Sunday, 14 Jul 2024

The Greatest Upsets in International Football

International football is known for its thrilling upsets that capture the hearts of fans around the world. The underdogs defeating the giants, the unexpected triumphs that leave a lasting impact. These moments make football truly special. Here, we present some of the biggest upsets in the history of international football.

Argentina vs. Saudi Arabia, World Cup 2022

In the Group C opener of the 2022 World Cup, Lionel Messi and Argentina were expected to cruise to victory against Saudi Arabia. However, the Saudi team had other plans. Despite Messi’s early penalty goal, the rank outsiders fought back and turned the game around in a stunning second half. Captain Salem Al-Dawsari’s goal led Saudi Arabia to an unforgettable 2-1 victory, shocking the football world.

biggest upset in soccer history

Senegal vs. France, World Cup 2002

In the opening game of their first-ever World Cup, Senegal faced the defending champions, France. With a star-studded French squad including Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry, and Patrick Viera, France was heavily favored to win. However, Senegal had other plans. Papa Bouba Diop’s goal secured a stunning 1-0 victory for Senegal, leaving the football world in awe.

North Macedonia vs. Italy, World Cup Qualifying 2022

In a historic shock, North Macedonia, a tiny nation with a population of just 1.8 million, defeated Italy in World Cup qualifying. Italy, the current European champions and a footballing powerhouse, were expected to dominate the match. But Aleksandar Trajkowski’s injury-time goal sealed a remarkable victory for North Macedonia, proving that in football, anything is possible.

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North Macedonia v Italy

Greece vs. Portugal, Euros Final 2004

Greece’s triumph in the 2004 Euros is an incredible story of an underdog conquering the tournament. Against all odds, Greece defeated host nation Portugal 1-0 in the final. Their remarkable journey included victories over France and the Czech Republic. Angelos Charisteas’ header secured the only goal of the match, leading Greece to a historic and unforgettable victory.

Iceland vs. England, Euro 2016

Iceland’s victory over England in the Round of 16 at Euro 2016 sent shockwaves across Europe. With a population of only around 350,000, Iceland’s achievement was remarkable. The 2-1 victory over England, marked by their iconic Thunderclap celebration, showcased the passion and determination of the Icelandic team. This defeat led to significant changes in English football, including the appointment of Gareth Southgate as manager.

Ireland vs. Italy, World Cup 1994

Ireland’s victory over Italy in the 1994 World Cup remains one of the most iconic moments in Irish football history. Despite Italy reaching the final, Ireland managed to secure a historic win against a strong Italian team. Ray Houghton’s floating screamer was the only goal of the match, sealing a memorable victory for Ireland and etching their name in World Cup folklore.

USA vs. England, World Cup 1950

One of the biggest shocks in World Cup history occurred in 1950 when the USA defeated England. At the time, England considered themselves the home of football, while the USA team consisted mostly of amateurs. Yet, the underdogs stunned the football world with a 1-0 victory over the mighty England team, leaving a lasting mark in football history.

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Q: Where can I find more information about these upsets?
A: For more information on these upsets and other football-related content, visit Pesstatsdatabase.

Q: Are there other notable upsets in international football?
A: Yes, there have been numerous upsets in international football history. These are just a few examples of the most significant ones.


Upsets in international football provide some of the most unforgettable moments in the sport. From underdogs defeating the favorites to unexpected triumphs, these matches remind us of the magic and unpredictability of football. The memories and emotions attached to these upsets will forever be etched in the hearts of football enthusiasts worldwide.