How many World Cup Final Goals have there been? Which country has scored the most? And who is the player with most World Cup Final Goals?
Here, we share some fun facts and stats about World Cup Final Goals, as we prepare for the 22nd FIFA World Cup, which begins in Qatar on 20 November 2022 and concludes on 18 December.
- The first World Cup took place in 1930, in Uruguay, and it was the host nation’s forward Pablo Dorado, who played his club football with C.A. Bella Vista, who bagged the first of his team’s World Cup Final goals in the 12th minute of their 4-2 victory over Argentina.
- There have been a total of 77 goals scored in the 21 World Cup Finals so far, added to that 13 shootout goals in the two finals – 1994 and 2006 – that required penalties to decide them.
- It’s no surprise that Brazil have scored the most goals in World Cup Finals. They’ve won the World Cup a record five times from their seven finals, and scored 15 goals in the process. Their only finals that they failed to find the net in was in 1994 against Italy, and 1998, against France.
- The highest scoring World Cup Final was in Sweden in 1958 when the hosts lost 5-2 to Brazil. Vavá and Pelé. both notched braces.
- Vavá and Pelé have scored a level record three World Cup Final goals, as has France’s Zinedine Zidane. But it took them all two Finals too do it, whereas England’s Geoff Hurst got three in one Final, 1966, and is the only man to score a World Cup Final hat-trick.
- The 1994 is the only World Cup Final that ended goalless after extra time, and subsequently became the first that went to a penalty shootout. Brazil beat Italy 3-2 on spotkicks.
- There have been 13 nations who have featured in World Cup Finals, some more than others, but all of them have score at least one goal.
- Spain, who won in their only World Cup Final appearance in 2010, are the lowest scorers of those finalists, scoring just once through Andrés Iniesta in extra-time against Netherlands.
- The first penalty in a World Cup Final was in 1974 when Johan Neeskens netted against West Germany in the second minute. However, like London buses, another penalty arrived 23 minutes later as Paul Breitner levelled. Gerd Müller bagged the winner just before the break.
- There have been a total of five penalties scored in World Cup Finals, with Andreas Brehme in 1990 getting another for West Germany, while France have also scored two; Zinedine Zidane in 2006 and Antoine Griezmann in 2018.
- Croatia’s Mario Mandžukić has the dubious honour of the only World Cup Final own goal, diverting Griezmann’s 18th-minute free-kick past his own keeper to give France a 1-0 lead in 2018.
- Mandžukić made amends in the 69th minute scoring at the right end, but it was in vain as France won 4-2.
- Angelo Schiavio scored the first extra-time goal in a World Cup Final to clinch a 2-1 win for Italy against Czechoslovakia in 1934.
- Mexico’s Estadio Azteca has witnessed the most World Cup Final goals, The two finals it has hosted, in 1970 and 1986, have yielded a total of ten goals. If you count shootout goals, too, then Berlin’s Olympiastadion has also seen ten after Italy’s win over France in 2006 ended 1-1 after extra-time, and 5-3 on penalty kicks.
- The 1930 Final had the most different scorers, with six players all notching one each. That was almost equalled in 2018, but Mandžukić struck twice, albeit one for each side.
What’s the best goal scored in a World Cup Final?
We’ll let you decide which are your favourite World Cup Final goals, but to help, here’s a video from @bryansgunn on Twitter featuring every goal scored in World Cup Finals since 1966 – that’s 43 goals – in order of the minute they went in.
Starting with the earliest goal in World Cup Finals, Johan Neeskens‘ second minute penalty for the Netherlands in 1974, it wraps up with the latest goal in World Cup Finals, Geoff Hurst’s third for England in 1966.
We hope you liked this feature on World Cup Final goals, if you’d like to learn more about playing football, what about starting with some ball juggling? Here’s our video beginners guide to how to do keepy-ups.
The World Cup trophy image used in this feature is courtesy of The History Of Soccer, visit their website at historyofsoccer.info