World Cup 2014 countdown: Helmut Haller steals the 1966 World Cup final match-ball from Geoff Hurst

Counting down the 100 greatest moments in the history of the World Cup

The World Cup in Brazil is coming into view and everyone is hoping this summer's carnival can take its place among some of the great tournaments of the past.

That won't be easy though, as this series will testify. In the run-up to the tournament, we're counting down the 100 greatest World Cup moments.

Check out our latest instalment below, and for any you missed, see the gallery at the end of the article.

Helmut Haller steals the 1966 World Cup final match-ball from Geoff Hurst

The generally accepted tradition of scoring a hat-trick means the player keeps the match ball. A rather nice reminder it seems.

So when Geoff Hurst scored a hat-trick in the 1966 World Cup final, he must have been pretty desperate to get his hands on it. Yet it was gone.

West Germany striker Helmut Haller, who scored the opening goal of the final, disappeared with the ball under his arm.

Years later Hurst admitted he'd made a mistake not laying a greater claim to it at the time. But around 30 years later, campaigns from a pair of tabloid newspapers saw Haller return the ball to its rightful owner.

 The frontpage headline when it was returned read: "World exclusive. They think it's all over... it's his now. The Daily Mirror gets Geoff his ball back".

 

 

Comments