Pierre Boisrond has followed soccer and the World Cup
closely for many years and also writes for other websites. We at PWC are proud to have him as
a columnist. He will share his views about the past, present and future of
the World Cup.
Read earlier columns
The world united in the World Cup
The World Cup signifies joy to everyone in the world. It is the only
tournament that can unite the whole world in a single sport. What makes the
World Cup so special is that every country can qualify. It is quite special
for the countries that are qualified for the first time. For these
countries, it's all about national pride to be among the best in the world.
It's a tournament where countries that are at wars become friends. It's a
tournament where everyone is rejoicing, dancing, and celebrating in his or
her street capitals. It's the only tournament in the world that I'll
sacrifice anything to enjoy it. It's the only tournament where young soccer
players will identify themselves with a player. In the streets of
Petion-Ville, Haiti, I was known as Jorge Luis Burruchaga. In my older days,
I was known as Batistuta and always played with the #9 on the back. This is
what the World Cup is all about. Kids will associate themselves with
particular players. I hope many of them will associate themselves some day
with Juan Roman Riquelme and I can only hope that Marcelo Bielsa will give
him the call for the next world cup. Otherwise he will hate him like Diego
Armando Maradona despised Cesar Luis Menotti for not including him on the
1978 World Cup Roster.
During the '70's and '80s, when one talked about the CONCACAF, two
countries came to mind. Mexico and Haiti were the pillars of the CONCACAF.
It would have been unfair not to mention the Haitian team that participated
in the 1974 World Cup.
Haitian Football is synonym to Emmanuel Sanon. He was a deadly striker,
and always came to the rescue of the national team. When Sanon played, no
one knew what to expect since he had the ability to please the fans. He was
the symbol of Haitian football; he was the catalyst. When Trinidad beat
Mexico in the CONCACAF Elimination for the 74 World Cup, Emmanuel "Manno"
Sanon knew that the world would have a chance to see his majestic skills in
During that WC, Haiti shared the same group with Argentina, Italy and
Poland. This Haitian squad had many talents such as the goalie, Henri
Fancillon; the talented, Philippe Vorbe; The Iron man in the defense, Ernst
Jean-Joseph. However, Sanon was the hope of Haiti in the 74 WC. He had to
face Dino Zoff who had a world record shut out lasting 1143 minutes. Facing the Italians was
not an easy task for the Haitian Internationals.
The game took place at the historic Munich Stadium. The world was
watching a battle between Goliath and David. Haitians celebrated in the
streets just to see their country among the best in the world. They knew
that their team would not be able to compete against the giants of the
world. On the other hand, they knew that the world would have a chance to
see the Haitian Pele. Certainly the world did see the talented Sanon in
the 46th minute.
After receiving a magnificent thru-ball by Philippe Vorbe, Emmanuel
Sanon managed to dribble Zoff and catapulted the ball in the net to give
Haiti a 1-0 lead over Italy; thereby ended the 1143 minutes Zoff shut out.
I could imagine how the Haitians felt. I was unable to participate in that
celebration since I was only 5 years old. I wish I were part of celebration.
Even though Haiti lost the game 1-3, the world had witnessed the Haitian
Pele who shocked the world by beating one of the best goalies in the
world, Dino Zoff.
I could compare the atmosphere in Haiti after Sanon gave Haiti the lead
against Italy with the atmosphere in Honduras after beating Brazil 2-0 in
the recent Copa America. Who would not want to be part of these
celebrations? Only football could bring such a joy to a whole country. In
Africa, we have witnessed the Nigerian celebrations after qualifying for the
World Cup 2002 and left Liberia of George Weah in such agony. It would have
been a similar Nigerian celebration if Daniel Amokachi had been able to get rid of
Roberto Baggio and Italy in the 1994 World Cup.
Football does bring joy to every nation; Football unites the world. In
Colombia, we have seen the emotions of the players after winning the Copa
America when no one thought that the Copa America could have ever been
played. This is what football is all about. This is what the World Cup is
all about. It's all about emotions and pride. It's all about taking it to the highest
As 2002 is approaching we hope to see the underdogs. There's always
something special about the underdogs. It took a Haitian International to
end Zoff's shut out. It took Honduras to humiliate Brazil. We hope to see
some of the new faces from Africa, from the CONCACAF, From Europe and South
America. For the underdogs, winning is not everything. By being there, they
have achieved their goals, they are defending their national pride.
What a day it shall be, the opening day of the WC 2002! Certainly, one must
find some ways to escape from professional duties in order to follow such an
exciting tournament. For most of us, the time for the games might become an
issue; my words of advice get some caffeine. For myself, nothing will put me
to sleep, I will be ready to watch whenever time it might be. I can
sincerely attest that the avid soccer fans will be wide-awake as the whole
world comes together in Korea and Japan. May the best team win. I won't
make any predictions yet since Ruud Doevendans, our columnist, had already
made his. But, I will make one too! Who knows? I might follow the path of
Ruud. So far, my life has not been spared by Brazil. I can only hope that
the boys of Scolari will do their best to keep me alive at the end of the
Info on how
the World Cup was founded and about the trophy as well.
on every match in every tournament.
Interesting columns about the past, present and future of the World Cup.
with appearances in the World Cup. Detailed info on every country.
of many of the most influential players in history.
An A-Z collection
of strange and different stories in World Cup history.
A big collection
of various statistics and records.
since it was introduced in 1966.
knowledge about the WC. Three different levels. No prizes, just for fun.
lots of stuff. For instance Best Goals, Best Players and Best Matches.
of links to other soccer sites with World Cup connection.
and buttons for you to link to us if you want.
A little information
on who keeps this site available.