SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - JUNE 26:  Lionel Messi of Argentina celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group D match between Nigeria and Argentina at Saint Petersburg Stadium on June 26, 2018 in Saint Petersburg, Russia.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

The Best 11 Goals From the 2018 World Cup

This year's World Cup has been a thrill-ride for football fans across the globe. Dramatic last-minute finishes, beautiful strikes from every angle and fortune-changing scores have left spectators in awe. 


After 64 incredible matches the French squad managed to secure their second World Cup title, so before the images of a wonderful tournament fade slowly from our minds it seems like a good time to look back and try to decide which goal was the most memorable.


The three criteria used to determine the ranking were overall beauty, how dramatic the goal, and it's importance to the match or squad.


Take a look at our choices and tell us what you think!

11. Nacho - Spain vs. Portugal (3-3)

Beauty: 8/10

Drama: 5/10

Importance: 6/10

Overall: 6.3/10


Once the first-round fixtures were announced, everyone held their breath for the match between Euro 2016 champions Portugal and former world champions Spain. The game quickly became one of the most memorable of the tournament as both teams managed to turn the score against each other with some amazing individual and team performances.


 Nacho managed to give Spain a 3-2 advantage in the 58th minute with an amazing volley from outside the box that rifled in off the post. A thunderous effort that will be remembered for some time.

10. Phillipe Coutinho - Brazil vs. Switzerland (1-1)

Beauty: 8/10

Drama: 5/10

Importance: 7/10

Overall: 6.7/10


Brazil was one of the favourites to win the World Cup, but their lukewarm offensive performance could be seen from their first match against Switzerland. Philippe Coutinho scored a wonderful strike for the Seleção, a curling effort that cannoned off the post on its way in that raised the hopes of Brazil for the entire tournament. 


However, they couldn't see off the Swiss following their equaliser, leaving the squad with a bittersweet memory of their first match of the tournament.

9. Ricardo Quaresma - Portugal vs. Iran (1-1)

Beauty: 10/10

Drama: 4/10

Importance: 6/10

Overall: 6.7/10


The 2016 European champions met the Iranian squad in the third leg of the group stage, knowing that a victory could secure them first place in Group B and avoid Uruguay in the next stage. It started off according to plan as Quaresma struck with a signature goal, delightfully guiding the ball into the net with the outside of his right past the outstretched hand of Alireza Beiranvand.


However, a late goal for Iran meant that Portugal would finish second in the group, before being knocked out by Portugal in the last 16.

8. Luka Modric - Croatia vs. Argentina (3-0)

Beauty: 9/10

Drama: 5/10

Importance: 6/10

Overall: 6.7/10


Croatia was one of the biggest surprises in the tournament, advancing from the top spot in a difficult group all the way to the final. 


Their second match in the group was against Argentina, which saw one of the goals of the tournament. After a goalless first half, the Kockasti finally entered their rhythm and were rewarded in the 80th minute with one of the goals of the tournament. Real Madrid's Luka Modric got the ball outside the box, feinted to create some space and released a curling strike that Willy Caballero could only dream of stopping.

7. Angel Di Maria - Argentina vs. France (3-4)

Beauty: 9/10

Drama: 5/10

Importance: 6/10

Overall: 6.7/10


After claiming the second spot in Group D at the last minute, Argentina hoped to redeem themselves against one of the tournament favourites - France. Their hopes looked dismal early on as Kylian Mbappe made a mockery of the Argentinian defence, but out of nowhere came Angel Di Maria. 


The PSG winger scored the longest-range goal of the tournament with an absolute bullet to bring Argentina back from beyond the grave. It wasn't enough to send the Albiceleste to the next round, but it was definitely one of the most memorable goals of the tournament.

6. Benjamin Pavard - France vs. Argentina (4-3)

Beauty: 9/10

Drama: 6/10

Importance: 7/10

Overall: 7.3/10


The match between France and Argentina was one of the best in the tournament, delivering another amazing strike this time from Benjamin Pavard. With his first World Cup goal, Pavard scored the equalizer for the Tricolor with a fantastic volley in the 57th minute, leading France to score three times in eleven minutes and sending them to the quarter finals.


Pavard's volley was arguably better than Nacho's, given the extra distance and exquisite spin on the shot.

5. Takashi Inui - Japan vs. Belgium (2-3)

Beauty: 9/10

Drama: 7/10

Importance: 7/10

Overall: 7.7/10


The heroic Japanese side definitely gave the Belgians a run for their money during the round of 16. They started the match with a lot of confidence, managing to make even the seasoned Courtois nervous during the first half. 


After halftime they finally managed to break through scoring two dramatic goals, including a strike that can only be described as a work of art from Takashi Inui. The outward curve of the ball was too much for even a world-class keeper, giving the Blue Samurai a promising 2-0 lead. The rest of the match would go down as one of the most dramatic World Cup finishes in history.

4. Cristiano Ronaldo - Portugal vs. Spain (3-3)

Beauty: 8/10

Drama: 9/10

Importance: 8/10

Overall: 8.3/10


Back to the first weekend of the World Cup and the phenomenal performance of Cristiano Ronaldo. CR7 kicked off Portugal's World Cup hopes with a hat-trick, including the dramatic 88th minute equaliser with a perfectly executed free kick against La Roja. 


Ronaldo managed to distinguish himself very early in the tournament, yet he couldn't give a better performance in the later stages.

3. Iago Aspas - Spain vs. Morocco (2-2)

Beauty: 8/10

Drama: 9/10

Importance: 9/10

Overall: 8.7


VAR has become one of the stars of the 2018 World Cup, even stealing the thunder from one of the most beautiful strikes of the tournament. Deep in the 91st minute of their group game against Morocco, Spain were desperately searching for an equaliser when Iago Aspas managed to beat the offside line with a delightful heel flick to level the match and, more importantly, help them finish first in the group. 


Spain waited for many minutes to hear the referee's decision, making the drama just as tense as the strike was beautiful.

2. Toni Kroos - Germany vs. Sweden (2-1)

Beauty: 9/10

Drama: 10/10

Importance: 9/10

Overall: 9.3


The reigning world champions started off the tournament with a disappointing loss to Mexico, and late in their second group game against Sweden Germany faced the unbelieavable prospect of being dumped out of the tournament. 


Die Mannschaft left it late to stay alive - the 95th minute to be exact. Toni Kroos beautifully executed Germany's last chance to remain in the tournament, with a jaw-dropping strike that defied the angles and broke Swedish hearts (at least for one night).

1. Nacer Chadli - Belgium vs. Japan (3-2)

Beauty: 9/10

Drama: 10/10

Importance: 10/10

Overall: 9.7


The number one spot goes to this fabulous goal from the Red Devils. Their performance against Japan didn't go as planned, but Belgium managed to equalise with no time to spare. The Japanese did everything they could to gain the advantage within the 90 minutes, but they left themselves too sparse in the back half. 


In the 94th minute De Bruyne ran on to a Thibaut Courtois throw, carrying the ball almost the length of the pitch before finding Thomas Meunier with a sublime pass. The right-back squared the ball across the box, where Romelu Lukaku calmly (and crucially) let the ball run through his legs to the onrushing Nacer Chadli who slotted home, stealing the win for Belgium. A goal that will be remembered by all for some time, and a worthy one to finish top of our list.