* There are now only 16 days to go until the start of the World Cup finals
As the countdown to the 2014 World Cup continues, we look at the fastest ever goals scored at football's grandest competition...
1. Hakan Sukur (2002): 11 seconds
29/06/2002 (Daegu, Daegu World Cup Stadium), third place play-off
South Korea 2-3 Turkey
Lee Eul-yong (9), Song Chong-gug (90+3); Hakan Sukur (1), Ilhan (13, 32)
Eleven seconds. That's all it took for a 40-year-old record to fall in the penultimate match of the 2002 World Cup in South Korea. Eleven seconds. Time for the hosts, guided to the semi-finals by Guus Hiddink and riding a euphoric wave of home support, to kick off, play the ball backwards and eventually find Hong Myung-bo. That's where things went wrong. The defender lost the ball under pressure from Ilhan Mansiz, who immediately fed Hakan Sukur and the Parma striker did the rest, slotting home to silence the disbelieving crowd. Eleven seconds. The record remains to this day unbeaten.
Hakan Sukur of Turkey is congratulated by Ilhan Mansiz after scoring against South Korea during the 2002 World …
2. Vaclav Masek (1962): 16 seconds
07/06/1962 (Vina del Mar, Estadio Sausalito), first round
Mexico 3-1 Czechoslovakia
Diaz (13), Del'Aguila (29), H. Hernandez (90 pen); Masek (1)
The proud holder of that 40-year-old record was Vaclav Masek, a Czech striker who took a mere 16 seconds to open the scoring against Mexico in Chile. Played in on goal Masek coolly slotted the ball into the bottom corner of the net to give his side the earliest of early advantages, although it proved to be a shortlived one as the Mexicans came back to secure a 3-1 win. Still, Masek's feat went down in football folklore and did not look like being bettered until Sukur's barely conceivable efforts.
3. Ernst Lehner (1934): 25 seconds
07/06/1934 (Naples, Stadio Ascarelli), third place play-off
Germany 3-2 Austria
Lehner (1, 40), Conen (15); Horvath (35), Sesta (65)
Another player to hold the record for a lengthy period of time was Germany's outside right Ernst Lehner, whose benchmark ended up lasting for 28 years. The TSV Schwaben Augsburg player set the mark during the third place play-off in Naples, finding the back of the net after 25 seconds in a bitter encounter with Germany's neighbours Austria. Lehner went on to score a second to put the Germans 3-1 up before the break and from there they did not relinquish their lead.
4. Bryan Robson (1982): 27 seconds
16/06/1982 (Bilbao, Estadio San Mamés), first round
England 3-1 France
Robson (1, 67), Mariner (83); Soler (24)
One of England's most famous goals came in the heat of Bilbao in 1982 and from the boot of Bryan Robson, then fresh-faced at the age of 25 and before the days of his captaincy. It took the Manchester United midfielder just 27 seconds to make his mark on the game against France, acrobatically volleying past keeper Jean-Luc Ettori after Terry Butcher had flicked on Steve Coppell's long throw. The French defence looked to have still been in the dressing rooms - at least their minds were - as Robson stole in to send England on their way to victory, which was then secured when Robson scored a second - a brilliant header - and Paul Mariner - with another volley - swooped late on.
5. Emile Veinante (1938): 35 seconds
05/06/1938 (Colombes, Yves-du-Manoir), first round
France 3-1 Belgium
Veinante (1), J. Nicolas (12, 69); Isemborghs (20)
Forty-four years before his compatriots conceded Robson's goal, France's Emile Veinante was ensuring he gave his side the best possible starts. After just 35 seconds, the Racing Club de Paris forward turned in a rebound against neighbours Belgium in Colombes to give rise to hope France could have become the third host nation to win the tournament. They eventually succumbed to winner Italy in the quarter-finals.
6. Arne Nyberg (1938): 35 seconds
16/06/1938, (Paris, Parc des Princes), semi-final
Hungary 5-1 Sweden
S. Jacobsen (19 o.g.), Zsengeller (39, 86), Sas (37), Sarosi (66); Nyberg (1)
Barely a week after the game between France and Belgium, amazingly Sweden's Arne Nyberg matched Veinante's exploits, at the Parc des Princes against Hungary. Another goal in 35 seconds might have brought Nyberg a degree of personal glory, it meant nothing in the context of the game - the Hungarians were soon back on level terms before going on to trounce the Swedes and book a place in the final.
7. Bernard Lacombe (1978): 37 seconds
02/06/1978 (Mar del Plata, Parque Municipal), first round
Italy 2-1 France
P. Rossi (29), Zaccarelli (54); Lacombe (1)
There can't be many better ways of launching a World Cup than with a goal within 37 seconds of the opening match. Bernard Lacombe ensured the 1978 edition opened with an immediate bang when he headed home from Didier Six's cross inside the first minute to put France ahead against their great rivals Italy. Les Bleus had not beaten the Azzurri since 1920 and despite the hope Lacombe's goal gave the French, that barren streak continued as Italy ran out 2-1 winners.
French forward Bernard Lacombe heads past Italian defender Mauro Bellugi during the World Cup first round match …
8. Florian Albert (1962): 50 seconds
03/06/1962 (Rancagua, Braden Copper Company Stadium), first round
Hungary 6-1 Bulgaria
Albert (1, 6, 54), Tichy (8, 70), Solymosi (12); Sokolov (64)
As far as individual performances go Florian Albert's against Bulgaria in the group stage of the 1962 World Cup was arguably one of the greatest of all time. It took the Hungarian marksman 50 seconds to open his account before, six minutes to grab a brace, and 53 for his hat-trick as Hungary destroyed the hapless Bulgarians. Albert, who played his entire club career for Ferencvaros, would go on to win the Ballon d'Or in 1967.
9. Adalbert Desu (1930): 50 seconds
14/07/1930 (Montevideo, Estadio Pocitos), first round
Romania 3-1 Peru
Desu (1), Stanciu (79), Kovacs (89); Souza (75)
Details of the first ever World Cup, held in Uruguay, are rather sketchy, but even in the absence of statistics in a world before data journalism, what is clear from that day in 1930 is that a Romanian goal was scored after 50 seconds in Montevideo. There is some dispute over the exact identity the scorer with some sources crediting Constantin Stanciu, but FIFA's official website credits Adalbert Desu, so we'll have to believe that. The quick-fire goal - Romania's first World Cup goal - set them on their way to their maiden victory, although they failed to progress out of the group stage.
10. Celso Ayala (1998): 53 seconds
24/06/1998 (Toulouse, Stadium Municipal), first round
Paraguay 3-1 Nigeria
C. Ayala (1), Benitez (59, Cardozo 86); Oruma (11)
Celso Ayala wrote himself into the World Cup history books when he rose, unmarked, to meet Francisco Arce's free-kick from the right flank in Toulouse. The defender, who retired in 2003 with 85 international caps to his name, nodded past the Nigerian keeper Peter Rufai to spark wild celebrations with his Paraguayan team-mates. The match was just 53 seconds old.
11. Park Seung-jin (1966): 59 seconds
23/07/1966 (Liverpool, Goodison Park), quarter-final
Portugal 5-3 North Korea
Eusebio (27, 42, 57, 59 pen), Jose Augusto (80); Park (1), Lee (22), Yang (25)
Just squeezing into the exclusive sub-minute group is Park Seung-jin, an unlikely entry into the elite list, given the identity of North Korea's opponents that day on Merseyside. Despite the Koreans' upset of Italy just days earlier, Eusebio's Portugal still entered the match as heavy favourites, but the form book was ripped up within a minute of kick-off when Park stunned the crowd with his early effort. Another two Korean goals had the football romantics dreaming of a major upset, but Eusebio soon put paid to that, scoring four to turn the tie on its head and before Jose Augusto added a fifth for a memorable 5-3 win.
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