The World Cup: one team wins and becomes legend, 31 other squads face the most harrowing defeats of their careers. To the winner goes the spoils, to the loser goes tears, infamy and the lifelong question of “What if?”
As a quadrennial event, the stakes couldn’t be higher. The sporting drama is simply unmatched at a World Cup, and sometimes, the losers are as immediately recallable as the victors (think Zinedine Zidane’s headbutt in the 2006 final).
Here are 19 iconic photos (dating back to 1986) that showcase the agony and heartache of the World Cup.