Top 10: Most memorable World Cup goals
The World Cup, a quadrennial celebration of the global game, has produced some memorable goals – from long-rangers to last-minuters, from the controversial to the sublime.
We've teamed up with the National Lottery, who have invested £400 million into football from grassroots to the top level, to round up 10 of the best, with a competition at the end: pick your favourite, and if it chimes with our choice you could win a personal cartoon of it by FourFourTwo's "Great Goals Retold" illustrator German Aczel… but first, bring on the goals!
1) Teenage Kicks: Owen says hello
Michael Owen (England) vs Argentina, 30 June 1998
Losing a group game to Romania meant England faced old enemies Argentina in the Round of 16, and Gabriel Batistuta's early penalty suggested the end was nigh. But instead, it was the true beginning of an England career. On 10 minutes Michael Owen, making his fourth start, was fouled by Roberto Ayala and Alan Shearer levelled from the spot – and six minutes later, Owen wrote himself into folklore.
The 18-year-old's pace had already worried the Argentine defence, who hold an unusually deep line as Owen receives a diagonal through-ball from David Beckham. With a flick of the right heel Owen takes it past the struggling Jose Chamot and sprints toward Matias Almeyda. Knocking it to the right of the centre-back, Owen is almost dispossessed by the onrushing Paul Scholes, who arguably has a better angle to hit the ball and certainly has the pedigree to do so – but the teenager has the confidence to retain the ball and lash it into the far top corner of Carlos Roa's goal.
England would be pegged back before half-time before taking their usual route to elimination, via refereeing controversy (Sol Campbell's disallowed header) and penalty catastrophe (Messrs Ince and Batty failing in the shootout), but Owen had arrived and would go on to score 40 England goals in the next nine years.