Seven of the greatest international goals of all time

It’s every player’s dream to score on the world’s greatest stage, right? Doing it for your country, with the eyes of the world watching you.

Well, to get you in the mood for the feast of international football coming your way shortly, here are a few of our favourite international goals. Do you remember where you were when you saw these screamers hit the back of the net?

Seven greatest goals

Michael Owen, England vs Argentina, 1998

We kick off with a goal from 18-year old Michael Owen. During the quarter final of France ‘98, Owen announced his arrival with a superb run and finish. Of course, it was a game of both highs and lows for England. Supporters saw Beckham sent off for a silly kick at Diego Simeone. And as is traditional when it comes to England, we exited the tournament on penalties.

Yet for 120 minutes, football fans around the world watched some of the best football in England’s history – which included Owen’s slaloming run past Argentina’s defence and equally brilliant finish.

Diego Maradona, Argentina vs England, 1986

Argentina’s quarter final game against England in Mexico 86 included two of the most famous goals in football history: the ‘Hand of God’ and the ‘Foot of God’.

Hand of God

Maradona beat England goalkeeper, Peter Shilton, in the air and used his hand to punch the ball into the back of the net. The officials did not spot the offence and despite England’s protests, the goal was given. In an interview after the game, Maradona told reporters he was helped by the "Hand of God".

Foot of God

If his first was debatable, Maradona’s second was anything but. Picking the ball up 10 metres inside his own half, he spun, sprinted and jinked his way past five mesmerised England defenders, before hitting the ball past Peter Shilton. The whole move took no more than ten seconds, but was remembered and talked about for many years to come.  

Dennis Bergkamp, Netherlands vs Argentina, 1998

In the 1998 championships, Bergkamp proved his class with a stunning final-minute ‘worldie’ that knocked Argentina out in the semis.

Frank de Boer struck a 50-metre diagonal pass towards the edge of the box.  Bergkamp effortlessly cushioned the ball in the air with the top of his foot. He then skillfully flicked the ball past the onrushing defender, before firing it into the net with the outside of his boot. It was an exquisite piece of skill from one of the world’s greatest ever players. 

Carlos Alberto, Brazil vs Italy, 1970

For many football fans, Brazil’s 1970 team was the best of the best. Pele and co would ultimately lift the trophy but it was their incredible team goal against Italy that would be remembered forever. It had it all, clever skill, intricate passing and a thunderous strike from Captain Alberto, who seemed to fly through the air as he struck the ball home.

James Rodriguez, Colombia vs Uruguay, 2014

The 2014 tournament was a pretty good one for Colombia’s James Rodriguez. Not only did he beat both Messi and Neymar to the Golden Boot, his goal against Uruguay was named Goal of the tournament. And what a goal it was too. 

When Abel Aguilar directed a looping header towards the box, Rodriguez had his back to goal. There didn’t appear to be any danger. Yet in an instant, the striker had taken it on his chest, spun and sent a deadly, dipping volley under the crossbar.

Manuel Negrete, Mexico vs Bulgaria, 1986

Only a few days before Maradona scored his wonder goal at Mexico City’s, Azteca Stadium, Manuel scored a sensational scissor-kick.  

Just outside the box and a little to the left of goal, Negrete dealt with a bouncing ball in style. He played an aerial one-two with a teammate, before jumping high and swivelling to volley the ball into the far bottom corner. The acrobatic strike is often a favourite when football fans are asked to name their top goal of all time.