Ranked! The top 10 goals of Germany 2006
10. Philipp Lahm, Germany vs Costa Rica
Could there have been a more deserving candidate to open up Germany’s jamboree? Munich-born superman Lahm’s effort – bathed in sunshine at his hometown’s sparkly new Allianz Arena – was the perfect appetiser for the fun to come.
Lahm picks the ball up on the left wing and cuts inside onto his right foot, so a cross to one of his three waiting team-mates seems like the logical next step. But Lahm, being a comic-book hero, instead dispenses with all faff and cracks a pinpoint effort into the keeper's far top corner. Just five minutes into the World Cup, the Germans were in dreamland.
9. Torsten Frings, Germany vs Costa Rica
Recent World Cups have been a battleground between Adidas’s sphere boffins – creating rounder and rounder balls that fly faster and move in the air – and disgruntled goalkeepers who say it simply isn’t fair. This geometrically pleasing effort, also in 2006’s opening game, was the kind of thing that resulted.
Bastian Schweinsteiger feigns to cross a free-kick into the box, but instead squares to the headband-toting Frings, who lets the ball roll across his body before lashing a bullet that arcs away from stopper Jose Porras in the same direction.
8. Tomas Rosicky, Czech Republic vs USA
Pavel Nedved tries to locate human telegraph mast Jan Koller in the USA box, but the American defence hump the ball clear.
Alas, it falls to Rosicky, who shows a wonderful touch to stop the ball dead before sizzling it between two defenders to reach a tiny gap in Kasey Keller’s goalmouth. Certainly an appetite-whetter for Arsenal fans, as the little magician had just inked a move to north London.
7. Deco, Portugal vs Iran
Deco was controversial: one of the narkiest players ever to grace the sport, he made an art form of simulation, and even some of his international team-mates didn’t want him in the World Cup squad (Luis Figo objected to the Brazil-born midfielder's flag of convenience: “If you’re born Chinese, you have to play for China”).
But when he wasn’t rolling around clutching his face, Deco was a Paul Scholes-esque package of laser-guided passing, shooting and sublime touches. Here, Figo squares to him, and the ball is in the back of the net before Iran keeper Ebrahim Mirzapour can blink. Not that blinking helps in this kind of situation.