22 Great FIFA World Cup Moments


The 2018 FIFA World Cup is upon us, and once again the who's who of the planet's football elite will showcase their skills on the grandest stage of all.

So what can we expect in Russia? Will Lionel Messi finally 'do a Maradona' and win the trophy for Argentina? Can England end their 50-plus years of heartbreak. Is it time for an African nation to win the World Cup?

One thing is for sure: there will be great goals, magical moments and controversy aplenty - much like in these 22 great World Cup moments down the years ...

Pelé makes his mark - 1958
A 17-year-old Pelé scores of the best World Cup Final goals as hosts Sweden are knocked for five by the brilliant Brazilians.

Eusebio sinks North Korea - 1966
African-born Portuguese forward Eusebio was the undoubted star on the 1966 World Cup, with his four goals against North Korea just a taste of things to come.

The 'was it, wasn't it' goal - 1966
England's greatest triumph came in 1966 on home soil against the old enemy West Germany, but the nature of Geoff Hurst's winning goal still causes much debate.

Pelé's stepover vs Uruguay - 1970
Had it gone in, it would have been one of the best goals of all time. Yet's Pelé's cheeky stepover in the semifinal is still one of the most talked about moments in World Cup history.

Gemmill's Dutch nutmeg - 1978
Scotland's Archie Gemmill produced a Dutch-like moment in the final group stage game against eventual finalists the Netherlands in a famous 3-2 win.

Hat-trick hero Rossi - 1982
A Brazil team featuring Zico and Socrates were favourites, but Italian striker Paolo Rossi upset the applecart with a hat-trick to knock the mighty Selecao.

Maradona destroys England - 1986
The 'Hand of God' incident may have claimed the headlines, but Diego Maradona scored one of the all-time great goals in the same semifinal against England.

Hand of God - 1986
One of the World Cup's most iconic goals, even if it never should have stood. Maradona was never going to win an aerial duel with Peter Shilton, so he got a 'hand from God' ...

Baggio's heartbreak - 1994
One of the undoubted stars of the World Cup in the USA, Roberto Baggio's campaign ended in tears as he missed from the penalty spot to hand Brazil the title.

Bergkamp shows his class - 1998
Dennis Bergkamp breaks Argentina hearts in the dying seconds of their quarterfinal with a sublime first touch, nutmeg, and curling finish.

Beckham sees red - 1998
England fancied their chances - more than usual - of lifting the trophy in 1998, but David Beckham's moment of petulance in the quarterfinal against Argentina brought a nation to its knees.

Oliseh magic down Spain - 1998
One of Africa's finest moments at the World Cup, Sunday Oliseh produced a volley of great quality to hand Nigeria a famous 3-2 win against Spain in Nantes.

Zidane steals the show - 1998
It was meant to be Ronaldo's crowning moment, but Zidedine Zidane stole the show with two goals in the final as France lifted their first ever World Cup trophy.

Ronaldinho lobs Seaman - 2002
He wasn't yet the global superstar he would become, but Ronaldinho sure made England sit up and notice with this brilliant free-kick from 35 yards out.

Ronaldo's Revenge - 2002
After the dramas of the 1998 World Cup Final, Brazilian superstar Ronaldo got his revenge four years later with a match-winning performance against Germany in the decider.

Maxi's Moment of Magic - 2006
Mexico were giving as good as they got against favoured Argentina, but they were helpless to stop Maxi Rodriguez's incredible extra-time winner.

Zidane uses his head - 2006
One of the greatest players of all time, Zinedine Zidane's last ever game will always be remembered for his brutal headbutt on Italian defender Marco Materazzi.

Shabba's Mzansi magic - 2010
Hosts South Africa faced Mexico in the opening match of Africa's first World Cup, and Siphiwe Tshabalala sent the nation into ecstasy with a strike that will never be forgotten.

Iniesta wins it in Africa - 2010
Africa hosted its first World Cup, and Spain lifted their first trophy thanks to an extra-time winner from Spain's diminutive playmaker Andres Iniesta.

The Flying Dutchman - 2014
He has one of the sweetest left foots in world football, but Dutch forward Robin van Persie also showed his heading prowess in the group stages against Spain. All he needed was a cape...

Gotze's Golden volley - 2014
After smashing hosts Brazil 7-1 in the semifinal, Germany had to work a bit harder in the Final against Argentina. The winning goal, however, was well worth the wait.