20 Best Goals of the 2013/14 Bundesliga Season

Clark Whitney@@Mr_BundesligaFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2014

20 Best Goals of the 2013/14 Bundesliga Season

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    Frank Augstein/Associated Press

    The 2013/14 Bundesliga campaign drew to a close on Saturday, with 967 goals having been scored over the course of the 34-matchday season.

    The near-thousand goals scored were comprised of many tap-ins and ordinary goals, as well as some flukes. But among the masses, there were a considerable number of "traumtore" (wonder goals).

    From long-range blasts to overhead volleys, from exquisite bits of dribbling to creative finishes, the 2013/14 season had a goal for everyone.

    In review of the season's action, B/R has ranked the Top 20 goals based on their visual splendor. Click "Begin Slideshow" to commence the countdown, which starts with number 20.

20) Szabolcs Huszti, Hannover 2-0 Frankfurt

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    Szabolcs Huszti was by some margin Hannover's best player in the 2013/14 season. The 31-year-old played a great season overall, and he earns his place among scorers of the best Bundesliga goals of the season for his brilliant free-kick against Frankfurt.

    With Hannover 1-0 ahead, Huszti took a free-kick from just left of the edge of the D. Rather than bending the ball into the top-left corner, he instead hooked the ball with his left foot towards the far post, his kick so precise and such a surprise that goalkeeper Kevin Trapp's feet stayed planted as he watched the ball sail into the net.

19) Robert Lewandowski, Dortmund 3-0 Freiburg

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    It often takes a bit of ingenuity to become the Bundesliga's top scorer. Robert Lewandowski was a prime example this season, pulling a couple of rabbits out of his hat. One of the Polish striker's most ingenious goals came against Freiburg in September.

    Marco Reus played a cross that was too shallow to head towards the target, so Lewandowski held off his defender and took the ball softly with his back towards goal. He then turned quickly, held off a challenge and beat goalkeeper Oliver Baumann with a delicate chip. An uncommon and creative finish.

18) Hiroshi Kiyotake, Nurnberg 1-1 Braunschweig

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    Many of the top 20 goals of the Bundesliga season that were scored from dead-ball situations outside the box. Hiroshi Kiyotake's strike stands out as unique because the Nurnberg man managed to score while in full run.

    Just 10.07 seconds into the second half of Nurnberg's match against Braunschweig, Kiyotake leveled the score at 1-1. The strike, a blast from well outside the box, set a record for being the fastest goal scored after the restart in the history of the Bundesliga.

17) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mainz 0-1 Dortmund

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    In late November, Dortmund were reeling from a 3-0 loss at home to Bayern. In the next matchday they were struggling against Mainz entering the final quarter of the game. Enter Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

    With the ball well left of center and about eight yards outside the box, the Gabon international took a free-kick. Aubameyang barely followed through on the ball, yet it cannoned off his foot and into the top-left corner. Based on his shooting technique and form, he looked to be trying for accuracy more than power. He managed to achieve both.

16) Hakan Calhanoglu, Wolfsburg 0-1 Hamburg

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    Before Hakan Calhanoglu scored from 41 meters with his now legendary free-kick, he found the net under similar circumstances from slightly closer against Wolfsburg.

    The Turkey international's strike required a bit of luck, but the player deserves an abundance of credit for forcing fate to work in his favor, especially from such distance. His shot sailed over goalkeeper Diego Benaglio's head and dipped sharply, clipping the underside of the crossbar. Benaglio had leaped to tip the ball but missed, and the ball rebounded off him and into the net. Lucky, yes, but deserved given it was such a speculative effort.

15) Claudio Pizarro, Hamburg 1-4 Bayern

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    As they took on Bundesliga title-winners Bayern, relegation-battling Hamburg fought hard for the points before they were ultimately undone by their opponents' brilliance. Claudio Pizarro capped off a comprehensive victory for the Bavarians with a magnificent strike.

    Bayern were 3-1 ahead at the time "Pizzarinha" scored. The striker had just been denied one-on-one by Rene Adler when he employed a bit of invention. With his back to goal and with Adler still off his line, the Peruvian struck an overhead volley that surprised the goalkeeper and found its way into the net.

14) Juan Arango, Monchengladbach 2-1 Wolfsburg

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    Few players in Bundesliga history could claim to have free-kick abilities anywhere near Juan Arango's level. The veteran may be just days away from his 34th birthday, but in his old age his left foot remains as deadly as ever.

    Case in point: Arango's brilliant free-kick against Wolfsburg in December. Shooting from well outside the box, the Venezuelan fired a curling drive that clipped the underside of the crossbar before nestling into the net. It was a goal that would ultimately deny Wolfsburg victory, and in the end made the difference to the Wolves not qualifying for next season's Champions League.

    Arango's contract at Gladbach expires in July. If he does indeed leave the Bundesliga, his legendary left foot will be sorely missed.

13) Ken Reichel, Leverkusen 1-1 Braunschweig

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    Bundesliga matchday 28 saw some tremendous goals scored, the best of which came from the foot of Ken Reichel. The Braunschweig man only scored once this season, and his solitary goal was a real thing of beauty.

    With Braunschweig down a goal, the left-back raced forward and received a long pass just to the left of the six-yard box. With no room for more than a single touch, he volleyed powerfully on goal, beating Bernd Leno at his near post.

12) Mario Gotze, Bayern 2-0 Hamburg

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    Mario Gotze's goal against Hamburg in December was billed by the official Bundesliga YouTube channel as an "instant classic." Have a look for yourself in the linked video.

    Gotze's goal at first appears to be ordinary because of his nonchalance. But it is a goal that is anything but ordinary, requiring unrivaled poise, exceptional technique and a bit of creative brilliance.

    Thiago's pass to Gotze is one that many strikers would fail to control and those that did would not be able to shoot quickly enough to avoid a block. Gotze's first touch is exquisite, instantly putting him in position to turn and score. All in one motion, he traps the pass, turns and volleys into the net. An instant classic indeed.

11) Roberto Firmino, Hoffenheim 2-0 Braunschweig

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    Michael Probst/Associated Press

    Roberto Firmino had a breakthrough season in the Bundesliga in 2013/14 and is a candidate for player of the year. He capped off a brilliant campaign with an outstanding goal in the final round.

    The Brazilian received a cut-back cross near the edge of the penalty box and opted not to trap the ball, but to shoot with his first touch. His shot was an acrobatic scissor kick that found its way into the corner of the net, which can be viewed here.

10) Sebastian Kehl, Freiburg 0-1 Dortmund

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    Sebastian Kehl rarely scores, but he picked a great moment to do so against Freiburg in March. BVB were struggling to put much together in attack against a resolute and energetic Freiburg side that matched their work rate. Kehl's touch of class made the difference.

    After Kevin Grosskreutz had touched the ball a shade too strongly, Kehl stepped in and, with his first touch, shot on goal. The Dortmund captain's curling effort from about 27 meters looped over the head of Oliver Baumann, who was hardly off his line, and into the back of the net. Kehl's was the only goal of the match, and it was the difference in a game in which not much separated the two contestants.

9) Roberto Firmino, Mainz 0-2 Hoffenheim

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    Sometimes a great goal is characterized by a great finish. Other times, it's the first touch or the setup that draws viewers' admiration. On rare occasions, such as Roberto Firmino's strike against Mainz in October, a goal will be beautiful and spectacular for multiple reasons.

    Hoffenheim were already ahead when Firmino received a long pass that was slightly behind his stride and difficult to take after bouncing high off the grass. Surrounded by three defenders, the Brazilian opted to flick the ball into the air and volley home from the edge of the box. A great first touch and an even better finish.

8) Oliver Sorg, Freiburg 2-1 Monchengladbach

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    Oliver Sorg has gained recognition as one of the Bundesliga's best full-backs this season, his recent nomination to the German national team for Tuesday's friendly with Poland being his reward. One of the moments that gained him admiration was his brilliant goal for Freiburg in their 4-2 victory over Gladbach.

    From 29 meters, Sorg unleashed a rocket of a shot towards the top-right corner of the net. The effort was so well placed and powerful that even from such a distance he managed to beat Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Not bad for a right-back.

7) Ronny, Hannover 1-1 Hertha BSC

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    On the whole, Gladbach's Raffael had a better season than his brother, Hertha BSC's Ronny. But among the 19 goals the brothers scored between them this season, the latter registered the best and most emphatic.

    Ronny, who has been known most for the power of his free kicks and the variable size of his belly, equalized against Hannover with a free-kick that according to Focus was clocked at 119 km/hr. As the ball corkscrewed into the top-left corner of the goal, those in the Hannover wall could only feel like they'd dodged a bullet.

6) Thiago Alcantara, Stuttgart 1-2 Bayern

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    Some wonder goals are the products of luck—hopeful attempts that happen to go into the net. Others are emphatic, stamped with real authority. Thiago Alcantara's winner in Stuttgart in December falls into the latter category.

    Bayern were pressing for a winner, having equalized after going behind early. But the game was in injury time and they needed a bit of inspiration to overcome the stubborn hosts. That came when Thiago reacted to a not-so-well-placed cross in the only way that could lead to a goal: an audacious volley that went directly into the corner of the net.

    Many forwards would not have finished so well from the same position. Thiago finished perfectly and in the most difficult way possible.

5) Arjen Robben Bayern 2-0 Nurnberg

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    When Arjen Robben receives the ball with space to accelerate and slalom, he can be a nightmare to defend. Case in point: his stunning goal against Nurnberg last August.

    The Dutchman received the ball on the right wing and cut inside, rounding Javier Pinola with ease. He then changed directions and bore down on goal, evading two more defenders, who at the time looked more concerned with avoiding conceding a penalty than trying to stop the seemingly unstoppable winger.

    The greatest bit of genius in Robben's goal was that after pushing himself wide and creating a near-impossible angle from which to score, he took a surprise, quick shot that surprised Raphael Schafer and slipped past the goalkeeper and into the net.

4) Dominick Kumbela, Braunschweig 3-1 Mainz

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    Braunschweig had little joy in the 2013-14 Bundesliga season, scoring just 29 goals over the course of the campaign, but among those goals was a real beauty from Dominick Kumbela.

    Braunschweig were already 2-1 ahead of Mainz and on their way to their fifth victory of the season. For good measure, Kumbela netted a third with a spectacular overhead finish. The Congolese striker received a cross from the right and with his first touch, volleyed into the lower-left corner.

3) Robert Lewandowski, Hannover 0-2 Dortmund

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    Although leading at the time, Dortmund were laboring in the second half of their match away to Hannover in March. Then Robert Lewandowski took matters into his own hands, or feet, as it were.

    In the 52nd minute, Hannover lost possession deep in their attacking half. The ball was immediately sent up the left wing towards Lewandowski, who was approximately level with three of the hosts' defenders. The Polish striker took a great first touch and turned inward, cutting past two defenders and between two more, his run taking him parallel to the goal line. He exploded past Christian Schulz, turned and shot an instant before being tackled, leaving Ron-Robert Zieler with no chance to save.

    Lewandowski's goal was a truly special one, especially considering the judgment he exercised along the way. Many would be hurried into a poor shot or would have taken too long and seen the chance fizzle out, but he had the finesse to work his way into the best-possible scoring position. And he had the understanding of timing and spacing to realize exactly what he could do without being stopped.

2) Naldo, Wolfsburg 2-1 Frankfurt

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    In late March, Wolfsburg were in trouble after going behind early to Frankfurt at the Volkswagen Arena. Ivica Olic equalized midway through the second half, but the hosts, fighting for the Bundesliga's fourth Champions League spot, desperately needed a winner in the final moments. They seemed out of ideas. And then Naldo stepped to the fore.

    The Brazilian center-back received the ball near the center circle, took two touches and unleashed a rocket of a shot from fully 35 meters to the top-left corner, the ball flying in off the underside of the crossbar. It was a fantastic strike, one that will not soon be forgotten—certainly not by Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp.

1) Hakan Calhanoglu, Hamburg 3-0 Borussia Dortmund

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    No. 1 is Hakan Calhanoglu's "knuckleball" free kick from near the center circle. Scored in the first minute of injury time, it was an emphatic way to punctuate a 3-0 victory for Hamburg over Dortmund.

    Calhanoglu's goal may at first seem to be the result of a goalkeeping error, but a view from behind the player reveals how devastatingly difficult the path of his shot was to follow. The ball had almost no spin for the majority of its distance and flew true towards the center of goal before, in the last 15 to 20 meters of its flight, taking a sharp turn down and leftward, towards the top-corner.

    From a goalkeeping perspective, it was like trying to save a perfectly placed shot from near the edge of the box. Although from seemingly a mile away, Calhanoglu's effort was unstoppable.

    Follow Clark Whitney on Twitter

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