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Goal of the Century

The Goal of the Century, also known as "Greatest Goal in FIFA World Cup History", was an award given for the greatest goal ever scored in a FIFA World Cup tournament. It was decided by a poll on the FIFA website, as part of the coverage of the 2002 FIFA World Cup tournament.

The winning goal was the second goal by Diego Maradona in the 1986 FIFA World Cup quarter-final match, for Argentina against England on June 22 1986, at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City; it came shortly after Maradona's infamous Hand of God goal. Nine minutes into the second half, Hector Enrique passed the ball to Maradona some ten metres inside his own half. Maradona then began his 60-metre, 10-second dash towards the English goal, leaving behind five English outfield players as well as goalkeeper Peter Shilton to make the score 20 to Argentina. Gary Lineker scored a goal for England 25 minutes later, but England were unable to equalize and Argentina won 21, en route to winning the championship.

About the goal, Maradona said, "I made the play to give it to Valdano, but when I got to the area they surrounded me and I had no space. Therefore, I had to continue the play and finish it myself." A statue of Maradona immortalizing the moment has been erected outside the stadium.

In 2002, Maradona said he could not have scored such a beautiful goal if it had not been against the honest English defence, who did not knock him down as most defenses used to do. "They are probably the noblest in the world," he added.

On the goal, English striker Gary Lineker said "[it was] probably the one and only time in my whole career I felt like applauding the opposition scoring a goal."

The Top 10

The top 10 goals, as decided by the poll, were:

Diego Maradona (Argentina), 1986 FIFA World Cup vs. England 18,062 votes: 60-meter run from midfield beating Hoddle, Reid, Beardsley, Butcher, Fenwick then the keeper Shilton before tucking it away.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rW-lK9F6TU

Michael Owen (England), 1998 FIFA World Cup vs. Argentina 10,631 votes: picked the ball up on the half-way line, beat two defenders, then finished off with a shot into the far top corner of the net.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnRRw5Lko2E

Pele (Brazil), 1958 FIFA World Cup vs. Sweden 9,880 votes: a deft flick over a Swedish defender followed by a precise volley into the bottom corner.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWK3K7tP-cg

Diego Maradona (Argentina), 1986 FIFA World Cup vs. Belgium 9,642 votes: a run into the penalty area past three defenders and shot from difficult angle on an unbalanced position.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlYYP-QbiGU

Gheorghe Hagi (Romania), 1994 FIFA World Cup vs. Colombia 9,297 votes: fierce lob into the top corner from out on the left touchline.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVMdkhn0NHo

Saeed Owairan (Saudi Arabia), 1994 FIFA World Cup vs. Belgium 6,756 votes: 70-meter run past four opposite players and shot past a defender and the goalkeeper.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8w89sl7Grc

Roberto Baggio (Italy), 1990 FIFA World Cup vs. Czechoslovakia 6,694 votes: a one-two with Giannini on the halfway line followed by a mazy dribble into the box then dummying the keeper into a dive before neatly finishing.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGi2Cni5y_g

Carlos Alberto (Brazil), 1970 FIFA World Cup vs. Italy 5,388 votes: a move that involved Gerson, Piazza, Tostao, Clodoaldo, Rivelino, Jairzinho, Pele then finally Carlos Alberto with a fierce low drive into the corner .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HrjevD2vhk

Lothar Matthaus (Germany), 1990 FIFA World Cup vs. Yugoslavia 4,191 votes: . Matthaus skips past a defender before unleashing a fierce shot to the bottom corner of the net.

Vincenzo Scifo (Belgium), 1990 FIFA World Cup vs. Uruguay 2,935 votes. The Belgian players build up play nicely, and Scifo hits a strike from 30 yards.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gec_bvPgOTk

External links

Final top 10 (official)

Maradona's goal of century

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Goal of the Century

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