Thirty seven days left before the greatest event in the world kicks off – The 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Just to get warmed up towards the best month a soccer fan has in his life once every four years, here is a nice reminder of the 10 best goals of the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Number 10 – Deco, Portugal vs Iran
The Chelsea midfielder (Barcelona at the time) hit the opener for Portugal in their group stage clash with Iran, resulting in a 2-0 victory and a perfect group stage performance. Portugal were knocked out in the Semi by France. It was Deco’s only goal of the 2006 World Cup and one of only 5 goals in his international career so far. He announced he’ll be retiring from the national team after the 2010 world cup.
Number 9 – Steven Gerrard, England vs Trinidad & Tobago
Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard capping off England’s 2-0 win against Trinidad & Tobago with a fantastic left footed shot in injury time. England went on to the quarter finals, where they met Portugal… and of course lost after a penalty shootout.
Number 8 – Esteban Cambiasso, Argentina vs Serbia
The only goal on this list which isn’t a long range shot – Cambiasso finished off a beautiful passing display by the Argentinians, which had 24 passed building up the goal and involved nine of Argentina’s players, until Crespo used his heel to set up Cambiasso’s finish. Argentina went on to win 6-0. They were stopped by Germany in the quarter final.
Number 7 – Torsten Frings, Germany vs Costa Rica
Frings scored Germany’s final goal in their 4-2 win over Costa Rica in the 2006 WC opener, one of two goals on this list from that match. The 34 year old Werder Bremen midfielder who has earned 79 caps for the national team won’t be part of the 2010 squad.
Number 6 – Darijo Srna, Croatia vs Australia
Another player that won’t be in South Africa this summer due to his team’s failure to make the tournament. The Croatian captain scored a beautiful free kick in the 2-2 draw with Australia, which wasn’t enough to get Croatia through to the second round.
Number 5 – Robin Van Persie, The Netherland vs Ivory Coast
The Arsenal striker who missed half of this season because of injury he sustained playing for his national team scored a beautiful free kick in The Netherlands’ 2-1 win over The Ivory Coast in the group stage. Van Persie, who has 14 goals in 41 caps, will be in South Africa, making a return from his injury in recent weeks.
Number 4 – Phillipp Lahm, Germany vs Costa Rica
Bayern’s fabulous full back scored the first goal of the 2006 WC with a trademark strike, shifting from the left flank into the middle and blasting the goal with his right foot. Germany won the match 4-2 and progressed to the semi finals, suffering a heart breaking extra time defeat against eventual champions, Italy. Lahm didn’t miss a minute during Germany’s successful qualifying campaign, playing all 900 en route to South Africa.
Number 3 – Tomas Rosicky, Czech Republic vs USA
The fragile yet talented Rosicky (Arsenal) scored two for the Czech Republic in their 3-0 win over the United States to open their 2006 World Cup, eventually losing the next two matches and exiting after the group stage. Rosicky has been on and off the injured list in recent years won’t be playing in South Africa – the Czech’s didn’t make it.
Number 2 – Joe Cole, England vs Sweden
In a game that didn’t really matter to both sides, Joe Cole scored a screamer to open the scoring in the 2-2 draw, sending both teams into the second round. I remember thinking at the time that it was the best goal of the World Cup, but four days later, Maxi Rodriguez and a good friend of mine of brainwashed me into lovin’ the next goal, I changed my mind.
Number 1 – Maxi Rodriguez, Argentina vs Mexico
I had a hard time deciding between this one and Cole’s goal, but Maxi’s goal did come in a more crucial match and time, delivering the winner for Argentina in their 2-1 extra time win over Mexico in the Round of 16 stage of the 2006 World Cup.