20 Best Goals of the 2013/14 Serie A Season
It was quite the season in Serie A. Juventus ended up winning an historic third Scudetto, but Roma put up a fine challenge, amassing so many points that most other years, they'd have won the title comfortably.
Farther down the table, there were no shortage of action either. Fiorentina and Napoli provided plenty of thrills, as did Torino and Parma. Even the freshly promoted Hellas Verona weren't afraid to take on the league's best, and surprised everyone with an impressive return to the top flight.
After all that action, it would be hard enough for tifosi to agree on the 20 best goals of the season, never mind rank them. Some like lobs, some like rockets, and others enjoy nothing more than a good old-fashioned rampaging dribble past a swathe of hapless defenders. With that in mind, here's one humble observers collection of the campaign's best strikes.
Milan's Valter Birsa vs. Udinese
Valter Birsa has hardly set the world alight at Milan, scoring just twice all season. The Slovenian did, however, manager one of the goals of the season against Udinese back in October.
Juventus' Paul Pogba vs. Sampdoria
Paul Pogba's thunderous strike against Sampdoria in January put the game out of reach of the Blucerchiati, sealed a 4-2 win for the Bianconeri and sent the Turin faithful into raptures. It's easy to see why.
Milan's Kaka vs. Lazio
Kaka's return to form at the San Siro has been steady rather than spectacular, but his performance early in the season—topped off by this brilliant goal—was very impressive. The Brazilian clearly has something left to offer; let's hope we see more of this next term.
Livorno's Emerson vs. Torino
Livorno are a popular side in Italy, so it's a shame to see them relegated after just one season back in the top flight. Not least because they've got a centre-back who can score goals like this. This impressive strike gave his side the lead against Torino, one that they unfortunately lost late on to an Alessio Cerci penalty. It finished 3-3.
Torino's Alessio Cerci vs. Genoa
He might not be as famous as some of his teammates at the World Cup, but if there's any football fan who doesn't follow Serie A wondering what kind of player Torino's Alessio Cerci is, look no farther than this wonder goal against Genoa.
Parma's Alessandro Lucarelli vs. Torino
It was a subtle little back-heel flick that any forward would be proud of, but it came from Parma's veteran centre-back Alessandro Lucarelli. The 36-year-old captain won't score better than this.
Cagliari's Marco Sau vs. Genoa
They don't have a lot to cheer about in Sardinia these days, but this will have gotten the Cagliari fans in good spirits. A brilliant effort from the 26-year-old Marco Sau, who is from Sorgono, about 90km outside of the island's capital city where he plies his trade. The goal in question is at the 1' 40" mark.
Juventus' Fernando Llorente vs. Livorno
Fernando Llorente's opening goal against Livorno back in November was the epitome of cool—a tap-in at the end of a flawless team move.
Juve left the Armando Picchi 0-2 winners that day, having stamped their authority early on. The counter-attack leading up to the Spaniard's goal was started by Kwadwo Asamoah and continued by Paul Pogba, who lofted a perfectly-weighted ball to the tall striker, who was ready to take full advantage with a confident volley.
Napoli's Henrique vs. Catania
Henrique didn't get much playing time at Napoli this season, but if the 27-year-old Brazilian scored more goals like the one he scored against Catania, he'd be a nailed-on starter for Rafa Benitez.
Sampdoria's Stefano Okaka vs. Catania
Serie A fans might find it hard to credit that Stefano Okaka, now at Sampdoria, is only 24. The striker made his debut for Roma in the UEFA Cup all the way back in 2005—the youngest player to do so in the history of Italian football. Things never quite worked out for him at the Olimpico, and after several loan moves, he eventually moved permanently to Parma before joining Samp in January. Hopefully, he's found a long-term home in Genoa, where he's been a solid performer, making 13 appearances and scoring five goals with three assists. If he can manage more like this gem, he might end up fulfilling his potential yet.
Pogba Again, vs. Napoli
Poor Pepe Reina had no chance against this expertly struck volley. The Frenchman teed himself up to the long-range effort calmly on the edge of the area before unleashing a shot that Napoli were powerless to stop. It was the final, and best, of the three Juve put past the hapless visitors in November.
Juventus' Carlos Tevez vs. Milan
It was a productive debut season for Carlos Tevez at Juventus. Not only did the Argentine manage 19 goals, but he was involved in many more for the Bianconeri, working well during build-up play as well as tracking back when his team lost the ball and moving into clever positions to create space for midfield runners when they launched counter attacks. Of all his goals, this strike against Milan was the best.
Roma's Alessandro Florenzi vs. Genoa
And another one again, from Roma's Alessandro Florenzi, who comes out on top by virtue of the fact that his bicycle kick was at a more difficult angle. This was part of the Giallorossi's 4-0 rout of Genoa in January.
Inter's Fredy Guarin vs. Torino
Everyone loves a bicycle kick. Here's Fredy Guarin, ending the goal mouth scramble with a decisive strike to pull his side back into contention in an away tie with Torino that would eventually end 3-3.
Bologna's Panagiotis Kone vs. Sampdoria
Here's another for good measure. This time it's Bologna's Albanian-Greek attacking midfielder Panagiotis Kone doing the business against Sampdoria back in September.
Milan's Mario Balotelli vs. Bologna
Milan's Mario Balotelli has had a mixed season. He's come in for plenty of criticism in Italy, and seemed a shadow of his former self for much of the season, failing to ignite the Rossoneri's attack in the same way as he managed last year. Despite that, he scored more goals than ever before in his career, of which, this strike against Bologna was the best.
Torino's Ciro Immobile vs. Roma
Roma's defence didn't let an awful lot past them this season, but there was no stopping Torino's Ciro Immobile with this one. It was Toro at their very best and a goal to be enjoyed again and again.
Roma's Miralem Pjanic vs. Milan
Miralem Pjanic had an incredible season for Roma, developing into one of the most entertaining—and devastatingly effective—creative midfielders in the game. Not a lot needs to be said about his goal against Milan—most of you will already have watched it. More than once.
Juventus' Andrea Pirlo vs. Genoa
After 90 minutes played without a goal away to Genoa, as Roma were piling on the pressure behind them in the league, step forward Andrea Pirlo, one of Serie A's all-time greats and a genius with a football in general. This free kick from just outside the box is pretty much as good as they come—and it's made all the better by the fact that it came at such a crucial moment in the game, and in Juve's title charge.
Pjanic Again, vs. Verona
Miralem Pjanic with more magic, this time against Hellas Verona. There's something irresistably cheeky about a lob from any distance, but pulling it off with a deft flick from this far outside a box over a line of defenders and the keeper is more than a little special.