A goal is a goal. The ball can cross the line between either two posts or two jumpers. The only value of a goal is the importance we attach to it. And the goals we attach the most importance to are the goals that decide FIFA World Cup Finals. I was thinking about this when I wondered how many people had done this. How many people had lived through that moment. At the time the answer was 54. It is now 58. Of those 30 are still alive.
There are only 30 people alive on the planet who can honestly say, “I scored a goal in the FIFA World Cup Final.” Like a romantic fool I set out to meet, interview and photograph them all. It took six years travelling to 13 countries. The result is the book, “Goal” which charts the history of the FIFA World Cup as told by those few individuals who didn’t witness the tournaments greatest moments, they were the greatest moments.
I was fascinated, on a human level, in what that must feel like. Some of them scored a goal and lost and some scored the winner. Some scored terrible goals. But for all of them it changed their lives. The list of players included a bathroom salesman, and insurance broker and a vintner. It does not include Messi, Ronaldo, Maradona or Beckham. This is not some debatable pantheon. You are either in or you’re out.
At the time of completing the project in 2014 there were 34 men in the world who could say, “I scored a goal in the FIFA World Cup Final.”