Top 10 – World Cup Volleys

The 2014 World Cup is the tournament that just keeps on giving. Yesterday saw reigning champions Spain fall at the first hurdle following a second successive defeat. Whilst that will rightly be considered to be yesterday’s major talking point let us not forget about Australia’s heroics against The Netherlands. The Soccerroos pushed their dutch opponents to the limit in a thrilling game featuring five goals – the pick of the bunch being Tim Cahill’s stunning volley.

Footballing experts and, ahem, Piers Morgan were clambering to designate it the greatest World Cup volley of all time. But in the annals of history where does it rank? Here’s our Top Ten:


10. Joe Cole – England Vs Sweden – 2006


A volley in the truest sense of the word. Joe Cole’s goal in a 2-2 draw with their group opponents saw England go through as group winners.

9. Ji Sung Park South Korea Vs Portugal – 2002


There have been more spectacular volleys, but you’ll be hard pressed to find one that unleashes a more ecstatic reaction from players and fans alike!

8. Manuel Negrete – Mexico Vs Bulgaria – 1986


Estadio Azteca. The spider on the pitch. A partizan home crowd. One touch flicks. A scissor kick. An Adidas Tango nestling in the net. What’s not to love?

7. Hans Krankl – Austria Vs West Germany – 1978


So often a volley’s ‘specialness’ comes from the sense that physics and biology being bended to the will of the player. For others, like Krankl’s late winner for Austria, the beauty lies in the comfortable ease at which the ball is taken down and fired home.

6. Diego Forlan – Uruguay Vs Senegal – 2002


2010 may have been the ex-Manchester United striker’s may have been the peak of his international career, but the signs of his lethal goalscoring qualities were plain to see in this thrilling 3-3 draw with surprise package Senegal.

5. David Platt – England Vs Belgium – 1990


Rose tinted glasses have dictated that England’s tournament was the closest they’ve come to glory since 1966. In truth Bobby Robson’s men enjoyed their fair share of luck to mask over some poor performances. However there is nothing lucky about this last minute quarter-final winner.

4. Tim Cahill – Australia Vs The Netherlands – 2014


Despite being around 24 hours old Cahill’s strike – on his weaker foot! – has lost none of its wow-factor. The loss may have seen the Australia hop out of the tournament, but that goal will ensure they won’t be forgotten any time soon.

3. Dario Rodriguez – Uruguay Vs Denmark – 2002


Rodriguez’s strike is a stunner, but appreciate for a second the set-up from teammate Pablo Garcia who uses guile and deftness of touch for a volleyball style assist.

2. Maxi Rodriguez – Argentina Vs Mexico – 2006


The build-up to this goal includes the twinned geniuses of Riquelme and Messi, but it was the Atlético Madrid winger that stole the spotlight from his more famous countrymen. A stunning first-time strike that dips and swerves and, ultimately, put La Albiceleste through to the quarter-finals.

1. Éder Aleixo de Assis – Brazil Vs USSR – 1982


Simply put – the greatest Seleção never win the trophy. But that ‘minor’ detail pales in significance when considering the nonchalant dummy from Falcao, the flick from the onrushing Éder and the hit that leaves Soviet goalkeeper Rinat Dasaev rooted to the spot. Simply put – the greatest volley the World Cup has seen.




The Author

Charles Pulling

Co-Editor of @bpfootball. Content for ViceUK, inbedwimaradona, sabotagetimes + Others. Featured on

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