The 100 greatest World Cup goals ever

The 100 greatest World Cup goals ever
Getty Images

The 2022 World Cup will possibly go down as the most controversial in history.

Hosts Qatar have an appalling human rights record and more than 6,000 migrant workers have died during construction on the stadiums due to the country's extreme heat - which is why the tournament is being held in the winter as opposed to the summer.

Given the gigantic elephant in the room and the very awkward political situation surrounding the tournament it's going to be very hard to try and enjoy the tournament but we'll try our best.

Rather than dwell on what's to come we've instead decided to have a trip down memory lane and revel in some true football nostalgia because after all, that's kinda what the World Cup is all about.

Sign up to our new free Indy100 weekly newsletter

Every four years we are greeted with images of Pele, Maradona, Zidane, Moore, Beckenbauer and other greats who all achieved immortality thanks to their exploits at the Word Cup and a few of them scored some decent goals too.

Brazilian screamers, mazy Argentine dribbles, well-worked German team goals and the odd sprinkling of Italian audacity is what we watch the World Cup for, so it now seems like no better time to rank, in our opinion, the 100 greatest World Cup goals ever.

We'll be releasing the list slowly - 10 a day until the tournament starts on November 20th so naturally we're starting at the bottom with numbers 100-90.

100. Maicon, Brazil vs North Korea 2010

The classic 'did or didn't he mean it' goal. Maicon, perhaps best known beyond this goal for being given the run around by a young Gareth Bale, struck this seemingly impossible strike to break the deadlock against a very stubborn North Korean team in one of the better games of the 2010 group stages.

Maicon Amazing goal vs North Korea -

99. Kieran Trippier, England vs Croatia 2018

Before he was the talismanic Newcastle captain causing the Toon Army to have dreams beyond their wildest reckoning, Kieran Trippier briefly had the entirety of England dreaming of a first World Cup final since 1966 when he scored this sumptuous free kick against Croatia in the opening minutes of the 2018 semi-final against Croatia.

Kieran Trippier Goal In The World Cup Semi Finals!!!

98. Andreas Ogris, Austria vs USA 1990

Austria had a pretty miserable Italia 90 and had already been eliminated by the time they played the United States in their final group game. Thankfully for them they did have something to cheer about when striker Andreas Ogris found a burst of energy to score sublime solo counterattack goal as part of a 2-1 win.

Ogris austria

97. Philippe Albert, Belgium vs Germany 1994

Newcastle fans will remember Albert, the great Belgian defender capable of scoring some gorgeous goals, and wouldn't you know it? He could score them for Belgium too. This neat little give-and-go was just a consolation though in an otherwise excellent second-round game against Germany which ended 3-2.

02/07/1994 Belgium v

96. Zinedine Zidane, France vs Italy 2006

You won't see many penalties on this list mostly because few of them are panenkas that rattle off the bar in a World Cup final. This is Zidane we are talking about who had the arrogance and confidence to pull this off in his last ever match as a player which ended in disgrace following his infamous head butt on Marco Materazzi.

Zinedine Zidane Penalty Kick France V Italy FIFA World Cup Final

95. Jared Borgetti, Mexico v Italy 2002

Headers are usually straightforward affairs with little flamboyance. That wasn't the case when journeyman Mexican striker Jared Borgetti got his bonnet on the end of this cross and seemingly defied the laws of physics and the English language we're not quite sure how to describe this goal so you'll just have to watch it.

Jared Borgetti Mexico vs Italy 1-0 First Round World Cup 2002 Dutch

94. Keisuke Honda, Japan vs Denmark 2010

Ahh, the Jabulani. One of the most unpredictable and derided World Cup balls ever created which seemingly had a mind of its own. A perfect example of this would be the free kick that Japan legend Keisuke Honda scored against Denmark in 2010 which dipped and swerved all over the place.

Keisuke Honda 'Magical Goal' Vs

93. Eric Wynalda, USA vs Switzerland 1994

USA's first goal of the first World Cup that they ever hosted (they'll return as co-hosts in 2026 along with Mexico and Canada) was one to remember as one of their most celebrated players Eric Wynalda scored a textbook curling free-kick in the opening game against Switzerland which ended 1-1. The kits weren't bad either.

Eric Wynalda Goal - World Cup 1994 - Group A | USA - Switzerland 1:1 | 45'

92. Hwangbo Kwan, South Korea v Spain 1990

This South Korean thunderbolt from Kwan was one of the few things the Koreans could celebrate as it was the only goal they scored. The strike was so ferocious that it reportedly registered at 114 km/h. It didn't bother Spain's Michel too much who scored a hat-trick in this game, with all three strikes deserving a shoutout too.

1990 (June 17) Spain 3-South Korea 1 (World Cup)

91. Ilie Dumitrescu, Romania vs Argentina 1994

Romania's 1994 squad were a wonderful team full of mercurial players capable of divine pieces of individual brilliance. One of them was former Tottenham star Ilie Dumistrescu who scored this brilliantly simple goal as Romania knocked Argentina out of the USA 94.

DUMITRESCU - against argentina

90. Robbie Keane, Ireland vs Germany 2002

Not the prettiest goal this and is as route one as they come but there was something special about this Ireland team who really punched above their weight in 2002, with this strike by the great Robbie Keane summing up the dogged determination from Mick McCarthy's team. Just a shame the other Keane wasn't there to see it.

(HQ) Robbie Keane Last Minute Goal Republic of Ireland v Germany 2002 World

Click for goals 89-80

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)