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World Cup stunning moments: Patrick Battiston loses his teeth

One of the greatest World Cup games has been largely overshadowed by the West German keeper’s dastardly act

The semi-final stage of the World Cup has, on balance, not been particularly kind to France. In 1958, the free-scoring team of Just Fontaine and Raymond Kopa were more than holding their own against Brazil until Vavá clattered into the captain Robert Jonquet; as the defender’s leg sailed in an arc across the Stockholm sky, France’s hopes and dreams, in those days before substitutes, departed with it. In 1986, Les Bleus faced West Germany with star man Michel Platini only half-fit; the rest of the team failed to turn up until the last 10 minutes or so, by which time it was far too late. Even when the French finally won a semi, against Croatia in 1998, the popular defensive lynchpin Laurent Blanc got himself suspended for the final – unluckily and yet foolishly – by needlessly waving his arms near the face of Slaven Bilic, asking for the trouble that would soon be delivered to him in spades.

But nothing comes close to 1982. Nothing will ever come close to 1982.

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