Sports

Congratulations, Nacho: You Scored the Best Goal in the Opening Week of the World Cup

TOPSHOT - Spain's defender Nacho Fernandez (top R) scores a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Portugal and Spain at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi on June 15, 2018. (Photo by Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS        (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
Have mercy, Nacho. JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/Getty Images

After just four days of action, the World Cup has given us more great goals than we deserve. To what or whom do we owe this glut of golazos and screamers? Is Russia’s magnetic polarity particularly volatile this time of year? Is the ball responding to reverberations from the Tunguska event? Did Putin put something in the water?

The greatest soccer players in the world are churning out memorable goals at a high (and hopefully sustainable) clip, and Nacho’s volley for Spain during the 3–3 draw with Portugal was the most aesthetically pleasing of the lot. Were the post not there, the ball would still be gaining velocity, long after it broke the sound barrier somewhere over the Black Sea.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Even if you don’t think Nacho’s was the best goal so far, it, above all others, represents the kind of strike that everybody would like to hit just once in their lives. What a satisfying sensation that must have been, like taking a shower after a long camping trip or getting an orthopedic cast sawed off.

Advertisement

Of course, Ronaldo feels like that every second of every day. His free kick during the same match was so pretty, Ronaldo probably thought he was looking in a mirror as he watched it sail over the wall.

Advertisement

Before the tournament, The Sun reported that Adidas’ new Telstar 18, the ball that debuted at the World Cup, had been “scientifically designed to cut the amount of dip and swerve players can put on it.” The tabloid has yet to run a retraction, even after Ronaldo presented that parabolic evidence.

If you prefer your free kicks with a little more mustard, do yourself a favor and watch Aleksandar Kolarov’s strike for Serbia against Costa Rica. He covered it with the stinky stuff that comes in a fancy jar and costs $12 at Whole Foods.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Individual skill is nice, but it’s worth highlighting Mexico’s great team goal against Germany. Chucky Lozano’s cut-back and finish were sweet, but it was El Tri’s tick-tock counter attack that made it all possible.

Advertisement

Speaking of teamwork, check out all 26 bones in Philippe Coutinho’s right foot working in harmony to curl home the opener for Brazil against Switzerland on Sunday.

Advertisement
Advertisement

And give a round of applause for the podiatric stylings of Russia’s Denis Cheryshev. Specifically, the outside of his left foot, which got the job done against Saudi Arabia.

Advertisement

Eight teams haven’t even played yet in Russia, but we’re already in danger of filling up on hors d’oeuvres. I know I needed a digestif after Sergio Agüero’s escape act against Iceland.

Pace yourselves, gentlemen. There have only been 11 matches. You’re going to give us all gout.

Advertisement