Top 10 World Cup goals of all time
Maradona's goal of the century, Owairan's slalom-like run, and Gemmill dances around the Dutch
1) Diego Maradona (1986): Just minutes after punching the ball into the net with the infamous "Hand of God" goal against England in the quarter-finals, the Argentine ace scored what many consider not only the greatest goal ever at the World Cup, but also the greatest in the history of the game.
Maradona collected the ball inside his half and as he picked up speed, he majestically slalomed his way through half the England team, burst into the penalty area and ended his 75-yard run to glory by coolly slotting the ball past onrushing goalkeeper Peter Shilton and into the back of the net. Pure poetry.
2) Pele (1958): With Brazil sitting on a slender 2-1 lead over Sweden in the final, a 17-year-old Pele took control of the game in the 55th minute when he scored a stunningly breathtaking goal. Standing in a crowd in the penalty area with his back towards goal, he trapped a high pass with his chest, knocked the ball over his head while being marked by a defender, whirled around and volleyed it past Swedish goalkeeper Karl Svensson. And with that goal, a legend was born.
3) Esteban Cambiasso (2006): Argentina's second goal in a 6-0 destruction of Serbia and Montenegro in the first round was the picture of perfection, a goal crafted with equal parts South American flair and German precision. A fluid 24-pass movement climaxed with Juan Roman Riquelme slipping a pass inside for Esteban Cambiasso, who then knocked the ball to Hernan Crespo. The Argentine forward sent a back-heeled return pass into the path of Cambiasso, who thumped the ball into the net from 12 yards out. Incredible.
4) Saeed Owairan (1994): Like Maradona's goal against England in 1986, Owairan's strike for Saudi Arabia against Belgium in the first round was the result of a fantastic individual effort. Owairan started slowly with the ball deep in his end and began to pick up pace as he moved forward. With nobody coming over to close him down, the Saudi midfielder just kept running straight down the middle, sped past four Belgian players and blasted the ball home past goalkeeper Michel Preud'homme.
5) Diego Maradona (1986): Proving his goal against England was no fluke, Maradona scored on another brilliant solo effort just three days later against Belgium in the semifinals. This time he shrugged off three Belgian players and left them for dead as he made a penetrating run deep into the attacking third of the field. With only one man to beat, he juggled the ball over to his left foot, swerved away from the last defender and rifled a shot into the net.
6) Archie Gemmill (1978): The Scotsman's goal in a surprising 3-2 win over the Netherlands in the first round was a picture of pure grace and ballet. With his team leading 2-1 in the 68th minute, Gemmill picked up the ball just outside the penalty area and effortlessly danced and skipped his way past three Dutch defenders, leaving them purely awestruck in his wake, before sublimely chipping the ball over goalkeeper Jan Jongbloed and into the net.
7) Roberto Baggio (1990): The Italian will always be remembered for his penalty-shot miss against Brazil in 1994, but this sublime goal against Czechoslovakia in the first round showed he was player of pure class. After receiving the ball at the half-way line, he dribbled past two Czech defenders, made a timely cut into the penalty area after a mazy run down the right side and slotted a low shot past the goalkeeper.
8) Arie Haan (1978): Goals don't come any powerful than this one against Italy in the semifinals. The Dutchman casually drifted down the right side before unleashing a blistering rocket from 40 yards out that somehow beat Italian goalkeeper Dino Zoff and tucked just under the crossbar.
9) Dennis Bergkamp (1998): A fantastic effort from the Dutch master. A thrilling quarter-final between the Netherlands and Argentina was settled in the 89th minute when Bergkamp calmly controlled a 50-yard pass in the air from teammate Frank de Boer, sidestepped Argentina defender Roberto Ayala and hammered the ball into the roof of the net past a helpless Carlos Roa.
10) Carlos Alberto (1970): A memorable strike that capped off an emphatic 4-1 win for Brazil over Italy in the final. Pele started the move down the left side before moving towards the middle. He found some open space and sensing Alberto was coming down the right side, he played a perfect square pass 25 yards from goal that Alberto lashed onto without breaking stride and hammered past static Italian goalkeeper Enrico Albertosi.