The much maligned striker delivered a goal for the ages against Sweden in a group stage match on Friday, blasting the shot past keeper Andreas Isaksson in the 23rd minute to give England a 1-0 lead.
The English had just opened a counter-attack against the Swedish, and midfielder Steven Gerrard had possession just inside the attacking third. He fired a beautiful aerial ball through the Swedish defense, and the massive Carroll flashed impressive athleticism, rising to meet it and delivered a thunderous strike off his head, perfectly aimed past the diving Isaksson into the net.
The 23-year-old Liverpudlian striker had been seen as a tremendous bust since moving to Anfield, failing to make a consistent impact for club or country at the highest level of competition. His fitness had come under extreme scrutiny, and many had already written off the talented youngster as a bust.
Clearly, those concerns about fitness and ability were overblown, as Carroll displayed a tremendous amount of both on this strike.
After all, this was no mere cross; it was an extremely long through ball, and a mistimed leap would have seen it glance harmlessly off his head or bounce out of bounds, yet Carroll struck the ball perfectly. Given the force with which it entered the net, one could even have assumed that the English striker had taken a shot off his foot.
No matter what your opinion of Carroll, there's no denying that the Liverpool man has scored one of the goals of the tournament, and one that will resonate with English fans for years to come.