Ranked! The 10 best goals of World Cup 2010
10. Siphiwie Tshabalala, South Africa vs Mexico
The glorious start that World Cup 2010 deserved: a wonderful game in front of an excitable Soccer City throng, and an opening goal that would barely be bettered during the following few weeks. Tshabalala, winning his 50th cap, pounced on an excellent through ball from Teko Modise to whack home precisely from range.
“Goal for South Africa… goal for all Africa!” yelled Peter Drury bafflingly as the Bafana Bafana performed a curious variation of the Macarena (not to be confused with the Maracana) and a million vuvuzelas parped.
9. Luis Suarez, Uruguay vs South Korea
Funny to think that few British football fans had an opinion on Luis Suarez as this game kicked off, beyond knowing that he was a useful forward for Ajax and the Celeste.
One game before his naughty handball helped send Ghana home and eight months before his move to become the most loved and loathed man in the Premier League, Suarez showed his class with this outstanding piece of play.
He cut around two Korean defenders and curled the ball round Jung Sung-ryong superbly to win the second-round match – and celebrated by vaulting a row of startled photographers.
8. Keisuke Honda, Japan vs Denmark
Carlos Tevez and Mesut Ozil scored brilliant open-play long-rangers during 2010, but for our money this incredible free-kick from bleach-blond playmaker Honda trumps them both.
It was a frankly implausible place from which to go for goal, a good 30 yards out and only 10 or so inside the touchline – but with the precision of a superpowered Japanese Jonny Wilkinson, Honda arced his effort delightfully over Thomas Sorensen.
7. Sulley Muntari, Ghana vs Uruguay
Asamoah Gyan did the most damage for the Black Stars in South Africa, but Muntari’s hit was the best effort: smashed from fully 40 yards, he was certainly allowed too much time by a Uruguay side leading 1-0 and already braced for the half-time whistle – but it was still miraculous that the former Pompey man managed to beat Fernando Muslera from such range.
It was pretty much forgotten post-match following Suarez’s handball shenanigans, but deserved to be the strike that helped put Ghana through to the semis.
6. Lukas Podolski, Germany vs England
If there was one moment in the Three Lions’ Bloemfontein nightmare that illustrated how comprehensively they were being outclassed by Germany, it was this. A supremely confident and technically excellent passage of football, it began with a cool dink from the outside of Miroslav Klose’s boot, scuttled onto by Thomas Muller, who squared neatly to the advancing Podolski.
The Bayern Munich man fired through David James’s legs to double Germany’s lead. Shambolic defending can only be partly blamed.