Cult Heroes – Win the World Cup with Hentsch Man


So, it’s started then?

We’re all suffering from the early stages of World Cup fever, which will no doubt reach epic proportions by the time England have scored a goal or even won a game. Apart from at Hentsch Man, where the owner and designer Alexia Hentsch will be rooting for Neymar and co.

Hentsch Man being a brand from a Brazilian background means it made perfect sense when they got in touch to run this competition.

We’re giving away three pairs of their football shorts to three lucky winners. Well, Hentsch Man are. The shorts are the perfect alternative for lads like us who may just get away with donning the official replica shorts, but perhaps want something a bit more refined. The sort of shorts you could also go swimming in. Or at least drunkenly fall into the paddling pool.

All you’ve got to do is nominate your World Cup cult hero in the comments below, and say why they stand out as the best. Personal memories, haircut admiration and reference to how they wore their socks all welcome. That’s the kind of stuff we’re after.

The comp runs for a week, we’ll announce the trio of fortunate football fellas (or girls, they’re allowed to have a go too) next Friday.

Enter as many times as you like.

Check the shorts out here.


Oh, the smallprint.

Please note, these are on sale and while stock is currently available in all colours and sizes, there’s a chance they might not be when the competition ends. So if you win, you might have to compromise. Probably not though. Just so you know…

I had pizza for tea.


  1. Tafarel.

    Because he is the only old player I can think of who isn’t obvious and he played against Scotland at France 98 and I always mistakenly think he wore vaseline on his eyebrows. But he didn’t. That was the scottish keeper (I don’t know who he was).

  2. Colin ebbrell

    Jamaicas very own Ian Goodison . Tranmere rovers defender who played in more world cups than Stevie G

  3. Onedayinwatford

    Before he turned into a crisp slag he was a ruddy good scorer of soccer goals. He went goal crackers in Mexico & Italy and almost led us to glory. Better than anything though he pooed himself during the Ireland game after eating too many crisps the night before the game. LOL.

    Shame he’s such a cunt now, innit, Gary Lineker.

  4. Onedayinwatford

    Before he turned into a crisp slag he was a ruddy good scorer of soccer goals. He went goal crackers in Mexico & Italy and almost led us to glory. Better than anything though he pooed himself during the Ireland game after eating too many crisps the before the game. LOL.

    Shame he’s such a cunt now, innit, Gary Lineker.

  5. David Narey’s ‘toe poke’ (Jimmy Hill, the poof) goal against the Brazil in 82.

    We paid the price, they gubbed us.

  6. Think there’s probably better moments for Scotland. Archie Gemmill in 1978. Scots needed to beat holland by three clear goals, and ‘only’ winning 2-1 against a superior side, the wee midfielder one twos it with dalglish and sets off on a mazy run through the orange defence and smashes the ball home, showing skill Cruyff would be proud of. One of the great World Cup goals and, as usual for British nations at WC, absolutely glorious in defeat, as ultimately Scotland couldn’t get another goal and returned home. The VT of the goal appeared as a cameo in Trainspotting, when Renton watches it before swapping vids and puts liz and tommys sex tape in ‘100 greatest goals’ box. After climaxing later, Rents claims “he’s haven’t felt that good since Gemmill scored against Holland in 78”. That goal must have been a massive high – more so than smack.

  7. Matthew Staples

    USA 94, Ireland v Mexico.

    Aldo on the sidelines calling the ref a ‘fuckin’ cheat’.

    Jack Charlton’s cap was great too.

  8. John Collins.
    He scored a pen against Brazil in the opening Match of the World Cup to bring Scotland level. That’s about as good a World Cup memory as I have being a Scotland supporter.
    World Cup’s aren’t really our strong point.


  9. Jon Barnbrook

    The Roger Milla celebration and Gazza’s tears are two favourites but the Beckham penalty against Argentina in 2002 was special. Revenge for the hand of god, redemption for Beckham himself having been sent off against them in 1999 and it was like one of the many days supporting England where you expected nothing but for once they did the business.

  10. Peter Beardsley. Simply for being the best looking player ever to grace the world’s biggest footballing stage. What a dreamboat.

  11. Peter Beardsley – ‘cos his little chap popped out while he was playing football once and someone took a photo of it.

  12. rob hyde

    Toto Schillaci, in Italia 1990. He was a postman or something which made the 13 year old me think he was part of this incredible rags-to-riches story whereby he’d finished his shift on the Friday and was playing group matches for Italy on the following Monday.

    Anyway, Schillaci. That summer, every lad at our school fought over who got to be Schillaci at Wembley doubles. They’d then proceed to try and overhead kick every shot. If miraculously one of these shots went in, they’d run around the school playing fields screaming ‘GOL GOL GOL GOL GOL GOL GOLLLLLLL’.

    What a summer, eh.

  13. The 120th minute sticks in my head, remains there to this day as the finest, most pure, most unadulterated explosion of joy I have ever witnessed. It’s a forceful run, a crash to the ground, it’s a dinked free kick over the crowd, it’s a slow motion replay, a rotation, a scooping volley, the side net bulging, penalties avoided, Belgium crushed, a bundle, then it’s the biggest widest smile in football…we can do this, it’s ours for the taking.

    David Platt pure and simple.

  14. Andrea Britton

    Paolo Rossi, what a man! A non stereo-typical hero that is an inspiration for all who dream. He proves that everyone can achieve, even the little guys!

  15. Obvious choice maybe but his sheer footballing achievements put him above everyone else.

    The fact he’s made a living after football selling viagra makes it even better.

  16. Richard Smith

    Sergio Goycochea was the unknown substitute goalkeeper for Argentina heading in to Italia 90 as back up to the reigning world champion’s number one choice, Nery Pumpido. However, just 11 minutes in to Argentina’s second match against the USSR following a shock opening game defeat at the hands of Cameroon, Goycochea got his chance after Pumpido clashed with teammate, Julio Olarticoechea.

    For a seven-year-old just getting in to football, a goalkeeper coming off the bench was something of a novelty and this handsome character limbering up on the touchline was the epitome of cool back then. His sticker in the 1990 version of Panini’s World Cup album rivalled Carlos Valderrama, Rene Higuita and Rudi Voller in the suave stakes and has to be seen to be fully appreciated and having had Goycochea in my bundle of swaps for the past month, it was exciting to see him in action.

    Back then, the keeper wore the same shorts and socks as the outfield players and his top didn’t have an adidas trefoil or national crest on it – finer details that were quite compelling for a kid just learning the dynamics of the beautiful game. In hindsight, we’d all love to see one of world football’s elite nations make a sub sporting a decrepit get-up in 2014 but these days, a replacement keeper would run on with immaculate hair, exfoliated skin equipped with matching shirt, shorts and socks complete with a pair of custom boots.

    Goycochea went on to play a pivotal role in Argentina’s run to the World Cup final in Italy, finally getting himself a new shirt (which most often had his necklace hanging over the collar) before saving penalties in shootout victories over Yugoslavia and Italy in the quarter and semi-finals respectively. It later emerged that Goycochea had a superstition that saw him take a piss on the pitch before facing a spot-kick, something he only admitted to later in his career but a fact that only serves to add extra kudos his personality, one that the modern game longs for.

    Sadly, the Argentina goalkeeper jersey wasn’t commonplace in the sport shops of Preston back then but that didn’t deter me from emulating this cool customer between two jumpers on my local park for the remainder of ‘that summer.’

  17. Saeed Al-Owairan, Saudi Arabia, USA1994 great individual goal. He liked to drink and party, which doesn’t go down well in Saudi. Ended up banned from playing and in jail for drinking during Ramadan.

  18. George Bregy swiss player in USA 94.

    First goal of the World Cup against USA great free kick. And what a Mustache!

  19. michael richardson

    Toto Schilachi. He’d never actually kicked a ball prior to the world cup and spent the entire tournament off his napper on pounds and pounds of bugle. Immediately after the world cup he retired to Sicily where he became the inspiration for Furio Giunta in The Sopranos. Curiously Toto played in boots he’d designed and made himself which were a limited edition of one pair*. He converted to Islam in 2004.

    (*If anyone knows the brand name of his boots let me know. Ta).

  20. Jens Lehman.

    The testosterone filled, cocaine crazed German who was willing to fight anyone at any opportunity.

    All though he fights like a girl pulling hair and throwing himself around like a Mexican wrestler his lunacy makes him my World Cup hero.

    His scrumpled up paper with the Argentine penalty history on it that allowed him to saved two penaltys in their Quarter Final raised over 1 million euro’s at a charity auction.

    He hates Ruud Van Nistelrooy also, which is a great trait to have in a person.

  21. Roger Milla (Cameroon). Apart from his trademark jig by the corner flag celebration he also scored four times in Italia 90, one of which was scored by snatching the ball from Colombia’s maddest looking goalkeeper Rene Higuita. Class

  22. Garrincha for me. Remarkable bow legged style and he lived a colourul life off the field, as well as winning World Cups with Brazil.
    Lots of rumours about his sexual exploits with goats and looads more traditional lady love-making but the one that keeps cropping up means that he may have to wear a more knee length type of shorts rather than normal shorts

  23. Rino Gattuso Italian hardman and original beardist, this quote from Pirlo’s autobiography say’s it all:

    “Amongst other things, I’ve seen Rino catch and eat live snails for a bet. He really does belong in a film”


  24. Seb White

    Mwepu Illunga. Zaire. 1974 World Cup. Opponents Brazil get awarded a free kick. They line up ready to take the kick but Ilunga simply ran out of his teams wall and hoofed the ball out of sight, earning himself a yellow card.

    The world laughed and bemoaned ill discipline in African football but Illunga was act was predetermined and a brave act of protest. He was hoping to get sent off…

    “I was aware of football regulations. I did not have a reason to continue getting injured while those who will benefit financially were sitting on the terraces watching. I know the rules very well, but the referee was quite lenient and only gave me a yellow card.”

    Standing up against the man and giving us all something to remember meaning this fella from Africa deserves to be considered a Cult Hero alongside the great names already mentioned.

  25. Frank Large

    Cesar Menotti – El Flaco (The Slim one).

    The spendidly attired, Chain smoking, literature loving, anti-establishment,1978 world cup winning Argentian manager.

    He even has a classic Trainer named in his honour.

  26. Toto Schillachi, Italy 1990, came, saw, conquered….disappeared.

  27. Mario Kempes, he was the 1978 World Cup. Style, guile and ticker tape.

  28. Maradona for two goals to beat England, including one with the God hand

  29. Stephen with a PH

    Diana Ross for her expert penalty in the Rose bowl

  30. Shola Ama-eobi

    Rashidi Yekini’s celebration in the net at USA 94!

  31. Carl Marks

    Has to be Roger Milla and his dance in Italia 90.

  32. Micky Blue Eyes

    Alexi Lalas. Like a hairy, footballing Rocky Dennis.

  33. I guess ‘onedayinwatford’ said everything there needs to be said about D1eg0 so i’ll go for Paolo Maldini who always had a pretty decent hair-do and style in general. Honorable mentions to Caniggia, Henrik Larsson and of course Crespo’s hair.

  34. onedayinwatford

    Christ, where to begin. The charge sheet is detailed and lengthy. In his first World Cup in Spain (1982) Maradona was sent off as Argentina’s abject World Cup defence crumbled against the far superior Brazilians. To be fair he did receive a mauling from opposition defenders throughout the competition. He practically wore Italy’s Claudio Gentile during his previous match. If the Italian had followed Diego into the post match shower he wouldn’t have been surprised. His patience finally snapped in the Brazil match as he raked his studs down Batista’s leg as his team was beaten again. Maradona practically carried Argentina to success in Mexico 86 with a sequence of performances unlikely ever to be matched in a finals. Yet the Argentinean Slumdog wheeled through the air to punch the ball past Shilts and knock England out in the quarter finals. It was a dazzling piece of trickery which bamboozled the Tunisian ref into giving the goal and gave our tabloids the necessary scapegoat for England’s demise. To be fair the 2nd goal was worth two, but he compounded England’s misery after the match by attributing his first to the Hand of God. The phrase, like the goal itself, briefly inflamed English public opinion, but Maradona has long been forgiven on these shores. Especially by Terry Butcher. In 1990 Maradona captained his hysterically obnoxious team all the way to the final. This was achieved via a combination of snarling, kicking, shirt pulling, cynicism, shoot out victories and one glorious reminder of his genius against Brazil in round two. In the final, two of his unstable team mates were sent off, Maradona blubbed and Fifa were so incensed that such a spiteful rabble could disfigure a World Cup final, they actually acted, banning the tackle from behind. Fifa had also banned cocaine (the Swiss spoilsports!) and in 1994 the final chapter on his World Cup playing career was acted out. By now Maradona’s career had descended into a drug addled farce so it was with some surprise that he appeared on the world stage in America looking very sharp. His comeback was completed when he scored a spectacular long range goal against Greece in the opening fixture. Only a wild eyed celebration into a TV camera suggested something was not quite right. After a second impressive performance against Nigeria, he was selected for a drug test. This revealed a cocktail of performance enhancing drugs, which more than explained Diego’s remarkable ‘recovery’. Sent home in disgrace he was never to play for his country again. Somewhat surprisingly the only World Cup where Maradona has been relatively free of controversy was in South Africa as team coach. He provided real entertainment as he prowled the technical area suited and booted, but there was nothing to compare to the remarkable highs and lows of his playing days.

  35. Marc Jones

    Tardelli. 82. World Cup final.

    Great long range “fucking pick that out” shot.

    Best celebration you’ll ever see – no stage managed, rehearsed quick step just “oh my god I just smashed a World Cup final goal” loss of mind with added Italiano “goodfellas hand gestures” with teletext style screen overlays “14. TARDELLI”.

    Men of a certain will have done that after spooning a plastic ball past a carrier bag goal post through a throng of school mates regardless of country supported.

  36. Hagi and the Romania team of France 98. That bleached blonde hair.

  37. Borislav ‘Bobby’ Mikhailov. Bulgarian keeper suffering from more than a touch of alopecia at Italia 90 – in fact he looked like his nickname namesake Bobby Charlton. Then four years later at USA 94 he expected us to believe his hair had grown back, as he took to the field wearing a suspiciously lush hairpiece that moved as he dived. Signed for Reading in 97, after mistakenly thinking they played at Wembley (after seeing highlights of them in playoff final), and was as crap as his toupe. His son, Nikolay, has taken after his father in more ways than one – he’s a keeper for Verona, and, in his mid twenties, balding…

  38. Josh Moore

    Zidane. Best player of the last 20 years to have graced the game. Guided France to their first WC in 98, and singlehandedly guided them to the final in 06 by mesmerising Brazil with skill and trickery typical of a Brazilian. Epitomised modern, multicultural France, and stood up for it in response to an alleged racial slur from Materazzi in the 06 final in the most bizarre but defiant way. Banged to the beat of his own drum, and is a true great of the game.

  39. Josh Moore

    Cruyff. Best player bar George Best not to have won a World Cup. Stuck to a philosophy of unequivocal style, and was a true class act. Demanded that his Dutch shirt have two stripes on the sleeve instead of the Adidas three as he was sponsored by Puma. True maverick.

  40. Kenny Thompson

    johan cruyff for doing the “cruyff turn” in 1974. Loved it back then when I was a nipper (8), still do now & I’am 50!!

  41. Tanju Colak

    Fernando Redondo, for refusing to chop his flowing locks in order to play for the Argies when Passarella said he wouldn’t pick long haired yetis in his squad

  42. The Real Sean

    Balotelli. For scoring against England, lol!

  43. Christopher O'Reilly

    Ray Houghton for his awkward forward roll after scoring against Italy in USA ’94.

  44. Yordan Letchkov in USA 1994. Inspiring bald men everywhere.

  45. John Robertson

    Gazza’s Tears at Italia 90. You can’t buy passion and emotion like that.

  46. Paul Whittle

    Got to be Roger Milla for me,everyone was copying him when they scored at dinnertime in school.I was ten at the time and its the first World Cup iI remember properly,from the free wall chart from Iceland to the Coca Cola,Sprite and Fanta yo-yo’s.

  47. Bill Biss

    Walter Zenga at Italia ’90. Taught me all I needed to know about Italians and how your defenders can be blamed for all the ills in the World. A vital skill I practice to this day.

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