World Football's Top Goals of the Week (8/20-26)
After another busy week off the pitch, let's take a moment to praise what happened on it. And what better way to do that than a new installment of the top goals of the week?
With all of the beautiful plays that happened this week, some great goals had to be left off the list.
Agree or disagree. Here are my rankings of the top goals of the week from August 20 through the 26, 2011.
10. Helder Barbosa: Sporting Braga vs. Young Boys
The list starts off in the Europa Cup playoffs, where Portuguese side Sporting Braga took on Swiss side Young Boys.
After the first leg ended 0-0 in Portugal, the advantage seemed to be toward Young Boys and their rare artificial turf (that gave Spurs such troubles in last year's Champions League playoff).
However, this strike by young Portuguese striker Helder Barbosa in the 24th minute pointed Braga to the tie victory on away goals.
Stopping dead on full sprint, Barbosa shook his defenders. Then coolly bent the ball into the top corner past the Swiss keeper.
9. Kevin-Prince Boateng: AC Milan vs. Juventus
In the annual preseason battle for the Trofeo Luigi Berlusconi, AC Milan avenged last year's defeat to Juventus, due in part to this great goal by Ghanaian international Kevin-Prince Boateng.
This beautiful volley in the 9th minute, curled around the keeper and into the bottom corner, opened the scoring for the Rossoneri in their eventual 2-1 triumph.
Boateng's celebrations have been better, though.
8. Gareth Barry: Manchester City vs. Bolton Wanderers
The first of only two goals the Premier League registers in this ranking is Gareth Barry's laser shot against Bolton.
Off the corner, Bolton not only left Barry all alone just outside the box, but refused to close down on him when he received the corner.
They were almost daring the England international to unleash a shot on there goal, where Finnish keeper Jussi Jääskeläinen had already let in a soft goal.
Barry's shot was beautifully placed in the top corner and through the keeper's hand.
With Man City's acquisition of Samir Nasri, though, will that be Barry's last goal for the club?
7. Dagoberto: Sao Paulo vs. Palmeiras
Sao Paulo and Palmeiras, two clubs high in the table of the Brazilian Serie A, did battle this week.
The result was an entertaining game that had one spectacular goal.
Brazilian international Dagoberto of Sao Paulo burst into the box, awkwardly getting past defenders.
When Palmeiros keeper Marcos took a few steps toward the on-rushing striker, Dagoberto recognized that the keeper found himself in no-man's-land and volleyed a high chip over the keeper and into the net.
The keeper's error is clear. Given the situation for the striker, he could not have done much better.
6. Emir Bajrami: Twente vs. Heerenveen
FC Twente took on Heerveen in a Dutch Eridivisie battle last Saturday. What ensued was a 5-1 drubbing by Twente, last year's league runner-up.
The fourth of the Tukkers goals was this 20-yard rocket from Swedish forward Emir Bajrami.
I believe the goal still has Heerenveen keeper Brian Vandenbussche wondering which way to jump.
5. Leandro Damiao: Internacional vs. Flamengo
Back to the Brazilian Serie A, we find a battle between Flamengo (2nd in the table) and Internacional (7th in the table).
With Flamengo leading 2-1 in the 77th minute, Internacional got the ball into the box, where a beautiful chip allowed 22 year old Brazilian striker Leandro Damiao to put a beautiful bicycle kick into the bottom corner of the net.
This served as the decisive goal in the contest, as the match ended 2-2.
Oh, and Ronaldinho scored for Flamengo earlier in the match.
Who said Brazilian football was dying?
4. Anderson: Manchester United vs. Tottenham Hotspur
This goal may go down as Anderson's goal, but the Brazilian midfielder is not the reason this is among the top goals of the week.
Sure, Anderson showed great composure in slotting the ball past Spurs keeper Brad Friedel and into the net.
However, the beauty of this goal is in the setup, specifically 20 year old English striker Danny Welbeck's sublime back-heel to Anderson that made the goal possible.
The return of Chicharito from injury may spell the end of Welbeck's regular playing time for United, but his performance against Tottenham may have put him higher on the pecking order than Dimitar Berbatov.
3. Timofei Kalachev: FC Rostov vs. Terek Grozny
Our 3rd ranked entry comes from the Russian Premier League in a match between two relegation-threatened clubs in FC Rostov and Terek Grozny.
In the 18th minute, away side FC Rostov opened the scoring through a 25-yard rocket by Belarusian midfielder Timofei Kalachev.
The bend on the shot was just enough to elude the outstretched hand of keeper Dzhanaev, but the pace of the shot was what gives this shot its "wow" factor.
If Rostov can avoid relegation and Kalachev can keep scoring goals like this, maybe Samuel Eto'o will have some competition for top striker in the Russian Premier League.
On second thought, probably not.
2. Adrien Regattin: Toulouse vs. Nice
With the money-induced revival of PSG, France's Ligue 1 is setting up for one of their most interesting season in years.
This potential is only helped by the thrilling matches being played all over the league.
The most thrilling so far was the match between Toulouse and Nice this past Saturday.
Leading 1-0 going into the 90th minute, Nice seemed to be headed toward its first win of the season.
Then, in the 90th minute, Toulouse got the ball to substitute midfielder Adrien Regattin, who juggled the ball into a bicycle kick from the edge of the box.
When Nice won a penalty in the 96th minute, Toulouse keeper Ali Ahamada saved Eric Mouloungui's spot-kick to make Regattin's goal hold up as the match decider.
1. Jermaine Lens: PSV vs. SV Ried
For our top goal of the week, we turn to the Europa League playoffs, where Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven took on Austrian side SV Ried.
After the first leg ended 0-0 in Austria, the second leg in the Netherlands set up to be the decider. PSV led just 1-0 after the first hour, but with the prospect of a Ried away goal, the tie was still in the balance.
In the 67th minute, young Dutch forward Jermain Lens broke away from the defenders, then took a touch to avoid the charging German keeper Thomas Gebauer (who came way too far out of goal).
When his touch failed him, Lens found himself at the end line by the corner flag with a defender between him, seemingly missing his golden opportunity to take advantage of the keeper's mistake.
However, despite the angle, Lens used the outside of his right foot to loft the ball over the defender and bend the ball in the net off the post and put the tie out of reach.
Gebauer got to the ball just in time to push it further into the net, accentuating his horrendous error, but the ball was going in anyway.
The incredible angle at which this goal was struck at makes this the best goal of the week.