Every list of best or worst is subjective.
The 10 World Cup goals listed below are not only for their beauty, but for their significance. The list, complied before the final and third-place match, is in chronological order.
¤ Phillip Lahm, Germany vs. Costa Rica, June 9.
The German defender blew past Luis Marin and unleashed a curving shot from the edge of the penalty box to the upper right corner. It was the first goal of the tournament.
¤ Tim Cahill, Australia vs. Japan , June 12.
The goal itself was not spectacular, more the goalkeeper's fault for failing to clear a throw-in. But, with six minutes to play and trailing 1-0, it was Australia's first-ever World Cup goal. The Socceroos scored twice more in the final five minutes and won 3-1.
¤ Kaka, Brazil vs. Croatia, June 13.
The AC Milan midfielder was one of Brazil's few bright spots in the tournament. He scored Brazil's best goal in its first match. On the run, Kaka smashed a left-footed shot from 20 meters (yards) into the right corner.
¤ Esteban Cambiasso, Argentina vs. Serbia-Montenegro, June 16.
The teamwork masterpiece of the championship. Hernan Crespo backheeled to the Inter Milan midfielder in front of the goal for the 25th straight pass. The next touch by Cambiasso went into the back of the net.
¤ Fernando Torres, Spain vs. Tunisia, June 19.
The Spaniard showed his killer instinct. He received a pass from Cesc Fabregas on the left side of the penalty area, and with an oncoming Tunisia goalkeeper, the striker flipped the ball to the far post with the outside of his right foot.
¤ Joe Cole, England vs. Sweden, June 20.
A shot from more than 30 meters (yards). A Swedish player cleared a ball on the left side, Cole controlled it with his chest, and before it hit the ground, blasted a right-footed shot to the upper-left corner that caught the Sweden goalkeeper off guard.
¤ Maxi Rodriguez, Argentina vs. Mexico, June 24.
Another long-range piece of art that saved Argentina in the second-round extra-time match. With the score level at 1-1, Rodriguez received a pass from Juan Pablo Sorin on the right edge of the box, chested the ball, and kicked a left-footed bending shot that sailed into the upper-right corner.
¤ David Beckham, England vs. Ecuador, June 25.
The England captain scored the winning goal against Ecuador with one of his patented free kicks: over the wall, and in between the goalkeeper's outstretched arm and the right post.
¤ Miroslav Klose, Germany vs. Argentina, June 30.
Germany trailed 1-0 until the Werder Bremen striker equalized in the 80th minute. The ball was crossed from left to right of the box, Tim Borowski headed it back, and Klose headed the ball in. Germany eventually won in a penalty shootout.
¤ Fabio Grosso, Italy vs. Germany, July 4.
The semifinal match seemed headed to a penalty shootout until Grosso scored in the 119th minute. He received a pass from Andrea Pirlo inside the box and kicked a left-footed swirling shot that evaded Michael Ballack and Jens Lehmann's outstretched arm, reports AP.