Top 10 World Cup Goals
There are many Top 10 World Cup Goals charts out there, even an official one from Fifa in 2002. This one happens to be my personal list, with what I would consider to be the greatest World Cup goals of all time. Naturally, some people will disagree with the inclusion of some and the omission of others. Of course, it's all really down to personal preference. I originally put this together for the 2006 World Cup and decided to dig it out again now. Not much has changed apart from switching Dennis Bergkamp and Michael Owen around in 3rd and 4th spots (Bergkamp's goal is just too good to be out of the top 3), and adding a couple of wonder volleys from the 2006 World Cup in Germany, so it's now a top 12. Suarez's goal in 2010 against the Korea Republic could have been added. Still nothing from Ronaldo or Messi. The stage is set for 2014...
Voted Greatest Goal in FIFA World Cup History by a huge margin, Maradonna's came just four minutes after the most controversial, when Diego Maradona punched Argentina's opener over the head of Peter Shilton to score the infamous "Hand of God" goal. Maradona ran from his own half, beating every English player who stood in his way and finished it off past a helpless Peter Shilton.
2. Saeed El Oweiran: Saudi Arabia v Belgium, 1994 World Cup
Said Owairan ensured the footballing minnows of Saudi Arabia left with their heads held high and one of the greatest goals of World Cup history in the bag. Only five minutes had elapsed of the Saudi's second group match against Belgium when midfielder Owairan picked up the ball deep inside his own half. Just as Maradona in 1986, he elected to keep running and running, beating four Belgian players before blasting the ball past Michel Preud'homme.
Dennis Bergkamp achieved what the English had previously failed to do in the round before. With only 5 minutes remaining and the match seemingly heading for extra-time, in one movement Dennis Bergkamp controlled the ball from de Boer's 50 yard pass and volleyed it into the net to send the Dutch through to the semi-finals in style.
Michael Owen, only 18 at the time, came of age with a wonder goal on the biggest stage of all. Owen had been unsettling the Argentinians all through the second round match so when he received the ball on the halfway line from David Beckham a buzz of expectation ran through the crowd. The Liverpool youngster surged towards goal, catching the opposition defence flat-footed, and bearing down on his target. Drawn slightly out towards the right, Owen finished in spectacular style with one of the greatest World Cup goals of all time. Unfortunately, England would not progress to the quarter finals (it would take a stunning goal from Dennis Bergkamp (ranked 3rd in this list) to dump the Argentinians out of the competition), thanks in part to the most infamous World Cup footballing moment since Maradonna's "Hand of God" goal - the sending off of David Beckham.
Probably the greatest team goal of all time and certainly the most memorable. Carlos Alberto rounded off a dream Brazilian performance with a mouthwatering strike four minutes from the end in Mexico City. Brazil's front five, including Jairzinho and Pele, had delighted crowds with their sublime skill but Alberto's strike was a reminder that they could produce searing power too. Pele played a square pass into the right channel 25 yards from goal and up charged Alberto from his right-back position where, without breaking his stride, he hammered the ball past static Italian keeper Enrico Albertosi.
6. Maradona: Argentina v Belgium, 1986 World Cup
Who said his effort against England was one in a million? As if to prove the point, Diego Maradona did the same again in Argentina's next match. It should probably be number 2 but he was starting to look tediously brilliant. Four Belgians were left dazzled and unable to do anything before Maradona slotted the ball home past goalkeeper Pfaff.
If Carlos Albertos' goal was the greatest ever team goal socred at the World Cup, Borgetti's goal against Italy must be second. Following 90 seconds of build-up play with 14 passes and not a single touch from an Italian player, Blanco's intelligent floated cross was met by Borgetti, whose exquisitely directed back header eluded Gianluigi Buffon. 12 years later, Buffon is back for more.
No Top 10 Greatest World Cup Goals list could be complete without Pele. This is probably Pele's greatest goal scored in the World Cup. He flicked the ball over a Swedish defender, and then volley it home from close range. Wonderful ball control, and all that done at 17! Dream on Michael Owen.
9. Baggio: Italy v Czechoslovakia, 1990 World Cup
Another great team build up followed by a marvellous solo run by a young Roberto Baggio after receiving the ball on the half way line. The finish was pretty special too.
10. Gemmill: Scotland v Netherlands, 1978 World Cup
One for the Scots. Admittedly it's a pretty bloody good goal. Scotland had lost to Peru and drawn with Iran, so what chance did they have of winning by the three clear goals they needed to progress against tournament favourites Netherlands? That they could not quite pull off the impossible eclipsed a sterling effort which they capped with one of the best goals in any finals tournament. Archie Gemmill picked up a loose ball on the right of the Dutch box, drew Jansen, skipped over Krol's flailing tackle, pushed the ball through Poortvliet's legs and lofted it over advancing goalkeeper Jongbloed.
Wonderful build-up play by the Argentinians in the their 2nd round knock out match against Mexico, followed by some exquisite ball control by Maxi Rordriguez and an even more stunning volley.
Volleys just don't get a whole lot better than this one from a young Joe Cole at the 2006 World Cup against Sweden. Why not indeed!