The best World Cup goals of all time - Part II: Maradona, Bergkamp, Alberto

The finest finishes from football's global gathering over the years

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All eyes turn to Qatar this week as the 2022 World Cup finals are held in the Middle East for the first time.

The host nation kick-off proceedings on Sunday, November 20, when they take on Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, quickly followed by three games on Monday as England meet Iran, Senegal face Netherlands and USA play Wales.

The tournament has seen some of the finest players ever to lace up their boots through the years, scoring some jaw-dropping goals along the way.

Before the action starts in Qatar, we pick out the best of the best when it comes to scoring glorious goals in World Cup finals. Here are the second 10 to make the list.

Josimar (Brazil v Northern Ireland, at Mexico 1986)

The great Irish goalkeeper Pat Jennings was celebrating his 41st birthday in a match that would mark his 119th and final cap for his country.

Unfortunately for him, and Northern Ireland, they were going into their final group-stage game needing to beat a Brazil side packed with flair and finesse to reach the next phase.

One of those talents was the gangling figure of Josimar, an attacking full-back years ahead of his time, capable of thumping long-range strikes like the swerving, dipping one that left Jennings clutching at thin air. Brazil went on to win 3-0 before exiting at the quarter-final stage to France.

David Platt (England v Belgium, at Italy 1990)

Penalties looked inevitable as this last-16 match in Bologna reached the last minute of extra-time with no hint of a goal on the horizon. Paul Gascoigne, already established as one of the stars of the tournament, surged forward with the ball only to be brought down 10 metres into Belgium's half.

The Geordie midfielder stepped up to take the free-kick himself, dinking a high ball into box. Midfielder David Platt, a relative unknown outside of England, watched the ball sail over his head before spinning his body round to send a stunning first-time volley past the despairing Michel Preudhomme in the Belgium goal and earn his team a last-gasp win.

England would go on to lose in the semi-finals against West Germany, while Gascoigne and Platt's careers would never be the same again.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Netherlands v Uruguay, at South Africa 2010)

Not a bad way to open the scoring in World Cup semi-final. There looked absolutely no danger when Van Bronckhorst picked up the ball way outside the penalty box and close to the left by-line.

The Dutch captain, winning his 105th cap, decided he fancied his chances and left fly with a blistering left-footed strike that hurtled past Fernando Muslera in the Uruguay goal, sending the vuvuzelas in the crowd in South African into a deafening honk.

“It was incredibly beautiful; it was really a perfect shot. To strike a ball like that happens maybe once in a lifetime,” said Netherlands assistant coach and former captain Frank de Boer. The Dutch went on to win the match 3-2 but lose in the final to Spain.

Eder (Brazil v USSR, at Spain 1982)

The second Brazilian belter in the list, this time against the Russians in the group stage, with the score at 1-1 and just two minutes left on the clock in Seville.

Isidoro picked up the ball on the right, passes inside to Falcao who nonchalantly lets the ball run through his legs into the path of an onrushing Eder. The forward barely breaks stride, chipping the ball up into the air before lashing a stupendous volley that left Rinat Dasayev rooted to the spot.

Any question marks against the Russian goalkeeper are dispelled by the camera angle behind the goal. A remarkable finish for a Brazil team that would exit in the second group stage.

Benjamin Pavard (France v Argentina, at Russia 2018)

A sensational goal in a thrilling last-16 game. The French were 2-1 down when to Lionel Messi's Argentina when the ball fell to Pavard on edge of area when the right-back unleashed a first-time, outside of the boot strike curling around Franco Armani.

“The ball bounced up as it came to me. I didn’t even think about it,” the Stuttgart defender said afterwards. “I just tried to get over it and keep it down. In Germany, we say 'Tor'. To hit a shot like that – I can’t describe it. I’m still feeling emotional.”

France went on to win the roller-coaster game 4-3, extending Messi's wait for an international winner's medal at a major tournament, before going on to beat Croatia 4-2 in the final.

Dennis Bergkamp (Netherlands v Argentina, at France 1998)

Argentina on the receiving end once again here, this time falling victim to one of the greatest first-touches you will ever see in football.

Frank de Boer sent what looked like a speculative long-range pass from his own area into the Argentina area where Berkgamp pulled the ball down with a touch of velvet, turning inside of Roberto Ayala before sending a powerful finish past goalkeeper Carlos Roa.

“The moment itself was, I think, perfect,” said the man himself of the last-minute goal that earned his team a 2-1 quarter-final victory. The Dutch would lose to Brazil on penalties in the last four.

Archie Gemmill (Scotland v Netherlands, at Argentina 1978)

It had been a disastrous tournament for Ally MacLeod's Scotland team after losing to Peru and drawing with Iran in their opening two games, ahead of taking on one of the tournament favourites in the Dutch.

But the Scots finally hit their groove and found themselves 2-1 up with little over 20 minutes left when Gemmill picked up the ball on the right before beating Wim Jansen, Ruud Krol and then Jan Porrtvilet before sending a left-footed finish over goalkeeper Jan Jongbloed.

The Scots managed to win despite conceding another goal but would bow out of the tournament on goal difference to a relieved Dutch side, who would go on to lose in the final to hosts Argentina.

Estaban Cambiasso (Argentina v Serbia, at Germany 2006)

The second goal in a 6-0 battering dealt out by an Argentina squad with such attacking talent that it was able to start with Carlos Tevez and Lionel Messi on the bench. But it was another substitute that would score the goal of the game.

Argentina knitted together a mesmerising 24 passes before the ball fell at the feet of Cambiasso via a back-heel by Hernan Crespo and the midfielder drilled the ball past goalkeeper Dragoslav Jevric.

The scorer would describe the goal as “patience, rhythm, circulation, surprise and football artistry at its best”, while Argentina would be eliminated on penalties by Germany in the quarter-finals.

Carlos Alberto (Brazil v Italy, at Mexico 1970)

From one stunning passing move to another and two perfect examples of the beautiful game in full flow. Brazil were 3-1 up in the final against Italy – with Pele, Gerson and Jairzinho scoring – when substitute Antonio Juliano lost possession trying to attack down the South Americans' right flank.

What followed has gone down it footballing folklore. Brazil would torment an exhausted opposition, with their passing movement and skill, taking the ball from one of the pitch to the other before Pele laid the ball into Alberto's path and the defender blasted home the fourth and final goal.

“Pele and me played so often together that he knew where I was – I didn’t need to shout,” Alberto would say in 2013. “He saw me coming and rolled his pass in front of me so I didn’t have to break stride. And I caught it perfectly.”

Diego Maradona (Argentina v England, at Mexico 1986)

The Argentine great would score two of the most infamous/famous World Cup goals within four minutes of their quarter-final win over Bobby Robson's England.

The beast came before the beauty when Maradona punched the ball over goalkeeper Peter Shilton to put his team ahead with the 'Hand of God' goal. Moments later, he was leaving four players and Shilton in his wake before sliding home in 11 remarkable seconds. Argentina would win the game 2-1 before going on to beat West Germany in the final.

“To do what he did, that little pivot on the halfway line and then to go past the players like they weren’t there was just the most remarkable thing,” England striker Gary Lineker would say about the goal in 2020. “It was the closest in my life I’ve ever felt like I ought to have applauded someone else scoring a goal.”

Updated: November 17, 2022, 3:35 AM
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