortunately, however, he made amends in the next game when he netted twice against Argentina, becoming the youngest scorer in World Cup history at the time in the process.

Manuel Rosas also scored the first ever World Cup penalty kick yet, unfortunately for him, it is his own goal for which he will most be known.

The friendliest: Pierre Issa (France v South Africa – 1998)

France began the ’98 World Cup as host nation with a meeting with South Africa in Marseille and one of the Bafana Bafana defenders was well known to the locals. Pierre Issa grew up in France and had, at that point, played for l’OM for two seasons.

The French took the lead through Christophe Dugarry and then Issa gave his gracious hosts a wonderful gift by diverting a harmless effort past his own goalkeeper for 2-0.

Les Bleus began the tournament slowly that year yet a few weeks later, they were crowned champions of the world, and it was thanks in large part to Pierre Issa.

The most tragic: Andrés Escobar (United States v Colombia – 1994)

Colombia went into the ’94 World Cup in the United States with a reputation as strong underdogs thanks to the likes of goalkeeper Carlos Valderrama, striker Faustino Asprilla and the defensive lynchpin Andrés Escobar. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite go to plan.

After losing to Gheorghe Hagi’s Romania, Colombia needed to beat the US or face early elimination. But with 32 minutes on the clock, Escobar turned a cross past his own goalkeeper – an own goal from which his side would never recover.

On his return home, Escobar was quoted as telling a Colombian newspaper that “Life does not end there” but little did he know that, for him, the end was near.

The defender was later shot dead in a car park – a murder many in his homeland felt was connected to his own goal at the World Cup. He was just 27 when he died, and his funeral was attended by over 80,000 people.

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