10 Most Memorable Goals in FIFA World Cup History
The FIFA World Cup is the top global soccer tournament, loved by fans worldwide. As one of the biggest tournaments in soccer, there has been plenty of amazing performances from various teams and different players. One of the most exciting moments of any football game is a goal, and over the years, the FIFA World Cup has had its share of memorable goals shot by different players. Starting from the most recent goal that stood out to the iconic goals of the past, here are a few of the most memorable goals in FIFA World Cup history:
Richarlison (Brazil) vs. Serbia, 2022
Richarlison delivered one of the standout goals in recent World Cup history. During the group game against Serbia in the 2022 tournament held in Qatar, the talented striker not only increased Brazil’s lead but also added to his personal goal tally. His remarkable bicycle kick found the back of the net, securing a 2-0 victory for Brazil and leaving a lasting impression on fans around the world.
Denis Cheryshev (Russia) vs. Croatia, 2018
Denis Cheryshev made a significant impact on Russia during the 2018 World Cup quarterfinals with his remarkable goal. Just 31 minutes into the match, Cheryshev unleashed a powerful left-footed shot from long range that sailed over the reach of the Croatian goalkeeper, Danijel Subasic. At that moment, Cheryshev’s goal had the potential to become a historic moment for the Russian team.
Benjamin Pavard (France) vs Argentina, 2018
Benjamin Pavard’s remarkable volley during the 2018 FIFA World Cup was widely regarded as the standout goal of the tournament. The French right-back’s strike from the top of the box ignited a comeback in what many consider to be the tournament’s best match.
This pivotal goal against Argentina in the Round of 16 played a significant role in France’s journey to ultimately become the champions. At just 22 years old at the time, Pavard made a resounding impact and solidified Didier Deschamps’ decision to include him as a starter. The right-back showcased extraordinary technique and power in a goal that will be remembered in football history.
Robin van Persie (Netherlands) vs Spain, 2014
Robin Van Persie’s header against the defending champions Spain during the group stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup is a goal that remains vivid in the minds of many. It was a skillful and perfectly executed header, with the ball looping over the goalkeeper, Iker Casillas, who was left unable to make a save. The credit for this goal goes to Daley Blind, who delivered an impressive pass to find Van Persie in space behind Sergio Ramos.
Van Persie capitalized on the opportunity and flawlessly equalized the score, earning himself the nickname ‘The Flying Dutchman’. This iconic goal was followed by an equally iconic high-five celebration between Van Persie and his coach, Louis Van Gaal. Van Persie’s header was even recognized as a finalist for the prestigious Puskas Award in 2014, further cementing its significance in football history.
James Rodriguez (Columbia) vs Uruguay, 2014
Colombia had an impressive performance in the 2014 World Cup, making it to the quarter-finals. Leading their campaign was James Rodriguez, who secured the Golden Boot by scoring a total of six goals.
Among Rodriguez’s memorable goals was a breathtaking strike against Uruguay in the pre-quarterfinals. Demonstrating incredible skill, Rodriguez controlled the ball with his chest and swiftly volleyed it from 35 yards out, creating one of the most extraordinary moments in World Cup history. This remarkable goal earned Rodriguez the prestigious Puskas Award in 2014, further recognizing the brilliance of his strike.
Siphiwe Tshabalala (South Africa) vs Mexico, 2010
Siphiwe Tshabalala made history by becoming the first player to score a goal for South Africa in the World Cup. It happened during the opening match of the 2010 tournament when Tshabalala took advantage of a break and skillfully used his left foot to score from a very narrow angle.
The renowned commentator Peter Drury captured the significance of the moment with his famous words, “A goal for South Africa, a goal for all Africa.” This goal ignited celebrations across South Africa, setting the stage for a joyous and festive World Cup atmosphere.
Zinedine Zidane (France) vs Italy, 2006
Zinedine Zidane’s penalty kick during the 2006 World Cup final is still remembered as a remarkable goal in one of the tournament’s most famous matches. This game marked Zidane’s final professional appearance, and although he is infamous for his headbutt on Marco Materazzi, his overall performance until the end was truly outstanding. One standout moment was his early Panenka-style penalty kick, where he skillfully and confidently aimed the ball just over the goal line. This goal has become iconic in World Cup history, showcasing Zidane’s exceptional skill and unwavering confidence.
Pele (Brazil) vs Sweden, 1958
Pele holds a remarkable record in FIFA World Cup history as the only player to have won the tournament three times. His contributions on the field are equally impressive, with the Brazilian legend scoring 12 goals and providing 10 assists, making him the most prolific player in terms of direct goal involvement.
In the final of the 1958 World Cup against Sweden, a young 19-year-old Pele showcased his extraordinary skill. He controlled a cross in the box with his chest, skillfully lifted it over two defenders, and emphatically struck the ball past the goalkeeper in a 5-2 victory for Brazil. This goal is widely regarded as the finest goal Pele scored for his national team, exemplifying his exceptional talent and footballing prowess.
Archie Gemmill (Argentina) vs Netherlands, 1978
Archie Gemmill’s goal at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina is hailed as the most breathtaking goal in the history of the Scottish national team. In a fiercely contested match against the formidable Netherlands, Gemmill demonstrated his remarkable skill. With Scotland holding a slim 2-1 lead, Gemmill embarked on a mesmerizing run from the right side, gracefully evading a rough challenge from an opponent.
Undeterred, he swiftly maneuvered past two more players, weaving his way into the box before skillfully lifting the ball over goalie Alan Rough. It was a goal that left fans in awe. Scotland ultimately triumphed with a 3-2 victory, and Gemmill’s moment of brilliance has become a legendary highlight in Scottish football history.
Diego Maradona (Argentina) vs England 1986
Diego Maradona’s goal, famously known as the “Goal of the Century,” holds its place for good reason. Starting from Argentina’s half, Maradona skillfully maneuvered past two English opponents before evading three more, including goalkeeper Peter Shilton, to score one of the most iconic goals not just in World Cup history, but in all of soccer.
Adding to Maradona’s eventful game, it’s worth mentioning his “Hand of God” goal, which occurred just a few minutes prior. Although Maradona appeared to score a header, replays revealed that he used his hand to direct the ball past Shilton. While the act of cheating offended many, the “Hand of God” goal remains a significant and memorable moment in the annals of sports history.
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