With just 24 hours to go until the 2014 tournament gets underway in Brazil, nottinghamforest.co.uk looks at an all-time Forest World Cup XI.
Some of the greatest names in Nottingham Forest's history have represented their nations at football's biggest tournament.
The following 11 players had all been on the books of Nottingham Forest during the time of their appearance in the World Cup.
The legendary shotstopper represented Forest at the 1982 World Cup in Spain as he featured in all five of England’s matches. Ron Greenwood’s side were knocked out at the second round stage but Shilton only conceded one goal, in the opening game against France, in the process. The former Reds keeper went on to take part in the 1986 and 1990 competitions after leaving The City Ground.
Nottingham Forest’s manager-to-be only played a part in one World Cup during his career, in 1990, but endured a rollercoaster ride with England during the tournament in Italy. Pearce played in all six of Bobby Robson’s side’s matches but missed a crucial penalty at the semi-final stage as England were knocked out by West Germany on penalties.
Just as with Pearce, the 1990 World Cup was to be Walker’s only appearance at the biggest tournament in the world. The rock-solid defender played six games, including the third/fourth-place play-off, as England were eliminated at the semi-final stage. Walker helped The Three Lions keep three clean sheets during the tournament in Italy against Holland, Egypt and Belgium.
The former Scotland international featured for his country at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina alongside players including Kenny Dalglish, Bruce Rioch and Graeme Souness. Burns featured in the opening two games of the group but Scotland were knocked out at the group stage on goal difference despite beating the Netherlands 3-2 in their final match.
Legendary Reds defender Anderson was part of the England squad that travelled to the 1982 World Cup in Spain. Despite having helped Ron Greenwood’s side qualify for the competition, Anderson was an unused substitute for all of The Three Lions’ matches as they were knocked out at the second round stage.
A European Cup-winner during his time with Forest, Robertson appeared in both the 1978 and 1982 World Cups with Scotland. After only playing one game in the first tournament in Argentina, Robertson returned four years later to feature in all three group matches as Jock Stein’s men were knocked out of the competition in Spain at the group stage.
The Forest midfielder lined up for England at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico and his impressive performances as a substitute in the first two group games saw him handed a start in the final match, a 3-0 win over Poland. Hodge went on to help The Three Lions reach the quarter-finals as they were beaten 2-1 by Argentina and Diego Maradona’s famous ‘Hand of God’ goal. Incidentally, Hodge swapped shirts with Maradona after the game and still owns the number ten shirt.
During his time at The City Ground, Haaland went on to represent Norway at the 1994 World Cup alongside his Reds teammate Lars Bohinen. Haaland played two group matches, a 1-0 win over Mexico and a defeat by the same scoreline to Italy, but was missing from his side’s final game as they failed to progress from the group stage.
Alongside Forest teammate Kenny Burns, Gemmill made his only World Cup outing during the 1978 tournament in Argentina. Defeat to Peru and a draw against Iran immediately put Scotland on the back foot and, despite a brace from Gemmill sealing a 3-2 win over the Netherlands in their final match, which included the famous run and finish, Alistair MacLeod’s side were knocked out at the group stage.
One of Forest’s most famous foreign imports, Bohinen turned out for Norway at the 1994 World Cup in the USA. The midfielder played 90 minutes in Norway’s opening two group games, against Mexico and Italy. He then made a substitute appearance in the final match, a 0-0 draw with Ireland, a result which wasn’t enough for his side to progress from their group.
Pierre van Hooijdonk
An enigmatic striker during his days at The City Ground, van Hooijdonk represented Holland at the 1998 World Cup in France. He bagged a goal in the Netherlands’ 5-0 group stage win over South Korea and also featured as a substitute when his side were knocked out by Brazil at the semi-final stage. Van Hooijdonk also appeared in the third/fourth-place play-off as Holland were beaten 2-1 by Croatia.