Benjamin Pavard’s stunning long-range strike for France against Argentina has been named as the best goal of the 2018 World Cup by FIFA.
The Stuttgart right-back struck from outside the area as France levelled the scores at 2-2 in a compelling last-16 clash during this summer’s showpiece event in Russia.
Les Bleus eventually won the game 4-3 and went on to lift the trophy with further victories over Uruguay, Belgium and Croatia.
Top three: Goal of the World Cup 2018
1st: Benjamin Pavard vs Argentina
2nd: Juan Quintero vs Japan
3rd: Luka Modric vs Argentina
Juan Quintero’s wonderful free-kick for Colombia against Japan in the group stage finished second while Luka Modric’s stunner against Argentina, also in the group stage came third in the voting.
‘The ball bounced up as it came to me. I didn’t even think about it. I just tried to get over it and keep it down,’ Pavard said after the match.
‘I was trying to hit it in the direction it came from, which is what the strikers always tell me. I didn’t think it over, and when it went in I just felt so happy.’
Pavard, 22, travelled to the World Cup with only six caps to his name, but won the trust of Didier Deschamps and played in all but one of their matches.
Deschamps was not the only person won over by the versatile defender, who can play at both right-back and centre-back. Unsurprisingly, he has been linked with a number of clubs since his excursions with France.
Bayern Munich are thought to be keen while Premier League club Tottenham have also been credited with an interest in recent days.