Five World Cup Goals That Showcased Passing Skills
Few things in football compare to the thrill of watching a team’s various members weaving a move together that culminates in a goal.
Parth JhaveriUPDATED 23 Nov 2022 11:45 pm
Football is a funny sport. It is a team game, yet, at times, the individual brilliance of players decides the fate of the game.
But most times, it is cohesion as a unit that wins matches. And few things exemplify teamwork like passing does.
Any student of the game must take note of the following goals, which brought out the importance and potential of passing.
1. Esteban Cambiasso, Argentina vs Serbia and Montenegro, World Cup 2006
This Argentina side was filled with such attacking talent that the likes of Lionel Messi, although a youngster at his first World Cup then, and Carlos Tevez could only make the bench. The team dominated the encounter against Serbia and Montenegro, winning 6-0.
Cambiasso’s was the second goal. Argentina knitted together a total of 24 consecutive passes, before the ball came to the feet of Cambiasso, thanks to a back heel by Hernan Crespo. The midfielder then struck the ball neatly past keeper Dragoslav Jevric. The goal was a product of rhythmic ball distribution, patience and artistry.
2. Carlos Alberto, Brazil vs Italy, World Cup 1970
Brazil’s best-ever team were leading 3-1 in the final against Italy in Mexico City. The game seemed done and dusted but Brazil had one last waltz in their bag. They produced one of the most beautiful goals of the tournament, displaying skill and synergy.
Tostao received the ball from a half-hearted Italy attack in the Brazil half. He then eventually found Clodoaldo, who ducked and weaved past three opponents, before threading the ball to Rivellino. Jairzinho was next in the sequence, who passed to Pele, who was at the top of the ‘D’. Knowing from practice that Carlos Alberto would be racing down the flank to receive a pass, Pele, with eyes at the back of his head, perfectly timed his pass. The onrushing Alberto struck a venomous right footer to make it 4-1.
3. Marco Tardelli, Italy vs West Germany, World Cup 1982
Marco Tardelli’s goal in the 1982 World Cup final against West Germany is best remembered for the player’s vibrant celebration. Often people forget how much skill and precision went into that goal.
The Italians were leading 1-0 thanks to Paolo Rossi’s effort in the 57th minute. With a narrow lead, 12 minutes later, Italy would go on to strike again, this time through Tardelli.
The Italians worked the ball up from their own half. Then Bruno Conti, with a beautiful Cruyff turn, passed it to Rossi. Rossi drove forward in West Germany half before launching the ball out wide, deep into the West Germany box, to find Gaetano Scirea.
A bit later, Scirea saw Tardelli free outside of the box and played the pass. Tardelli took a touch to bring the ball to his left foot, creating more space and launched a long-ranger that flew past Germany keeper Toni Schumacher.
Italy went on to win the final 3-1 and were crowned as World Champions.
4. Salif Diao, Senegal vs Denmark, World Cup 2002
The fans present at Daegu Stadium witnessed a thing of beauty when they saw Salif Diao’s goal, and the counter-attacking move that made it possible.
Denmark went ahead in the 16th minute, with a Jon Dahl Tomasson penalty.
Searching for an equalizer, Senegal’s Camara won the ball back through a slide tackle deep in their own half. A fast counter followed. El-Hadji Diouf opened up the play with a flick which the Danes failed to pick. Space opened up for Diao, whose first time pass to Fadiga was important to keep the ball moving.
Camara made a decoy run to draw out two defenders, making space for Diao. Once Diao got the ball back in the middle, he didn’t make any mistake and scored with a silky yet difficult finish with the outside of his right foot. The match ended 1-1.
5. Lakhdar Belloumi, Algeria vs West Germany, World Cup 1982
In 1982, Algeria made their debut at the FIFA World Cup. Not many expected them to turn the page of destiny and cause major upsets. And then, the African side defeated West Germany 2-1 in the group stage.
With the score tied 1-1, Algeria constructed a move from the left flank, and Belloumi directed a low cross from the left from teammate Salah Assad into goal.
The upset was as big as Saudi Arabia beating Argentina in Qatar. A peeved West Germany then allegedly conspired with Austria to win their next game by a deliberately low 1-0 margin. That ensured that West Germany and Austria progressed from their group, while the spirited Algerians were knocked out.
Following the ‘Disgrace of Gijon’, as the West Germany-Austria game came to be known, Fifa ensured that the final pair of group matches would be played simultaneously.