The Run of Play is a blog about
the wonder and terror of soccer.
We left the window open during a match in October 2007 and a strange wind blew into the room.
Now we walk the forgotten byways of football with a lonely tread, searching for the beautiful, the bewildering, the haunting, and the absurd.
A thrilling group stage has gone the way of the snows of yesteryear and the car keys of late last night, but before we move on to the quarterfinals let’s take a moment to name the best goal from the third round of games. Well, I’ll take a moment to name one. You take a moment to nod slowly and admire my wisdom. Otherwise: comments. Videos after the jump.
Nihat Kahveci v. Czech Republic
Michael Ballack v. Austria
Robin van Persie v. Romania
And the winner is…Michael Ballack. Nihat’s strike was more dramatic, and van Persie’s was more fun, but Ballack’s free kick didn’t even have to ask; it just posed menacingly by the merry-go-round and all the kids lined up to give it their lunch money. I have the impression that if the keeper had caught it, it would have lifted him off the ground and carried him into the net.
Am I missing any worthy nominees? In general it seemed like this round was the weakest of the three, which also raises the question: what’s your vote for the best goal of the group stage? Robben? Sneijder? At this point the Dutch could order pizza and it would somehow beautifully demonstrate a freewheeling commitment to total football.
by Brian Phillips · June 19, 2008