Ranking Argentina's Top 10 World Cup Goals
It's not going to be too much of a spoiler to state up front that Diego Maradona will claim the prize for Argentina's greatest-ever World Cup goal, but who else will make up our top 10?
The Albicelestes are not only world football heavyweights, they are also known to play a delightful brand of football, so there are dozens of pretty strikes to choose from among their World Cup efforts.
A mixture of team goals and dazzling individual efforts make up the list.
Due to the improvements in televised coverage, it is easier for us to appreciate goals from more recent tournaments, otherwise there would surely be more goals from the earlier days of the competition making the cut.
Let us know in the comments section which one you rate highest of all.
10. Tevez Launches a Rocket
At the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Argentina impressed in the group stages to earn a spot in the last 16, where they faced up against Mexico, the team they had knocked out at the same stage in the last tournament.
While the 2006 match was a very tight affair, the Albicelestes had a lot less trouble this time around in cruising to a 3-1, with Carlos Tevez grabbing a double.
Carlitos' second goal was an absolute stunner.
The ball bobbled back to him after he had appeared to give away possession, but there was nothing scrappy about his finish, which saw the Jabulani screech into the top corner of the net.
9. Batigol Blasts It
Argentina's most prolific scorer of all time, Gabriel Batistuta, also has the most World Cup goals to his name, with 10 strikes over three campaigns.
This screamer against Greece at USA was arguably the pick of the lot.
8. Maradona Repeats the Dose
After astonishing the world and enraging England in the quarter-final, Diego Maradona confirmed his name would stand out above all others in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico by scoring another amazing solo goal against Belgium in the semi-final.
In front of 110,000 fans at the Estadio Azteca, the little No. 10 weaved through the heart of the Belgian defence before finishing with the utmost class to once again prove he was on another level from every other footballer on the planet.
7. Zanetti Outfoxes England
There are well-worked free-kicks, and then there are well-worked free-kicks.
This effort against England in the 1998 World Cup was an example of a training ground move that comes off to perfection.
Gabriel Batistuta feigned to shoot but instead stepped over the ball, Juan Sebastian Veron slid it to Javier Zanetti, who had sneaked into open space from behind the England wall, and the full-back turned and finished with aplomb as the men in white looked on in confusion.
It was a goal worthy of the game, which was one of the most memorable in recent World Cups.
6. Bertoni's Beauty
At the 1982 tournament in Spain, the elegant Daniel Bertoni scored the kind of goal against El Salvador that right-wingers dream about.
Receiving the ball with his back to the touchline, Bertoni glided infield in front of the defensive line, swaying left to avoid being tackled, before curling a sublime effort into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
5. Caniggia and Maradona Sink Brazil
Put "God" and "The Son of the Wind" together, and you know you're going to get a formidable attacking partnership.
Diego Maradona's genius combined with Claudio Caniggia's incredible pace and superb finishing ability made them the perfect pairing up front, and that was demonstrated in the 81st minute of Argentina's knockout clash with Brazil.
The Selecao had missed a host of chances throughout a pulsating, spiteful match, and they were made to rue those lost opportunities when the Albicelestes struck on a counter-attack.
Maradona set off on one of his mazy runs from the centre circle, leaving a trail of lunging defenders in his wake.
The Brazilians were so mesmerised by the little master that they left the lethal Caniggia completely alone just outside the box.
Was Diego good enough to find his striker with a sneaky pass? You know he was.
Was Claudio cool enough to round the 'keeper and slot home? You already know the answer to that, too.
4. Houseman Bangs It Home
How does one unlock a rigid Italian defence?
With a heavenly pass and an unstoppable finish, that's how.
In the group stage of the 1974 World Cup, Rene Houseman thumped the ball past Dino Zoff after Carlos Babington had somehow threaded a lofted ball in between two blue shirts to set him up.
The delicate pass followed by the savage shot make for one very pretty goal.
3. Maxi Goal
A tense found of 16 match between Argentina and Mexico at Germany 2006 was settled by Maxi Rodriguez's wonder-strike in extra time.
With nothing much going, Juan Pablo Sorin floated a cross over from the left.
Maxi controlled the ball on his chest, then hit a first-time screamer into the far corner of the goal with his left foot in what was a sensational display of footballing technique.
2. 26-Pass Masterpiece
Jose Pekerman's side played some gorgeous football at the 2006 tournament before getting bundled out by Germany in the quarter-finals.
This team goal against Serbia and Montenegro, encompassing 26 passes, was the quintessential example of Argentina's footballing philosophy.
The supreme control, patience and skill shown in the lead-up gradually builds to a beautiful crescendo as Hernan Crespo's back heel is dispatched by Esteban Cambiasso with extreme prejudice.
1. Maradona's Goal of the Century
The best way to watch Diego Maradona's Goal of the Century against England in 1986 is with the commentary from legendary Argentine pundit Victor Hugo Morales.
"Genius! Genius! Genius!" Morales shouts in Spanish as Diego skips past one English player after another.
When the inconceivable move finishes in a goal, the commentator loses the plot completely, letting off a primal scream which turns into sobs of ecstasy.
"Cosmic kite," he wails. "What planet did you come from?"
In Argentina, it's a quote that's just as famous as anything Neil Armstrong or John F. Kennedy ever uttered.
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