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Ranking the Top 10 Greatest World Cup Volleys Ever

Dave HornbyFeatured ColumnistJune 5, 2014

Ranking the Top 10 Greatest World Cup Volleys Ever

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    Associated Press

    In football, there is arguably nothing better than seeing a perfectly timed volley fly into the back of the net.

    Whether it is a sweetly struck, long-range attempt or an eccentric overhead kick, the technique and skill required often leaves fans and commentators speechless with amazement.

    In what proved to be a nigh-on impossible task, we take a look at our favourite volleyed goals from previous World Cups and rank them in a Top 10 list.

    Let us know which is your favourite World Cup volley in the comments section below.

10) Park Ji-Sung (South Korea vs. Portugal, 2002)

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    A deep cross from the wing against nine-man Portugal was chested down by Park Ji-Sung in this group game in 2002.

    With his second touch, he flicked the ball inside Fernando Couto and blasted the ball into the net through the goalkeeper's legs.

    The goal sealed a 1-0 win for the co-hosts and ensured their progression from Group D.

    South Korea went on to beat Italy and Spain before being eliminated in the semi-finals by Germany.

9) Hans Krankl (Austria vs. West Germany, 1978)

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    An attack down the wing results in a cross into the box that finds an unmarked Hans Krankl. The former Barcelona striker takes a touch to control the ball before swivelling on the spot to set himself up for an unstoppable volley past the West German goalkeeper.

    The goal—which came in the 87th minute—secured a 3-2 victory for Austria and their first international victory over their rivals for 47 years.

8) Edmilson (Brazil vs. Costa Rica, 2002)

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    Brazilian defender Edmilson starts the move just outside of the centre-circle. He plays a one-two with Rivaldo, before passing the ball out wide to Junior and continuing his run into the box.

    Junior plays a cross into the box which is deflected high into the air by a Costa Rican defender, however, Edmilson carefully watches the flight of the ball before launching a spectacular overhead kick to beat the goalkeeper.

    The enthralling match finished 5-2 and Brazil went on to beat Germany in the final to lift their fifth World Cup trophy.

7) Diego Forlan (Uruguay vs. Senegal, 2002)

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    Alvaro Recoba fires in a free-kick that is headed clear by the Senegal defence. The ball reaches Diego Forlan who expertly controls the ball on his chest before hitting a sweet, right-footed volley back at goal and past the despairing goalkeeper.

    Forlan's goal was Uruguay's second as they came back from 3-0 down to secure a draw, which was not enough to see the team progress past the group stage.

6) David Platt (England vs. Belgium, 1990)

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    With only seconds remaining before the round of 16 match between England and Belgium goes to a penalty shootout, Paul Gascoigne is taken down as he drives forward with the ball.

    The resulting free-kick is played deep into Belgium's penalty area and met with a brilliant volley by David Platt. With his back to goal, the midfielder watches the flight of the ball and somehow manages to hook the ball past the goalkeeper.

    Platt's goal came in the last minute of extra time and sent England through to face a quarter-final tie with Cameroon.

5) Manuel Negrete (Mexico vs. Bulgaria, 1986)

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    After being partially cleared by Bulgaria, the ball is chipped into Manuel Negrete who expertly controls it with his left-foot. After letting the ball bounce, he passes to Javier Aguirre who plays it back to the oncoming Negrete.

    With the ball in the air just inside the 18-yard box, the midfielder meets it with a stunning scissor kick that beats the Bulgarian goalkeeper to his left-hand side. 

    The 2-0 win saw the host nation progress to the quarter-final stage, where they were beaten on penalties by West Germany.

4) Dario Rodriguez (Uruguay vs. Denmark, 2002)

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    From an Alvaro Recoba corner, Denmark think they have cleared the ball, but it falls to Pablo Garcia who demonstrates his keepy-uppy skills.

    Garcia then lobs the ball to Dario Rodriguez who is unmarked on the edge of the penalty area. The former Schalke defender launches a first-time, left-footed volley which curls beautifully into the top corner and past the goalkeeper.

    Despite the spectacular volley, Uruguay lost 2-1 to Denmark and failed to progress past the group stage.

3) Joe Cole (England vs. Sweden, 2006)

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    As England attack down the right, David Beckham plays a ball into the box that Peter Crouch reaches but can only head back across goal.

    The immediate danger is headed clear by two Sweden defenders, however, the ball reaches an unmarked Joe Cole, who is waiting around 35 yards out. The former Chelsea midfielder controls the bouncing ball with his chest before firing a sublime, right-footed volley into the top corner of the net to give England the lead.

    The match finished 2-2 and saw England progress as winners of Group B.

2) Eder (Brazil vs. USSR, 1982)

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    After a flowing Brazilian move, the ball is headed to Paulo Isidoro just outside the box. He teases the Soviet Union defender before playing the ball inside to Falcao. The midfielder dummies the ball and lets it run to Eder, who chips up the ball to himself and unleashes an unstoppable volley into the bottom corner of the net.

    The 87th-minute winner came during Brazil's opening match of the tournament and helped them to progress into the second round.

1) Maxi Rodriguez (Argentina vs. Mexico, 2006)

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    After a Mexico move breaks down, Argentina launch a counter-attack. Juan Sorin plays a diagonal ball to Maxi Rodriguez on the edge of Mexico's 18-yard box, which the former Atletico Madrid and Liverpool winger controls with his chest before unleashing a stunning left-footed volley into the roof of the net and past the diving keeper.

    The wonder strike came eight minutes into extra time and secured a 2-1 victory for Argentina that set up a quarter-final meeting with hosts Germany.

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