Top 10 Greatest Ever World Cup Goals

Throughout the history of the World Cup, the best players have graced the tournaments scattered across different locations.  

With such immense talent always on show in each and every event, goals are a certainty, and there have been many absolute crackers netted in the past and during more recent games.  

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Here, we look back on 10 of the best ever goals to be struck in the World Cup.

10. Marco Tardelli (Italy), 1982 

This goal is remembered more for the celebration that followed, after Italy striker Marco Tardelli fired home for his nation against West Germany back in the 1982 competition in Madrid.  

After a brilliantly struck effort to put the Italians 2-0 up, in a game they eventually won 3-1, Tardelli charged off like a madman in a celebration which has since become a special memory in World Cup history. 

9. Helmut Rahn (West Germany), 1954 

West Germany’s Helmut Rahn caused crazy celebrations following a comeback from 2-0 to eventually prevail 3-2 against a well fancied Hungary, in a famous match which became known as “The Miracle of Bern”.

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8. Mario Kempes (Argentina), 1978 

It’s the sublime control and build-up play that makes this next goal so special, as Mario Kempes of Argentina rallied his Argentina side ahead in a crucial clash at the 1978 World Cup.

7. Ronaldo (Brazil), 2002 

Before Cristiano Ronaldo came along, there was the original Ronaldo, and he was an absolutely deadly striker, proven by his superb strike here in the 2002 World Cup final against Germany.  

The legendary frontman is arguably the best frontman in history, with this being his second goal of the final, as he helped Brazil on to lifting the crown that year in South Korea.

6. Tim Cahill (Australia), 2014

Next up a goal which Australia’s Tim Cahill went on to call “the greatest of my career.” 

Latching on to a long lofted pass from midfield, Everton legend Cahill produced an incredible volley to put his nation level with the Netherlands at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.  

5. Robin van Persie (Netherlands), 2014 

The deadly Dutchman Robin van Persie is up next on our list with a sublime header in the 2014 World Cup against then holders Spain, one which caused jubilant celebrations among the squad on the touchline. 

Opting rather to unorthodoxly header a brilliant early delivery from wide on the left side of midfield, the former Manchester United finisher secured a hugely memorable goal at the tournament on Brazilian soil.  

4. Esteban Cambiasso (Argentina), 2006 

One of the best goals of the 2006 World Cup came from Argentina, with midfield legend Esteban Cambiasso rounding off a simply mesmerising build-up. 

Following an incredible 24 passes during the play leading up to his impressive finish, Argentina ran riot in an eventual 6-0 victory over Serbia & Montenegro, with this effort perfectly summing up their form to that stage of the tournament.

3. Dennis Bergkamp (Netherlands), 1998 

Another Dutchman next up on our list, this time it’s Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp, who netted one of the most sublime solo goals in World Cup history during the 1998 tournament.  

Into added time of the quarter-final clash between the Netherlands and Argentina, Bergkamp perfectly plucked a long pass from Frank de Boer down with ease, before nutmegging Roberto Ayala and firing in the winner. An astonishing goal.

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2. Carlos Alberto (Brazil), 1970 

No list of great World Cup goals would be complete without the famous Carlos Alberto strike from the 1970 tournament, as Brazil produced an incredible team goal at the height of their powers.  

Pele wasn’t the scorer but he had a big part to play, so too did Clodoaldo, Rivelino and Jairzinho, as the iconic striker laid the perfect pass for an incoming Alberto to fire into the top corner against Italy.

1. Diego Maradona (Argentina), 1986 

Look away England fans. Diego Maradona’s magnificent solo run and finish against the Three Lions is still a joy to watch, or extremely painful depending which way you look at it, all these years on.  

The Argentina magician picked the ball up deep in midfield and looked to be far from a threat. But he turned the style on, beating every England defender that came close before tucking home brilliantly. Maradona scored another goal that day too, but we won’t get into that again.