1998 World Cup
When Zidane outperformed Ronaldo at the 1998 World Cup. FIFA opted to raise the tournament’s number of participants from 24 to 32, resulting in a larger qualifying pool of 174 nations.
- France is the host.
- Teams: 32
- Group stage with knockouts
- 64 matches
- Goals: 171
- France is the winner.
- Brazil finished second.
- Davor Suker, Golden Boot (Croatia)
The World Cup with the longest duration (32 days) was held in 1998 World Cup, when France hosted for the second time (after 1938). FIFA opted to raise the tournament’s number of participants from 24 to 32, resulting in a larger qualifying pool of 174 nations. There were four debuts from four separate continents, demonstrating the game’s global appeal.
Croatia, Jamaica, Japan, and South Africa all made their World Cup debuts. Portugal, Sweden, the Czech Republic, and Uruguay were all eliminated.
Following the departure of several of the stars of their 1994 victory, Brazil discovered another gifted forward: Ronaldo.
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On Brazil’s way to the final, the 21-year-old scored four goals and assisted on five others on 1998 World Cup. He was the poster child for young football fans all around the world, and he seemed to be on his way to winning his first global championship. However, on the day of the final, Ronaldo’s name was omitted from the squad sheet, generating outrage throughout the globe. It was eventually added, however the player was unable to match his previous game performances and was later discovered to have been ill before to the game.
Norway’s 2-1 triumph over Brazil and Nigeria’s 3-2 win over Spain were among the tournament’s surprises. Croatia, inspired by the brilliant Davor Suker, stormed to the semi-finals with victories over Romania (1-0) and three-time champion Germany (3-0).
However, they were defeated in the semi-finals by hosts France.
France was riding the success of numerous notable players, notably Zinedine Zidane, who scored both of the team’s goals in the final. Emmanuel Petit scored the third goal, and France celebrated their first World Cup victory.
South Africa hosted their first 1998 World Cup after being barred from competing for years due to apartheid. To promote offensive play during extra time, the golden goal rule was implemented. Despite political tensions between Iran and the United States, both teams showed mutual respect and posed for a memorable group shot with their arms crossed. When Michael Owen scored England’s second goal in their round-of-16 encounter, it was one of the most memorable goals of the World Cup.
The Cup of Life (La Copa de la Vida) by Ricky Martin, the tournament’s official song, received worldwide recognition and was named the finest World Cup anthem by various publications and reviewers. After acquiring FIFA rights, EA Sports launched World Cup 98, their first international football game, a few months before the competition. The game quickly became popular among video game enthusiasts.
After commanding the tournament on 1998 World Cup, Brazil’s Ronaldo was a ghost of himself in the final, sparking conspiracy suspicions and inquests. After the first two group matches, both Saudi Arabia and South Korea sacked their respective managers.