Soccer has come a long way from the sport that was invented by the Brits to the global phenomenon that it is today. It is the most played sport in the world and with the World Cup coming in 2014; people are gearing up for the mega event in Brazil. Due to websites like YouTube and other video sharing websites, soccer fans around the world are no longer restricted to watching games only on their TV set. They can enjoy some of the classic matches and also rave about the special goals that the past legends scored. If the current generation has players like Lionel Messi, Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo then the past generation was blessed with Diego Maradona, Pele and likes. Here are the most famous football goals till date.
10. Eric Cantona vs. Sunderland, 1996
Eric Cantona was a full package. Not only was he a great player, he was also a good character that was surrounded by controversies and grabbed headlines every time he played for the right or the wrong reasons. His goal vs Sunderland will be remembered for the way it was scored and the celebration that followed later. Cantona did well to take the ball from the half line as he passed it to Brian McClair who returned the favour by passing it to Cantona again on the edge of the box. Cantona then chipped the ball and sent it to the far top corner as Sunderland players were left to see the genius of the Frenchman
9. Geoff Hurst vs. West Germany, 1966
It was the 1966 World Cup final. This goal is still debated as people still cannot decide on whether it was a goal or not! It was 2-2 in the extra time as England’s Alan Ball crossed the ball to find Geoff Hurst who then hit it. But, instead of the ball going in the net, it hit the crossbar, came down and came out! England players started celebrating as they were convinced the ball had crossed the goal line and the referee agreed to it, but the Germans were in distraught and no one can really tell till today if the ball had crossed the line. England went on to win the game and the World Cup, which happens to be their only World Cup till now.
8. Carlos Alberto vs. Italy, 1970
Brazilians loved scoring great goals and this was one of the many they have scored. A goal which is known for the brilliant team co ordination and goal that symbolizes why football is known as the beautiful game. Italians were attacking as the Brazilians took the possession away, then followed some sublime team passing between Clodoaldo, Jairzinho and Pele who laid the ball for Carlos Alberto who blasted the ball into the net from 25 yards away. According to some this goal is regarded as the greatest goal in World Cup history and we can see why it is still remembered!
7. Dennis Bergkamp vs. Argentina, 1998
It was the Quarter Finals of the 1998 World Cup and the game was almost at the end with the extra time looming over. Until the moment Frank de Boer played a brilliant long ball to Dennis Bergkamp in the box. The magic comes later as Bergkamp manages to control the ball with a sublime touch, take it down, and then smash it to the far post. Bergkamp’s 89th minute winner helped Holland to reach the semis and with the help of a goal that is worthy to win any game of soccer.
6. Ryan Giggs vs. Arsenal, 1999
This one is also for those who are fans of great individual goals. Manchester United were going for 3 trophies and FA Cup was one of them. The game was tied at 1 goal for both the teams. Manchester United’s goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel had just saved a penalty and the next goal would have win the game for any team. Arsenal attacked but a pass from their midfielder Patrick Vieira was misplaced to Ryan Giggs who was in his own half. He started dribbling into the oppositions half and beat 4 players before smacking the ball past Arsenal’s goalkeeper David Seaman. This goal is still shown whenever the FA Cup is around the corner and Ryan Giggs’ run, the finish and the celebration after the goal will forever be remembered.
5. Marco Van Basten vs. Soviet Union, 1988
The stage was set, the 1988 European Championship Final was being played and Holland had scored courtesy of a Ruud Gullit goal in the 1st half. But, the goal that sealed the victory will forever be remembered by soccer fans around the world. The ball landed to Arnold Muhren who put a good ball in the right side of the penalty box. Van Basten was watching the ball closely and he came charging in on a very acute angle to hit the ball from. But, as great players always do, he hit the ball in the top corner and sealed the European Championship victory for Holland.
4. Ole Gunnar Solksjaer vs Bayern Munich, 1999
Voted as the most iconic moment in European soccer history, this goal in stoppage time of the 1999 European Cup to win the cup is the most famous goal in club football. Manchester United were down by 1 goal when the referee awarded 3 additional minutes. No one could have thought something as dramatic could ever happen. Teddy Sheringham scored the equalizer and gave some hope for Manchester United. United were attacking and in the very last minute, Ole Gunnar scored the goal that won them the European Cup. Everything about this goal is still remembered, the drama towards the end, the celebration and the Bayern Munich team that was too tired to even get up to play after the goal.
3. Roberto Carlos vs. France – 1997, Banana Free kick
Possibly the weirdest goal one could ever score. It wasn’t fluke yet it defined the laws of physics. It was 0-0 as Brazil got a free kick about 35 yards from the goal. Roberto Carlos was up for taking it, he put the ball and went back 15 odd steps for the long run up. What happened next still amazes people even though they have seen it numerous times. Carlos hits it from the outside of it boot and the ball takes the outward direction only to then turn in an insane manner and somehow end up in the net. France’s goalkeeper Fabian Barthez could do nothing but watch the ball go in the net.
2. Diego Maradona vs. England 1986 – Hand of God
Maradona was good at soccer that he scored two of the most famous goals in the same game. This one just happens to be the most controversial as well as the most famous goal any soccer player has ever scored. The game was tied at 0-0 when Maradona played the ball out to team mate Valdano, who scooped the ball in the air. Both Peter Shilton, who was England’s goalkeeper and Maradona go for the ball but before Shilton could touch it, Maradona scores with his hand instead of heading it! The linesman and the referee didn’t spot it and the goal stood as legit goal.
1. Diego Maradona vs. England, 1986
Often regarded as the goal of the century, this game involved Maradona scoring 2 memorable goals. One of them was the famous ‘Hand Of God’ goal and the other one was sublime piece of skill which has been tried many times but only fellow Argentinean Lionel Messi has successfully managed to replicate it. Maradona picked the ball in his own defensive half and then went on the beat not 1, not 2 but 5 England players namely Stephen Hodge, Peter Beardsley, Peter Reid, Terry Butcher and Peter Shilton before sliding the ball into the net. Maradona had a god given gift and this goal polarizes everything good about the soccer legend!