World Football: 100 Best Goals Ever
There has been much debate in the past as to what the best goals ever scored are, with many countdowns, polls and arguments over the matter.
Now it's time that this matter was bought to Bleacher Report for the community here to decide which goals deserve the most recognition.
Most of the usual suspects are included with a few surprise entries here and there. In fact, there was also a surprise winner of the voting.
So after all the goals had been both nominated and voted for by the Bleacher Report community, here are the top 100 goals in history according to all of you readers.
100. Gergely Rudolf vs Debrecen
Starting with Gergely Rudolf scoring against Hungarian side Debrecen...
After confusing a few defenders with some neat little footwork, Rudolf goes on to strike the ball cleanly round the remaining defenders and the goalkeeper into the corner of the net.
99. Mario Stanic vs West Ham United
For those of you wanting to learn how to volley, watch this...lots.
Stanic sets himself up in acres of space multiple times before hoofing the ball past the unaware West Ham goalkeeper.
98. Juan Roman Riquelme vs Bolivia
Juan Roman Riquelme, one of Argentina's finest midfielder's of the past generation.
By this evidence, he's also one of Argentina's finest set piece specialists as well.
97. Andriy Shevchenko vs Slovenia
Slightly reminiscent of the first slide with Gergely Rudolf but this time with the superstar that was Andriy Shevchenko.
The Ukrainian legend neatly curls the ball past the goalkeeper who, let's face it, had no chance.
96. Eliran Atar vs Maccabi Netania
Everyone loves a good bicycle kick.
The coaches' faces afterwards say it all as Eliran Atar scores one of the most unexpected goals the Israeli league has ever seen.
95. Nelinho vs Italy
Going back a little bit more now to the 1978 World Cup and one of the lesser known Brazilian stars, Nelinho.
Another curling shot from the edge of the box, and my what a curl it is.
94. Ronnie Radford vs Newcastle
Perhaps the goal doesn't look quite as impressive as it was on the video, but Ronnie Radford ensured he would go down in memory by scoring this corker.
Just remember that the footballs were a lot heavier back in those days and with the conditions...it was a stunning goal.
93. Mark Hughes vs Spain
Mark Hughes...Fulham manager.
Once upon a time he used to be able to score goals like this too. Half bicycle kick, half something else... I'm not even sure what it was.
92. Lothar Matthäus vs Yugoslavia
The great German, scoring one of the greatest goals in the countries history.
With efficiency like this, it's no wonder Germany are regulars in the World Cup semifinals.
91. Paul Gascoigne vs Scotland
Another one of Paul Gascoigne's famous goals, this time in an international rivalry.
Gascoigne hit this goal at Euro 1996, straight after skipping past Colin Hendry, one of Scotland's finest players in years.
90. Jose Manuel Rey vs Ecuador
A long shot, the likes of which will be seen many times throughout this slideshow.
Jose Manuel Rey scored this unbelievable free kick in a World Cup qualifier against Ecuador, and it certainly got some attention for him.
89. Saeed Al Owairan vs Belgium
Slightly surprising that it's found so low down as many people have rated this as the finest Asian goal of all time.
Rarely failing to break the top 10 in these lists, this time around though, you readers have been tougher on the goal.
88. Roberto Baggio vs Udinese
Not only an Italian legend but also a Udinese legend for scoring this goal.
Roberto Baggio, the pony tailed Italian superstar, took the ball past three defenders before sneaking it past the goalkeeper from a particularly awkward angle.
87. Garrincha vs Fiorentina
Sadly it's very difficult, if not impossible to find a video of this goal, but you readers were brave enough to vote for it anyway.
Here's how Wikipedia sums it up:
"One month before the 1958 World Cup finals started, Garrincha scored one of his most famous goals, in Italy versus Fiorentina when he beat 4 defenders and the goalkeeper, and then when faced with an open goal, rather than scoring, he waited for another defender to get back and dribbled past him before scoring."
86. Henrik Larsson vs Rangers
Henrik Larsson already has his name written in Celtic history as one of the finest strikers the club has seen and one of the best Swedish players of a generation.
Here, in an Old Firm Derby, Larsson takes the ball past two defenders before gently lobbing the goalkeeper in a fashion that sums up his amazing ability perfectly.
85. Davor Suker vs Denmark
It never was easy to beat Peter Schmeichel, but it is a bit better after he's just run the length of the pitch after returning from a corner.
Davor Suker lobs Schmeichel with ease here, as he make one of the finest keepers of all time look simply foolish.
84. Joe Cole vs Sweden
A goal that England fans have seen hundreds of times by now, with Joe Cole scoring the volley that really put his name on the England map.
The goal was scored during the 2006 World Cup group stages against Sweden in a match that ended 2-2.
83. Ronaldinho vs Werder Bremen
Despite his age eventually catching up with him, there are still many fantastic memories of Ronaldinho.
This free kick was perhaps one of his best, as he leaves the Werder Bremen keeper with absolutely no chance.
82. Arie Haan vs Italy
Another trip to the past, and this time with Arie Haan scoring an unbelievable strike against Italy.
This wasn't his only goal like this though as Arie Haan became quite renowned for these spectacular strikes, although this was arguably the best.
81. Roberto Baggio vs Czechoslovakia
Another Roberto Baggio goal which initially starts off much like his Udinese goal.
This one however, is far batter known as the striker scored vs Czechoslovakia in the 1990 World Cup with this very tidy shot past the keeper.
80. Linus Hallenius vs Syrianska
The goal that bought much fame and attention to the Swede, and it's not the only special goal that Hallenius has scored in his career.
It was almost reminiscent of Marco Van Basten's famous volley...but not quite as good as we shall see.
79. Archie Gemmill vs Netherlands
Archie Gemill was one of Scotland's all-time greatest stars, and this goal just proves why.
He doesn't even look as though he's trying when he skips past those players. If only Scotland could still compete that well with Holland?
78. John Barnes vs Brazil
Another famous goal for all of England's fans, as John Barnes takes on Brazil and wins.
In fact, this goal led to the famous "John Barnes 1 Brazil 0" banners and quotes that started going around after the match.
77. Jay Jay Okocha vs Karlsruher SC
With a name like Jay-Jay you're bound to stand out in the footballing world, but in this case, he made sure it was for all the right reasons.
After looking like he's taken "one touch too many," he decides to take another "5,000 steps too many" but still slots the ball neatly past the keeper.
76. Matt Le Tissier vs Blackburn Rovers
Another one of Matt Le Tissier's great goals for Southampton, but this one is particularly impressive.
Not only does he take the ball around players but also hammers it in from long range. It's what made him a fan's favorite at St Mary's for all those years.
75. Gheorghe Hagi vs Colombia
Gheorghe Hagi was quite possibly Romania's greatest ever player, and this goal is proof of that.
The midfielder picks up the ball and shoots from a position that no one expects him to score from, not even the goalkeeper, which is when he proves everybody wrong.
74. George Weah vs Verona
George Weah, Liberia's greatest ever player (although let's face it, that can't be too tough).
When he scored this goal, fans must have been waiting every single touch for him to pass, but he just kept running and running and finished it off with a lovely little goal.
73. Trevor Sinclair vs Barnsley
Mention Trevor Sinclair to any English football fan, and this will be what immediately springs to their mind.
It's just a stunning example of exactly how a bicycle kick should be done, with absolutely perfect technique.
72. Ferenc Puskas vs England
The Magnificent Magyars vs. The Egotistical England.
Hungary humiliated England twice before the 1954 World Cup, putting the over expectant fans and officials in their place. Ferenc Puskas also did it with style.
71. Sir Bobby Charlton vs Mexico
Sir Bobby Charlton was already an English star by the time he scored this goal, but when it did go in, he was well on his way to becoming a true legend of the game.
This goal was one of many along the way to England securing their one and only World Cup title to date.
70. Paul Scholes vs Bradford
Paul Scholes hit this stunner years back when Bradford were in the Premier League.
It was such a quick, stunning volley that even the camera man failed to keep up with it. Another one of his goals that has cemented his place in United's history forever.
69. Shunsuke Nakamura vs Rangers
As the commentator will be heard saying, this was Shunsuke Nakamura's first Old Firm Derby goal, and he wasn't wrong when he called it a stunner either.
The Japanese midfielder won over the hearts and minds of the Celtic faithful with this absolute corker.
68. Alan Shearer vs Everton
Shearer is a name that has been put alongside club legends such as Jackie Milburn and Peter Beardsley at Newcastle, and there's no wonder why.
Back in Newcastle's glory days, many of their fans no doubt wish they had this legend back at the club.
67. Mauro Bressan vs Barcelona
Almost like Trevor Sinclair's bicycle kick seen a few slides back but this time from even further out.
What makes it more impressive is that it was against Barcelona and Bressan was surrounded by the club's players.
66. Tony Yeboah vs Liverpool
Tony Yeboah scored many great goals for Leeds United, this is just one of a number of them.
It clearly stood out though as it's been voted as one of two Tony Yeboah goals on this list.
65. Paolo Di Canio vs Wimbledon
Another Premier League club legend, Paulo Di Canio has gone down in West Ham history as one of the club's finest strikers.
This goal was the perfect volley with absolutely flawless technique, including the complete legs swing.
64. Hugo Sanchez vs Athletic Bilbao
Hugo Sanchez earned the nickname "Hugoal" for a reason, in fact, for multiple reasons.
This was just one in a long list of those reasons as to why Mexico's greatest ever striker earned his moniker.
63. Esteban Cambiasso vs Serbia
Esteban Cambiasso's goal here is not only brilliant because of his final tap past the goalkeeper, but mainly because of the 27 passes Argentina put together beforehand.
This is just a perfect example of how to build an attack against even the toughest opposition.
62. Michael Owen vs Argentina
Maybe another surprise that it was put so low on the list, Michael Owen scored this now infamous goal against Argentina which threw him onto the world football map.
Keeping in mind he was just 17 at the time and it was his first World Cup, it was an amazing goal.
61. Carlos Alberto vs Italy
Another prime example of how to build an attack to demolish even the strongest of teams.
This time though, Carlos Alberto absolutely hammers the ball into the Italian net perfectly in sync with the rest of his team who set him up beautifully.
60. Freddie Ljungberg vs Juventus
This goal is no doubt on here for Bergkamp's assist more so than Ljungberg's finish, but it's still a mightily impressive piece of play.
Bergkamp is probably best known for his goals against Argentina and Newcastle (which will both be seen later), but scoring is not all he did, as this video proves.
59. Robert Pires vs Aston Villa
Robert Pires, another Arsenal legend from the Invincible's era, showed just what he could do with this cheeky little run.
A few flicks later and the ball was in the back of the net and Pires was off celebrating.
58. Danny Rose vs Arsenal
The goal that put the youngster firmly onto the White Hart Lane scene and helped him win over the hearts of the White Hart Lane faithful with his first touch of the ball.
He's only played a few first team games for Spurs since, but his first goal will never be forgotten.
57. Steven Gerrard vs Manchester United
Steven Gerrard scored this screamer back in his younger days at Liverpool, and what made it even better for him, was it being against their big rivals.
Perhaps one of the best long shots Gerrard has scored.
56. Marco Van Basten vs FC Den Bosch
Going back a little bit again, this time to 1986 and the great Marco Van Basten.
The usual bicycle kick technique, but what made it better was the unbelievable placement on the shot as it fired right into the top corner.
55. Gianfranco Zola vs Norwich
Gianfranco Zola scored this lovely goal against Norwich back in his glory days at Chelsea.
He truly was a fan favourite at the club, and this goal just goes to prove why. A cheeky little flick showed off with a cheeky little smile.
54. Ronaldo vs Compostela
The goal that sums up everything Ronaldo was at his very best.
The Brazilian takes on the ball around the half way line, sprints pass some defenders, tricks his way past others before perfectly placing the ball right past the goalkeeper.
53. Hamit Altintop vs Kazakhstan
Voted goal of the year in 2010 in the FIFA Ferenc Puskas Award; this strike by Hamit Altintop is a perfect model of how a volley should be taken.
Perhaps not one of the greatest players of his generation, but it could well prove one of the greatest goals.
52. Nwankwo Kanu vs Chelsea
Nwankwo Kanu scored this great goal for Arsenal against London rivals Chelsea from what many would have thought was an impossible angle.
Kanu probably scored this goal at 54 years of age as opposed to the 20's listed on his records.
51. Ronaldinho vs Villarreal
Ronaldinho was one of the greatest players this generation has ever seen, and this goal is just one of a number of his that will be seen on his list.
Not just a simple bicycle kick, but he chests the ball down to control it before hitting it straight past the keeper.
50. Gareth Bale vs Stoke
Whether or not you're one of the people who thinks he's overrated, there can be no denying that this goal that Bale scored against Stoke was one of the finest from this Premier League season.
It seems that that fact has been reflected in your votes as it sits at No. 50 on this list.
49. Tony Yeboah vs Wimbledon
The second Tony Yeboah goal on this list, and another cracking goal from distance.
This time he doesn't only volley the ball from outside the area, instead he brings it down, takes it around one player, before slamming it into the back of the net.
48. Juninho Pernambucano vs Ajaccio
Quite possibly the finest free kick taker the world has ever seen, Juninho Pernambucano scored a number of stunning set pieces during his long career.
This was arguably the best of them as he struck a 40-plus-yard monster free kick against Ajaccio for Lyon.
47. George Best vs Fort Lauderdale
Apparently, George Best didn't score his best career goal for Manchester United. It was more obviously for the San Jose Earthquakes....
Well, I guess you should judge that for yourself, but this was his highest voted goal.
46. Paul Scholes vs Panathinaikos
Another Paul Scholes belter, as this time the fire-headed midfielder slams one into the back of the net in the Champions League against Panathinaikos.
Not quite as powerful as his last few goals we've seen but a flawless lob that completely tricked the waiting keeper.
45. Maicon vs Juventus
Many people may remember Maicon for his goal in the World Cup against North Korea, but this one was voted as better.
This time he takes four touches to set his own volley up, which ends up right in the top corner.
44. Grafite vs Bayern Munich
This Grafite goal was nominated for the 2009 Ferenc Puskas award, and although it didn't win, it seemed to be quite popular in this voting.
The not-too-well-known midfielder took the ball around a number of defenders before making a trick shot for the ball to slowly roll into the goal.
43. Matty Burrows vs Portadown
In this list, the famous Irish League goal beat out its successor in the 2010 Ferenc Puskas award and perhaps deservingly so.
It's nice for more unpopular leagues to get some attention, especially if it's for a reason as good as this.
42. Clarence Seedorf vs Atletico Madrid
While it's not the most famous goal on this list, I have to admit it's my personal favourite.
It's not often that you see a shot from such long range go in, let alone when it's struck with such venomous power and ends up right in the top corner.
41. Alessandro Del Piero vs Fiorentina
The Juventus Legend, Alessandro Del Piero was always going to feature somewhere on this list, and his goal against Fiorentina was the one that was voted on.
Just one touch was all it took for Del Piero to flick the ball away from the defenders and over the reach of the goalkeeper.
40. Eric Cantona vs Sunderland
The famous scene of Cantona turning around looking like what he'd just done was absoloutely nothing. The scene also featured on this season's match of the day opening sequence.
Cantona scored this wonderful goal against Sunderland which effectively cemented his place as a United legend.
39. Johan Cruyff vs Belgium
Johan Cruyff: Possibly the Netherlands finest player of all time.
This goal shows just a small amount of his ability. In fact, the defender probably expected him to trick him with the equally famous "Cruyff turn" as opposed to trying this ludicrous shot.
38. Diego Maradona vs Belgium
We've yet to see that far more famous Maradona goal that most people will no doubt be expecting, but this goal was almost as good.
It produced that famous picture of Maradona being marked by six Belgians.
37. Pele vs Sweden
Just above Maradona's goal is his greatest rival for the title of "Best player ever," Pele.
In what was most likely Pele's greatest goal, he volleyed the ball over two Swedes before giving it one more, perfectly timed, volley into the bottom corner of the net.
36. Dejan Stankovic vs Schalke 04
Perhaps a surprise that it's up so high, especially given that it's not the first time Stankovic has done this.
I don't want to take anything away from the goal, the accuracy on the volley was great, but it's height is probably more to do with it being a recent goal than anything else.
35. Paul Scholes vs Barcelona
Paul Scholes shows up again. This time with, arguably, the best of his screamers.
What made it more important and impressive was that it was against Barcelona, but it's rare you see a shot closer to the top corner than this.
34. Ronaldinho vs Sevilla
It was as if Ronaldinho decided to go on a Maradona/Messi-esque run himself but got bored halfway through so just decided to thump the ball into the back of the net.
A perfect combination of skill and power.
33. Matt Le Tissier vs Newcastle
Matt Le Tissier, Southampton's favourite legend, has another great goal on this list.
Dare I say it looks a lot like the Pele goal against Sweden, just from a different position?
32. Maxi Rodriguez vs Mexico
Maxi Rodriguez has shown much of his best form for Liverpool toward the end of this past season, but it'll be hard for him to match this.
Not only a stunning volley but also perfectly set up for himself, leaving the goalkeeper with no chance.
31. Cristiano Ronaldo vs Portsmouth
Love him or hate him, Ronaldo can take a mean free kick.
This time, he hit the ball perfectly into the top corner with just the right amount of dip on it to get over the wall and down in time for the goal.
30. Giovani Van Bronkhorst vs Uruguay
One of the stand out goals of the World Cup 2010 and almost slightly reminiscent of my favourite Seedorf strike from earlier in this slideshow.
Van Bronkhorst has scored some great goals in his time, but few will ever be as good or on as big of a stage as this was.
29. Rivaldo vs Valencia
Quite possibly the most famous bicycle kick of all time, and this time scored by the Brazilian great, Rivaldo.
The very slight outwards curve on the ball left the goalkeeper with no chance as its perfect placement was always going to lead to a goal.
28. Samir Nasri vs Porto
Believe it or not, every single version of this video on youtube has had embedding blocked, so all that can be done is a link added here.
Still, the goal has Nasri written all over it, and boy do Arsenal fans admire him for things like this.
27. Paul Gascoigne vs Arsenal
It would appear that voting has been cruel on Arsenal fans as, once again, a Tottenham goal against their rivals appears right above a goal by their rivals.
This time it's Paul Gascoigne's turn as he takes what turned out to be quite possibly the finest and most famous free kick of his career, that would eventually send Tottenham to the FA Cup final at the expense of Arsenal.
26. Ronaldinho vs Chelsea
Ronaldinho again, and what a goal it is this time.
He doesn't take the ball on a manic run, nor does he takes a powerful shot from long range, instead he takes only one step to smash the ball into the corner with amazing technique and precision.
25. Paul Scholes vs Aston Villa
...and again Paul Scholes pops up.
In what is his final goal listed on this slideshow, Paul Scholes shows that hitting long rangers regardless of position or delivery can always be done.
24. Roberto Carlos vs Tenerife
Roberto Carlos' best known goal is most obviously his "banana kick" free kick, but this one is almost equally stunning.
Everyone's thinking, "He won't score from there." Then he does. Not much more can sum up the goal other than the expression on his face at the end of the clip.
23. Ronaldinho vs England
Ronaldinho's most famous free kick... at least for England fans.
The goal that knocked England out of the 2002 World Cup was a great free kick. It may not have gone in had David Seaman been, well, a bit more active, but that shouldn't take anything away from the brilliant finish.
22. Arjen Robben vs Manchester United
Arjen Robben's goal against Manchester United here was not only special because it was a volley, but also because of the style.
It wasn't a high looping volley, instead it was fed through all the United defenders leaving the keeper with very little chance to see the ball, let alone save it.
21. David Beckham vs Wimbledon
The goal that truly put Beckham on the map.
Having looked up and seen Neil Sullivan off of his line, it was almost as if Beckham decided to line the ball up perfectly on the halfway line before hitting it home.
20. Marco Van Basten vs USSR
The Marco Van Basten goal that people were waiting for.
Van Basten scored this fantastic volley against USSR back in 1988, and many have tried to emulate it since...none have succeeded.
19. Thierry Henry vs Tottenham Hotspur
A small amount of revenge here for Arsenal fans as the club's finest ever striker scores against rivals Tottenham.
The mazy run of the striker deserves recognition even if the finishing wasn't up to much.
18. Steven Gerrard vs West Ham United
Steven Gerrard is renowned for scoring long range screamers and few have been better than this one.
What made it even better for him was that it was a late equalizer in the FA Cup final for Liverpool, making it one of his most important screamers as well.
17. Robin Van Persie vs Charlton Athletic
Robin Van Persie has long been trying to fill the Bergkamp's boots at Arsenal, and it's goals like this that prove he's coming close.
The volley came straight off the back of a long run which only made the finish even more difficult for him.
16. Thierry Henry vs Charlton Athletic
More Arsenal, more Thierry Henry. This time the famous French striker backheels the ball not only past the goalkeeper but past a defender as well.
The sudden flick clearly caught the goalkeeper off guard as it went straight into the back of the net.
15. Dennis Bergkamp vs Argentina
It could quite easily be argued that a lot of Arsenal fans must have voted in this poll, but this isn't part of the evidence.
One of the most famous international goals of all time as Dennis Bergkamp slams this shot right past the bemused Argentinian keeper.
14. Ricky Villa vs Manchester City
The North London rivalry appears to be in full swing in this poll again, as Tottenham have another entry with one of the finest goals the club has seen.
Ricky Villa is regarded as a Tottenham legend and this goal proves why.
13. Thierry Henry vs Liverpool
Back across North London once again to Arsenal and Thierry Henry.
This time the Frenchman takes on a number of defenders before hitting a smooth finish right past the goalkeeper who clearly hadn't expected him to get quite so far.
12. David Ginola vs Barnsley
...and once more back to the other side of North London, with Tottenham and David Ginola.
This time the flying winger cuts in from the wing before running the ball past multiple Barnsley defenders and slotting the ball home.
11. Zlatan Ibrahimovic vs NAC Breda
Finally we go elsewhere, this time to Ajax and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
A mazy run, much like the runs we've seen in the last few slides but this time, arguably even more back and forth, before he takes a shot.
10. David Beckham vs Greece
Beckham's most famous free kick of all time.
The occasion was set that England needed a draw to qualify for the World Cup, and up steps David Beckham to score his most famous and arguably best free kick of all time.
9. Wayne Rooney vs Newcastle
Wayne Rooney had already scored a number of impressive and important goals in his career, but this was what was voted as the best of them.
A thunderous strike against Newcastle that truly put him in the hearts of Manchester United fans.
8. Cristiano Ronaldo vs Porto
Cristiano Ronaldo is hated by many fans the world over, but his ability cannot be denied.
This magnificent 40-yard thunderbolt left Porto's defenders and goalkeeper with absolutely no chance, leaving Ronaldo to only endear himself to United fans further.
7. Ryan Giggs vs Arsenal
Ryan Giggs' most famous goal of all time.
The result of a misplaced Arsenal pass, the most decorated player in English football history went on to take the ball right through the defense before slamming a shot into the top of the net.
6. Roberto Carlos vs France
This goal should not need any describing to anyone who's even heard of football before.
The infamous "Banana Kick" left the French defenders and Goalkeeper rooted to the spot as not a single person believed it was going in. At least not initially.
5. Dennis Bergkamp vs Newcastle
Dennis Bergkamp scored another one of his most famous goals in this match against Newcastle.
Another scene that is featured in the Match of the Day opening titles, Bergkamp brings the ball around the Newcastle defenders with control rarely seen today.
4. Zinedine Zidane vs Bayer Leverkusen
Just outside of the metaphorical podium places is this famous Champions League strike by the French legend, Zinedine Zidane.
The hit, which came against Bayer Leverkusen, is rated by many to be the best goal ever seen in the competition.
3. Thierry Henry vs Manchester United
Bronze position and we're back to Thierry Henry.
This time he manages to flick the ball up, spin and volley into the back of the net, all in one swift movement which deserves some recognition at least.
2. Diego Maradona vs England
That's right, the "Goal of the Century" and the strike that has topped practically every "best goals ever" list is only second in this one.
It's hard to analyse this any more than it has been done already, but the goal proves just why Maradona was so highly thought of.
1. Lionel Messi vs Getafe
It surprised me and may have surprised you, but Lionel Messi's copycat of the "Goal of the Century" has actually pipped Maradona to the post and come top of this poll.
It wasn't in as big of a game, nor was it against as tough of an opponent, but it seems to have impressed the Bleacher Report community enough to be voted the Best Goal of all Time.