1. Marco Tardelli, Italy vs West Germany
The Juventus man opens Italy’s account in the final in style. He receives a lay-off on the edge of the area, and the first touch, with his right foot, spins him into space. With his left he then smashes the ball low and hard into the bottom right-hand corner past a stranded Harald Schumacher.
Eyes bulging and screaming himself crazy, Tardelli runs to the touchline, swamped by jubilant team-mates. An iconic goal, and an iconic celebration.
2. David Narey, Scotland vs Brazil
Jimmy Hill may have called it a ‘toe-poke’, but that doesn’t make this strike any less spectacular. Charging onto a downward header, Narey tames the ball and launches an exocet from outside the area into the back of the net.
Unfortunately for Scotland, the goal only enraged Brazil, who went on to pummel them 4-1. Meanwhile, the toe-poke jibe sparked outrage from the Tartan Army. To this day they can be heard chanting: “We hate Jimmy Hill, he's a poof.” Witty.
3. Zico, Brazil vs Scotland
David Narey’s thunderbolt had jolted this extraordinary game into life, but Brazil’s mercurial No.10 went one better.
Cerezo is brought down 30 yards from goal, Zico steps up and produces the perfect free-kick: a three-step run-up, minimal backlift and the ball is gracefully shaped into the top right-hand corner (it gently nuzzles the inside of the post on its way in). Even the five-man Scot wall stand in awe as Zico goes bananas.
4. Bruno Conti, Italy vs Peru
The little Italian sculpts a masterpiece. He runs to meet a pass from the left of the penalty area, flicks the ball between his own legs then twists his body towards goal with impossible grace and speed.
A nonplussed defender trails in his wake. Conti then hammers the ball into the roof of the net before dropping to his knees in salutation to his own genius.
5. Klaus Fischer, West Germany vs France
Everyone loves a bicycle kick, particularly Fischer, for whom they were a trademark. This one, which took the semi-final to penalties, was unforgettable for both its timing and technique.
In the 110th minute, with France leading 3-2, the forward lurks in the penalty area. He watches a cross sail over his head before a team-mate keeps it in play with a looping header that falls behind him. As the ball drops to head height, Fischer swings a foot at it. He’s up away celebrating before the ball even stops bouncing.
6. Eder, Brazil, vs Scotland
A strike of extraordinary beauty. Eder receives the ball on the edge of the area and with Scotland’s defence well positioned, he lofts a slow, delicate chip over the lot of them into the far corner.
It looks so simple, more like a deft golf chip from a bunker than a strike. Keeper Alan Rough trudges grumpily into his net to get the ball, utterly defeated. Socrates – himself no stranger to good-looking shots - later described it as a “sexy, gorgeous goal”.
7. Bryan Robson, England vs France
The fastest ever strike in a World Cup finals game, and for Englishmen, one of the most enjoyable.
A long throw from Steve Coppell is flicked on by Terry Butcher: Robson arrives on cue and thumps the ball (it stayed thumped) into the French net on 27 seconds. It’s the Manchester United midfielder at his best, proving his class on the biggest stage. Unfortunately injury kept him from having too many more World Cup moments like this.
8. Laszlo Kiss, Hungary vs El Salvador
Sure, the opposition were deflated: Hungary had already scored seven goals against an utterly outclassed El Salvador side by this point (they eventually won 10-1), but this was still a goal of incredible skill.
Kiss executes the cheekiest of chips from just outside the box after a team-mate dribbles around half the Salvadorians to set him up. Kiss goes on to become the first sub to score a hat-trick in a World Cup game.
9. Socrates, Brazil vs Italy
The move begins with a harmless throw-in inside the Brazil half: 12 devastating seconds later, the ball is in the back of the Italian net.
Socrates receives the throw and picks out Zico with a laser-guided pass: he cuts inside his marker and flicks it back to Socrates. The rangy No.8 rampages past two Italian defenders and hammers home at the near post. Impossible to defend.
10. Zbigniew Boniek, Poland vs Belgium
Polish goal machine Boniek boasted blistering pace, brain-bending dribbling skills and an eye for goal second to none - and he showed all three as he larruped in a hat-trick against a decent Belgian side.
The third strike was probably the pick of the bunch. Wlodzimierz Smolarek charges into the Belgian defence, lays off to Lato, then pulls the final defender aside with a dummy run. Boniek ghosts in from deep and rounds the keeper with a cheeky sidestep. Sublime.
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Gary Parkinson is a freelance writer, editor, trainer, muso, singer, actor and coach. He spent 14 years at FourFourTwo as the Global Digital Editor and continues to regularly contribute to the magazine and website, including major features on Euro 96, Subbuteo, Robert Maxwell and the inside story of Liverpool's 1990 title win. He is also a Bolton Wanderers fan.