When it comes to football, most of the fans always want to side with their winning clubs. But occasionally, there does come a time when an unexpected player or team ends up closing in or even winning a major title in a tournament. In this article from Lottoland, we’ll be taking a look at some of the most Deus Ex Machina moments that we’ve ever seen in the world of football.
Top Football Underdog Stories
1. Leicester City wins the 2015/16 Premier League
We need to talk about in our article from Lottoland that Leicester City won the 2015 slash 16 Premier League. Back when the top European clubs had some of the best top-talent lying around, it was incredibly difficult for the smaller clubs to even sniff a major title win. But what happened during the 2015/16 Premier League season was nothing short of unbelievable.
During the 2014/15 season, the Foxes barely avoided relegation and then enlisted Claudio Ranieri to lead in the next campaign. At that time, they lacked any big names on the team. As a matter of fact, all they had in their squad were a couple of big club rejects and then some unknown names such as Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante. Despite this, the Foxes were able to steer their team to an unprecedented victory.
2. Sunderland Secures the 1973 FA Cup
Going into the 1973 FA Cup final, Sunderland was rightfully viewed as the ultimate underdog team. The Black Cats had to face Reading, Manchester City and Notts County to get into the quarterfinals. Being in the second division, Sunderland somehow managed to beat both Arsenal and Luton Town to advance right into the final against Leeds United.
Back then, Leeds were the defending FA champions who had previously finished second in the First Division in the last season. However, an unexpected goal by Ian Porterfield in the 31st minute, along with an impeccable display of goalkeeping from Jimmy Montgomery, enabled the Black Cats to win the FA Cup with a 1-0 victory.
The event was especially revered as the Black Cats won without internationally renowned players on their team. Ever since then, only two other lower division clubs have clinched the FA Cup besides Sunderland. Also, this cup was the only major title that the club had ever won.
3. Carlos Tevez
The well-known frontman Carlos Tevez from Manchester City, Manchester United, and Juventus is known as one of the deadliest strikers in all of Europe, winning a plethora of continental and domestic titles in his career. However, this Argentine striker’s history was not so kind as he was once accidentally burned by boiling water as a child and had to spend two months in intensive care while trying to recover from his third-degree burns on his chest, neck, and ear.
Despite that, this tragic/horrific event didn’t stop Tevez from fulfilling his lifelong dream of being a professional footballer.
4. Denmark Winning the European Championships in 1992
Denmark shocked everyone in the footballing community back in 1992 when they clinched the European Championships. The finals comprised over eight teams, with Denmark failing to get a spot in the tournament. They were beaten in their qualifying match by Yugoslavia, but the latter team was later disqualified due to the civil wars that were taking place in their country. So, by default, Denmark was sent over to the finals as the eighth team.
They started out quite poorly going into a draw with England and also a defeat to the tournament hosts and their neighbors, Sweden. In order to get to the semifinals, they had to beat France in the final group game, and they did just that by a score of 2:1.
In the semifinals, facing off against European champions Holland, Denmark were massive underdogs facing an almost impossible task at their hands. This is because they were against top-class stars like Frank Rijkaard, Ronald Koeman, Marco van Basten, and Dennis Bergkamp. However, the Danish looked focused and took the lead twice before the Dutch would even things out. This led to the game going into a penalty shootout with the final moment witnessing Peter Schmeichel stopping Van Basten from making the goal to send Denmark straight to the finals.
Finally, Denmark was against the freshly reunited Germany, and despite being underdogs in the tournament, Denmark did the unbelievable and beat Germany 2-0, all thanks to Peter Schmeichel’s great saves.
5. Uruguay Won the 1950 World Cup
In the 1950 World Cup, Brazilians from all over the state had completely packed the Maracana Stadium, fully convinced that their home team was going to walk away as the world champs. This notion was getting closer to becoming a reality, especially when the home team had gone 90 minutes ahead with their neighbors Uruguay. In fact, even the local newspapers had already declared Brazil to be the winners ahead of the match.
Nevertheless, the Uruguayans did not falter as their optimistic captain Obdulio Varela rallied his team up in spite of the overwhelming home support. Verela utilized his resources, shared a riveting pre-match game plan with his team, and guided his teammates to victory. Even now, the Brazilians have never forgotten about their tragic/humiliating loss as it is deeply ingrained in their psyche.
6. Cameroon’s 1990 World Cup Moment
The last entry in our article from Lottoland shows how Cameroon achieved a series of meaningful wins over some of the toughest teams in the 1990 World Cup. The African teams have always been considered underdogs for the longest time, especially in The World Cup. And this couldn’t have been more apparent than in the 1990s World Cup with Cameroon.
Nobody had ever heard of Cameroon or even their players even though some of them played in the French League One and it also where one of their team members included a 38-year old forward by the name of Roger Milla after coming out of retirement at the request of his country’s president.
Nobody had ever expected them to do well, especially when they were up against the reigning champions themselves, Argentina. But somehow, one way or the other, Cameroon pulled off a major upset by beating the South Americans 1-0. After that, they went up against and then beat a dangerous team in Romania before finally getting knocked out by England in the quarterfinals.
Their 15-minutes of fame may have ended early, but Cameroon nevertheless put up an impressive performance despite being the underdogs, and this event is still remembered 30 years later.