A Personal History of the World Cup: Part One
As we countdown to South Africa 2010 this blog will reminisce about the eight World Cups that have taken place since my birth in 1976.
It will be a patchy, potted history since I was hardly aware of the event until Italia '90- and even then it was more about how that tournament fitted with my own burgeoning experience of football. So please don't read this expecting a definitive guide- Brian Glanville's excellent History of the World Cup will serve you better. But if you are a football tragic like me, and you measure time in four year cycles then this may be of some interest, being as it is the awakening of my awareness that there exists a clock with hands quick enough to clasp a quadrennial flash of splendour.
As a two year old growing up in Rugby and Rugby League mad South Auckland, Argentina 1978 tango'd by me without a murmur. But the fact that a few years later I watched Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa plying their trade for Tottenham Hotspur in the hallowed English Division One, on Saturday Morning's Big League Soccer, is testament to the impact that the Argentine Cup winnning squad had on World Football.
But this is adult hindsight. Looking back with the eyes of a two year old, (my son is almost two now so I know what amuses him), I can see that the most obvious thing that would have piqued my interest would have been the amazing shower of confetti raining down from on high in the Estadio Monumental, Buenos Aires as Mario Kempes scored his second for the hosts, condeming the brave Dutch to their second straight World Cup Final defeat.
Screeds and screeds of pretty blue & white confetti, captured by the flash of a thousand light bulbs, littering the field of play: