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Tony Cottee's Top 5 World Cup Moments

Tony Cottee's Top 5 World Cup Moments

Tony Cottee's Top 5 World Cup Moments
29 May 2014

Tony Cottee is a West Ham, Everton and Leicester legend: king of the penalty box, where he scored an astonishing 239 goals through a career spanning almost 20 seasons.

Nowadays Tony is a commentator and pundit and, as a former England international, was the perfect person to speak to in order to discover his top 5 World Cup moments, in the latest of our weekly series building up to the big kick-off in Brazil.

Read on for highlights from the '66, '70, '82, '86 and '98 finals.

Tony Cottee spoke to us courtesy of Mexicana, the UK's favourite spicy cheese brand; celebrating the launch of Mexicana Spreadable and a national sampling campaign. For more information please visit


1. England Winning the 1966 World Cup

"The '66 World Cup obviously - Bobby Moore lifting the trophy, that's one. It's just an iconic moment isn't it? It has a special place in English football history. I don't think any sane Englishman could do 5 top World Cup moments without including England winning the World Cup! I really hope it happens again in my lifetime but the way it's going, that might well be the one and only."

2. Gordon Banks Saving Pelé's Header in 1970

"I was only 5 when that one happened, and it was one of those that, when I was old enough to start looking at football - looking at goal videos and that sort of thing - that save always seemed to crop up. I just think it's probably the best save there's ever been in a World Cup finals; I can't think of too many better. The fact that it was an Englishman against the best player in the world just sort of made it an even more dramatic and fantastic save, really."

3. Marco Tardelli's Goal in 1982

"I would include Marco Tardelli scoring for Italy in the '82 final. The celebrations were just fantastic. It was a good final against West Germany and he sort of slipped with his left foot, then put a great strike across the keeper, and his celebrations - the emotion on his face - you could see what it meant to him and to the Italians to score that goal and go on and eventually win the World Cup. I'd like to think I celebrated every goal [I scored] as if it was my first and my last really...I loved the thrill of scoring goals, I think scoring goals is what football is all about - I always got that feeling. Of course my debut goals were special, scoring in cup semi-finals and things were special, but I'd like to think I celebrated every goal as if it were my last really."

4. Maradona's Incredible Solo Goal in 1986

"In '86, as opposed to the handball, I would go for Maradona's second goal. You know, everyone talks about the handball - and I'm sure you'll get a few people pick that out - but I just couldn't believe the skill and the agility and whatever he did when he received the ball in his own half, beat almost the entire team, took it round Peter Shilton and then just calmly stroked it in with the outside of his left foot. I thought it was probably one of the best goals, if not the best goal I've ever seen. Unfortunately it was against England much as it was horrible - the first goal - the second goal was just one of those where every now and then you see a goal and you have to clap it. And I clapped the goal, even though it was against England, it was just a fantastic goal. I didn't get goals like that! I had a few solo goals inside the penalty area but certainly not from my own half! I didn't get goals like that, I was much more of a penalty box player. I had a couple of runs outside the box but nothing along those lines - especially in a World Cup Quarter-Final."

5. Michael Owen Scoring Against Argentina in 1998

"I'm gonna cheer everyone up a little bit and go for Michael Owen's goal against Argentina in the '98 World Cup Finals. That was a wonderful goal for someone so young. You talk about runs - not quite as good as Maradona's - but to do what he did as an 18-year-old against a very good Argentinian team...the finish was absolutely fantastic. I thought that was a wonderful goal and there was a real great feeling when that goal went in. Unfortunately, that was 16 years ago and I can't think of any incidents since then that've actually excited me watching the England team in World Cup Finals; y'know, 2002, 2006, 2010 have not been very good for us, so it's probably the last great English moment in the World Cup Finals - let's hope there's more to come in the summer."

(Images: Getty)