50        Brazilianomissions and the inclusion of Fred

Startingwith the host nation, Luis Felipe Scolari has won the tournament before with Brazil, in their last triumph in the far east in 2002 and he was expected tobring the sixth triumph home for Brazil. However, the in-form Lucas Moura wasleft out of the squad alongside Liverpool duo Coutinho and Lucas Leiva and oldexperienced heads such as Kaka, Robinho and Ronaldinho who had been totournaments before; with the latter part of the 2002 group in Japan and SouthKorea which beat Germany in the final.

49 Record-breakingsubstitutes

Thirty-twogoals were scored by substitutes at this summer’s World Cup, which was a recordbefore delving into the knockout stages. The tournament’s winning goal was scoredby a substitute, Mario Gotze in the 1-0 final win over Argentina.

48 Switzerland2-5 France

This GroupE encounter in Salvador was the highest scoring game of the tournament until acertain mind-blowing semi-final. This game had the lot and was arguably one ofthe more exciting games, although France never looked like losing, after goingfive up after 73 minutes. Benzema scored his third in two games and evenfinding the time to miss a penalty. He would've scored his fourth of thetournament and put himself into real contention for the Golden Boot but hislong-range effort flew into the top corner just as the whistle was blowing forfull-time. Sorry Karim!

47 Brazilv Colombia refereeing

After thisgame, FIFA praised their referees for dishing out just over a third of theyellow and red cards given at the 2006 tournament in Germany, a mere 188yellows with 10 red cards.

However, that was in no large part to CarlosCarballo from Spain, who waited until the 64th minute to hand out ayellow card to Thiago Silva for obstruction, ruling him out of the semi-finalagainst Germany. All the while, Fernandinho set about destroying JamesRodriguez with up to five or six strong tackles in the first half, the Man Citymidfielder didn’t receive a yellow and Brazil progressed into the final four.

46 ArseneWenger on the beach

TheCopacabana beach was the backdrop for the media complex at the World Cup andwhen you weren’t treated to Adrian Chiles' insight in ITV’smid-afternoon coverage then light-hearted beach volleyball was part of theentertainment. Arsene Wenger took part in the French media squad, but after hisfall in Liverpool Lime Street train station in February after the 5-1 defeat toLiverpool, you felt nervous for him.

He returned to London for Arsenal’spre-season unscathed though.

45 SouthKorea 2-4 Algeria

Algeria,in their fourth tournament weren’t expected to do much at Brazil. They weresupposed to finish dead last in a group containing Belgium, Russia and theirsecond opponents, South Korea. However, after only narrowly losing againstBelgium they had their tails up for their second game. This game was expectedto pass without incident but in it, Algeria netted four goals, a superb featconsidering they had only ever scored six in their World Cup history prior tothe tournament. They would snatch a draw against Russia and qualify.

44 FarydMondragon

Who saidthere wasn’t room for sentimentality at the World Cup?

Faryd Mondragon wasColombia’s goalkeeper for their 1998 group stage elimination; the one who DavidBeckham scored that free-kick past. Well, he returned sixteen years later, as asubstitute when Colombia were leading Japan 3-1 and were already qualified fromGroup C. He smashed the record at 43 years and 3 days, retiring at the end ofthe tournament.

43 Thefirst World Cup use of goal line technology

Goal linetechnology was used in France’s opening game against Honduras for the firsttime in a World Cup. As Benzema’s shot hit the post and cannoned inches overthe line off the goalkeeper, France sealed their 3-0 win. To everybody at homeit was clear the ball was over the line and the technology was successful,unless your name is Jonathan Pearce.