Sometimes you watch a World Cup and you think ‘well, that was the greatest edition of that tournament ever.’ 

That is not always the case. Certain World Cups are boring. Or, at least, they do not live up to the billing despite having the greatest teams and players from across the globe. Regardless, the quadrennial tournament seems to always yield dramatic storylines and games as the tournament unfolds.

Yet, certain editions stick in our heads and hearts more than others. There are a number of reasons why that may be.

The 2018 World Cup is special to those in Russia because it was the country’s first time hosting the World Cup. Similarly, French soccer fans may call that the best World Cup because their country won it. Even young English fans, who saw the Three Lions reach the semifinals for the first time since Italia ’90, remember that tournament fondly.

Then again, imagine what fans of France, Argentina or West Germany felt during the 1998, 1978 and 1974 World Cup Finals, respectively. Each of those nations hosted the World Cup that year, and each won the trophy.

What is the greatest World Cup ever?

Fact remains, it is near impossible to put opinions about the World Cup aside. Albeit that is somewhat easier for a twenty-something American like myself. I have not seen the U.S. host a World Cup (but I will in 2026), and the U.S. never made it past the quarterfinals in my life.

Therefore, the greatest World Cup I can remember is 2014. At that time, I was in high school. Watching James Rodriguez and Lionel Messi light up a South American World Cup was a joy. It also helps that I could watch every game in the U.S. at a reasonable hour. That does not necessarily hold true for the 5 a.m. kickoffs in Qatar scheduled for November and December 2022.

What is the greatest World Cup you have ever watched? Was it your favorite nation lifting the golden trophy? Or, was there so much drama throughout the competition that one tournament sticks out in your memory bank?

Let us know in the comments below, some people will surely have the same response. After all, these competitions only happen every four years.

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