Top 5 World Cup goals from the group stage

James Rodriguez playing for Columbia

The Group stages are over. We know who is going home and who is staying, but who has lit up the World Cup with the best goals so far?

5. Jermaine Jones v Portugal

USA have been the surprise package in Brazil. Many thought they'd be boarding the plane to head home by now but thanks to some dogged displays they got out of a group that included Germany, Portugal and Ghana.

They've scored some great goals already this tournament but Jermaine Jones' brilliant 25-yard bending effort was the pick of the bunch. He hit it so hard and so sweetly, Portugal keeper Beto didn't even have time to flinch before it hit the back of the net. Stunning long-range goal.

4. James Rodriguez v Japan

Colombia were considered dark horses coming into the World Cup and after a string of impressive performances in the group stages with wins over Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan, those claims have been justified.

In their 4-1 win over Japan, Rodriguez showed why he is tipped for the very top with a brilliant individual display capped off with a fine goal. He was fed by Jackson Martinez, before jinking past Maya Yoshida and chipping home for his third goal of the tournament. Audacious, cheeky and a star in the making.

3. Lionel Messi v Iran

Great things were expected of the four-time Ballon d'Or winner at this World Cup, and boy has he delivered. His four goals in three games have helped his side top their group with three straight wins, but his finest goal of the tournament came against Iran in the 91st minute. It's the kind of goal that defines a great player.

His side aren't playing particularly well against a stubborn Iranian side. Only a moment of brilliance can break them down, can Messi step up? Yes he can.

With just three minutes left, he cuts in from the right, opens up his body and bends a beauty into the far corner from outside the box, breaking Iranian hearts in the process. Some will argue there have been better goals, but with the amount of pressure on him to deliver, and with his side in desperate need of some magic, he provided it in emphatic fashion.

2. Robin Van Persie v Spain

It will go down as one of the most iconic images of this World Cup. It was the moment Van Persie guaranteed himself to be shown in all future World Cup top 100 lists and at the same time, it was the moment tika-taka died.

Spain were leading 1-0 against Holland and looked to be cruising to a comfortable opening group win, but then something magical happened.  Danny Blind played probably the pass of the tournament from inside his own half to pick out an onrushing Van Persie in the penalty area.

The Manchester United forward got in between the two Spanish centre backs and leapt in the air like an elegant ballet dancer, timing his jump perfectly to head the ball over Iker Casillas into the Spanish goal. Cue mass hysteria amongst the orange army and a Van Persie-Van Gaal high five on the touchline. Priceless. 

1. Tim Cahill v Holland 

Undeniably this World Cup's best goal - and probably one of the greatest of all time. Moments before Arjen Robben had put the Dutch ahead against Australia and it looked like they were heading for straight forward victory. But former Everton man, Tim Cahill, had other ideas.

A few passes were exchanged amongst the Aussies from kick off before a 60-yard ball was launched into the box. Underneath it was Cahill. With the sun in his eyes and Stefan de Vrij marking him, the former Millwall man escape chis marker watched the ball all the way before unleashing a first time volley with his left foot into the net via the crossbar.  

Wonderful goal. That's why it's called the greatest show on earth.  

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