Maybe you’ve never heard of John “Budgie” Burridge. That’s understandable, because although his career lasted nearly 30 years, he spent that time bouncing around 29 different clubs. However, he did make over 50 appearances for eight different teams: Blackpool, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Wolves, Sheffield United, Southampton, Newcastle United and Hibernian.
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.
Next Tuesday, Chelsea and Barcelona will renew one of the greatest footballing rivalries of the 21st century. Beginning in 2000 and ending with that Fernando Torres goal scored almost six years ago, Barca and Chelsea met 12 times in the Champions League, including the 2000 quarterfinals, the 2005 and 2006 Round of 16 and the 2009 and 2012 semifinals.
WATCH THIS: Greatest Games, 2009 UCL Semifinal
The five years Ronaldinho spent at FC Barcelona were undoubtedly the pinnacle of his career. That’s where he led his club to the UEFA Champions League title and was twice named the FIFA World Player of the Year. Although he spent two seasons at Paris Saint-Germain, a single UEFA Intertoto Cup is the only piece of hardware he earned with the Parisian side, perhaps going someway towards explaining why his highlight reel in France is hugely under appreciated.
Weeds and dirt and worms and flowers. Soon enough, every sinew of our being will be overloaded with the stuff. There’s no escaping it in our mortal flesh, and the corroding effect of time even conspires to destroy man’s most hallowed creations.
Here are 20 once-great footballing grounds that have since been decimated by the ravages of old age.
The best free kick taker of all time turns 43 today, and we have found the perfect video to honor all of his greatest strikes.
There’s no question that Ronaldinho was at the height of his powers between 2002 and 2007, when he was twice named FIFA World Player of the Year and helped Brazil to the World Cup (’02) and Barcelona to the Champions League (’06). However, given how quickly his star faded after leaving Barca in 2008, you could say that the Brazilian attacker’s prime was a 10-year period beginning with his meteoric rise in 1999.