We continue with our choices for the top 18 goals of the FIFA World Cup 2018. After covering nine of the best goals in the previous article, we will be concluding the list for the top 18 with the final 9 goals.
9) Adnan Januzaj (Belgium) vs England:
The Belgian team is full of world class talents, and thus Adnan Januzaj could only manage one start in the entire World Cup, that also in the seemingly pointless group H encounter with England. But he did leave his mark with an exquisite strike. After getting the ball from Youri Tielemans on the right corner of the England penalty area, the former Manchester United man went inside and fooled Danny Rose with a dummy before unleashing a left footed curler into the top left corner, beating a full stretched Jordan Pickford. The left footed curler is ranked 9th in our list.
8) Luca Modric (Croatia) vs Argentina:
The World Cup saw the rise of the Croatian Golden Generation with some heartwarming football. They were led ably by their Golden Ball winning captain Luka Modric. The Real Madrid midfield maestro also scored a belter against Argentina. When he received the ball about 25 yards out, he took a few extra touches to get Man City defender Nicolas Otamendi out of the way. He then twisted and unleashed a bending long-ranger that went past Chelsea keeper Willy Caballero comfortably. The “Golden Goal” was the 8th best strike of the World Cup.
7) Dries Mertens (Belgium) vs Panama:
Belgium were the top scorers in the FIFA World Cup, putting 14 goals passed the hapless opponent defense. But it all started in their first game, against Panama. SSC Napoli forward Dries Mertens was the one who broke the glass. His cross from the right for Lukaku was headed out by Panamanian captain Roman Torres and fell to Yannick Carrasco. Carrasco’s flick came in the way of the 31-year old forward, who hit a brilliant first time volley into the bottom left corner. This incredible volley is 7th best in our hierarchy.
6) Nacho Fernandez (Spain) vs Portugal:
Spain disappointed at the grandest stage after an early exit in the pre-quarters against Russia, but their match against Portugal in the World Cup group stages was easily the most memorable one. Nacho Fernandez’s goal in that encounter stood out. David Silva’s pass was deflected by a diving Isco after the ball was intercepted by the Portuguese defense. The partial clearance nicely fell into the path of the approaching Spanish right back. The Real Madrid man hit a sweet first time half volley that curled into the bottom left corner. The picturesque strike is our 6th best strike of the World Cup.
5) Dennis Cheryshev (Russia) vs Croatia:
As previously mentioned, Russia were the biggest surprise package of the World Cup. In their route to the Quarters, the player who stood out for the hosts were their bright young star Dennis Cheryshev. The Villareal CF forward scored one such beauty against Croatia in the quarters. He played a neat one two with Dzyuba before hopping past a sliding Luka Modric with an adorning first touch with his right; his touch created enough room to set himself up for a shot. The Russian highest scorer of the World Cup then hit a curving shot that prompted Peter Drury to shout “One Glorious Glorious Goal”. This wonder strike ranks 5th in our list.
4) Ricardo Quaresma (Portugal) vs Iran:
Portugal may have been mostly a Cristiano Ronaldo show, with the Juventus forward scoring 4 of Portugal’s 6 goals, but Ricardo Quaresma’s goal was surely the best of the lot for the West Europeans. In their final group match against Iran, Ricardo Quaresma played a brief one-two with Adrien Silva while cutting inside from the right wing, before unleashing his trademark “Trivela” from just outside the box. The Trivela is 4th on our list.
3) Benjamin Pavard (France) vs Argentina:
France won their second World Cup after 20 long years, and one of their best find was right back Benjamin Pavard. His equalizing strike against Argentina is considered to be one of the best strikes of all time, and the notion is non-debatable. Lucas Hernandez’s cross from the left managed to beat everyone in the box and fell into the path of an onrushing Pavard on the edge of the penalty area. Much like the Nacho strike, the VFB Stuttgart defender hit a beautiful half volley that curled immensely to crash into the top left corner. This sweet strike ranks 3rd in our list.
2) Dennis Cheryshev (Russia) vs Saudi Arabia:
The Russian wonder-kid is the only player to have been nominated for two goals in the FIFA shortlist. If you thought his strike against Croatia was outstanding then his control and skill to put away his first World Cup goal on the opening night was just out of the world. The former Liverpool target received the ball from team mate Aleksandr Samedov in the left side of the penalty area. While receiving the ball, Cheryshev faced two sliding Saudi defenders on him and it was unlikely that he would keep hold of the ball. But he just managed that while showing incredible control by chipping the ball over the diving defenders, before trapping the ball again and slotting home the ball into the near post. This out of the world controlled finish is runners-up in our list.
1) Lionel Messi (Argentina) vs Nigeria:
2018 World Cup wasn’t the cup for Lionel Messi after he failed to guide Argentina passed the pre-quarter phase. But there’s no denying the fact that his solitary goal vs Nigeria was quite quite incredible, even by his own personal standards and will definitely be ranked among his top goals scored. Facing a do-or-die situation, Messi had to deliver and he did just that. Ever Banega saw the run of Lionel Messi and sent a chipped cross from the centre line over the Nigerian defense. The FC Barcelona man, produced an impeccable first touch with his left thigh, before another top one with his left foot outside the penalty area. The 4-times FIFA Player of the Year, then ran into the penalty area with a defender on his shoulder before finishing superbly with his right. Lionel Messi may not have won the World Cup, but he surely wins our Best Goal of The World Cup award for 2018.
Do You agree with our list? Which goal was your top pick? Let us know in the comments below.