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10 Biggest FIFA World Cup "What Ifs"

10. The Entire 2002 World Cup

The 2002 World Cup was without a doubt the most controversial tournament to date. It had it all. Dodgy refereeing calls? Check. Dramatic collapses? Check. Major upsets? Check. A story of redemption? Check and check.

The list of "what ifs" reads rather long. France, Portugal, and Argentina head up the list of major teams who didn't manage to get out of the group stages. With three of the strongest line-ups at the tournament, nobody predicted such dramatic implosions from the two top ranked teams (France and Argentina), as well as that of Portugal's golden generation.

The last 16 saw Italy defeated by South Korea in a match that will forever live in infamy due to the sheer number of dubious refereeing calls made by an official who also tried smuggling 6 kilograms of heroin into the USA. Enough said. Spain coincidently bowed out to South Korea in the following round. The match wasn't quite as bad as the Italy fixture, but La Roja were denied a goal and many legitimate opportunities to win the game.

Due to underperformances from major teams and a degree of favouritism towards the hosts, we were robbed of an England vs. France tie in the Round of 16. The quarter finals would have been stuff of fantasy as likely matches would see Germany face Portugal, Spain vs. Italy, and Brazil vs. England or France. Semi Final possibilities include Germany/Portugal vs. Spain/Italy and Brazil/England/France vs. Argentina.

With so many of these teams sporting once in a lifetime talents and squads, it is unlikely that we would or will ever see so many stars go head to head at a World Cup. I guess it's time to call up some friends, dust off our PlayStation 2s, and relive what could have been.

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