World Cup 2014: The best goals of the tournament

The Independent’s team of writers make their individual choices for the best goal of the World Cup in Brazil

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It's been a fantastic month of football littered with great goals. Our writers select their favourite of the tournament.

SAM WALLACE - chief football writer

James Rodriguez v Uruguay

A beautiful collection: Lionel Messi (v Iran), Arjen Robben (his second against Spain), Xherdan Shaqiri (v Honduras). David Luiz’s goal against Colombia may not have trumped them all in terms of sheer quality but what a time to score it. Overall, nothing beats James Rodriguez’s chest-turn-volley against Uruguay.

IAN HERBERT - football correspondent

Tim Cahill, Australia v  Netherlands

Yes, it really was the same man best known to you and me for his elbows and head at Goodison who studiously watched a ball onto his left foot and thumped it into the Porto Alegre net. Ryan McGowan’s diagonal cross was one of the assists of the World Cup, too.

GLENN MOORE - football editor

Robin van Persie,  Netherlands v Spain

The Dutchman’s diving header against the holders just beats the volleys of Tim Cahill and James Rodriguez. Each showcased difficult skills superbly executed, and came at key moments, but Van Persie shades it for the brilliance and audacity of invention.


JACK PITT-BROOKE - football writer

James Rodriguez v Uruguay

Narrowly beating Rodriguez’s shimmy and disguised chip against Japan, the opening goal of the last-16 game against Uruguay was even better. Loitering 20 yards out, Rodriguez glanced over his right shoulder before pulling off a remarkable chest, spin and left-footed volley all in one fluid moment. The ball went in off the bar.

TIM RICH - football writer

Wesley Sneijder, Netherlands  v Mexico

The game was two minutes from its finish and Holland had been struggling not just against the Mexican defence but Fortaleza’s suffocating heat. The ball came to  Sneijder on the edge of the area and he drove it past Guillermo Ochoa, one of the tournament’s great keepers, with his leg ramrod straight. Sneijder was the fittest player in the Dutch team and mentally the most alert.

SIMON HART - football writer

Robin van Persie,  Netherlands v Spain

Salvador had more goals (24) than any other venue, none better than Van Persie’s remarkable flying header against Spain. Its significance was unmatched: 60 seconds earlier David Silva could have put Spain 2-0 up, instead Van Persie set up a stunning turnaround – and set two teams on hugely contrasting courses.

MIGUEL DELANEY - football writer

James Rodriguez’s first against Uruguay

One of those rare moments when, as the ball dropped out of the sky, you could completely envisage what was going to happen next. James certainly did, and caught the movement and the ball with absolute perfection. Technically exceptional, aesthetically wondrous.