Football fans love great goals. There are loads of ingredients that make the sport exciting but, at the start of every game, everyone hopes to witness a moment of magic. Keep reading for pieces of genius that have lit up a football pitch.
1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Ajax
Let’s face it, whether you love him or hate him, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a scorer of great goals as well as a great goalscorer. Zlatan had problems at Ajax. He arrived as a cocky 19-year-old for €7.8 million and had a difficult relationship with the fans. But his last goal for the club will be remembered forever.
He used his strength, close control, dribbling, composure and confidence, toying with the entire NAC Breda defence, beating four players – including one twice – before finally putting them out of their misery with a stroke of his left foot into the left corner of the net.
Zlatan won the 2013 Puskas Award with his genius long-range bicycle kick for Sweden against England and that moment also lives fresh in the mind. But, his goal for Ajax was an ounce more special.
2. Ryan Giggs for Manchester United
It was 1991, the year of United’s treble winners. Arsenal, their opponents in this FA Cup semi-final, were their fiercest rivals – it was a hate-hate relationship. David Beckham took first blood for the Red Devils with a dipping strike but Arsenal fought back with a Bergkamp goal. Then Bergkamp went from hero to villain, missing a late penalty.
You know what comes next. Giggs starts his run 15 metres inside the United half, surges forward, uses his skill and pace to drift past four defenders, then smashes the ball into the roof on the net, leaving David Seaman dizzy! What a goal.
3. Lionel Messi for Barcelona
If anyone doubted Messi’s greatness, he convinced them with his weaving run and finish against Getafe in 2007.
Messi showed quickness of mind and feet as amazing as we’d seen before. He picked up the ball on the right, played it through one, then another player, then left one behind with speed, before bursting through the challenges of two more, taking it past the goalkeeper – as if he hadn’t fooled enough defenders already – and then slides the ball into the net from a narrow angle.
4. Dennis Bergkamp for Arsenal
Bergkamp’s goal against Newcastle in 2002 didn’t demand superhuman agility or speed and it wasn’t struck a mile from goal, but it was a display of such imagination and skill, it has to be considered one of the best ever. With his back to goal and a central defender, he sliced the ball with his right foot, sending it spinning behind him and around the defender, pirouetted and was reunited with the ball again to place it into the right corner.
5. Zinedine Zidane for Real Madrid
The best players turn up on the big stages. It was the 2002 Champions League Final against Bayer Leverkusen and a 29-year-old Zidane was in his prime. Zidane was in a team with legends, such as Roberto Carlos, Fernando Hierro, Luis Figo and Raul.
Carlos punted the ball in Zidane’s general direction on the edge of Leverkusen’s area and Zizou caught the cross perfectly with a left-footed hooked volley, which eluded the goalkeeper’s grasp and rippled the net, sending the Hampden Park crowd into raptures.