In the history of the beautiful game, there have been some truly stunning goals that push the limits of what we thought possible when it comes to quick-thinking, skill and good old-fashioned luck.
With a little help from YouTube, and some fond memories around the office, we’ve rounded up what we consider to be 10 of the most jaw-dropping and majestic goals of all time. Here they are in no particular order:
Argentina Vs England 2:1 1986
No list of iconic goals would be complete without mentioning Argentina’s golden boy Diego Maradona and how he crushed England’s world cup dreams in ‘86, painful as it is to watch. But it isn’t the famous ‘hand of god’ goal that makes this list, but the one that came shortly after, where Maradona danced down the right wing and into football legend.
England Vs Greece 2:2 2001
It was the kick that sent England into the World Cup Finals in 2002. With England trailing 2 – 1 to Greece, deep into injury time with 93 minutes on the clock, and with Beckham having missed the previous five long range free kicks, this next one would decide everything. And not only did he make it, but he did it with impressive style.
Robin Van Persie
Spain Vs Netherland 1:5 2014
With half-time approaching and the Spanish leading 1 – 0 thanks to a penalty by Xabi Alonso, the Dutch were in sore need of something inspiring. Enter Van Persie, who converted Daley Blind’s expertly timed pass into a superman-style header that soared passed the keeper and into the history books.
Fiorentina Vs Barcelona 3:3 1999
You may be forgiven for not knowing Mauro Bressan, who seldom made headlines during the course of his modest career. But one undisputed highlight which still stands out today is his 25 yard overhead kick for Fiorentina during the Champions League which secured a 3-3 draw against rivals Barcelona.
Man United Vs Man City 2:1 2011
In a flash of brilliance, Rooney’s stunning bicycle kick in the 78th minute secured United’s victory over derby rival’s Man City in a goal that Rooney himself has described as his most important for Manchester United. It isn’t hard to see why.
Barcelona Vs Getafe 5:2 2007
Eerily reminiscent of Maradona and arguably one of the greatest goals in Messi’s career, this demolition against Getafe’s defence in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi final has to go down as one of the sport’s most iconic goals.
Having received the ball in his own half, the Argentinian went on to best no less than four defenders and the goalkeeper, before neatly chipping it over the line and into the history books.
Sweden Vs England 4:2 2012
For a player like Zlatan Ibrahimovi?, all you need is an opening. And that’s exactly what happened in 2012 during an international friendly against England. We hate to put another goal against England in this list, but Ibrahimovi? earned it.
Joe Hart, the English goalkeeper, failed to clear the ball with a poorly executed header and that was all Ibrahimovi? needed. Not content with the hat trick already under his belt, the Swedish legend leapt into the air, back to goal, and belted an overhead kick from 35 yards away. His composure, technique, and accuracy make this more than just a lucky shot. This is Ibrahimovi? at his best. It’s also the goal that won him the 2013 FIFA Puskás Award for Goal of the Year. And it’s easy to see why.
Wolfsburg Vs Bayern 5:1 2009
Grafite’s expert handling left Bayern’s defence tied up in knots, but it was his understated and agonizingly slow finish which sets this goal apart. A casual flick of the back heel, which was both beautiful and comical in timing, became Germany’s goal of the year and awarded Grafite the highest individual honour German football can bestow, footballer of the year.
Baroka FC Vs Orlando Pirates 1:1 2016
Goalkeeper’s don’t often get their name on the scoresheet, and when they do, it’s never quite as stunning as what this keeper pulled off in 2016. Deep into stoppage time and trailing 1 – 0, Masuluke left his own box for his opponent’s in a last ditch attempt to salvage the game. He was first to the ball as the corner was punched away by his opposite number and in a spectacular and dramatic twist, Masaluke managed to save his team from defeat.
Arsenal Vs Crystal Palace 2:0 2017
It’s the kind of goal you see executed by skilled players on the latest Fifa. One you replay to your mates repeatedly. But this isn’t button bashing skill gone viral, it’s real life. Arsene Wenger described it as the greatest goal he had seen at the Emirates stadium, and so too did football fans, as it later went on to earn Giroud the FIFA Puskás Award for goal of the year. It’s not hard to see why. This stunning back heeled scorpion kick demonstrates the French striker’s exceptional reflexes and technique and the best quick-thinking football has to offer.
Mohd Faiz Subri
Pulau Pinang vs Pahang 4:1 2016
It was the seemingly physics-defying free kick, where the ball curved so wickedly many around the world had to stop and ask themselves ‘how did he do that?’, that earned Mohd Faiz Subri millions of fans around the world and led to him becoming the first Malaysian to win the FIFA Puskas award.
Whether it was a combination of sheer skill and power, coupled with the aerodynamic quirks of the ball, and the impact the climate had on the balls trajectory, one thing is for certain: this is a stunner of a free kick.
Did we miss any gems? Let us know by posting the goal below!