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Top 10 Most-Eye Pleasing 2010 World Cup Goals

07.10.10 at 1:57 am ET
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There are only two games left in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa – the third place game featuring Germany and Uruguay on Saturday at 2:30 p.m., and the final Spain vs. the Netherlands Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

After a slow start teams began to figure the Adidas Jabulani ball delivering some spectacular goals from distance and some individual moments of brilliance.

If you are feeling even slightly depressed like me that this weekend is it for another four years, here is my list of the top 10 goals from the tournament to cheer you up just a bit – a little appetizer if you will before the main course. They are rated primarily on skill, but also do take into consideration timing and clutchness. Without further ado, let’s get to the list.

10. Maicon opens Brazil’s account at the 2010 World Cup vs. North Korea.

The nearly impossible angle shot WAS A SHOT, those that tell you otherwise are simply wrong. On the clip you can see Maicon sneak a peak at where North Korea’s keeper was playing and then shoot the ball with the outside of his right foot so that the ball would bend toward goal away from the keeper, who was cheating off his line for the cross and not covering his near post. If Maicon had wanted to cross he would have hit the ball with the instep of his foot curling the ball back towards the field of play.

9. Keisuke Honda put his stamp on the 2010 tournament with an out of this world performance against Denmark in Japan’s 3-1 win to put them in the knockout round. He hit a ridiculous free kick from 35 yards away that moved and swerved all over the place for the opening goal of the match then set up the final goal twisting and turning away from his defender before delivering a ball on the platter for his teammate.

8. At No. 8 you get a trifecta from the best center forward of this tournament – Diego Forlan. The first was his bomb from distance vs. South Africa, the second from his crazy free kick vs. Ghana rivaling Honda’s strike and the third was Uruguay’s first goal vs. the Netherlands a scintillating strike with his left boot from outside the box.

7. Well this makes me puke in my mouth every time I see it, but the skill displayed by Asamoah Gyan to take a knock from his Rennes teammate Carlos Bocanegra, keep his feet then hit a bomb of a volley past Tim Howard to send the United States packing in the round of the 16 was really a world-class finish.

6. Raising some eye-brows at this World Cup, Germany’s Mesut Ozil showed he was one of the best young players in the world throughout the tournament. However, his strike against Ghana, the lone goal of the match that also helped Germany win Group D, was probably his most memorable contribution.

5. Carlos Tevez was either sensational or invisible in the World Cup. Although he was clearly off-sides in his first goal against Mexico in Argentina’s 3-1 win, more than made up for the previous terrible decision by the sideline referee. Striking the ball with such venom that it nearly ripped a hole in the back of the net, I would suspect that Tevez’s shot was the hardest hit of any that found net in the World Cup.

4. Some goals just stick with you, others have more historic meaning, and those rare few have the combination of both. Siphiwe Tshabalala’s opening goal of the entire 2010 World Cup for the host nation South Africa against Mexico – the first goal ever scored on African soil in the World Cup – was an absolute stunner. Just seconds after Tshabalala unleashed his cannon of a left-footed shot into the upper right 90 Martin Tyler mentioned how his notes stated Tshabalala – great name by the way – was known for spectacular goals. It didn’t get any better than this.

3. I gave you one trifecta earlier, here’s the real deal – David Villa. The guy has simply been a one-man wreaking crew for Espania, La Furia Roja, or Spain whatever you want to call them scoring five of the team’s seven goals throughout the tournament. His first vs. Honduras was probably the finest of his bunch in South Africa exploding by two defenders before cutting back on a third defender and sending the ball top shelf. His third goal of the tournament looked simple enough, but from 45-plus yards out he had to hit the ball with his weaker foot up over the goalie and a defender, and it went curling into the side netting. The final goal on this list may have started offsides, and taken two efforts, but it resulted in a game-winner over Portugal and was real nice.

2. From a skill aspect realistically this goal does not touch probably most of the goals in 2010 South Africa. From the drama perspective, however, nothing comes close especially if you are a United States Men’s National Team fan. The U.S. were literally 80 seconds from being eliminated in bitterly disappointing fashion before Tim Howard’s outlet pass found Donovan. Two touches later, Jozy Altidore was running on to the pass from Donovan for a cross to Clint Dempsey. His shot was barely kept out of goal, but the follow up was buried by Donovan for unequivocally the greatest goal in U.S. National Team history. By the way this may not be the best youtube clip in terms of clarity, but it epitomizes the emotion of the moment that reverberated around the nation.

1. Quite simply the greatest World Cup goal I have ever seen by a long shot, and it was a long shot, 42 yards to be exact. The Netherlands captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst unleashed the greatest left-footed shot I have ever seen against Uruguay in the semifinals, the type of shot any player dreams of hitting from 10 yards away let alone four times the distance.

Quick story, I was watching the match with a good friend and from the live feed my friend thought the Uruguay keeper had misplayed the ball – a legitimate reaction considering how far van Bronckhorst had unleashed his cannon. However, I immediately said to him, ‘no take a look at where this ball goes,’ not realizing how incredibly close a margin van Bronckhorst’s shot had actually come to missing the target.

As everyone has seen on the replay, dynamite came out of van Bronckhorst’s boot on the shot as it used every last inch of the frame of goal knocking off the inside of the post and in. Uruguay would later tie the match, but the goal lifted the match to one of the most entertaining games of the tournament and got the Dutch going on their way to the final.

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