Benjamin Pavard’s stunning strike in France’s World Cup last-16 victory over Argentina has been voted the best goal of the tournament in Russia.
The 22-year-old Stuttgart defender ran onto a left-wing cross from Lucas Hernandez and sent a right-footed half-volley spinning into the top corner to level eventual champions France’s last-16 tie with Argentina at 2-2 in the 57th minute.
France went on to win the game 4-3 before beating Croatia in the final on July 15.
Pavard’s effort won a public vote to be named the best of the 169 goals scored in the tournament, seeing off competition from Colombian midfielder Juan Quintero’s free-kick against Japan and Luka Modric’s goal in Croatia’s group-stage thumping of Argentina.
The defender, who showed superb technique to fire into the top corner, received the most votes cast by three million fans on the Fifa website, as Juan Quintero’s clever free-kick for Colombia against Japan came second and Luka Modric’s brilliant long-range strike for Croatia against Argentina was third.
“I didn’t even think about it. I just tried to get over it and keep it down,” Pavard, 22, said after the game.
“The ball bounced up as it came to me. I was trying to hit it in the direction it came from, which is what the strikers always tell me.
“When the ball went in I just felt so happy.”
France beat Croatia 4-2 in the final to win the trophy for the second time.