Ranked! The 10 best goals of USA '94


Nick Moore revels in the finest strikes of the 1994 World Cup; featuring a mad-dashing Saudi Arabian, El Diego (well, duh) and a Nigerian crawling like a dog

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10. Ion Goikoetxea, Spain vs Germany

The unpronounceable Spanish midfielder had tongues twisting across the globe thanks to this cheeky effort.

Out on the right wing and with a wealth of crossing options at his disposal, Goikoetxea instead opted to swerve in an incredible cross-cum-shot which ended up nestling in the far left-hand corner of the German net. It was a genuine "Did he mean that?" moment – but he claims he did, and for that, we can only salute the man who wisely chose to shorten his surname to ‘Goiko’.

9. Finidi George, Nigeria vs Greece

The Greeks witnessed some superb goals in the summer of 1994 – it was just a shame that they weren’t the ones scoring them. Nigeria’s gifted No.7 added to their woes here: after picking up the ball from just outside the area (with a terrible first touch, it must be said), he guided a pinpoint chip over Adonis Minou.

As if he hadn’t done enough to embarrass them, barmy Finidi then celebrated by crawling on all fours like a delighted puppy.

8. Thomas Brolin, Sweden vs Romania

Now he's best known in England for waddling ineffectively around Leeds's midfield in the late-90s, but it’s easy to forget that at his peak Brolin was one of the best players in the world – and helped guide his nation to third place in this competition.

This inventive team free-kick proved the point. With the Romanian defence expecting a routine cross, Brolin scuttled from behind the wall onto a slide-rule pass and fired just under the bar from a narrow angle. Brainy.

7. Branco, Brazil vs Holland

Before Roberto Carlos, another Brazilian left-back was notorious for unleashing scud missiles from set-plays: Branco.

Here, with the game poised at 2-2, the seven members of the Dutch wall lined up like firing squad victims as the snake-hipped Brazilian embarked on a run-up longer than Freddie Flintoff’s. When he finally arrived at his destination, Branco drilled a swerving effort past wall, keeper and team-mates into the bottom left-hand corner.

What’s Portuguese for ‘Wallop’?

6. Hristo Stoichkov, Bulgaria vs Mexico

The Bulgarian was so moody that it sometimes felt like he was punishing the ball for an unknown transgression against his family. Here, ‘The Dagger’ gave the offending sphere a spanking it would never forget.

Team-mate Ivaylo Yordanov won it and spotted Stoichkov giving it toes through the middle. The forward took the glorious pass, had a touch, then smashed it left-footed past the near post. The crackpot forward then celebrated with some barmy air-boxing. Calm down, dear.