64 games have been played and 171 goals have been scored. This has been one of the best overall World Cup’s we have ever seen. We have seen world class performances, shocking upsets and things we have never seen before. On top of all that, we have seen some tremendous goals and in the words of Ray Hudson, these top ten goals have been “magisterial.”
#10 Arjen Robben, Netherlands vs. Spain, Group Stage
The through ball, the half field sprint to get to the ball, the discipline to give it time to nail it in. Arjen Robben may be criticized (rightly so) for his diving antics but he needs to be praised for this.
#9 Giovani dos Santos, Mexico vs. Netherlands, Round of 16
James Rodriguez will score a similar goal that will show up later on in this countdown but this goal was pretty good too. Amazing control from dos Santos.
#8 Jermaine Jones, USA vs. Portugal, Group Stage
I wasn’t expecting this goal to go in mainly because Beto never moved for the ball. Jones put the ball in such a perfect spot that it kept Beto flat-footed and fooled everyone but himself with a wonder goal.
#7 Gervinho, Ivory Coast vs. Colombia, Group Stage
One of the best individual efforts of the tournament. Gervinho schools Colombia and tried to get Ivory Coast back into it.
#6 Lionel Messi, Argentina vs. Iran, Group Stage
Pure Messi finish. That left foot of his is so dangerous and Iran learned that the hard way.
#5 Wesley Sneijder, Netherlands vs. Mexico, Round of 16
Now we’re getting into those kind of goals that make you speechless. Sneijder’s goal may look standard but he bangs that with such force that it’s high on the list.
#4 Mario Gotze, Germany vs. Argentina, Final
Any goal that wins the World Cup will get put on the list. Because it’s a great goal, it’s in the four spot. The first touch and the volley to bring the ball home. That was a finish Pelé could be proud of.
#3 Tim Cahill, Australia vs. Netherlands, Group Stage
This is how you answer to getting scored on. It happened so fast, the FIFA director of the world feed almost missed the goal. Cahill had all day to think about how to shoot that and clinically volleyed it home. Can’t do it that much better than that.
#2 James Rodriguez, Colombia vs. Uruguay, Group Stage
Turning around like this to shoot on a single touch is much, much harder than what it looks. Most players will sail the ball way over and not even get close to the net. Rodriguez shot that like he was practicing trick shots on the training ground.
#1 Robin van Persie, Netherlands vs. Spain, Group Stage
To be honest, any one of these goals in the top four could’ve been first. The top four were above and beyond better than the rest but one of these has to be top and that is RVP lowering the first dagger into Spain’s World Cup and our first sign of Spain’s descent into soccer hell.