40 Greatest Goals in World Cup History: #32 Dragan Stojkovic: Yugoslavia vs Spain ('90)
Martin Vazquez was a happy man. It was such a beautiful day in sunny Verona. His team, Spain, were in the round of 16 of Italia '90, and with him in central defence, had kept the oft sensational Yugoslav attack at bay for 75 minutes. It was going to be a tale for the grandkids, this... the tale of how their grandfather had marshalled their nation through a tough, tough, knockout fixture.
And then, it happened.
Looking back at it now he must really hate it. Instead of a warm anecdote, he's got nothing... now in 2018, it's just an overgrown man-child working for a sports media company in India excitedly shouting at his colleagues while pointing to the screen screaming "LOOK AT THIS! HE SENT HIM BACK TO MADRID! HA HA HA HA"
No, seriously, look at it.
Things are going so swimmingly well for Vazquez till a harmless looking ball in from the left flank is flicked on toward the far post. Being a reasonable man, having seen quite a bit of football, he knows what's coming... a volley, a belter, and he's ready to sacrifice his body to stop the ball from screaming into the back of the net.
The forward cocks his leg, and then kills the damn thing dead with the softest of touches... sending Señor Vazquez sliding past - as the late great Geoffrey Green would have it - like a fire engine going to the wrong fire... before taking another leisurely touch and passing it into the corner.
Easiest thing in the world.
For that piece of absolute magic, Dragan Stojkovic - the centrepiece of every nightmare the unfortunate Martin Vazquez would ever suffer - slots casually into our list of 40 Greatest Goals in World Cup History
P.S. Stojkovic wasn't done. Spain equalised late on... so the boss that he is, he won the game with the most sumptuous of freekicks from a good twenty-five yards out. WOOF.
Skip to 3:26 in the below video; it'll be well worth your time.
Published 13 May 2018, 18:18 IST