At last weekend’s #WorldCupAtHome matches, we witnessed a critical assist by a young star before his football career really took off. Additionally we watched a Frenchman score the only two goals of his international career, while two teams avenged their previous defeats.

 

Ronaldinho, FIFA U-17 World Championship Egypt 1997, Brazil – Ghana 2:1 (Final) | ©FIFA Museum
Friday, May 8th    
FIFA U-17 World Championship Egypt 1997, Brazil – Ghana 2:1 (Final)  
(click here to watch the full match)

Without his iconic hairstyle you might have had to look twice to recognise him, but Ronaldinho's talent was already unmistakable during the 1997 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Egypt. He provided the assist for the winning second goal against Ghana in the final, enabling his team to become the first Brazilian side to win an U-17 World Cup. Brazil's youngsters have now won the tournament a total of four times, most recently as hosts in 2019. Following his 1997 triumph, Ronaldinho went on to win the title at the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan – making him the only Brazilian to have lifted the trophy in both tournaments. A medal from the FIFA U-17 World Cup Egypt 1997 is in the museum's collection.

 

Zinedine Zidane, 1998 FIFA World Cup France, France - Croatia 2:1 (Semi-final)   | ©FIFA Museum
Saturday, May 9th   
1998 FIFA World Cup France, France - Croatia 2:1 (Semi-final)  
(click here to watch the full match)

The semi-final of the 1998 World Cup marked the very first international match between France and Croatia。 It was also the setting of another first – Lilian Thuram’s debut goal for the French national team, which he followed up with a second (and last) just 22 minutes later。 These goals would stay the only ones for him in his national team career。 Despite this incredible achievement, we can’t forget another driving force for Les Bleus during the tournament: Zinedine Zidane。 He crowned his performance with a brace in the final against Brazil – his only goals of the entire tournament。 His jersey from the semi-final is now part of the museum collection。

 

Thibaut Coutois, 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, Brazil – Belgium 1:2 (Quarter-final)   | ©FIFA Museum
Sunday, May 10th    
2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, Brazil – Belgium 1:2 (Quarter-final)  
(click here to watch the full match)

In Russia, Belgium and Brazil met for just the second time on the World Cup stage. The first clash between the two teams occurred in the Round of 16 of the 2002 World Cup, in which Brazil beat Belgium 2-0. However, in the quarter-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the Belgians prevailed with a 2-1 victory – reaching a World Cup semi-final for the second time in history. Although they didn’t progress any further, they achieved their best World Cup result to date by finishing in third place and with 16 goals they were highest scoring team at the tournament. Yet goal scoring prowess wouldn’t have got them nearly as far without goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois acting as an almost insurmountable barrier on the other side of the pitch. His oustanding performance earned him the Golden Glove award as the best goalkeeper of Russia 2018. His actual gloves from the tournament have now found their way into the museum's collection.

 

Carli Lloyd, FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015, USA – Japan 2:1 5:2 (Final)   | ©FIFA Museum
Monday, May 11th     
FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015, USA – Japan 2:1 5:2 (Final)  
(click here to watch the full match)

The final of the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada was a game full of records, and saw the Americans avenge their defeat at the hands Japan in the 2011 World Cup final four years earlier. After only 16 minutes, the US team was up 4-0 and the game was practically decided. Three of the four goals were scored by Carli Lloyd, in the fastest hat-trick of World Cup history. In the end, it was 5-2 for the USA, in the highest scoring final the Women’s World Cup had ever seen. The record seven goals were scored with the Adidas Context15 Final Vancouver, which was specially designed for the final. The ball used to kick off the match is now in the FIFA Museum's collection. This victory marked the USA’s third World Cup title, making them the record FIFA Women’s World Cup champions.