The best goals of the World Cup
that total is the fourth greatest of all time, while the average is slightly below Russia 2018 (2.64) and Brazil 2014 (2.67). With two games to play, Sunday’s final plus Saturday’s third-place match between Morocco and Croatia, there is a chance this tournament will reach the all-time high of 171, set in 1998 and equaled in 2014.
From wonder goals to headers from the highest heights, here are seven goals (in the order they occurred) that are sure to be remembered from World Cup 2022.
Salem al-Dawsari, Saudi Arabia vs. Argentina (group stage)
one of the world cup most shocking goals it came on the second full day of games. Saudi Arabia were underdogs in Pool C, and a draw against heavyweight Argentina in their opening match on November 22 would have been a significant result. But Dawsari launched the Green Falcons into history with his go-ahead goal in the 53rd minute. He escaped pressure from three defenders and dove inside with his right foot, then created just enough space to fire a brilliant shot that slipped into the net and gave Saudi Arabia the lead. He followed it up with his signature cartwheel and backflip celebration.
With his goal, the 31-year-old Dawsari, long one of the greatest players in Asian football, etched his name in World Cup history.
Richarlison, Brazil vs. Serbia (group stage)
official of FIFAGoal of the Tournament” is decided by a fan poll after the World Cup, but because it happened on November 24, it has carried the popular vote. In minute 73, Vinícius Júnior sent a good cross into the area, and Richarlison’s definition was even better. The ball nearly fell out of his line of sight, but he caught it at the perfect time to an impressive air kick with the right foot.
Nor was it a coincidence. Video after the fact showed Richarlison practicing a similar ending in training in Brazil. The Tottenham star added another sublime goal with their final against South Korea in the knockout round. His team’s streak ended sooner than expected, but Brazil fans won’t be forgetting Richarlison’s standout performance anytime soon.
Vincent Aboubakar, Cameroon vs. Serbia (group stage)
This target may not score as high in beauty points compared to others on this list, but it does get a bonus for its sass. In the 63rd minute, with his team trailing 3-1, Aboubakar grounded Serbian defender Nemanja Maksimovic and then sent a ball over the head of goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic. The ball took another bounce just outside the line before miraculously landing in the net. After a quick verification by the video assistant referee, the goal stood and the Indomitable Lions roared to secure a 3-3 tie.
You can’t mention the Cameroonian captain without acknowledging his goal against Brazil. The scored in second half stoppage time to give his side the lead, he was then promptly sent off for an excessively celebratory yellow card.
Luis Chavez, Mexico vs. Saudi Arabia (group stage)
If there was an award for the best set piece goal, it could be for this free kick. Chávez’s ball went over the heads of his teammates and the Saudi defenders and into the net. He gave hope to Mexico as the last places in Group C were reduced at the end on November 30 and earned Chávez, a 26-year-old midfielder for Pachuca in Liga MX, a place on the list of the greatest free-kick goals, arguably in history.
According to FIFA’s advanced statistics, the ball traveled 95.8 feet to the goal, the distance measured as a straight line, not in the air, with a top speed of 121.7 mph. It was the most hit goal of the group stage.
Kylian Mbappé, France vs. Poland (round of 16)
France had comfortably secured their place in the quarter-finals in the final minutes against Poland on December 4, but that didn’t stop Mbappé from giving the world one more masterpiece. He had scored earlier in the match to put France up 2-0, but his stoppage-time goal was the highlight of the day. Mbappé received a clever pass from Marcus Thuram, broke away from a Polish defender and two touches later sent the ball into the top corner of the goal.
Mbappé’s five goals in this World Cup have come in open play. Him and his partner Olivier Giroud lead all players with an expected goals without penalty figure of 3.4. He’s still only 23 years old, he’s just getting started.
Youssef en-Nesyri, Morocco vs. Portugal (quarterfinals)
En-Nesyri’s header in the 42nd minute helped Morocco reach new heights in more ways than one. The Atlas Lions earned a place in a World Cup semi-final, the first for any African or Arab nation, and the 6-foot-2 en-Nesyri entered the record books. The Sevilla forward saw a cross in the area and took advantage of a moment of hesitation from the Portuguese goalkeeper Diogo Costa to jump a reported 9.1 feet and spike the ball into the net.
That measure is in the company of the heights reached by Cristiano Ronaldo, a player known for his head dexterity. Even Ronaldo himself, watching from the bench, I was amazed of how en-Nesyri defied physics on the biggest stage.
Julian Alvarez, Argentina vs. Croatia (semi-final)
The World Cup in Argentina has not been short of fantastic goals. It is difficult to choose just one that stands out: that of Enzo Fernández brilliant shot from outside the box after a penalty corner against Mexico was one of the best goals of the group stage, and Messi’s score in that game it showed the teacher at his best.
That said, Álvarez’s second goal in the semi-final against Croatia sums up Argentina’s run: a moment of brilliance from an all-time great paired with a teammate. Willing to do anything to keep Messi’s dream alive. Messi beat Croatian defender Josko Gvardiol around the turn and found Álvarez in the corner of the 6-yard box to score. It’s a standout goal that is as much about what came before: Messi’s career and the years that Álvarez and other young Argentine players have spent idolizing him — like the finish itself.
Marcus Rashford’s free kick goal for England against Wales in the group stage. A year after his missed penalty in the Euro 2020 final, the 25-year-old Manchester United star he played his free kick perfectly, converting one of his three goals, tied with Bukayo Saka for the most in England, in Qatar.
Gonçalo Ramos’ opening goal for Portugal against Switzerland in the round of 16. Seventeen minutes into his first start, Ramos proved he was the right replacement for Ronaldo on the bench. with a rocket past the Swiss goalkeeper. The Benfica forward is the only player with a hat-trick in Qatar.
Neymar’s goal from a tricky angle for Brazil against Croatia in the quarterfinals. the brazilian star broke through the Croatian defense in extra time for a goal that tied him with Pelé as his country’s all-time top scorer.
Wout Weghorst’s equalizing goal for the Netherlands against Argentina in the quarter-finals. The handed over a dagger in the 11th minute of stoppage time to force overtime. The direct play from the training field repeated a mastered piece in the 1998 World Cup by —surprise— Argentina.
World Cup in Qatar
The last: France will face Argentina in the World Cup final after eliminating morocco, 2-0, in a semifinal on Wednesday in Khor, Qatar. Les Bleus will face Lionel Messi and Argentina on Sunday at 10 am ET for the world championship. Morocco will play Croatia in the match for third place on Saturday.
Messi’s probable last World Cup: For Lionel Messi, the World Cup presents one last chance to step out of maradona’s shadow. For Argentines, a respite from the unrelenting bad news.
Today’s worldview: In the minds of many critics, especially in the West, the World Cup in Qatar will always be a tournament shrouded in controversy. But Qatar’s foreign minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, he wants people to have another opinion.
Perspective: “The United States is not the laughing stock of men’s soccer right now. He’s on to something, and he’s more in tune with what works for the rest of the world rather than stubbornly forcing an American sports culture, without the benefit of top talent, on international competition.” Read Jerry Brewer on the future of the US men’s national team.