x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

World Cup 1990 revisited: Klinsmann takes a dive, Milla does a jive and the UAE score

John McAuley remembers the highlights of the 1990 World Cup, including Jurgen Klinsmann's infamous dive and the UAE scoring a goal against West Germany.

Current USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann with West Germany at the 1990 World Cup. Bob Thomas / Getty Images
Current USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann with West Germany at the 1990 World Cup. Bob Thomas / Getty Images

John McAuley

Jurgen’s Disco Dive

In one of the worst finals in tournament history, Jurgen Klinsmann lit up West Germany v Argentina with a ludicrously imaginative dive.

The striker reacted to Pedro Monzon’s mere presence by throwing himself acrobatically to the floor, before contorting his body like a breakdance aficionado.

Monzon was sent off, a first in a World Cup final. Klinsmann’s reputation as simulator supreme was sealed.

Tears in Turin

England’s Paul Gascoigne was at what proved to be his peak, both physically and technically; a beautifully gifted, supremely confident, ceaseless ball of guile and gumption.

Then he picked up a yellow card in the semi-final against West Germany, effectively ruling him out of the final if England qualified.

Cue the waterworks.

On the positive side, Gazza’s blubbering spawned a popular crisps commercial in the UK.

Milla’s Jive

Having hauled himself to the finals at the grand old age of 38, Roger Milla stole hearts with some masterful displays for Cameroon.

However, more memorable than his four goals was the corner-flag celebration that followed. He first it performed against Romania in the group stage as Milla and his swivelling hips became a phenomenon.

It was soon imitated in playgrounds everywhere.

Crunching Caniggia

Leading 1-0 with a minute remaining in their opener against Argentina, Cameroon were desperate to prevent an equaliser. So, when Claudio Caniggia led a counter-attack by evading two lunges, Benjamin Massing decided the only way to halt the Argentine’s progression was to scythe right through him. It was one of the worst fouls in memory. Massing was given an early bath; Caniggia somehow continued.

Falcons Swoop

The UAE’s first and only foray at the finals was provided a rare high point in the Group D fixture against West Germany. Already two goals down at the San Siro, Khalid Ismail offered hope of an implausible upset by drilling a shot past Bodo Illgner.

The UAE lost 5-1, but Ismail’s boots would be auctioned off years later. They fetched Dh300,000 for charity.

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