Top 10 Best Ever World Cup Goals
The World Cup is here. Russia 2018 gets underway tomorrow when Russia take on Saudi Arabia in the opener at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, and while the game is hardly the most exciting… honestly, we are jacked to the tits. So to celebrate, we’re taking a look back at some of the tournament’s greatest ever goals!
Now we do fully appreciate that everyone’s definition of a ‘good goal’ is completely different. But so we’re clear; our criteria ranges from context and moments, to team moves and absolute thunderbastards! So without further ado, here’s our top 10 favourite ever World Cup goals!
10) Giovanni Van Bronckhorst, Netherlands vs Uruguay (2010)
They may have not have qualified for the World Cup in Russia but the Netherlands have some serious history at the tournament, despite never actually winning it. And in 2010, they did score probably the best goal in the whole tournament when Giovanni Van Bronckhorst unleashed a rocket in the Semi-Final against Uruguay. The Netherlands went on to win the game 3-2 before losing the Final to an all-time great Spanish team.
9) David Platt, England vs Belgium (1990)
Remember when England turned up in a tournament? Well, it was at Italia 90 and during the round of 16, England looked to heading to penalties against a tough Belgium team. Extra Time was drawing to a close before a lofted free kick over the shoulder was superbly volleyed in by David Platt. The Semi Finals would eventually bring penalty heartache for Bobby Robson’s men, but what a ride it was.
8) James Rodriguez, Colombia vs Uruguay (2014)
Every World Cup, a star is born. And in Brazil 2014, that honour undeniably went to Columbia’s James Rodriquez with his chest-volley against Uruguay in the last 16 the standout memory. The goal put his side 1-0 up and he would later add a second to ensure a Quarter Final date against hosts Brazil. Goals always look better when the hit the underside of the bar before going in, and the strike won the Puskas Award in 2014.
7) Fabio Grosso, Italy vs Germany (2006)
While the finish is hardly to be sniffed at, this is all about the moment. The 2006 Semi-Final between Italy and hosts Germany was locked at 0-0 with 1 minute to go in Extra Time. The game was destined for penalties until Fabio Grosso bent one in following a no-look pass from Andrea Pirlo. Del Piero added a second a minute later to book the Italians place into the Final and inflict a stream of home nation tears.
6) Michael Owen, England vs Argentina (1998)
If you’re of a certain age, you’ll know just where you were when Michael Owen scored *that* goal against Argentina at France 1998. Just like James in 2014, a star was born when Michael Owen took on the whole of the Argentina team and nestled a beauty in the top corner. The game itself will go down as one of the great World Cup fixtures too. But of course, England lost on penalties. It’s a just a shame Becks lost his head…
5) Maxi Rodriguez, Argentina vs Mexico (2006)
One that often gets forgotten – probably because he’s never been a superstar –Maxi Rodriguez’s goal against Mexico in 2006 is undoubtedly an all-time great World Cup goal. Juan Pablo Sorin floats in a pass to Rodriquez wide-right, just outside the area. He takes it on his chest, before unleashing a rocket past the keeper in the top-left corner. It’s not just the fact it’s clearly an absolute corker, it’s the context. It came during Extra Time in the last 16 against Mexico. A brilliant, brilliant goal.
4) Marco Tardelli, Italy vs West Germany (1982)
Though it’s best remembered for the celebration, Marco Tardelli’s goal in the 1982 Final has everything we’d want from a goal; a great team move in a massive game with a brilliant finish. Italy were put 1-0 up courtesy of Paolo Rossi, before they countered to set up Tardelli in what was to become one of the defining World Cup moments. It’s easy to forget there was Cruyff turn and back heel in the build-up! Italy went on to beat Germany 3-1.
3) Dennis Bergkamp, Netherlands vs Argentina (1998)
Dennis Bergkamp was very, very good at football. And just in case you’ve forgotten how good he was, just look at his wonder goal at the 1998 World Cup. It was scored during the Quarter-Final against Argentina with only minutes to go. A Claudio Lopez goal had earlier cancelled out Patrick Kluivert’s opener, but Bergkamp had other ideas. Frank De Boer played a 60-yard ball over the top when Bergkamp brought it down, beating Roberto Ayala in the process, and cooly slotted it past Carlos Roa.
2) Carlos Alberto, Brazil vs Italy (1970)
Widely acknowledged to be the greatest team goal ever scored, Carlos Alberto’s 1970 goal against Italy is one for the ages. Not only that, it came in a World Cup Final. Brazilian forward Tostao won back the ball in his own half, before the Brazilian defenders played a few passes at the back. Clodoaldo then danced his way past three Italians before passing to Rivelino. Jairzinho then receives the ball up the line, who then goes inside and finds Pele. The great man waits and lays off an on-rushing Carlos Alberto who buries it into the bottom corner to make it 4-1, giving Brazil their third World Cup. The ultimate team goal.
1) Diego Maradona, Argentina vs England (1986)
But annoyingly, there’s only one goal that can be crowned the ‘Greatest Ever World Cup Goal’ for us, and that’s that one from Diego. The game itself was the first time the two teams had played after the Falklands War. Tensions were high and Maradona had just scored the ‘Hand of God’ goal. But there was little us English could complain about four minutes later. Having picked up the ball up inside his own half, Maradona turns two English midfielders, before accelerating past the whole English defence (and Peter Shilton), scoring a wondergoal that would galvanise his team to go on and win the World Cup. There’s never really been anyone else like him.
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