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The 10 Greatest World Cup Goals Ever

The World Cup has seen plenty of sensational goals since it began all the way back in 1930. From stunning long-range strikes to wonderfully worked team goals, we have been treated to all sorts of quality.

There are so many that had a shout to be on this list, but here are our 10 greatest goals in the history of the World Cup.

  1. Archie Gemmill – Scotland vs Netherlands 1978

It may have been a fruitless campaign for Scotland in 1978, but it will be forever remembered for this piece of magic from Archie Gemmill, and a stunning win against the Dutch as a result.

Gemmill picked up the ball on the right flank, cut inside, beating three players and lifted the ball over Jan Jongbloed to complete a sensational goal. Unfortunately, failure to beat Iran in the previous contest really cost the Scots as they failed to make it out of their group despite the win over Netherlands.

  1. Philipp Lahm – Germany vs Costa Rica 2006

Even more memorable for the goal scorer himself as Lahm was not known for his goal-scoring ability This was only his second international goal and it came just five minutes into the first game of the 2006 tournament.

The full-back cut in from the left and unleashed a powerful, curling effort into the far top corner from the corner of the penalty box. It was a perfect strike from the ever-consistent defender.

  1. David Platt – England vs Belgium 1990

England were all about the tight games at Italia 90, having scraped through the group stage with a 1-0 win over Egypt and two draws. They were now in the round of 16 against Belgium and the match was petering out to a 0-0 draw after extra-time and then penalties.

However, in 119th minute, up stepped David Platt with one of the most impressive volleys you are ever likely to see. The ball was chipped into the box from a deep free-kick and the midfielder beat the offside trap, watched it come over his shoulder, swivel and hammer it home to see his side into the last eight.

  1. Esteban Cambiasso – Argentina vs Serbia 2006

As good a team goal as the World Cup has ever seen as Argentina put 25 passes together, finished off in impressive style by the unlikely hero, Esteban Cambiasso.

The South Americans knocked it around patiently, before stepping it up a notch as Javier Saviola, Hernan Crespo and then Cambiasso combined to apply the finish and make it 2-0, on the way to a 6-0 battering.

  1. Michael Owen - England vs Argentina 1998

This was some way for the teenager to burst onto the international scene as he put England into the lead against Argentina at France 1998.

The Liverpool sensation controlled the ball impressively just inside the Argentina half, beating two men through sheer pace and then chipping it over the goalkeeper. Trevor Brooking calmly said, ‘I’d put that down as goal of the tournament so far’, and you would not argue with him.

  1. Maxi Rodriguez – Argentina vs Mexico 2006

This goal is worth watching for the commentary alone as the Argentinian pundits go wild thanks to Maxi Rodriguez’s extra-time winner over Mexico in 2006 – and quite rightly.

The ball was floated to the right hand corner of the penalty box by left-back Juan Pablo Sorin. Rodriguez took it on the chest, which meant he was going away from goal, before rifling back into the top corner on the volley with his left. Superb.

  1. Dennis Bergkamp – Netherlands vs Argentina 1998

Often described as a scorer of great goals rather than a great scorer of goals and he lived up to that against Argentina in 1998. It was the last minute of a quarter-final contest and Bergkamp chose that moment to show his immense quality.

Frank de Boer aimed a hopeful pass from inside his own half towards Bergkamp who was moving into the penalty area. He showed an impossibly good first touch, turned the defender and then poked it past the goalkeeper with the outside of his boot.

  1. Diego Maradona - Argentina vs England 1986

His first goal in this game has gone down in infamy, but this was a sensational effort, picking up the ball in his own half, ghosting past the entire England midfield, defence and goalkeeper before prodding home.

No one could lay a glove on him due to his pace and skill and whatever you think of him, no one could deny his quality.

  1. Manuel Negrete – Mexico vs Bulgaria 1986

Possibly lost to the annals of time as it was a low-key Round of 16 match between Mexico and Bulgaria, but Manuel Negrete’s flying volley after a superb build-up was one of the greatest goals of all time.

The Mexicans were chipping the ball about like they were messing about in training before Negrete applied the sublime finish, hanging in the air horizontally. Sensational work.

  1. Carlos Alberto – Brazil vs Italy 1970

Brazil were on their way to victory in the 1970 World Cup final, comfortably 3-1 ahead of Italy with five minutes to play, but then they really put the cherry on top.

Casually knocking it around in their own half, the Brazilians then stepped on the gas, swiftly switching play to attack. Pele then seemed to stop time on the edge of the box, before laying it, seemingly to no one on the right. However, he could see what we could not, an advancing Carlos Alberto who steamed in from right-back to hammer it home first time with incredible technique.

An iconic moment.

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