10 Jaw-Dropping Lobs in World Football

Tony MabertContributor IDecember 23, 2011

10 Jaw-Dropping Lobs in World Football

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    There are not many goals more satisfying to score in football than a lob.

    Whether it be a cheeky dink over the onrushing keeper or a dipping effort from range, seeing the ball drop into the net from on Hightower is one of the toughest finishes to execute but also one of the most crowd-pleasing.

    Here are 10 examples, some from this season and some classics, of how great lobs are when players get them right.

Festus Baise

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    Perhaps it's a little harsh to start this round-up with an own goal, but when it is of the calibre of Mr. Baise's recent effort, then it is always worth another look.

    Playing for Sun Hei against Hong Kong first-division rivals Citizen AA, Baise stuck out a leg in attempt to cut out a cross, but instead managed to send a spectacular looping backheel over his own goalkeeper with an incredible reverse scorpion kick.

    Needless to say, the clip soon went viral, and Baise has enjoyed 15 minutes of fame he would probably rather have not had.

Iñigo Martínez

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    The Real Sociedad defender could hardly have scored his first professional goal in cooler circumstances.

    The Spain under-21 international opened his account by scoring from his own half against Betis' Basque rivals Athletic Bilbao back in October.

    Sociedad went on to lose that derby match 2-1, but a month later he scored an even more impressive effort that flew over Real Betis goalkeeper Casto Barriga, and this time it had a much better effect: The long-range lob came in second-half injury time, sealing a dramatic 3-2 win.

Ryan Taylor

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    Remember when Newcastle were known as "High-flying Newcastle"?

    An 11-game unbeaten start to the season had Tyneside full of hope, before sadly injuries to key personnel and a tough run of fixtures have given way to a current sequence of six games without a win.

    Possibly the highlight of the Magpies' stunning start to the season came in their last win, against Everton on November 5, when Ryan Taylor fired an exquisite dipping strike over Tim Howard and right into the far top corner.

Robin Van Persie

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    Arsenal's Dutch master has scored plenty of goals in 2011, more than three dozen in fact.

    There have been all sorts of strikes over the course of his amazing year, including this sumptuous effort at Norwich.

    After Van Persie had earlier cancelled out Steve Morison's opener at Carrow Road, he netted a stylish winner when he was picked out by Alex Song and dinked a delightful weighted finish over Paul Ruddy.

Clint Dempsey

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    Fulham's Texan forward was already a firm fan favourite before he scored the kind of goal that he must have dreamt of when he made the move to England.

    With the Cottagers' Europa League last 16 tie heading for extra time, Dempsey came off the bench with 20 minutes remaining.

    In the final stages of the second leg, Dempsey dug out an incredible chip that looped over goalkeeper Antonio Chimenti and in off the far post to send Fulham along their thrilling run to the 2009/10 final.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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    The controversial Swedish striker has been accused of many things in his career, with bottling big games against English opposition among the charges put against him.

    Ibra went some way to shattering that reputation during his one year at Barcelona when he produced the goods in the first leg of the Blaugranas' Champions League last 16 tie against Arsenal.

    Zlatan scored a brace in a 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium, the first of which saw him latch on to Gerard Pique's ball down the right channel and casually lift the ball over Manuel Almunia.

Lars Ricken

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    Ricken scored one of the most memorable lobs in Champions League history in the 1997 final in Munich.

    With Juventus having halved Borussia Dortmund's lead thanks to a second-half goal from Alessandro del Piero, Dortmund manager brought Ricken on in place of Stephane Chapuisat with 20 minutes remaining.

    The switch paid instant dividends as the one-club man was sent clean through and struck the ball over goalkeeper Angelo Peruzzi with his first touch of the ball.

    One German commentator's cries of "Five seconds! Five seconds!" were a little excessive (it was more like 16 seconds between Ricken coming off the bench and scoring), as was another's of "Jahrhunderttor!" ("Goal of the Century!"), but the goal is nonetheless a European Cup classic.

Eric Cantona

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    Cantona may have often had a moody, enigmatic presence, but he gave Manchester United fans plenty of festive cheer when he scored perhaps his most iconic goal almost 15 years to the day ago.

    Sunderland were the visitors to Old Trafford on December 22, 1996, and they returned to Wearside on the wrong end of a five-goal hiding.

    Having already scored once to add to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's brace and a rare Nicky Butt goal, Cantona put the gloss on the rout by bringing the ball forward before chipping a nonchalant effort that floated in off the far post.

    His subsequent arrogant, peacock-chested celebration is perhaps how all United supporters will remember him best.

Glenn Hoddle

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    There were many glorious high points in Hoddle's career, though sadly they were mostly confined to the blue-and-white of Tottenham rather than England.

    One of the moments which sums up his unique talent perfectly was his chipped effort in a 3-2 win at Watford in 1983.

    The No. 10 showed sublime touch and balance to send his marker the wrong way with his first touch before digging out a lob which almost defied physics to send the ball over Steve Sherwood's heads and into the net behind him.

George Best

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    Before Hoddle's wonderful chip, Spurs had themselves been on the receiving end of a classic lobbed goal which still gets played over and again even now.

    In 1971, United beat Spurs at Old Trafford in a win that included the most lackadaisical lob from George Best.

    The Belfast Boy was in the right place to take fellow Northern Irishman Pat Jennings's punch clear on to his chest before casually lifting the ball over the stunned keeper and several defenders, who could do little more than stare dumbfounded as the ball sailed over them.