In 1986, we may not have seen Argentina at its best, but we did see its captain Diego Maradona’s match-winning ability that would see it win the World Cup.
The 1990 World Cup winners West Germany had a tight, but solid 1-0 victory over Czechoslovakia.
In 1994, Brazil showed its style and deficiencies with a superb 3-2 victory over Holland.
The only surprise was that its final victory against Italy would turn out to be such a sterile match.
The 1998 host nation France didn’t look anything special as it played out a 0-0 draw with Italy, eventually securing a quarterfinal spot on penalties.
The winner of that tournament looked more likely to be either Brazil or Holland, both who had excellent wins in dramatic quarterfinal matches, but it was France who lifted the trophy in the end.
The under-whelming 2002 quarterfinals saw eventual winners Brazil provide the only real quality in its 2-1 win against England.
2006 champions Italy showed it potential by cruising to a 3-0 victory over Ukraine, though it did have the easiest of quarterfinal pairings.