Men's Team

My favourite World Cup

City stars past and present name their favourite tournament, icon, and moment…

We all have our favourite World Cup memories, whether that be a complete tournament and the atmosphere that surrounded it, or a specific piece of brilliance that will be forever remembered.

Or could it be a player who caught the imagination – even just while the competition lasted - Roger Milla of Cameroon in 1990 is a great example.

Players are the same and have their own World Cup memories, whether watching as a kid, taking part, or following their icon as the tournament progressed.

We asked Joao Cancelo, Sergio Gomez, Julian Alvarez, Sergio Aguero and Nigel de Jong for their favourite World Cup recollections and icons…

Joao Cancelo

“I don't have any heroes. Obviously, I hope to compete in the World Cup this year for Portugal. I want to represent my country the best way possible.

“But while I don’t have heroes, there was a person that I loved when I was younger, who made me so excited watching football.

“That was Brazil’s Ronaldinho Gaúcho. I’ve always said I'm a huge fan of him

“But in my position, Daniel Alves is the top. For me, the best full back in football's history

“The best right back in football's history and a reference and inspiration for me as well.

“But in terms of being the best player at a World Cup, for me, is Ronaldinho Gaúcho.”

Sergio Aguero

“Mt favourite World Cup as a fan?  Hopefully Qatar, right?

“It's the first time that I'm attending just as a spectator, so it'll be a new experience.

“The 1998 World Cup is not my favourite, but the first one I really recall.

“I was young, about 10, and I watched many of the games on TV.

“When David Beckham got the red card against Argentina – that I remember clearly.

“And, sadly, I also remember Bergkamp's goal that allowed the Netherlands to kick Argentina out during quarterfinals.

“As a player, my favourite tournament was Brazil 2014, no doubt.

“We had a great team, headed by Alejandro Sabella. I was injured on the third match, and I was able to make it back for the last few games.

“It was a great experience and, in spite of the pain of losing that final, you start really valuing what you accomplished with time - the way we played, and how we got there.

“As for a favourite moment… let's see... to all Argentinians, certainly Diego Maradona’s goal against England – his second in 1986 -was probably the best of all time. It was special for sure.

“It was a key match, it allowed us to make it to the finals and then win it. While I wasn't born yet, it's still one of the most special moments in the sporting history of our country.”

Nigel De Jong

“My favourite World Cup as a fan was in 1998 - that was the World Cup that I was really invested in as a 14 year-old.

“I really had the understanding of how the dynamics worked of a World Cup, but also knowing I was teenager on the brink of earning my first youth contract with Ajax.

“I really wanted to focus on every game. And Holland did great!

“That was in the time that the marketing aspect came to life, with Ronaldo and his sponsors making fantastic advertisements.

“As a player, I'd say 2010 - 2014 was also great, don’t get me wrong. But 2010 was by far my best experience as a player. We had a great team and to reach the final was incredible and unforgettable, even if we didn’t manage to win.


“My World Cup icon is Romario. For me he was an icon always. I was always blown away by him.

"My dad played in PSV with him, so I’ve seen him as a kid. I was always amazed by him. In 1994 that was the first time that an icon, for me as a 10 year-old, to see football, even though they beat Holland.

“For me Romario was always legendary status. He was an icon and the main guy.”


“My favourite World Cup was in 2010, when Spain became champions.

“All the people in Spain felt very proud, and it is a World Cup that we all remember perfectly well.

“In that World Cup every player from the Spanish team played in a very high level, but we all remember Andres Iniesta because he’s the one who scored the winner at the final and lead us to the tittle.

“In my opinion he was the best player of the team.

“Obviously when Spain won was my favourite moment.

“I was with my family, and we all celebrated together with a good dinner, and we had a great night!”

Julian Alvarez

“The best World Cup, for me, was 2014. We didn’t achieve what we wanted, but the emotions experienced during the World Cup until the last minute, with Argentina in the final, were unique and unforgettable.

“My favourite player has always been Lionel Messi.

“Obviously, as Argentinian, I choose Messi. For what he did in that World Cup (in 2014).

“He was the best player. He scored a lot of goals… Messi!

“I hope my favourite moments will be experienced in Qatar. We expect that everything will be good for us.”