It’s here! It’s finally here! The one event that truly unites the entire world and gives us an excuse to leave work early, drink lots of beer and ignore regular responsibilities like checking up on relatives in the country (shags)
So as we wait to see what special moments World Cup 2014 has to offer. We put together a little list of the top 10 greatest goals of all time.
Brazil finished Italy off in the 1970 World Cup final by showcasing its best attributes: perfect ball control, fluid movement and a series of passes that wore down the opponent before scoring almost at will. Seven teammates touched the ball before Pele set up a charging Carlos Alberto, who slotted it home with a right-footed volley to cap one of the greatest passing build-ups of all-time.
A then-18-year-old Owen captivated the world in 1998 with this work of beauty against Argentina. After getting a through ball from David Beckham, Owen left marker Jose Chamot in the dust and faked defender Roberto Ayala to his right before beating keeper Carlos Roa to the far post.
What a right foot on Arie Haan, a two-time World Cup runner-up with Holland (1974, 1978) who booted a screamer from no-man’s-land off the right post and into the back of the net to give the Dutch a 2-1 win over Italy in the second round of the 1978 tournament.
Mexico’s moment in the sun as host of the 1986 World Cup came in the round of 16, when Manuel Negrete controlled a long ball near the edge of the box and played a one-two with Javier Aguirre before unleashing a stunning scissor kick that helped send El Tri past Bulgaria.
Argentina provided one of the most inspired moments in World Cup history with a 58-second, 25-pass display involving nine players that ended with a brilliant back heel from Hernan Crespo to Esteban Cambiasso, who scored from close range to spark the Albiceleste to a 6-0 rout of Serbia and Montenegro.
It doesn’t get more impressive – or dramatic – than this gem of a goal. With a 2006 World Cup round-of-16 game between Argentina and Mexico tied 1-1 in extra time, Rodriguez broke the stalemate and sent the Albiceleste into the next round by getting under a floating pass from Juan Pablo Sorin and effortlessly chesting the ball to himself before smashing a left-footed volley into the upper left corner.
Dutch striker extraordinaire Dennis Bergkamp saved one of his greatest goals for the World Cup, giving Holland a 2-1 win over Argentina in the waning moments of the 1998 quarterfinals with an epic display of ball control, technique and finishing. Frank de Boer sent a long pass from deep inside Dutch territory into the box, where Bergkamp stopped the ball on a dime, nutmegged defender Roberto Ayala and scored at the far post – all with his right foot.
We could make up a top ten list of just Pele goals (he scored 12 over four World Cups), but none compare to this beauty from the 1958 final against Sweden. In one brilliant sequence, O Rei rids himself of his defender while chesting the ball down and then flicks it over the only remaining opponent inside the box before connecting a right-footed volley past the helpless keeper. Even more impressive, he was only 17 at the time.
Just four minutes after his infamous “Hand of God” shenanigans, Maradona gave us the “Goal of the Century” during the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal between Argentina and England. Deep inside his own half of the field, Maradona set off on a mad dash, weaving and bobbing past four defenders (Terry Butcher twice) in a 65-yard run that culminated with him dribbling around goalie Peter Shilton and slotting the ball home. Perfection.