14 Things We Love About the World Cup: Individual Goals

With 14 days to go until the 2014 World Cup kicks off in Brazil, FourFourTwo counts down 14 reasons why we love the World Cup so much.

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14. Individual Goals

Since it's inception in 1930, there have been a staggering 2,063 goals scored at World Cup final tournaments.

We've seen tap ins, own goals and great team goals but few things in football get fans more excited than a great individual moment. A goal so good that fans of all nations can only stand, applaud and say to each other "did you see that?"

It used to be that such goals became the stuff of legend, passed down from one generations to the next when grandad would pick you up and place you on his knee before telling you about that cracking goal he witnessed in person/on black and white television in a faraway land but with the advent of the internet and video hosting sites, we can now replay them at our own leisure. And we are thankful.

Without further ado, here are three of our favourite individual goals from the World Cup finals.

Michael Owen - England vs Argentina (France '98)

An 18-year-old Michael Owen announces himself on the world stage with a breathtaking run through the heart of the Argentinian defence to score in their round of 16 clash in St Etienne. On such moments does English hope spring eternal.

Diego Maradona - Argentina vs England (Mexico '86)

Five minutes after opening the scoring with a blatant hand ball Maradona then shows his true genius leaving the England defence in his wake to score arguably the greatest goal in World Cup finals history. From outright football villainy to admiration in the space of one match, the Argentinian maestro is unparalleled.

Saeed Al-Owairan - Saudi Arabia vs Belgium (USA '94)

Not often mentioned in lists such as this given less fashionable team who scored it. However we think this stunning run and finish deserves a seat at the top table. Starting from his own half, the Saudi Arabian forward embarked on a mazy drive through the opposition defence, culminating in the ball nestling in the back of the Belgian net. There's a reason they call him 'The Maradona of the Arabs'.