Ranked! The 10 most incredible World Cup own goals
3. Cristian Zaccardo (Italy vs USA, 2006)
Gianluigi Buffon conceded just one goal through open play during Italy’s triumphant World Cup run in 2006, and that was from one of his own team-mates. Cristian Zaccardo was the guilty culprit, having spectacularly sliced a free-kick from the United States’ Bobby Convey into the Italian net with his knee. Not that the centre-back is particularly cut up about it.
In a 2016 interview with Football Italia, Zaccardo admitted that he and Buffon used to enjoy some epic bants about the whole incident, and that he would happily continue scoring own goals if it meant he got to lift another major trophy.
2. John Boye (Ghana vs Portugal, 2014)
(Own goal at 0:52)
John Boye could have been auditioning for the Cirque du Soleil as he attempted to clear Miguel Veloso’s teasing cross during Ghana’s first-round encounter against Portugal. Indeed, the defender scored possibly the most acrobatic own goal in World Cup history when he somehow struck an overhead volley past helpless keeper Fatau Dauda.
Asamoah Gyan nearly spared his blushes with a Ghana equaliser but Cristiano Ronaldo ensured they soon returned with a late winner. Boye’s theatrics came just days after he accidentally kicked USA’s Clint Dempsey in the face, breaking his nose in the process.
1. Jeff Agoos (USA vs Portugal, 2002)
When it comes to breathtaking volleys at the wrong end of the pitch, USA’s Jeff Agoos wins hands down. The unlucky defender gifted Portugal a lifeline in their opening 2002 encounter when he sent Pauleta’s cross rocketing into the top left-hand corner, although his side did manage to hold onto a 3-2 victory in the end.
It was just another nightmare chapter in Agoos’ World Cup career, having previously burned his shirt in protest at missing out at 1994 and spent the entirety of 1998 as a substitute, while a calf injury later caused him to miss USA’s quarter-final against Germany.