7 individual performances which broke the World Cup

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With all eyes fixed on the FIFA World Cup once every four years, a  strong showing or wonder-goal can catapult a rising star to football superstardom.

Enter Kylian Mbappe, who became the first teenager since Pele in 1958 to score two goals in a FIFA World Cup match when he struck twice in four minutes to knock Argentina out in the Round of 16.

Mbappe won the penalty which gave France the opener, before two quick-fire goals set up a quarter-final showdown with Uruguay.

The 19 year-old upstaged arguably the world’s greatest player in Lionel Messi with his man-of-the match performance, joining a decorated list of stars who decided a pivotal World Cup match on their own.

Zinedine Zidane - France v Brazil, 1998 Final

 

Zidane’s defining moment came when he inspired France to its first FIFA World Cup trophy, with two goals in the final against Brazil in front of a packed Stade Velledrome.

The midfielder glided across the pitch, tormenting Brazil’s defence every time he touched the ball.

Zizou’s heroics against Brazil marked a changing of the guard in the French national team, as he asserted himself as the natural successor to ageing skipper Didier Deschamps.

After the match, one million French fans flocked to the Champs-Elysees in Paris, where an image of Zidane was projected on the city’s famous Arc de Triomphe with the caption ‘Merci Zizou’.

James Rodriguez – Colombia v Uruguay, 2014 Round of 16

 

The 2014 FIFA World Cup was a coming of age for James Rodriguez, who won the Golden boot as the tournament’s top goalscorer at 22.

But it was his double in the Round of 16 win over Uruguay which made James a global phenomenon.

James scored both goals in the win which fired Colombia to its first ever World Cup quarter-final, and who could forget his opening goal – a spectacular volley described as “one of the greatest goals the World Cup has ever seen” by then-Uruguay boss Oscar Tabarez.

On the back of the goal which broke the internet, Real Madrid forked out  $A113 million to sign the playmaker on a six-year deal.

Diego Maradona - Argentina v England, 1986 Final 

 

England fans will never forget the moment the ‘hand of god’ reached down and intervened during the infamous 1986 quarter final defeat to Argentina.

Other times the 'hand of god' touched football

His opener – a controversial ‘header’, left England fans fuming after the maestro clearly used his hand to turn the ball into the back of the net.

After the match, Maradona cheekily said the goal was scored "a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God,"

Four minutes after his first goal, Maradona picked up the ball inside his own half beat four England players, rounded the keeper and scored what is commonly known as the 'goal of the century.'

The football gods were smiling down on the Argentine legend that day.

Pele - Brazil v France 1958 semi-final

 

With France leading Brazil in the 1958 FIFA World Cup semi-final, up stepped the tournament's youngest player - a 17 year-old Pele with a hat-trick to fire Brazil in the final. Brazil went on to beat Sweden 5-2 in the final with the prodigy scoring two goals.

Pele's 'rainbow' goal, where he flicked the ball over the defender before volleying into the bottom corner, is regarded as one of the most iconic goals in FIFA world Cup history.

Pele finished the 1958 FIFA world cup with six goals in four appearances.

Geoff Hurst - England v West Germany, 1966 Final

 

An unlikely hero, Sir Geoff Hurst was on the bench for most of the 1966 FIFA World Cup, before an injury to first choice striker Jimmy Greaves saw him thrust into the starting side for the quarter final against Argentina.

With Greaves back to full fitness in time for the final, manager decided to stick with Hurst and the gamble paid off, Hurst the hat-trick hero as England won its first FIFA world Cup.

To this day, Hurst is the only player to score three goals in a FIFA World Cup final and he’s one of the few football personalities to have been knighted.

Ronaldo - Brazil v Germany, 2002 Final

 

Ronaldo made a fairytale comeback from a career-threatening knee injury to represent Brazil at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, and the striker was at his prolific best, winning the Golden boot with 12 goals.

The striker scored against every team he came up against at the FIFA World Cup, except England in the quarter final, but his performance in the final against Germany capped off a dream tournament for the former Real Madrid star.

Ronaldo scored both goals in the 2-0 win, as Brazil clinched a record fifth FIFA World Cup trophy, avenging the 1998 final heartbreak against France.