Jessie James Decker – Wife of Eric Decker
Before you ask, no, Jessie James isn’t the old Wild West bank robber. She was born in Italy, and she’s a singer famous for blending country music with pop. In 2012, she married then-Denver Broncos wide receiver, Eric Decker.
The pair were so popular that they even had their own reality TV show on E! called Eric & Jessie: Game On. They have three children: a daughter born in 2014 and two sons born in 2015 and 2018.
Lauren Wood – Girlfriend of Odell Beckham Jr.
Lauren Wood, aka LoLo, is a model, fitness trainer, and actress. The Texas native shot to fame on Nick Cannon’s Wild ’n’ Out improv comedy show that aired on MTV between 2014-2016. In 2019, she started dating Odell Beckham Jr. when he played wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns.
He moved to the Los Angeles Rams in 2021 and is now a free agent. The couple welcomed their baby boy, Zydn, into the world in February 2022, just four days after OBJ’s 2022 Super Bowl victory.
Olivia Culpo – Girlfriend of Christian McCaffrey
Beauty queen Olivia Culpo was crowned Miss Rhode Island, Miss USA, and then Miss Universe in 2012. Nowadays, she’s a popular model, TV and social media personality, and fashion influencer. She dated musician Nick Jonas, football players Tim Tebow and Danny Amendola, and now San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey.
While all the women on our list have husbands or boyfriends who play football, Olivia has two famous sisters as well, Sophia and Aurora Culpo, who are also huge on social media.
Viviana Volpicelli – Girlfriend of Nelson Agholor
Viviana Volpicelli is New England Patriots wide receiver Nelson Agholor’s girlfriend. The couple started dating in 2017, and while valiant Nelson is victorious on the gridiron; vibrant, vegetarian Viviana’s vocation is as an Instagram model.
The very versatile visionary was born and raised in Palos Verdes, California, and is a successful fashion, makeup, fitness, and skincare vlogger and videographer. She’s also a plant-based chef who regularly posts yummy veggie recipes and viral videos on her self-titled website.
Dr. Mindy Armstead – Wife of Arik Armstead
Not many NFL players can boast they’re married to a doctor! While San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead got the brawn, his wife Mindy Harwood got the lion’s share of the brains and the beauty. Mindy graduated from the University of Buffalo medical school to become a doctor in 2017.
They married in 2020 and have one child together. While Arik tears up the turf every week at Levi’s Stadium, Mindy helps kids as an adolescent psychiatry doctor at the University of California.
Sasha Lee Dindayal – Wife of Antonio Gates
Dishy dreamboat Sasha Lee Dindayal is married to former San Diego / Los Angeles Chargers Antonio Gates. The former hip-hop star and actress was born in Canada but has Trinidadian roots and is proof positive that you can stay sizzling hot into your 40s.
Sasha was one of the main cast of WAGS, a reality TV show that ran for three seasons on E! between 2015-2017. The handsome couple has a daughter, Ayla, and a son, Aven.
Chelsie Kyriss – Girlfriend of Antonio Brown
Chelsie Kyriss is the girlfriend of ex-Steelers, Raiders, Patriots, and Buccs wide receiver and part-time rapper Antonio Brown. She’s baby mamma to his three children plus two of her own from a previous relationship. However, their relationship hasn’t exactly been a bed of roses.
Chelsie filed a paternity suit against Brown in 2017, accusing him of creating a hostile environment. Antonio Brown later accused her of being an unfit mother and called the cops on her for stealing a Bentley from his home.
Marissa Powell – Wife of Kyle Van Noy
Marissa Powell has the perfect beach body and looks great as a blonde or a brunette. The former Miss Utah and third runner-up Miss USA first met linebacker Kyle Van Noy at Brigham Young University while Marissa was a model.
She married the Los Angeles Chargers linebacker in 2014, and together they have a son, Trae Legend Van Noy, and a daughter, Giavanna Monnae Van Noy. In 2014, the celebrity couple created the Van Noy Valor Foundation to help “adopted, foster, and disadvantaged youth who are in need.”
Brianna Perry – Girlfriend of Khalil Mack
Khalil Mack gets around! The Los Angeles Chargers linebacker has dated a bevy of beauties, including his college sweetheart Kristie Price, shoe designer Angela Simmons, and Albanian fashion model Jehona Dreshaj. He’s now with singer and rapper Brianna Perry, aka Lil’ Brianna.
She was a regular cast member on reality TV shows Sisterhood of Hip Hop and Love & Hip Hop: Miami. But this time, it seems Khalil might finally have settled down as Brianna is pregnant with his child. The duo even threw a safari-themed baby shower!
Elizabeth Barry – Wife of Alex Smith
They say behind every great man is a great woman. Alex Smith might still be playing if he hadn’t suffered a devastating 2018 injury that left him with broken leg bones and a life-threatening infection that required 17 surgeries. His loving wife, former Oakland Raiders cheerleader Elizabeth Barry was with him every step of the way.
The lovely couple has two sons, Hudson and Hayes, but their youngest daughter Sloane had some health issues. Thankfully, doctors were able to treat her 100%, and Sloane bounced back.
Jasmin Brown – Girlfriend of Cam Newton
Cam Newton played for the Carolina Panthers and is the NFL leader in quarterback rushing touchdowns and second in quarterback rushing yards. Despite those stats, he’s now a free agent, which gives his girlfriend, Jasmin “Jazzy” Brown, plenty of time to pamper him.
The brown-haired, brown-eyed beauty says she loves to spoil “Super Cam.” That’s presumably when he’s not being an adoring father to the seven children he shares with his two baby mommas: Kia Proctor and La Reina Shaw.
Brittany Mahomes – Wife of Patrick Mahomes
Patrick Mahomes is the trailblazing quarterback for Super Bowl winners, the Kansas City Chiefs. And his wife, Brittany, is not just a pretty face because she’s a successful businesswoman in her own right. The ex-soccer star launched her own fitness brand and co-owns Kansas City Current women’s soccer team.
And would you believe it, Brittany and Patrick were high school sweethearts! They met as teenagers at Whitehouse High School in Texas. Together, they have two boys, Sterling Skye and Patrick “Bronze” Lavon III.
Chelsea Ingram – Wife of Mark Ingram Jr.
Stunning Chelsea is a fitness model and broadcast journalism graduate whose showbiz career began by winning a competition to anchor a high school football game. She then became an anchor and news producer at 88.5 KCSN. Her husband is New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram Jr., and boy, do the Ingrams make for a wholesome family!
They have three daughters, Myla, Mila, and Mayla (because that’s not gonna get confusing at breakfast time), plus a son, Mark. At this rate, they should have their own football team by 2030!
Jessica Simpson – Wife of Eric Johnson
Singer Jessica Simpson shot to fame with her single, “I Wanna Love You Forever,” and album Sweet Kisses in 1999. By the mid-2000s, she was playing Daisy Duke in The Dukes of Hazzard (2005) and had become a household name. At the start of the next decade, she began dating ex-49s and Saints tight end, Eric Johnson.
They married in 2014 and have two daughters, Maxwell Drew and Birdie Mae, plus a son, Ace Knute Johnson. Jessica has become a successful TV personality, author, entrepreneur, and philanthropist.
Ciara – Wife of Russell Wilson
Dazzling Ciara is married to Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson. She’s also an R&B singer, songwriter, dancer, actress, model, and entrepreneur in her own right. The couple started dating in early 2015 and saved themselves until they married in a fairytale wedding at an English castle.
They have a daughter Sienna Princess, and a son, Win Harrison. Then there’s another son, Future Zahir Wilburn, from Ciara’s relationship with rapper Future. And together, the five of them make one of the happiest and most wholesome celebrity families out there.
Katherine Webb – Wife of AJ McCarron
Katherine Webb was Miss Alabama and a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. She also happens to be married to Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron. The Southern belle shot to attention watching the 2013 BCS National Championship Game when announcer Brent Musburger called her a “lovely lady” and “beautiful.”
Then, Brent said to his co-commentator, former Ohio State QB Kirk Herbstreit, “You quarterbacks get all the good-looking women!” And he was definitely right about that! Katherine was soon offered a spot as a Miss USA judge.
Estrella Cerqueira – Girlfriend of Jarvis Landry
Latin lovely Estrella Cerqueira hails from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Her HAB––that’s short for Husbands and Boyfriends, the male equivalent of WAGs––is Jarvis Landry, who plays wide receiver for the New Orleans Saints, but she was a star long before they met. That’s because her name means “star’ in Spanish.
Estrella has worked as a business manager and certified personal trainer. The couple has a daughter named Joy and a son named Jai. When Jarvis moved from Cleveland to his native Louisiana, he took great pride in teaching Estrella N’awlins slang.
Emily Wilkinson – Wife of Baker Mayfield
Emily Wilkinson is an influencer from Nebraska. Her husband, Baker Mayfield, plays quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams. They started dating in 2017 and married in a star-studded 2019 Californian wedding. Among the guests were Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr.
Mayfield has struggled on and off the field. In 2017, he was arrested, but Emily stood by her man. They have no children yet, but since Mayfield is a Baker, they might soon have a bun in the oven.
Lauren Tannehill – Wife of Ryan Tannehill
Beautiful blonde Lauren Tannehill is married to former Miami Dolphins and current Tennesee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Lauren’s Twitter bio reads: “Married to my best friend who happens to be a major hunk.”
The couple has a boy and a girl, Steel, and Stella. Her IG states: “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
Claudia Sampedro – Girlfriend of Julius Peppers
Claudia Sampedro has been called the Cuban Kim Kardashian. She inherited her business acumen from her Spanish father, who owns a market in Havana, while she got her beauty and brains from her Moroccan ex-journalist mother. Claudia launched her modeling career at age 16, thanks to John Casablancas.
If the hot habanero from Havana wasn’t already spicy enough, in 2014, she met Julius Peppers when he played for the Green Bay Packers. The following year, Claudia gave birth to their son Amaretto Peppers. Talk about a spicy couple!
Julie Ertz – Wife of Zach Ertz
Is Julie Johnston Zach Ertz’s WAG, or is he her HAB? While Zach was playing tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles, Julie was equally famous as a defensive midfielder for the Chicago Red Stars and making 100 appearances for the US Women’s national soccer team.
In 2016, Ertz proposed to Johnston when she was playing for the USWNT at the Stanford University baseball stadium, where they first met. The athletic couple married in California in 2017 and had a son, Madden Matthew, in August 2022.
Kelly Hall – Wife of Matthew Stafford
Bulldogs cheerleader Kelly Hall met Matthew Stafford at the University of Georgia. Their relationship was written in the stars as Kelly’s brother is ex-NFL player and current Buffalo Bills wide receivers coach Chad Hall. Matthew and Kelly married in 2015 and have four daughters: twins Chandler and Sawyer, Hunter, and Tyler Hall.
Sadly, tragedy struck the family in 2019 when Kelly Stafford had health issues and underwent a 12-hour surgery. Thankfully, she recovered and watched her hubby win the Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams.
Crymson Rose – Girlfriend of CeeDee Lamb
Crymson Rose is Cedarian DeLeon Lamb’s girlfriend. If you don’t know who that is, you may know him better as CeeDee Lamb, wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys. The couple has been dating since 2019 when they met at Oklahoma State University.
But Crymson is more than your average WAG. As well as being a model and social media star, she plays basketball. She learned her way around the court from her ex-boyfriend and fellow OSU alum, Atlanta Hawks superstar point guard Trae Young.
Olivia Holzmacher – Girlfriend of Joe Burrow
Gorgeous, intelligent Ohio State graduate and data analyst Olivia Holzmacher is Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow’s girlfriend. Before the Bengals played Buffalo Bills in the NFL Divisional Round on January 22nd, 2023, she posted a simple three-word message on Instagram. “Good luck, 9,” she told her beau.
As the snow belted down at a freezing Highmark Stadium, Joe threw two first-quarter touchdowns and was MVP in the Bengals’ impressive 27-10 win. Her good luck message proves Olivia is as lucky as she is beautiful.
Brittany Williams – Girlfriend of Josh Allen
Stunning Brittany Williams was also at Highmark Stadium cheering on her boyfriend. But Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen threw for 265 yards and zero touchdowns, leading sports host Nick Wright to tweet: “CAN WE FINALLY STOP PRETENDING JOSH ALLEN IS IN JOE BURROW’S CLASS???”
After Josh’s loss, Brittany posted a heartfelt Instagram message, calling Josh “a true leader” and “the most amazing, selfless person I know” before reassuring him that she was riding with him until the end. Joe Burrow may be the better athlete, but who’s got the hotter girlfriend?
Elise Pollard Tate – Wife of Golden Tate
Foxy Elise Pollard Tate is married to Golden Tate, former wide receiver for the Detroit Lions, Seattle Seahawks, New York Giants, and Philadelphia Eagles. Golden currently plays center fielder for the Port Angeles Lefties of the West Coast League baseball league. So, technically, Elise is a WCL WAG. But she’s such a catch (see what we did there?) that she makes our list.
The account executive married the lucky and talented double sports star in a Mexican seaside wedding ceremony. They have a son, Golden Tate IV, and a daughter, Londyn.
Kennedi Johnson – Girlfriend of Marquise Brown
Say hello to the perfectly petite partner of Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown. The stunning fashion model lights up every camera lens with her quirky style and mesmerizing almond-shaped eyes. The pair met while they were students at Oklahoma State University.
Marquise was one of the top players in the school’s program, as he was the lead receiver in a strong OSU team. Kennedi’s cheered Marquise on since day one, but he fathered a child with a woman named Deja, who recently called him a “deadbeat dad.”
Zoei Billions – Girlfriend of Marquise Brown
Now, here’s where things get complicated because Kennedi Johnson isn’t the only beauty to be linked to Marquise Brown. The rumor mill suggests the Arizona Cardinals wide receiver is also dating a woman called Zoei Billions while he’s been dating Johnson.
But the two ladies couldn’t be more opposite, although both are beautiful. All we can say is Marquise Brown has one tough decision to make!
Kealia Watt – Wife of JJ Watt
Kealia Watt is ex-Houston Texan and Arizona Cardinal defensive end JJ Watt’s stunning wife. She played for the Chicago Red Stars and the USWNT, scoring one goal in three appearances for her nation’s senior team despite being blind in her right eye.
They started dating in 2016, became engaged in 2019, and married in February 2020 in the Bahamas. In October 2022, Kealia and JJ welcomed their first child, Koa James Watt. With all those sporting genes, Koa is sure to become an athlete like his mom and dad.
Anna Kupp – Wife of Cooper Kupp
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp may have been voted Super Bowl MVP, but when it comes to his family, he says the most valuable player is his wife, Anna. The pair were high school sweethearts in Washington State. Cooper says, “I told my mom the day I met her, ‘I’m going to marry this girl.'”
True to his word, they married in June 2015 and have two sons, Cooper Jameson and Cypress Stellar. Cooper has described Anna as “an absolute warrior” for their family.
Rachel Bush – Wife of Jordan Poyer
Instagram model Rachel Bush has to be one of the hottest NFL WAGs in the universe! With a heavenly smile and body to die for, she’s like an Amazonian goddess. Men want to be with her, and women want to be her. The curvy, alluring siren met Buffalo Bills’ safety Jordan Poyer when she was just 18 years old.
The pair began dating in 2015 and didn’t beat around the bush. They married at a 2018 Jamaican wedding ceremony. Rachel and Jordan have a daughter named Aliyah Anne Poyer.
Mallory Edens – Girlfriend of Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers gets around the ladies almost as well as he gets around the gridiron. Not long after calling off his engagement to Big Little Lies actress Shailene Woodley, the legendary 39-year-old Green Bay Packers quarterback has been spotted cozying up 26-year-old Mallory Edens at NBA games.
Mallory Edens is a model and a social media influencer, but she also has basketball in her veins as she’s the daughter of Milwaukee Bucks owner Wes Edens.
Erica Donald – Wife of Aaron Donald
Aaron Donald is the giant, man-mountain of a defensive tackle for the Los Angeles Rams. Erica Donald is his equally impressive wife. The Louisiana State University graduate works in sports marketing, and the pair kept their relationship a secret since Erica began working for the Rams. The couple married in 2019 and had a son, Aaric, in 2021.
When the Rams won Super Bowl in 2022, she wrote on Instagram, “You are incredible. The most amazing father, husband, and human being. My built-in best friend.” Awww!
Claire Kittle – Wife of George Kittle
Raven-haired Claire Kittle married San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle in 2019 and can often be found posting pictures on the sidelines at Levi’s Stadium. They met at the University of Iowa and began dating their freshman year.
When he first saw her in the school parking lot, he said, “I saw her, and I was like, ‘Goddaman, who is that?’” You’re not the only one, George! George played for UOIl’s football team, while six-footer Claire played for the school’s women’s basketball team.
Halle Woodard – Girlfriend of Ezekiel Elliott
Ezekiel Elliott is one of the most recognizable stars in the NFL. Before Zeke became the Dallas Cowboys running back, he competed in basketball, football, and track and field, where he won four state championships. His girlfriend, Halle Woodard, is just as impressive.
The Iowa native gained her nursing degree from Iowa State University and is a nurse. They’ve had an on-again, off-again relationship since 2017. Blessed with natural beauty and gorgeous almond-shaped eyes, Halle keeps her perfect hourglass figure by working as a personal trainer.
Ashley Moss – Wife of Richard Sherman
Before becoming a free agent, Richard Sherman played cornerback for the Seahawks, 49ers, and Buccaneers. Four days after his Super Bowl loss, his wife Ashley Moss gave birth to their first son.
Daughter Avery followed in April 2016. They married in March 2018, but it’s been downhill ever since. In 2021, the two had a conflict that ended in Richard being arrested.
Anna Congdon – Girlfriend of Saquon Barkley
While future New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley was smashing Penn State football records, he dated sophomore student and basketball player Anna Congdon. Fast forward to today, and they have two kids. Their daughter, Jada Clare, was born just two days before Barkley was drafted into the NFL in April 2018.
In September 2022, they welcomed a son, Saquon Jr., to make a perfect little family. As well as being a doting mom, Anna Congdon is an Instagram model, social media personality, and Saquon’s number-one supporter.
Megan Denise – Baby Momma of Von Miller
While we love bringing wholesome stories of NFL players and their WAGs, Buffalo Bills linebacker Von Miller and Megan Denise are trouble with a capital T. Before meeting Von at the 2018 ESPY Awards, the freckled, inked, Instagram model and dancer worked at Floyd Mayweather’s Girl Collection establishment.
She’s now a medical esthetician and owns her own clothing brand. The toxic couple had a son, Valor Von Miller, in August 2022, then split up, then got back together. Now, Megan is expecting his second child.
Carrie Prejean – Wife of Kyle Boller
Brilliant blonde Carrie Prejean gets her good looks from her Italian American mother and father, who is of French descent. The former Miss California USA caused a stir when Perez Hilton asked her some inappropriate questions and was later fired for posing in a photograph that showed off her unclothed back.
In 2010, the San Diego native married Kyle Boller. At the time, he played in the NFL as a quarterback for the Oakland Raiders. The couple has one daughter and one son.
Paige Russell – Fiancé of Tyrann Mathieu
Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu, aka “Honeybadger,” and his fiancé, Sydni Paige Russell, have been dating since 2011. They met at Louisiana State Univerity when she was a dancer for the New Orleans Hornets cheerleading squad. But they’ve come a long, long way since their LSU days.
Tyrann is a Super Bowl winner, while Sydni is a PR Coordinator. The couple has a boy, Tyrann Mathieu Jr., and a girl, Mila Jill Marie Mathieu. Tyrann popped the question with a diamond engagement ring the size of Jupiter!
Candice Crawford – Wife of Tony Romo
Tony Romo may have retired in 2017 after a 14-year career as a quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, but he’s still going strong as an NFL commentator. After dating Jessica Simpson and Carrie Underwood, he settled down with former Miss Missouri, Candice Crawford.
They started dating in 2009 when Candice was a sports journalist intern for the Dallas Cowboys. They married at Arlington Hall, a historic Dallas mansion, in 2011 and now have three children. Her brother is actor Chace Crawford, who plays The Deep in The Boys.
Ashley Nicole Roberts – Wife of Philip Wheeler
Ashley Nicole Roberts and ex-Raiders, Dolphins, 49ers, and Falcons linebacker Philip Wheeler are a famous NFL couple thanks to WAGS Miami documenting their engagement and wedding. First, the reality TV series showed Wheeler shopping for a $100,000 engagement ring and then getting down on one knee at Villa Casa Casuarina, aka the Versace Mansion.
They married in June 2017, and the wedding was broadcast in the show’s two-part finale. The proud couple went on to have two sons named Deuce and Phox.
Pilar Davis – Wife of Prince Amukamara
Prince Amukamara played cornerback for the New England Patriots, Jacksonville Jaguars, Chicago Bears, Las Vegas Raiders, and Arizona Cardinals. Nowadays, he’s a free agent, but that doesn’t mean he’s single. Sorry, ladies! Lucky lady Pilar Davis met Prince in Manhattan in 2011, and he popped the question during a Jabbawockeez show at the Luxor, Las Vegas.
Pilar became NFL royalty when she married Prince in 2014. They have two children, and you’ll never guess their names… Their daughter is named Princess, while their son is called Princeton!
Deja Harris – Girlfriend of Rashaad Penny
Not to be confused with Deyjah Harris, who is hip-hop star and actor T.I.’s daughter, Deja Harris is Seattle Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny’s girlfriend. They met at San Diego State University, where she majored in pre-med with a minor in psychology and played in the Aztecs women’s volleyball team.
But where does the six-foot beauty get her sporting genes? Well, Her mom, Merelynn, played pro basketball in the WNBA and for the Canadian Olympic team. Her dad, Adrian, played football for the University of Nevada.
Ashli – Wife of Mike Evans
Ashli Dotson is a lifestyle and fashion blogger and philanthropist. She’s also the wife of Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver and Super Bowl LV winner Mike Evans. The glamorous couple has two children Ariah and Amari, plus a daughter Mackenzie from Mike’s previous relationship.
Mike had a rough childhood which culminated in the passing of his father when Mike was nine years old. As well as being a doting father and role model, Mike and Ashli run the Mike Evans Family Foundation to help victims of difficult family situations.
Marco Tardelli, 1982, Italy vs Germany
This powerful left-footed shot saw Tardelli blast home a goal for Italy from the edge of the box. But while his venomous strike was no doubt impressive, his celebration was even more memorable as he charged down the field screaming to celebrate with his teammates.
With this goal, Tardelli sealed a 3-1 win over Germany and with it, the 1982 FIFA World Cup trophy for the Azzuri.
Siphiwe Tshabalala, 2010, South Africa vs Mexico
As the host nation, South Africa was eager to impress as they faced Mexico in the tournament’s opening game. Early in the second half, “Bafana Bafana” launched a blistering counter-attack against the Mexicans, with Simphiwe Tshabalala firing his shot into the top right corner as the stadium erupted.
This goal handed South Africa the draw in what was a competitive 1-1 encounter that set the stage for the thrills that were yet to come.
Ronaldo, 2002, Brazil vs Germany
Before the World Cup final, many wondered whether Brazil’s star striker would make a full recovery from injury. Soon enough, they would get their answer. After scoring in the 67th minute to hand Brazil the lead, Ronaldo would score again, this time one of the goals of the tournament.
After Rivaldo’s dummy tricked the German defense, Ronaldo curled the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal to hand Brazil the World Cup trophy.
Cristiano Ronaldo, 2018, Portugal vs Spain
Stuck in the “group of death” alongside Spain, Portugal was hungry to grab a win over their Iberian rivals in the hopes of securing a place in the knockouts. With his team trailing 3-2, Portugal talisman Ronaldo decided to step up when his side was awarded a crucial free kick.
Ronaldo bolted his free kick into the top corner of the goal, thereby grabbing a hat trick and earning his team a vital draw.
Benjamin Pavard, 2018, France vs Argentina
With France trailing Argentina by 2-1, the French were in desperate need of a goal in order to keep their World Cup hopes alive. After France launched a rapid counter-attacking move down the left wing, right-back Benjamin Pavard began a sprint down the opposite wing into open space.
The ball swung over to Pavard, who struck it with a perfectly-timed volley to lift France to a vital win and ultimately, put them on track to World Cup glory.
Diego Maradona, 1986, Argentina vs England
Dubbed the “goal of the century”, this strike proves exactly why Diego Maradona was a footballing legend. After receiving the ball in his own half, Maradona sprinted the length of the field, dribbling through the England defense and around the keeper to score an unforgettable solo goal.
Not only will this goal be remembered for Maradona’s raw talent, but also for securing a spot in the semifinals for the eventual champions.
Carlos Alberto, 1970, Brazil vs Italy
After scooping the ball off Italy, Brazil went on the offensive, applying pressure to the Azzuri backline. After an array of intricate passes, the ball fell to Pele, who played a through ball on the right to Carlos Alberto who was sprinting down the wing.
Carlos Alberto’s one-time strike blazed past the Italian defence and into the bottom corner of the far post, thereby capping off a 4-1 World Cup final victory for the Brazilians.
James Rodriguez, 2014, Columbia vs Uruguay
By scoring what would be named the goal of the tournament, Rodriguez would forever seal his name in World Cup history. With his back to goal, Rodriguez controlled a lobbed pass with his chest before turning and firing home a blazing goal from distance.
This goal secured a lucrative 2-0 victory for Columbia over Uruguay as well as earning them a coveted spot in the quarter-finals. Rodriguez’s performance also ultimately earned him a massive transfer from Monaco to Real Madrid that summer.
Michael Owen, 1998, Argentina vs England
Although Argentina would go on to win this game on penalties following a 2-2 draw, this goal would launch Michael Owen’s career. In addition to being the youngest World Cup player (at the time) at 18 years and 190 days old, Owen would also become the youngest-ever scorer.
Owen received a pass from David Beckham, after which he dribbled past two Argentinian defenders and outpaced the keeper to score from a tight right angle.
Robin van Persie, 2014, Spain vs Netherlands
Having lost the 2010 final to Spain, the Netherlands were hungry for revenge during their group stage game against the reigning champions in 2014. Left-back Daley Blind was just past the halfway line when he spotted van Persie making a dash behind the Spanish defence.
As the ball sailed towards him, van Persie expertly flicked it with his head over Iker Casillas and into the Spanish net, sending Spain home in a crushing 5-1 defeat.
Dennis Bergkamp, 1998, Netherlands vs Argentina
After a goalless 90 minutes, Netherlands’ quarter-final clash with Argentina went into extra time. With both teams scoring in quick succession, Dutch star striker Dennis Bergkamp took it upon himself to restore his team’s lead once he was on the receiving end of a Frank de Boer cross.
While a lightning-paced cross, Bergkamp expertly controlled the ball with his first touch, cutting past a defender and curving his shot past the keeper to secure a semi-final berth.
Archie Gemmil, 1978, Scotland vs Netherlands
After a rough start to the tournament, underdogs Scotland needed to beat the Netherlands by three goals in order to progress from their group. Unbelievably, the Scots scored two goals, at which point Gemmil produced a piece of magic, cutting past two defenders to secure a third goal.
Although the Netherlands scored two goals to knock Scotland out of the competition, Gemmil is remembered for his moment of dribbling and shooting brilliance.
Gérson, 1970, Brazil vs Italy
With the World Cup final level at 1-1, Brazil was eagerly seeking the lead when Gérson provided them with exactly what they were looking for. As Brazil launched an attack, the Italian defenders all bunched up in the center to block sight of the goal.
Almost counterintuitively, the Brazilian moved the ball into the center, where Gérson collected it, weaved passed the Italians and scored from distance. This boosted Brazil to a 4-2 final victory.
Sir Geoff Hurst, 1966, England vs West Germany
Having already scored to give England a 3-2 lead in the World Cup final, Hurst knew that a one-goal cushion may not be enough to hold back their tough opposition. As Alan Ball blazed down the wing, he spotted Hurst in the center of the box, proving him the ball.
While it fell behind Hurst, the striker was quick enough to stop it, pull it back and hammer the ball into the net, providing England with a comfortable 4-2 victory.
Maxi Rodriguez, 2006, Argentina vs Mexico
Following a 1-1 draw in normal time, Argentina started applying pressure to the Mexican defence in search of an extra time winner. In what seemed like a split second decision, Juan Pablo Sorín send the ball soaring across the field to the edge of Mexico’s penalty box, where Maxi Rodriguez lay in wait.
After taking a touch to his chest, Rodriguez volleyed the ball with a left-footed strike, scoring the winner that sent Argentina through to the quarterfinals.
Jorge Burruchaga, 1986, Argentina vs West Germany
Germany had just equalized in the 82nd minute to bring the score to 2-2. With extra time looming, Argentina furiously tried to belt the ball into the German half, however the German defence remained stubborn. After pinballing from player to player, the ball finally fell to Diego Maradona.
After a quick one-two with a teammate, Maradona fired the ball past two German defenders to Jorge Burruchaga, who zipped past the defense to score Argentina’s World Cup-winning goal.
Emmanuel Petit, 1998, Brazil v France
Many would have expected this clash between Brazil and France to be a close one. Surprisingly, the hosts dominated Brazil, with Zinedine Zidane scoring twice to secure a comfortable half-time lead. While the second half seemed subdued, it took one moment of magic to reignite the game.
Emmanuel Petit bursting forward during a France counter-attack, catapulting himself past the entire Brazilian defence to tap home a goal that sent the home fans into hysterics.
Helmut Rahn, 1954, West Germany vs Hungary
Trailing 2-0 to the Hungarians, West Germany sprung into action, scoring two goals in quick succession to draw level just 18 minutes into the World Cup Final. Although the excitement subsided for much of the remainder of the game, West Germany remained committed to completing their comeback.
Receiving the ball on the edge of the box, Helmut Rahn cut inside and fired his shot into the bottom left corner, handing Germany their comeback and the World Cup.
Esteban Cambiasso, 2006, Argentina vs Serbia and Montenegro
One of the greatest team goals in World Cup history, this goal saw the Argentinian team make 24 passes without interruption before Esteban Cambiasso slotted home in the 31st minute to hand the match favorites their second goal of the game.
Argentina continued this masterclass performance, winning the match 6-0 and sealing their place in the Round of 16 as Group C winners.
Zinedine Zidane, 2006, Italy vs France
For Zinedine Zidane, the 2006 World Cup final would be the last game of his career. Once France was awarded a penalty, all eyes were on Zidane to see if he would score potentially the last-ever goal of his career.
Using his silky finesse, Zidane chipped the ball over Gianluigi Buffon to hand France the lead. Although Italy would win the World Cup, at least Zidane got his farewell goal.
Lionel Messi, 2014, Argentina vs Bosnia and Herzegovina
As group favorites, Argentina was determined to get their tournament off to a strong start in their opening game against Bosnia and Herzegovina. While the South Americans grabbed the lead through an early own goal, Lionel Messi showed exactly why he is a soccer legend as he doubled Argentina’s lead.
Messi laid the ball off to Gonzalo Higuain before Higuain backheeled the ball back to Messi, who swiveled around the Bosnia defense and scored from the edge of the box.
Diego Forlan, 2010, Uruguay vs Germany
Voted the goal of the tournament, Diego Forlan scored Uruguay’s second goal during the third-place playoff against Germany. Although Uruguay lost the game 3-2, this match was an exciting end to what was a highly respectable World Cup journey for Uruguay.
As the ball swung in from the right flank, Forlan connected perfectly with it, blasting home a venomous half-volley that the keeper had no chance of saving.
Juan Quintero, 2018, Columbia vs Japan
Although Columbia went on to lose the match, the eventual Group H winners would enjoy a moment in the spotlight as they were awarded a free kick just before half-time. Up stepped attacking midfielder Juan Quintero to deliver a masterclass free kick.
Despite the tight angle, Quintero, ingeniously snuck the ball under the wall and into the bottom corner, with the goalkeeper reacting a fraction too late to stop it.
Saeed Al Owairan, 1994, Belgium vs Saudi Arabia
With both teams positioned to qualify for the knockouts, both Belgium and Saudi Arabia were bent on emerging as group winners. Despite being underdogs, it was Saudi Arabia who emerged victorious, with Saeed Al Owairan scoring the only goal of the game.
Starting deep within his own half, Al Owairan ran the length of the field, dribbling past five Belgian players and beating the keeper to score a top-drawer solo goal.
David Platt, 1990, England vs Belgium
Following a goalless 90 minutes of football, this round of 16 clash went into extra time. With just one minute left on the clock, the game seemed destined to go to penalties when England won a free kick. Thus, a moment of magic arrived.
Paul Gascoigne lined up to take the free kick, belting it into the box where David Platt swiveled himself and volleyed the ball into the net, taking England into the quarter-finals.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst, 2010, Uruguay vs Netherlands
Following a hard-fought quarter-final victory over Brazil, Netherlands were determined to get the upper hand against tournament dark horses Uruguay. With the ball at his feet on the left flank, Dutch captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst noticed a gap in the Uruguayan defence. From distance, van Bronckhorst belted in a long-range stunner.
This goal proved decisive as the Netherlands edged Uruguay 3-2 to book their spot in the 2010 World Cup final.
Josimar, 1986, Northern Ireland vs Brazil
Despite being clear favorites, Brazil struggled to break down the well-roganized Northern Irish defence during the early stages of the game. That all changed in the 15th minute, when Josimar took a few steps forward before letting rip a screamer into the Northern Irish net.
In addition to being visually stunning, Josimar’s strike opened the game up for the Brazilians as they marched on to a 3-0 win.
Bobby Charlton, 1966, England vs Mexico
Following a goalless draw with Uruguay, England was desperate to get on the scoresheet as they came up against Mexico. In the 37th minute, Bobby Charlton English fans much relief, hitting a long-range shot that soared across the face of the goal and into the top corner of the net.
This goal helped England to a 2-0 win and boosted them to the top spot in the group, ultimately helping them to jumpstart their title-winning World Cup run.
Arie Haan, 1978, Argentina vs Netherlands
Looking to reach their second consecutive World Cup final, the Dutch were desperate to get an edge over a fierce Italian lineup. With the game deadlocked at 1-1, Netherlands continued to fight until, in the 82nd minute, they got their winner.
After the Netherlands won a free kick from 40 yards out, the ball was passed to Arie Haan, who blasted in a screamer that the stadium erupt with applause.
Dragan Stojkovic, 1990, Spain vs Yugoslavia
Throughout this round of 16 clash, both teams’ defences seemed impenetrable. That was until the 78th minute, when Dragan Stojkovic was on the receiving end of a teammate’s header. Despite being under pressure, Stojkovic kept his composure, taking a touch before firing the ball into the back of the net.
Although Spain equalized, Stojkovic scored again in extra time to restore his team’s lead. this time, Yugoslavia would hold onto their lead to book their place in the quarterfinals.
Careca, 1986, Brazil vs France
Having pounded Poland 4-0 in the round of 16, Brazil was set to face a daunting French side who had just silenced Italy 2-0. Not long after the first whistle, however, Brazil was in the driving seat, with Careca slotting the ball into the French net following a lightning-paced counter-attack.
Unfortunately, this was not enough for Brazil, as France went on to equalize and book a place in the semi-finals with a penalty shootout win.
Eder, 1982, Brazil vs Soviet Union
After going 1-0 down to the Soviet Union in their opening game, Brazil’s World Cup seemed to be off to a disastrous start. While a late goal from Socrates appeared to save them from embarrassment, it was Eder who ultimately completed Brazil’s comeback and saved their reputation.
With the ball on the left, Socrates ran down the middle of the field into space. Upon receiving the ball, he flicked the ball up and delivered an unstoppable volley.
Gianluca Zombrotta, 2006, Italy vs Ukraine
Following a narrow 1-0 victory over Australia in the Round of 16, Italy was determined to reassert their dominance against surprise package Ukraine. After just six minutes they did just that, as Zambrotta pounced on a soft pass and ran a few yards before firing home a long-range left-footed strike.
This stunning goal put Italy on track to a 3-0 win, and ultimately, advanced them in their journey to World Cup glory.
Joe Cole, 2006, Sweden vs England
Having won their first two group games, England appeared to be in the driving seat when they came up against a high-flying Swedish side. As the Swedish scrambled to clear the ball from their box following an England attack, the ball fell to Joe Cole, who expertly controlled it with his chest before lobbing a soaring volley into the far corner.
Although the game ended in a 2-2 draw, Cole’s goal was enough to secure a point for the Three Lions, and as a result, a first-place finish in the group.
David Villa, 2014, Australia vs Spain
Following a disastrous start to the tournament, reigning champions Spain were all but eliminated when they came face-to-face with Australia in their final group game. While they previously lacked firepower up front, Spain’s attack was reawakened against Australia, as David Villa scored with a slick backheel.
Although Spain were eliminated from the group, their 3-0 win over Australia at least allowed them to save face in what was otherwise a tournament to forget.
Mesut Ozil, 2010, Ghana vs Germany
Having won their first group game against Australia, Germany’s subsequent loss to Serbia meant that they had everything to play for against then-group leaders Ghana. On the hour mark, Germany finally broke the deadlock as Mesut Ozil flicked the ball up and fired a low-flying volley into the Ghanaian net.
Ozil’s strike not only won the game for Germany but also secured them the top spot in the group as they embarked on a run all the way to the semi-finals.
Sunday Ogochukwu Oliseh, 1998, Spain vs Nigeria
Few expected the Eagles to put up much of a fight against Spain in this opening group stage game. Still, with World Cup dreams of their own, Nigeria showed no fear as came from behind twice to draw level at 2-2. Then, a Spanish clearance fell to Oliseh’s feet.
With a well-timed strike, Oliseh scored a stunning long-distance winner for the Eagles, securing qualification for the knockouts while Spain went home earlier than expected.
Tim Cahill, 2014, Australia vs Netherlands
Considering that the Netherlands were clear favorites in this group stage clash, seeing the Dutch take an early lead was far from surprising. What was truly unexpected was for Australia to equalize a minute later, with a long-range cross making it to Tim Cahill, who fired home with a one-time volley.
While the Australians eventually lost 3-2, this goal and their performance at least gave them a sense of pride as they exited the competition.
Luka Modric, 2018, Argentina vs Croatia
Although a highly-talented squad, few expected Croatia to defeat group favorites Argentina, let alone demolish them. After going 1-0 up, Croatia knew that a one-goal lead may not be sufficient to keep Argentina at bay. That’s when captain Luka Modric pulled off a magical moment.
While far out from the goal, Modric dodged around an incoming Argentinian defender to hammer in a long-range strike, thus playing his part in Croatia’s defiant 3-0 victory.
Ronaldinho, 2002, England vs Brazil
Following a commanding 2-0 win over Belgium, Brazil was set to face fellow high-flyers England in their quarterfinal clash. Coming off a commanding 3-0 win over Denmark, England continued their fine form, scoring the first goal of the game with Brazil equalizing before half-time. That’s when Ronaldinho stepped in.
After Brazil was awarded a long-range free kick, Ronaldinho was expected to pass to a teammate. Instead, he scored a breathtaking goal distance to secure Brazil’s place in the semifinals.
Luis Suarez, 2010, Uruguay vs South Korea
After blazing through their group, Uruguay looked to continue their fine form against South Korea in the round of 16. While Uruguay scored early on, the South Koreans equalized in the second half and seemed likely to take the game to extra time. It was in the 80th minute that Luis Suarez proved his star status.
Suarez was on the edge of the box when he dribbled a defender, cut inside the box and curled the ball around the goalkeeper to send Uruguay to the quarterfinals.
Ricardo Quaresma, 2018, Iran vs Portugal
Following a tense 3-3 draw with Spain, Portugal knew that they needed to get something from their game against Iran in order to secure progression from the group stage. While Iran’s defense proved stalwart, they weren’t enough to stop Quaresma, who fired in an outswinging shot to open the scoring.
Although Iran equalized, this goal was enough to earn Portugal a vital point and a spot in the round of 16, however, that’s as far as they went, losing the next match to Uruguay.
Denis Cheryshev, 2018, Russia vs Croatia
Despite Croatia being the clear favorites, the Russians weren’t about to give up their dream of lifting a World Cup trophy in their home tournament. With this determination in mind, Cheryshev skipped past the Croatian defense and hammered a left-footed strike over the keeper’s head to put Russia in front.
While Croatia went on to win the quarter-final on penalties, Cheryshev’s strike is remembered as one of the greatest of the tournament.
Carlos Tevez, 2010, Argentina vs Mexico
After dominating their group, Argentina found themselves up against a resolute Mexican side. While Mexico had proven to be a tough nut to crack during the tournament’s early stages, Carlos Teves quickly proved that Argentina was the superior side, even if almost by accident.
While his initial pass was blocked, Tevez recollected the ball and scored a screamer to secure a 3-1 win for Argentina and progression to the quarter-finals.