The Great World Cup Goals, #5: Nelinho (Brazil) vs Italy, 1978 (Video)

By Chris Wright

Soccer - World Cup Argentina 78 - Third Place Play Off - Brazil v Italy

Zoff with his head!

Brazilian right-back Nelinho scored one of the classic “did he mean it?” goals during the third-place play-off at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina; unleashing a shot that bent past Italian ‘keeper Dino Zoff so wickedly that the ball’s flight path almost has a corner in it half-way through – with Nelinho accused of flukery ever since, despite his repeated protestations…

Sensational, and we choose to believe that he meant every inch of that glorious parabola!

While hosts Argentina won the tournament outright, Brazil went on to beat Italy 2-1 in the play-off to claim the bronze.

More in the series…

#1 – Maxi Rodriguez (Argentina) vs Mexico, 2006
#2 – Saeed Al-Owairan (Saudi Arabia) vs Belgium, 1994

#3 – Giovanni Van Bronckhorst (Holland) vs Uruguay, 2010
#4 – Pierre Njanka-Beyaka, (Cameroon) vs Austria, 1998

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Posted in Featured, Newsnow, Top 10s & lists, Videos, World Cup

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4 Comments

  1. One of my all-time favourite World Cup goals. Nelinho also scored a cracker against Poland in the same tournament.

    FYI, the thumbnail image to this post is a picture of Dirceu in the ’82 World Cup.

  2. AFC Fan says:

    This one Geo scored for AFC against Chelsea was not too shabby either…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIugOr1Vwzg

  3. AcesHigh says:

    Clearly not a fluke. He kicks with the outside side of his foot, intending for the ball to swerve to the inside of the goal. If he meant to cross, he would kick it with the inside of his foot.

    Furthermore, Nelinho is famous in Brazil for a career filled with extraordinary kicks and freekicks. If there is one guy who could make such kicks on PURPOSE, it was him.

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