FIFA World Cup fever is upon us once more. Sports bars the world over are filled with rowdy fans–and you shouldn’t miss out on all the revelry. Eager to get hyped up over the beautiful game with your buds as you break open a few cold ones? These awesome winning goals from World Cup history should do the trick.
FIFA World Cup | Goals That Won Games, Hearts, and Minds
1. Brazil v Italy, 1970
— OldFootballPhotos (@OldFootball11) June 21, 2018
Football (yes, we’re calling it football today) is more than a single man making all the goals. It is, through and through, a team sport. This idea makes this goal even more amazing.
The 1970 World Cup presented Brazil as an underdog, pitted against Italy who wowed their German opponents in their last match. No one thought it would be possible, but the Brazilians pulled off a close-to-impossible goal that no one saw coming.
Brazil’s forward Tostao really stepped up by taking control of the ball, deftly dodging three nimble Italian defenders. Weaving in and out, he passes the ball over to Rivelino, who takes it upfield to Jairzinho, who passes it to superstar Pele. You might think the story ends here, but no — Pele passes it to Carlos Alberto, passing through unnoticed by the Italians. In one swift kick, the goal rushes towards the post — netting Brazil a final 4-1 score, winning them the 1970 FIFA World Cup trophy.
2. Holland v Argentina, 1998
Dennis Bergkamp's wonderful goal for Holland vs. Argentina at the World Cup (1998) pic.twitter.com/fSwK4R24tN
— Classic Football (@ClassicFootbalI) July 2, 2016
Holland might be the last country you’d expect to score a huge goal in the FIFA World Cup. But they totally did in 1998, wowing critics and fans everywhere. The man responsible for this once-in-a-lifetime goal was then-player Dennis Bergkamp.
With just a few minutes on the clock left, the Hollanders had a lot of hustle to do. De Boer has the ball and sent it flying 60 yards over to Bergkamp, over the heads of several angry Argentinians. In a swift motion, Bergkamp dribbles around Ayala and sends the ball speeding towards the goal past Carlos Roa. The result, of course, was a resounding cheer from the crowd for one of the sickest plays in football history.
3. Colombia v Uruguay, 2014
— Memorable Goals (@landofdon) June 2, 2018
This goal put the football-crazy country of Colombia back on the map after a few seasons of less-than-stellar World Cup attempts. They even get the Puskas Award for this super stylish play. This also put James Rodriguez, a relative rookie back then, in the world’s spotlight.
Rodriguez took the ball from a heated exchange between the two teams outside the box. Catching the ball with his chest, he executes a left foot maneuver that shot past all the defenders and the keeper. And with a swish, the ball was in, putting Colombia in a 1-0 lead against Uruguay. By the 50th minute, Rodriguez would score a goal once more, cementing a 2-0 victory against their competitors.
4. Argentina v Serbia & Montenegro, 2006
— Sivan John (@SivanJohn_) June 16, 2017
Anyone who tuned into the 2006 FIFA World Cup would remember this odds-defying goal. During the group stage matches of the cup, Argentina would secure a 1-0 lead after its star player Maxi Rodriguez’s 6-minute clutch goal. At the 30-minute mark, he helped set up one of the most amazing and highly-coordinated goals in the history of the World Cup.
After stealing the ball right from under Kezman’s nose (in his own half, might we add), Rodriguez would start a series of sick passes across the field. With the combined efforts of Mascherano, Riquelme, and Cambiasso, the ball found itself to Crespo, hanging out at the box. With a swift back heel to Cambiasso, the ball was sent towards the roof of the net, securing one of the most beautiful goals in history.
5. England v West Germany, 1966
The final pitted West Germany against hosts England, who eventually ran out 4-2 winners after scoring THAT goal.
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) June 6, 2018
This goal is proof that even the Cold War and the threat of nuclear annihilation couldn’t stop amazing football plays.
This was the finals, and England and West Germany were facing off. Hurst had already secured two goals (one of which was highly contested) and things were looking good for the English. He would later go on to secure a final goal that would put England in a 4-2 lead, winning them England’s first and only FIFA World Cup trophy.
The match was put into extra time. Hurst receives the ball inside a lightly defended German half. Seeing the opportunity, he blasts his way through whatever defenders were left. He deftly dodges a tackle on his left side and sends the ball hurtling through the goalkeeper and into the top corner. Wolstenholme is known for a quote at the end of the game: “They thought it was all over. Well, it is now.”
6. Saudi Arabia v Belgium 1994
Does anyone remember Saeed Al Owairan? He wowed the global audience by being a breakout star during the 1994 FIFA World Cup. In their group stage match against Belgium, the rookie found himself with the ball. He had to dodge through a whole regiment of fierce Belgian defenders to take it to their half for the only goal of the game.
While this goal may have gifted Saudi Arabia with a spot in the knockout stages, Al Owairan couldn’t carry the whole team all the way. They lost to Sweden in the 16th round of the knockouts.
7. Netherlands v Uruguay, 2010
ON THIS DAY: Netherlands beat Uruguay 3-2 in the 2010 World Cup semi-final. Giovanni van Bronckhorst got the opener. pic.twitter.com/T6FJxRhYsX
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 6, 2015
Anyone who tuned into the 2010 FIFA World Cup would remember the intensity between the Dutch and Uruguay teams during the semi-finals. Of course, they would also remember the genius of Giovanni Van Bronckhorst during that game.
Van Bronckhorst would receive the ball inside Uruguay’s half. Things looked dire, but Van Bronckhorst would have none of it. From half the field, Van Bronckhorst would send the ball flying with all his hopes and dreams all the way to the top corner of Uruguay’s goalpost.
This secured their win to 3-2, all the way to the finals. Unfortunately, this one-in-a-million shot cannot be replicated every game. The Dutch would lose to the Spanish in the finals, but their pride would be intact.
Hungry for more FIFA World Cup goals? Check out this video from LifeOnThePitch:
The World Cup gives the whole world a taste of high-octane football action, and we all can’t get enough. Obviously, this year, there will be so much more to see, and so many more goals to impress fans across the world. There will be even more awesome moments to come, and you can be sure we’ll be here to tell you about them!
Any awesome World Cup goals we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section!