World Cup memories: France-Brazil shootout, 1986

Former Swedish captain Freddie Ljungberg recalls his favourite World Cup memory while growing up: the epic France-Brazil match from 1986 in Mexico.
France's Michel Platini celebrates scoring against Brazil in 1986. ((David Cannon/Allsport))

In an ongoing series, asked players, managers, broadcasters, journalists and fans to recall their favourite World Cup memories.

First up: Freddie Ljungberg.

The Seattle Sounders soccer star was one of the best players in the English Premier League when he was with Arsenal, He also played in two World Cups for Sweden, in 2002 and 2006.

Here, Ljungberg recalls his favourite World Cup moment, both as a participant and as a fan.

Four years after a bitter loss to West Germany on penalties, France won an epic matchup against Brazil in a shootout under the scorching Mexican sun in 1986.

The action was non-stop for two hours with Michel Platini and Zico leading the way and French goalkeeper Joel Bats making one miraculous save after another.

"As a kid, I always recall the 1986 World Cup and the France-Brazil game [in the quarter-finals] that went to a penalty shootout," Ljungberg said.

"That was a classic match. I was with my cousins in Sweden when I watched that game, and I supported Brazil and they supported France. I always liked Brazil and I had a Socrates shirt, so when Brazil lost, I got a lot of [ribbing] from my cousins."

As a player, Ljungberg cited his World Cup debut, in a 1-1 draw against England in Japan at the 2002 World Cup, as his favourite memory.

"It was exciting. Unfortunately, I got injured a few days before, so I was in a bit of pain. But of course, it was a great thrill. It was amazing." Ljungberg said.