My World Cup - Nacer Chadli
13 June 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
Nacer Chadli is with the Belgium squad in Brazil - here are his memories of the World Cup.
What was the first World Cup you can recall watching?
That would be France ‘98. I was only eight years old at the time, just coming up to nine, so I was at a good age to watch the tournament and enjoy it. There were some big players and big nations involved, I remember it well.
Who were the stars you remember from that tournament?
I know France won in the end, but I wasn’t paying very close attention to their players because they were not as well known to me at the time. I was looking more at Ronaldo and the Brazilian team. I remember players like him, Aldair and Bebeto also.
Have you ever been to a World Cup match as a supporter?
Unfortunately, never. It must be good to watch a live game at a World Cup.
If there was one World Cup game you could have gone to, which one would it be and why?
I think the final at France ‘98 would be the one for me. That was a nice game to watch. Brazil lost 3-0 as we all know, but I remember France scoring right at the end of each half.
What are the best memories you have of your own country at the World Cup?
Belgium made the semi-finals in Mexico in 1986 but I was not born then so I can’t really say that one, can I? I remember in 2002 we lost 2-0 against Brazil in the last 16. I think we were better than them on the day so we were unfortunate to lose.
What has been the best match you’ve ever seen at the Finals?
The best match was probably one of Spain’s games at the last World Cup. They were fantastic. I remember they beat Germany in the semi-finals but I enjoyed their game against Portugal. I’ll pick the Portugal one because I think it lived up to the hype and it was a good match between two neighbours in Europe. Spain won 1-0.
And what has been the best goal?
I think Iniesta for Spain in the final in 2010. He scored in extra time against Holland. That goal clearly meant a lot to him and his country as a whole.
Who do you think will have a big impact at the 2014 World Cup?
I believe Belgium have a good opportunity and I really hope we can perform well. Also Brazil should be strong because they are the home nation this year.
Which two teams do you fancy to make it to the final, and who will lift the trophy?
Spain have a good chance to win the World Cup in my view. I think they’ll play either Brazil or Belgium in the final.