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When a world comes together: The World Cup seen through photography

The World Cup provides soccer fans with so much excitement, and the photography that captures the most iconic moments from each one provides the world with lasting memories.

Quite simply, on a global scale, there is nothing bigger than the World Cup, and part of that is that fans have to wait four years for all the enjoyment.

Since the last World Cup was in 2018, we are only one year away from another momentous occasion. But in the meantime, let us help you fill the emptiness in your stomachs with a look back at some of the greatest photography of World Cup moments.

Where it all began (1930 World Cup)

Uruguay scoring its first goal in the World Cup final against Argentina, in Montevideo, Uruguay, July 30, 1930. (AP Images)

You may be looking at this photo, and notice the horrendous quality of the image. Well that just signifies the moment. Photographed is Laurence Laurent of France scoring the first-ever World Cup goal in 1930, against Brazil.

It was not some crazy electric goal, but it was a moment to witness, as all firsts are. This goal will go down in history, as will this image.

An underdog overcomes (1950 World Cup)

Uruguay player Ghiggia scores during the World Cup Final, against Brazil, in the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 16, 1950. Uruguay defeated Brazil 2-1 to win the 1950 World Cup. (AP Photo)

After World War 2 ravaged Europe, FIFA was desperately looking for a home for the World Cup. The only offer would be Brazil, which set the scene for this championship game.

The Brazilian squad had torched their opponents throughout this World Cup, which set the scene for its home team to win in front of their fans, in the championship match against Uruguay.

In front of a packed house, Brazil got out to a 1-0 score, however by the 79th minute Uruguay was up 2-1. All thanks to Alcides Ghiggia, who took a pass from Julio Perez. Ultimately Uruguay completed the 2-1 upset.

This outcome not only shocked the 200,000 in attendance but the whole soccer world.

The controversial goal (1966 World Cup)

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Geoff Hurst’s goal in 1966 has been the subject of a 50-year long debate (Image: Getty)

Controversy leads to legends, and in 1966 a supposed goal has led to a 50+year controversy. In a game that matched England against Germany, the winning goal by England’s Geoff Hurst is still being analyzed to this day.

The ball kicked off of Hurst’s leg hit the crossbar and seemed to hit the goal-line, however it was called a goal after linesman Tofiq Bahramov believed that it crossed the line.

This decision ultimately kicked Germany out of the World Cup. An outcome that many fans think was unwarranted.

Maradona’s goal of the century (1986 World Cup)

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Diego Maradona at 1986 World Cup (via

Famous World Cup photography doesn’t get bigger than this. And the same goes for superstars in soccer.

Diego Maradona was an all-time great and sadly passed away this year, but his legend will always live on, not to mention his “Goal of The Century.”

The 1986 World Cup game between Argentina and England was the stage, and Maradona was the star.

Not 5 minutes after scoring the infamous “Hand of God” goal, Maradona put on a display of majestic, mystical-like moves. The outcome of all these moves was him putting a goal past England’s goalie.

Zinedine Zidane’s headbutt (2006 World Cup)

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Zinedine Zidane’s moment of madness saw him sent off in the 2006 World Cup final.
(John McDougall: AFP)

Not a goal, nor an incredible pass, but instead a headbutt that should be highlighted.

A moment that has continued to stay iconic to this day is when famed French captain, Zinedine Zidane, headbutted Italy’s Marco Materazzi. At first, it seemed that Zidane was in the wrong, and let his hot-headed nature get the best of him.

However, we have now learned that his actions were provoked by Materazzi making inappropriate remarks about Zidane’s sister. You can see the aggression on Zidane’s face and now we know exactly why!

The photograph of this iconic World Cup moment will never be forgotten, as it was also Zidane’s last time playing for his country.

France wins the 2018 World Cup

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France players lift the World Cup trophy after their victory in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final between France and Croatia in Moscow on Sunday. (Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

What is the last moment in World Cup history for now, is team France being crowned champions.

One thing that is clear is the elation and excitement that comes with achieving the title. There is no bigger feat in the world of soccer, than literally being crowned champion of the world. And in 2018, these Frenchmen were able to.

When a world comes together, momentous occasions occur

There are a lot of other moments that I could have highlighted, but how can you put 90 years of history into one article?

Every World Cup is filled with crazy action and jaw-dropping plays. And every World Cup has its amazing moments and iconic photography that will always live on!