Four years later in Mexico ’86, France won a penalty shoot out themselves, beating perennial favorites Brazil in the quarter-final. What a match this was for the neutral: the kings of Europe (France had deservedly won EURO ’84) against Latin America’s guardians of the beautiful game. It began with France showing Brazil a mirror version of themselves as perfect one-touch passes left Brazilians chasing shadows. But France couldn’t score, and Brazil took the lead just after a quarter of an hour with Junior playing in Careca who smashed the ball into the roof of the net. France were stunned (though it could have been the searing heat) as the usually composed Michel Platini sloppily gave away the ball to Careca and saw his team saved from going two down by Muller hitting the post. France, and Platini, hit back just before half time as the European player of the year slotted home to level the game. The second half was equally pulsating: this time, Brazil’s No. 10, Zico, who had been summoned from the substitutes bench, had a golden chance to score but his penalty kick was saved (in a show of sportsmanship, Platini rubbed him on the neck, almost feeling sorry for his rival’s rare miss). And penalties would be the only way to separate the sides as the game went the full distance. First to miss was Platini on his birthday! and as incroyable as it seemed, France looked liked being eliminated via penalty kicks in two World Cup’s in a row. But goalkeeper Joel Bats had other ideas and saved both his team from exiting early and his captain’s blushes with two saves to send Les Bleus through.