I Scored a Goal in the World Cup Final: New exhibition portrays 34 big occasion heroes

By Culture24 Reporter | 25 June 2014

Every surviving World Cup final goalscorer is portrayed in a remarkable exhibition coinciding with the tournament

Dick Nanninga is a bathroom salesman who scored the equaliser for the Netherlands before they succumbed 3-1 to Argentina in the 1978 World Cup final. Paulo Rossi, a vintner, scored the first goal in Italy’s 3-1 win over Germany which sealed the trophy four years later. And Martin Peters, who has retired from insurance sales but remains particularly idolised by West Ham fans, was on the scoresheet the day England won the World Cup in 1966.

These players, as acclaimed photographer Michael Donald points out, have an achievement to their name many of their elite rivals and successors could never claim. Johan Cruyff and Diego Maradona never hit the net in football’s grandest send-off, while the dream grows more distant with each tournament for the likes of Lionel Messi and Wayne Rooney.

“Since its inception in 1930, only 56 people have scored a goal in the World Cup Final,” says Donald, who had the idea for the film, I Scored a Goal in the FIFA World Cup Final, in 2010, creating a series of shorts and a one-hour documentary which was broadcast worldwide, earning a nomination for a Sports Emmy and winning a Webby award.

“I came up with the idea of tracking them all down, photographing, filming and interviewing them. It took a while.

“It is the most exclusive club in football.”

As Nanninga’s defeat shows, immortalisation doesn’t always guarantee happy memories. Rudi Voeller’s goal failed to ensure German victory in 1986, although his fellow countryman Andreas Brehme vanquished the heartbreak at Italia ’90.

Thirty-four of the scorers are still alive in a portrait show which has featured on BBC One’s The One Show since launching on the same day the World Cup 2014 began.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

More on World Cup 2014:

Mark Leech on Diego Maradona's infamous Hand of God

Panini World Cup Wall of Wonder unites every sticker ever issued in winning London show

The World Cup in five seconds: Zinedine Zidane's headbutt in the 2006 final
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