Paul Gascoigne admitted he'd had a few sherbets only hours before Glenn Hoddle left him out of England's World Cup squad. "I got drunk quite quickly...but at no point did I think I was doing anything wrong." When Hoddle gave him the bad news, Gazza lashed out at assorted items of furniture in the hotel room, cutting his leg in the process. He simply hadn't been at his best for some time ("I admit my match fitness may not have been there"), and never played for England again. Without him, they lost in the second round (June 30).
GettyImagesPaul Gascoigne played his final England game in a warm-up with Morocco
2002Just before the finals, Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy shot his team in the foot by sending home Roy Keane, his captain and only world-class player, for a bust-up after Keane had complained about training facilities. Without him, the Republic did well to draw their opening match. Near the end of the first half, Samuel Eto'o beat Steve Staunton and prodded the ball square for Patrick Mboma to put Cameroon ahead. But Ireland came out to attack after the break, and Holland soon hit a low drive just inside a post. Robbie Keane had a terrible match, constantly dispossessed too easily, until he suddenly hit a post with seven minutes left. But the Irish were relieved to come away with a draw. On the same day in the same group, Germany exposed Saudi Arabia's usual physical frailty (they kept sacking foreign coaches for training them hard) with an aerial bombardment. Five of their goals in an 8-0 win came from headers, by Miroslav Klose (three), Michael Ballack, and defender Thomas Linke. There was even a goal from big Carsten Jancker, who hadn't scored in the league all season. Klose's hat-trick was his second in consecutive internationals. Also in these finals, Uruguay scored one of the most brilliant goals in any World Cup. When Denmark's Rene Henriksen headed clear from a corner, the ball reached Pablo García outside the penalty area. He kept it up in the air with two touches before knocking it sideways to the left, where Darío Rodríguez ran up and volleyed it in high at the near post. Just fantastic. But Denmark scored two good goals of their own. A minute before half-time, Jon Dahl Tomasson finished off an excellent team move, full of clever angled passes on the left. Then he headed an elegant late winner off the bar. One in the eye for Newcastle United, who wrote him off as a failure after playing him out of position.