Over the years, we’ve seen some stunning goals, some volleys, some overhead kicks, some freekicks and even penalties that have caught out eye. Goals are great, but the best ones are those that have been scored with purpose and intent.
In this edition, we talk about 10 such goals that caught our imagination.
10. Geoff Hurst vs West Germany, 1966 World Cup Final
The most controversial goal of all time, Geoff Hurst’s scandalous shot may have never crossed the line, but it sure gave England their only World Cup to date.
After the match got locked at 2-2 in regulation time at Wembley, the English responded with twin strikes from Hurst to make it 4-2 after extra time. True drama, one of the best World Cup Finals ever.
9. Zinedine Zidane vs Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 2002 UEFA Champions League Final
You can’t keep the current Real Madrid coach and Madrid-Juve legend far away from lists like this. Zizou smashed home from range in the Final of the Champions League 2002 to kill Leverkusen hopes of revival.
The fact that the goal came off an exquisite volley off his weaker left foot makes it all the more special.
8. Alberto Carlos vs Italy, 1970 World Cup Final
Brazil led Italy 2-1 by the 80th minute and things looked pretty much set for the Brazilians to lift the World Cup. Alberto Carlos scored probably the most ruthless goal of the 1970 World Cup right at this point, asserting Samba dominance over European heavyweights Italy.
His volley from the right flank was hit with immense power and precision, it flew into the net to make scores 4-1, a final nail in the coffin for the Italians.
7. Trevor Sinclair vs Barnsley, 1997-98 FA Cup
Probably the best FA Cup goal ever, and trust me there’s been some amazing ones scored, this one is from QPR’s Trevor Sinclair who dared to take a bicycle kick from the edge of the box off a cross from the right flank.
With the keeper’s positioning all wrong Barnsley conceeded from what was an amazing acrobatic effort.
6. Roberto Carlos vs France, 1997 Tournoi de France
Another Roberto Carlos stunner, this one was a freekick of epic proportions, famously renamed as the Banana Freekick because of the flight of the ball.
While in air, the ball swerved from an impossible angle to beat French keeper Fabian Barthez and find the back of the net.
5. Tony Yeboah vs Liverpool, 1995-96 Premier League
A very special one for Leeds United fans, Tony Yeboah clinched victory for Leeds against mighty Liverpool with a stunning volley that flew in past David James in the Liverpool goal.
The goal came at the end of a disorganized phase of Leeds buildup that had them somehow keeping possession of the ball as Liverpool midfielders closed them down.
4. Nayim vs Arsenal, 1995-96 UEFA Europa League Final
Mohammed Ali Nayim stunned one and all with his stunning volley from the halfway line to catch out David Seaman in the Final of the Europa League played between Arsenal and Real Zaragoza.
Nayim’s goal was an optimal combination of vision and execution to score one of the best goals on an European Final night.
3. Geroge Weah vs Verona, 1995-96 Serie A
The Liberian who also became the President of his country later, the ex-Gunner and AC Milan forward George Weah scored probably the best goal Serie A has ever seen when he took the ball from his own penalty box and sprinted to the other half, dribbling past clusters of Verona defenders to score and entirely solo effort.
2. Lionel Messi vs Getafe, 2010-11 La Liga
Messi’s best goal ever, and he’s scored plenty – this one came at a time when he wasn’t even the centerpiece of the Barcelona team.
A solo effort yet again, Messi dribbled past Getafe defenders at ease and finished past the keeper to announce his arrival on the La Liga scene. He has been dominating ever since.
1. Diego Maradona vs England, 1986 World Cup Quarterfinals
Touted as the Goal of the Century, when you take a closer look at this one, you realize why. The Argentine legend took the ball from the halfway-line, dribbled past 4 English defenders and shot past goalkeeper Shilton.
The goal was neat and controlled and not a single English defender could get their feet on the ball.