International Football

Ranking Spain's Top 10 World Cup Goals

Paul WilkesFeatured ColumnistMay 28, 2014

Ranking Spain's Top 10 World Cup Goals

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    Martin Meissner/Associated Press

    Spain's current dominance is unprecedented in international football. If they were to defend their World Cup title, they would be entering further uncharted territory.

    Their possession-based football and high pressing have led some to describe them as boring. It can become very difficult to break down teams that only want to defend in numbers.

    The margin for error is less, but as a result, they often score fantastic goals. Some involve moments of individual skill, others involve team moves.

    Here are their top 10 (not including qualifiers) World Cup goals.

10. Gaizka Mendieta vs. South Africa (2002)

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    Coach Jose Antonio Camacho had made numerous changes to the team that beat Slovenia in the previous match.

    Gaizka Mendieta had spent the season struggling to get into the Lazio side before this World Cup.

    Raul scored twice to give Spain the 3-2 win over South Africa, with a Mendieta free-kick sandwiched between.

    The former Middlesbrough midfielder curled the ball round the wall to the right-hand side leaving the goalkeeper completely dumbfounded.

9. David Villa vs. Chile (2010)

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    Marcelo Bielsa's Chile side were entertaining supporters equally with their progressive footballing style.

    A direct ball into the channel saw Fernando Torres give chase alongside a defender.

    Goalkeeper Claudio Bravo of Real Sociedad raced out of his goal to clear the ball with a sliding challenge.

    Unfortunately for him, it fell to David Villa, who expertly executed a side-footed lob first time into the empty net.

    There's something quite majestic about a ball bouncing toward an empty goal.

8. Fernando Torres vs. Ukraine (2006)

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    Spain was already three to the good when Fernando Torres struck a brilliant finish.

    Carles Puyol had ventured up the pitch, as his clever turn with the ball highlighted the confidence within the side.

    His ball into Torreswho was battling with a defenderwas nudged into the path of Raul.

    Puyol continues his run and performs a cushion header after the Real Madrid forward chips it into his path.

    Torres then hits a sweet half-volley into the back of the net. The 4-0 loss to Spain equalled Ukraine's heaviest-ever defeat.

7. Juan Antonio Senor vs. Belgium (1986)

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    Real Zaragoza midfielder Juan Antonio Senor hit an absolute powerhouse to beat the Belgium goalkeeper.

    From a free-kick position by the corner flag the ball was pulled back to the edge of the penalty area.

    Senor seemed to appear from nowhere and cracked an unstoppable left footed strike past the keeper.

    That goal wasn't enough to see Spain progress into the semi-finals in Mexico, as they were beaten on penalties.

6. Michel vs. South Korea (1990)

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    The Spaniard had just witnessed a sublime free-kick from South Korea to equalise.

    Not to be outdone, Michel showed his own dead-ball expertise with his second of the match.

    He hit the ball over the waiting wall and into his nearest corner of the goal.

    The ability to get the lift on the ball and to get it back down again into the goal shouldn't be underestimated.

5. David Villa vs. Portugal (2010)

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    Portugal missed a number of opportunities against Spain in the first half, and a clever team move made them rue the lost chances.

    Andres Iniesta weaved toward a crowded penalty area before slipping a reverse pass into the direction of Barcelona team-mate Xavi.

    The midfield maestro applied the deftest of touches to backheel the ball into the running David Villa.

    His shot was saved by Eduardo, but the forward reacted quickly to finish the rebound.

4. David Villa vs. Honduras (2010)

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    An opening-day defeat to Switzerland had cast serious doubts over La Roja's ability to add the World Cup to their European Championship exploits

    It took a moment of brilliance from striker David Villa to get their first goal of the 2010 tournament.

    Villa cuts inside from the left-hand wing, two defenders approach him and, with some quick footwork, he floats between them.

    He commits another defender before curling the ball into the top right corner. As he strikes the ball, he looks to be falling over simultaneously.

3. David Villa vs. Paraguay (2010)

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    Andres Iniesta receives a pass from Xavi, then beats two midfielders. His run draws two defenders toward him before he squares the ball to Cesc Fabregas.

    The midfielder takes a touch and hits a shot which rebounds off the post toward David Villa as the forward is caught by surprise. Villa controls it and then pokes the ball into the opposite corner.

    The ball hits the inside of the post and travels across the goal line before finding the back of the net via the other part of the framework.

2. Michel vs. South Korea (1990)

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    Michel's first of his hat-trick against South Korea in Italy was a brilliantly executed volley.

    The ball was swung in from the left hand side and his finish was right into the far corner.

    Spain lost to Yugoslavia in the last 16 as they were knocked out of the tournament.

1. Andres Iniesta vs. Netherlands (2010)

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    Holland attempts to make a clearance from a Fernando Torres cross, but the ball falls to Cesc Fabregas.

    The then-Arsenal man lays the ball to Andres Iniesta, who runs behind the defence.

    His first touch takes the pace off the pass, but it makes it more difficult for himself as the ball bounces high.

    Iniesta then hits it on the half-volley and past Edwin Van der Sar. The pressure of the moment is immense, as it means that Spain wins the World Cup.

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