Top Five World Cup Goals


So the World Cup is just over twenty-four hours away now.

Are you excited? Well I know I am!

I haven’t been this excited since the 2002 World Cup. Mainly down to the fact that it’s being held in Brazil, the country that gave us a true beautiful game with players like Garrincha, Pele, Carlos Alberto, Romario, Ronaldo, Neymar, Nilton Santos, Ronaldinho, Kaka, Zico, Socrates, Bobeto, Thiago Silva, Dunga, Cafu, Tostao, Claudio Taffarel, Rai, Rivaldo, Jairzinho, Careca, Roberto Carlos… The list is endless!

It’s a country that is defined by football and in particular the World Cup. The bright yellow jerseys gloriously light up our TV sets every four years.

So it might surprise you that none of Brazil’s goals have made it onto my list of the five best World Cup goals from my generation. I was born in 1984, the first World Cup I can remember is Italia 90′. So this is made up of great goals from 1990 to 2010.

I’ve also decided that to get a better list, it should be made up of variety. So I’ve made it up of categories; Best powerful strike, Best individual goal, Best technique, Best team goal and ‘He must have big cahonies to try that’.

Best Powerful Strike: Giovanni Van Bronckhorst WC 2010

Well I was a huge fan of Gio from his Rangers days back in the late nineties and at Ibrox he was a central midfielder, he would then turn into a left back when he left Glasgow. Always a classy guy on and of the park the Dutch captain was a joy to watch and always capable of producing a special strike with his left foot.

But I hadn’t seen any struck as sweet as the goal he scored against Uruguay in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The game was a semi-final no less and it was Van Bronckhorst’s second last game, ever!

Gio received the ball mid-way inside the oppositions half, he took a touch and then just swung his left boot at the ball. As soon as it left his foot you can see the shot has plenty of power and movement in it. The Uruguayan keeper (Fernando Muslera) almost got a vital touch but you have to imagine had he got his hand to it his hand may have hit the top corner too!


Best Individual Goal: Roberto Baggio WC 1990

I was only six when I saw this goal but it will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Roberto Baggio really shone at this World Cup and would go on to be the world’s best player. His country were the hosts and as you can imagine that means a lot of added pressure for the Azzurri. But you couldn’t have guessed it by watching the magician that is Roberto Baggio.

It was against the old Czechoslovakia. ‘Il Divin’ Codino’ would pick up a pass and he’d step back onto his own half, he would pass it on and receive it back. He would surge into the Czechs half, cutting inside from the left and dodging a lunging challenge. Baggio would then take the ball further and reach the penalty area, where he managed a step-over and sent a defender the wrong way. Then the Italian great would have the presence of mind to beat the keeper by putting it into the opposite side of the goal.

A terrific individual goal from an excellent talent, who would go on and feature in two more World Cups and have a story to tell from them too.


Best Technique: Dennis Bergkamp WC 1998

Well it’s another great goal from a Dutchman on this list.

Dennis Bergkamp’s career is littered with fantastic goals. His control of the ball was sublime, to say the least.

Against Argentina at France 98′ he would produce a goal that was heard around the world and one that still measures up against any magnificent World Cup goal.

It was during a tense quarter final at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille. The game was tied up at one apiece and it was edging ever closer to extra-time. Then on the eighty-ninth minute, Dutch defender Frank de Boer has the ball deep inside his own half. The Argentines are happy to sit off and give him time on the ball in what looks like a safe area of the park. But then the centre-back looks up and plays a superb, high, long cross-field pass. Its dead on target and finds Bergkamp arriving inside Argentina’s box. Dennis picks the ball out of the air with his right foot as if it were a balloon. His second touch catches out the defender who ran right pass the Dutch number eight. He then steered the ball past Carlos Roa with a wonderful strike from the outside of his foot.

It was a such a world class goal, yet Bergkamp and De Boer made it all happen without batting an eyelid.


Best Team Goal: Argentina (Estaban Cambiasso) WC 2006

A fine display of passing and teamwork. The whole move saw the Argentines pass the ball around the Serbian and Montenegro team twenty-five times.

It was finished off after striker Hernan Crespo backheeled the ball to defensive midfielder Esteban Cambiasso, who showed the composure of a veteran forward and smashed a strike into the roof of the net.

An excellent goal and one that you need to see (although you’ve probably seen it 100 times already).


He Must Have Big Cahonies To Try That!: Zinedine Zidane WC 2006

French superstar Zidane, scored three goals in World Cup finals. His first two were headers in his homeland that helped the hosts win the World Cup in 1998. In the 2006 final in Germany against Italy, he is best remembered for that headbutt on Marco Materazzi.

But I always recall his goal. It was a penalty, so you might think ‘well how many risks can you do with penalties?’.

Well France won a penalty in the final. It was given after only seven minutes. The whole world was watching, these situations can make or break you, just ask Roberto Baggio. It was Zidane’s last hurrah and now he was up against the worlds best goalkeeper (Gianluigi Buffon) at the grandest stage of them all.

So what does Zinedine Zidane do?

Well he barely takes a run up, sees Buffon dive and Zidane just chips the ball down the middle. It hits the bar before falling over the line and bouncing back out.

It was an inch away from missing. The balls of the man to do a ‘Panenka’ in a World Cup final, right at the start of the game and against such a top drawer goalkeeper shows that Zidane was made of different stuff!

It is just a shame that he would then give Materazzi that Glasgow kiss to the chest and our last sight of ‘Zizou’ was him walking past the World Cup trophy and seeing his nations hopes fade away with him.

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