John Barnes' solo effort against Brazil in 1984 has been voted in top ten England goals
’ spectacular goal against Brazil in Rio’s magnificent Maracana Stadium in 1984 has been voted into the fans’ top ten best England goals.
Late last year we asked fans via our official England Facebook page
to choose their favourite Three Lions strikes. The Watford winger’s goal, scored at the end of a run from just inside Brazil’s half, has been voted in at number six.
It was the first match of a South American tour that also took Bobby Robson’s team to Uruguay and Chile. Eight days before their clash with Brazil, unbeaten in the Maracana for 27 years, England had lost disappointingly to USSR at Wembley.
One journalist famously said: “Brazil are on a different planet”. But England won 2-0 in Rio and the match turned out to be one of their greatest ever triumphs.
It all began quietly as the England back-four nervously repelled an early onslaught from the Brazilians. Ray Wilkins and Bryan Robson were working hard in midfield and eventually Mark Hateley tested Costa with a good header.
Barnes had made his England debut as a 19-year-old and was starting his sixth international. Just before the interval he scored his first England goal, one of such brilliance that a crowd of 56,000 stood to applaud.
Hateley began the move when his challenge for a header led to the ball running to Barnes out wide on the left. Cutting inside he took on and beat the entire home defence, one after the other, until his last touch put the ball past a bemused goalkeeper.
It was a goal that any Brazilian would have been proud of.
Barnes admitted afterwards that he had spent most of his long run looking for a team-mate to pass to. “It was like an out-of-body experience,” he said.
England played with great confidence after the break and sealed a wonderful victory with a second goal. A flowing move involving Wilkins, Tony Woodcock and Barnes ended with a deep cross to the far post. Hateley, then with Portsmouth, roared in to score with a thumping header.
England failed to score in Uruguay (0-2) and Chile (0-0) as they completed their three-match tour but they had achieved a win against the odds in Brazil that would be talked about for years to come.
John Barnes finished his England career with eleven goals in 79 internationals.
The top ten, so far…
6. John Barnes v Brazil (June 1984)
7. David Platt
, v Belgium (June 1990)
8. Geoff Hurst's second
, v West Germany (July 1966)
9. Steven Gerrard
, v Germany (September 2001)
10. Danny Welbeck
, v Sweden (June 2012)
Next week we'll unveil which goal you voted for as no.5 in England's best.