Players who have scored the winning World Cup final goal

Mario Gotze grabbed the winner in 2014
Mario Gotze grabbed the winner in 2014 / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

Playing in a World Cup final is the pinnacle of most players' careers, but scoring the winner? That's a whole new step into the legendary football stratosphere.

Finals have been decided in all sorts of manners over the years; from tight snoozefests to frantic penalty shootouts, it's never short of drama.

It's tough to imagine the overwhelming emotion that comes with scoring in a World Cup final, but the following players have all gone down in history for netting winners for their countries in men's finals.

The following players all scored what proved to be the winners in World Cup finals won by one-goal margins.

  • 1934 - Angelo Schiavio - Italy 2-1 Czechoslovakia (AET)
  • 1950 - Alcides Ghiggia - Uruguay 2-1 Brazil
  • 1954 - Helmut Rahn - West Germany 3-2 Hungary
  • 1974 - Gerd Muller - Netherlands 1-2 West Germany
  • 1986 - Jorge Burruchaga - Argentina 3-2 West Germany
  • 1990 - Andreas Brehme - West Germany 1-0 Argentina
  • 2010 - Andres Iniesta - Spain 1-0 Netherlands (AET)
  • 2014 - Mario Gotze - Germany 1-0 Argentina (AET)

Angelo Schiavio's strike in extra time earned Italy a 2-1 victory over Czechoslovakia. Another dramatic winner came in 1954, when Helmut Rahn netted his second of the match in the 84th minute against Hungary.

The 1986 finale between Argentina and West Germany provided a grandstand finish fit for the legendary tournament it was. Jose Luis Brown had headed in before Jorge Valdano netted a second, but two quick set piece goals from Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Rudi Voller had West Germany level. However, Jorge Burruchaga collected Diego Maradona's pass and ran in on goal to net the winner.

The last three games to be decided by one-goal margins have all been incredibly tight affairs. West Germany got revenge over Argentina in 1990 thanks to an Andreas Brehme penalty, while 20 years later Spain finally broke the Netherlands' resistance with Andres Iniesta's late effort. 2014 saw Germany win their fourth World Cup as Mario Gotze stretched to score the only goal of the game.

Players who have scored the winning goal in a World Cup final penalty shootout

Only two World Cup finals have been decided by a penalty shootout; 1994 and 2006.

After a goalless draw between Brazil and Italy at the Rose Bowl, Pasadena in 1994, the game went to penalties. The Azzurri choked under the pressure and it was a miss that sealed their fate.

After failed attempts from Franco Baresi and Daniele Massaro gave the Selecao the upper hand. Once Dunga netted, Roberto Baggio had to score to keep Italy in the tournament. However, he infamously lifted his shot over the bar, handing Brazil the World Cup trophy.

Italy got the moment of glory 12 years later in 2006 in Germany. A 1-1 draw courtesy of goals from Zinedine Zidane and Marco Materazzi saw the final between Italy and France go to penalties. Zidane had scored a penalty in normal time but was sent off ten minutes before the spot kicks were due to be taken.

David Trezeguet's early miss handed Italy the advantage and it culminated with Fabio Grosso firing in his side's fifth successful effort, sparking scenes of jubilation at Olympiastadion.

Players with the most goals in World Cup finals

Four players have scored three goals in a World Cup final. Geoff Hurst is famously the only player to score a hat trick in a men's final, achieving the feat in England's 4-2 victory over West Germany in 1966.

Brazilians Vava and Pele also netted three times apiece - both scoring in the 1958 final - while Zinedine Zidane netted in both the 1998 and 2006 finals.