Five great goals

JAMES RODRIGUEZ (COLOMBIA) V URUGUAY (Round of 16)

As the ball was in the air, James just had enough time to glance at the goal. The Colombian wanted to place himself in the perfect position; it seemed that he had already worked the goal out in his mind before even beginning to enact it. It went as he had planned. James controlled it with his chest, turned to his right and delivered a sweet volley off his left foot. Uruguay's goalkeeper Fernando Muslera leapt in time, but it was hit better than he had expected and in the ball went off the crossbar.

TIM CAHILL (AUSTRALIA) V NETHERLANDS (Group Stage)

One cannot claim with any conviction that Ryan McGowan's cross was intended to land on Cahill's left foot; there are no doubts, however, about the forward's finish. Cahill realised the cross wasn't perfect and moved to his left, which allowed the Australian to get into a good position. Still, much was left to be done. Cahill ensured he released a top-notch volley. The moment it left his left boot, the Netherlands goalkeeper, Jasper Cillessen, was in trouble. The ball crashed on the underside of the bar and bounced beyond the line.

DAVID LUIZ (BRAZIL) V COLOMBIA (Quarterfinals)

A great goal made greater by the celebration. His mop flowing, Luiz went on a run in exultation and pure passion fuelled by the game-changing moment. At 1-0, it had been tense, but once Luiz scored, it was over.

The free-kick was at least 30 yards away from goal. An unfazed Luiz stepped up and fired in a rising shot. David Ospina had no chance. Luiz had hit it ever so well; it was destined for the top corner.

ROBIN VAN PERSIE (NETHERLANDS) V SPAIN (Group Stage)

Diving headers are so rare; they evoke awe almost every time. Yet, even by those standards, this was special. With the game drifting towards half-time and the Netherlands trailing by a goal, there wasn't the slightest hint of what was about to occur. In fact, Daley Blind deserves a share of the appreciation many reserved for Robin van Persie alone. With half the pitch in front of him, the left wing-back delivered a delicious cross that van Persie did not judge perfectly. Realising he had fallen behind the ball, the Manchester United striker dived from 15 yards out to head the ball home.

LIONEL MESSI (ARGENTINA) V BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA (Group Stage)

A couple of minutes before the goal, as Lionel Messi skied a free kick from a reasonable distance, one could distinctly hear the Argentinean fans jeering the superstar. For years, the Barcelona legend had been accused of not turning up for the country. Not many could say that soon after.

Messi picked up the ball in the middle of the opposition half, shared a one-two with Gonzalo Higuain, evaded the challenge of three Bosnian defenders while forcing two of them to crash against each other before firing a shot from the edge of the box that touched the inside of the post on its way in. Goalkeeper Asmir Begovic didn't have a chance of saving it.

PRIYANSH