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Top 10 World Cup Goals

Simon Arms

The football World Cup is second only to the Olympics as the biggest tournament in the world. In the past, it has showcased such players of the caliber of Baggio, Pele and Maradona and rarely have they disappointed, all three scoring some memorable goals. This list is ten of the best goals in world cup tournaments. The list has tried to include long-range shots and team goals as well as the more spectacular solo efforts.

1. Roberto Baggio. Italy Vs Czech Republic – 1990

This clip from the Italia world cup in 1990 does not quite do the brilliance of Baggio’s goal justice. Though it still looks good. His dummy just before he scores is perfection. Taking two defenders (watch how the closest defender almost spins right around in confusion) and the goalkeeper out of the equation he presents himself with an open goal. He could not miss.

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2. Michael Owen. England Vs Argentina – 1998

England undeservedly lost this game on penalties, but is remembered for 18 year old, Michael Owen’s goal. Flicks on Beckham’s pass and then beats the entire Argentinan defense for pace before finishing beautifully.

It is a shame he has never quite lived up to this moment. Still a very good player, but for the injuries he could have been great.

3. Diego Maradona. England Vs Argentina – 1986

Nowadays England and Argentina have a massive football rivalry and this is where it started. Unfortunately, you cannot see his brilliant second goal without watching his handball for the second (There would be no controversy if Shilton went to catch it. Hand or no hand the goalkeeper is still twice the size of Maradona.), but we can forgive him that because he is the best player the game has ever seen. Argentina went on to win this game and the world cup.

The best thing about the second goal is how he turns the English defender at halfway and then sets off with a pace and confidence of a man who thinks he is certain to score. Moreover, he still had 5 players to beat.

Diego Maradona also scored a great solo goal against Belgium in the same world cup that is almost as good.

4. Al Owairan. Saudi Arabia vs. Belgium – 1994

The best goal from USA 1994. This strike won the Saudis the game and took them through to the second round for the first time.

5. Carlos Albertos. Brazil Vs Italy – 1970

Here the Brazilians score a great team goal in an exhibition match. Or is it the world cup final against an Italian side renowned for their defensive ability? It is hard to tell. You have to love the way the Brazilian dribbles past three players just to advance a few yards, but the genius is the way the whole move is played down the left side drawing in the Italian defense before they quickly switch to the right and score.

There are many great Brazilians goals to choose from, but this is the best.

6. Pele. Brazil vs. Sweden – 1958

Too many people claim Pele is the best player ever on the basis that unlike Diego Maradona he did not cheat. Well here is hard footballing evidence.

In the 1958 world cup final and just 17 years old, he had the confidence and skill to lob it over the defenders head and volley it past the keeper. What is just as impressive is how he cushions the pass with his chest and rolls around the first defender.

Brazil won the final and their first world cup 5-2.

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7. Fernando Torres Spain vs. Ukraine – 2006

Two teams new to the world cup, ripped apart by a couple of old hands. Spain won 4-0.

Also (above), that same year: Esteban Cambiasso Argentina vs. Serbia and Montenegro. Argentina won 6-0.

8. Arie Haan Holland vs. West Germany – 1978

Now this is what they mean by total football. Arie Haan scored two great goals at this world cup, both from distance. There is little to choose between either of them, but this wins because he scores against Holland’s football enemy West Germany. He must be about 35 yards from goal and the shot seems to come from nowhere. Good build up too.

9. Lothar Mattheus Germany vs. Yugoslavia – 1990

This is a real captain’s charge from Mattheus and a fierce strike to finish. Germany won the game 4-1. They went on to lift the world cup and only a year after the collapse of the Berlin wall.

10. Manuel Negrete Mexico vs. Bulgaria – 1986

Great interchange, great volley and what better place to score than in the second round of a world cup in your home country.

Contributor: Simon Arms

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