Sokratis Papastathopoulos
Image via Getty Images/AFP PHOTO/ADRIAN DENNIS

If you have been watching the 2014 World Cup over the past two weeks, you will know that entertainment has been at a maximum and the majority of goals flying in deserve to be on a highlight reel. With an average of close to 3.0 goals per game, there is no shortage of goalmouth action. We have run through the entire list of over 130 goals scored in the first three rounds to give your our selection of the best 10 goals scored in the 2014 World Cup through group stage play.

Bryan Byrne is the founder of SoccerCleats101. Got a question about boots? Hit up Bryan on Twitter.

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Robin van Persie
Image via USA Today

No. 1 – Robin Van Persie vs. Spain

Goal Time: 44th minute, 1-1

It is the incredible technique behind this goal that sets it apart from every other goal through the group stages. Van Persie pulled off a finish that many thought impossible as he meet a long ball from half way with an incredible diving header. He connected perfectly, arching his back like a flying dutchman and looping the ball over the stranded Iker Casillas. In order to pull it off, he needed to read the flight of the ball from Daley Blind, ensuring he didn’t over connect – or completely miss the ball entirely.

Cleats worn: adidas adiZero F50

Tim Cahill Finish
Image via Fifa

No. 2 – Tim Cahill vs. Netherlands

Goal Time: 24th minute, 1-1

It is difficult to know if Ryan McGowan's long ball from midfield was intended for Tim Cahill to volley or not, but the latter gratefully accepted the opportunity to score what is one of the goals of the tournament. In any situation, meeting a ball over your shoulder and connecting as sweetly as Cahill did is impressive, but smashing it past a keeper and into the net during a pivitol World Cup clash must be an incredible feeling. Adding to all the excitement, the ball dipped over the key and slammed down off the crossbar, over the line making it look even more spectacular!

Cleats worn: Warrior Superheat

Jermaine Jones Goal
Image via US Soccer

No. 3 – Jermaine Jones vs. Portugal

Goal Time: 64th minute, 1-1

During game week 2, Jermaine Jones proved to be the inspiration behind a very solid US performance versus Portugal. Down 1-0 in the second half, Jones scored an absolute screamer from outside the box. He bent the ball with his right foot, it started outside the far post but eventually squeezed inside the post.

Cleats worn: Nike CTR360 Maestri III

Shaqiri Goal
Image via Fifa

No. 4 – Xherdan Shaqiri vs. Honduras

Goal Time: 6th minute, 1-0

Shaquiri joined the hattrick club in Switzerlands game with Honduras, helping his country qualify for the knock-out stage of the tournament. His first strike was the best of the bunch and came when he picked the ball up outside the box, took two steps away from goal before drilling it into the upper corner. With some serious power on the shot, the keeper was left with no chance as it clipped the underside of the bar.

Cleats worn:  Nike Mercurial Superfly

Messi Goal
Image via Fifa

No. 5 – Lionel Messi vs. Iran

Goal Time: 90th+ minute, 1-0

It is the 90th minute f a game that you are heavy favorites to win and the game is still ties? Who you gonna call? Lionel Messi of course! The little Argentinian magician produced a fantastic moment of pure genius right when it was needed. For the entire game, a very perky Iran side had held Messi to some half chances. All he needed was a sniff as the game hit added time, picking up the ball outside the box and bending it far corner. The keeper had absolutely no chance.

Cleats worn: adidas adiZero F50 Battle Pack

Gervinho Ivory Coast
Image via Fifa

No. 6 – Gervinho vs. Colombia

Goal Time: 74th minute, 2-1

Drifting in from the left wing versus Columbia, Gervinho scored what is probably the best individual goal seen thus far in the tournament. From the left sideline, he slices deftly through two defenders and into the box. There he meets one last defender, who he throws an outside shuffle on and bests inside, leaving himself with just the finish. This goal also made him the first Ivory Coast player ever to score in back-to-back World Cup games.

Cleats worn: Nike Mercurial Superfly

Goal Xhaka

No. 7 – Granit Xhaka vs. France

Goal Time: 87th minute, 5-2

With Switzerland suffering a brutal defeat versus neighbors France, Xhaka produced something special and at least gave the fans something wonderful to talk about. At 5-1 down, a long ball from the back over the backtracking French defense was met on the full volley by Xhaka, who beautifully finished the ball past Hugo Lloris. His ability to time a ball coming over his shoulder was equisite and it is well worth watching more than a few times!

Cleats Worn: Nike Magista Obra

Robben Celebration
Image via Facebook

No. 8 – Arjen Robben vs Spain

Goal Time: 80th minute, 5-1

It is the sheer speed of Robben on this goal that gives him a well-deserved spot on this list. A long ball over the top when Spain was trying to get a lost game back set Robben off on a record speed run. He clocked a top speed of 37kph as he left Sergio Ramos in his dust before turning Iker Casillas inside and out, chopping back inside. To finish it off, he used some precision, drilling it into the top corner with two Spanish players standing on the line.

Cleats worn: adidas adiZero F50 Samba Pack

Messi Goal vs Nigeria
Image via Fifa

No. 9 – Lionel Messi vs Nigeria

Goal Time: 45th+ minute, 2-1

Just prior to this wonderful strike, the Nigerian keeper had pulled off an exquisite save from a Messi free-kick in a very similar position. But this one was just too good and Messi got everything right as he lifted the ball with pace over the wall and it the top corner. What made it even better was the timing, putting Argentina in the lead as the teams headed to the locker rooms. It also placed Messi joint top of the Golden Boot scoring charts along with Neymar on 4 goals in 3 group stage games.

Cleats worn: adidas adiZero F50 Battle Pack

Villa Back Heel Goal
Image via Fifa

No. 10 – David Villa vs. Australia

Goal Time: 36th minute, 1-0

With Spain out of the World Cup and playing for pride in their game with Australia, David Villa got the nod up top in what was his final international appearance. And in typical Villa style, he signed off with a pretty special finish, catching a back heel in the box quite perfectly. His run across the box was rewarded by the cutback and with pace on the ball he redirected it past the stranded keeper into the net.

Cleats Worn: adidas adiZero F50 Battle Pack