The world is watching the World Cup more than ever before. Not a believer? FIFA announced the first round of group matches broke television viewing records around the globe. If you’re one of the few who hasn’t watched, here are the five best goals you’ve missed (in no particular order):

Robin Van Persie

In a rematch of the 2010 World Cup final, Spain took an early 1-0 lead over the Netherlands before Robin Van Persie’s head launced the ball from 15 yards out. Spain’s stunned keeper just helplessly watched it sail past his head. The Netherlands went on to win 5-1, and Spain was eliminated with a 2-0 loss against Chile.

Tim Cahill

Australia’s Tim Cahill made this beautiful left-footed shot off of a 40-yard pass. The ball never even touched the ground. The Aussies lost this game against the Netherlands, 3-2.


With Ivory Coast trailing Colombia 2-0, Gervinho maneuvered around three defenders, causing one to trip on himself and fall, en route to this gem of an unassisted goal. Ivory Coast still lost 2-1.

Clint Dempsey

This will be forver known as the lower-ab goal that gave Team USA a 2-1 lead over Portugual late in the game. Good thing Dempsey hasn’t been taking crunches off. Unfortunately for the red, white and blue, Portugal would get the equalizer in the final minute of play to force a draw.

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi is the best player in the world. Tip-toeing around defenders and taking an off-balanced shot is child’s play. But we mere mortals can still appreciate it. Argentina went on to win 2-1 and is through to the next round of the World Cup after a 1-0 win over Iran.