Friday 18 June 2010

Top 5 World Cup Goals

This is quite a hefty topic and I have to own up to relying on the BBC website's top ten goals from every World Cup since 1966 to remind me of the details. It also became quickly apparent that if I wasn't careful this could be a list of Brazilian wonder strikes. To help me narrow down my options I limited myself to one goal per World Cup and one goal per nation. There's also one very obvious omission which I'll justify at the end.

1. Carlos Alberto (Brazil v Italy) 1970 - This has long been my favourite World Cup goal. I was too young to watch this as it happened but grew up on the highlights that showed how brilliant that Brazilian side was. This was a wonderful team goal with a bit of simple genius from Pele and a perfect finish from Carlos.

2. Dennis Bergkamp (Netherlands v Argentina) 1998 - An underrated gem. Bergkamp is one of my all time favourite players and this is the perfect example of his sublime skill. A long ball from Frank de Boer which Bergkamp controls with his toe. A flick inside between the legs of the Argentinian defender and a finish with the outside of the boot into the far corner of the net. Oh and it won the Quarter Final in the 90th minute.

3. Archie Gemmill (Scotland v Netherlands) 1978 - The Dutch were a very good side who went on to reach the final. Scotland had lost 3-1 to Peru then drawn 1-1 with Iran. Collecting a loose ball, Gemmill skipped past one defender, cut inside a second, nudged the ball past a third before firing home past an out rushing 'keeper. Persistence, control, composure and a great finish. Better than Maradonna.

4. David Platt (England v Belgium) 1990 - Were it not for Dennis Bergkamp I might have been talking about Michael Owen here but this goal is one I have a very special place in my heart for. The point when I became an England fan, the moment that got me back into football after a 3 year sabbatical. Gazza's chipped free kick found Platt in the box who somehow twisted his body to complete an over the shoulder volley that won us the game in extra time. Bobby Robson's little jig by the dugout makes me smile whenever I see it.

5. Marco Tardelli (Italy v W.Germany) 1982 - '82 was a great World Cup, once England were out of the way. This wasn't the best goal scored in it, Socrates for Brazil against USSR or Boniek for Poland against Belgium, but the celebration afterwards earns it a place in my top five.

So, no Maradona from 1986 against England. I've always felt that goal was overrated. It is a great run but I can't help thinking it's aided by some dreadful England defending. Terry Fenwick, what were you doing? I also like the ball to look good hitting the net and Terry Butcher's sliding challenge seems to force Maradona's foot to fire the ball home. Sour grapes maybe but not a top 5 goal for me.

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