The 20 Greatest Football Goals of All Time

Khalid KhanCorrespondent IIOctober 10, 2011

The 20 Greatest Football Goals of All Time

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    This past weekend, Eren Derdiyok scored one of the best goals in football history. His goal had everything a great goal needs, such as skill, acrobats, and amazing touch. But the question is: Is Derdiyok's goal the greatest of all time?

    After watching countless hours of footage, I have compiled the top 20 football goals of all time.

Honorable Mention

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    When compiling an all-time list, there are going to be some great choices left out. So here's a few goals that barely missed the cut:

    Matt Le Tissier goal vs Newcastle:

    Roberto Carlos Free Kick vs France:

    Michael Essien vs Barcelona:

    Arjen Robben vs Manchester United

20. Cristiano Ronaldo vs Porto

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    We start of our list with one of the greatest players in the world. Before he joined Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo was the best player in the Premier League during his time at Manchester United. This goal was probably Ronaldo's best goal during his time at Manchester.

    Manchester United needed to pick up a win at Porto to advance to the next round of the Champion's League in 2009, after the Portuguese side earned a draw in the first leg. Ronaldo stepped up to the occasion and fired a shot from 40 yards out, which rocketed into the back of the net. That goal turned out to be all what Manchester United needed to advance into the next stage.

    Not many players are even capable of doing what Ronaldo did on that night.

    Like him or hate him, he is a special talent who just plays the kind of football we all wish we could play.

19. Zinedine Zidane vs Bayer Leverkusen (2002 CL Final)

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    Zinedine Zidane scored one of the greatest goals, perhaps the greatest, in history of the Champions League. And out of all games imaginable, it happened to be the winning goal if the final of the champions league in 2002.

    Zidane scored a ridiculous volley with his left foot that glided straight into the back of the net. As it happened, it seemed like Zidane had a whole lifetime to set up for that shot, and he delivered one of the greatest moments in the history of Real Madrid football club. 

    It was another masterpiece created by the feet of one of the greatest players to have ever played the game.

18. Maxi Rodriguez vs Mexico (World Cup 2006)

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    On the world's biggest stage, Maxi Rodriguez scored one of football's greatest goals against Mexico in Round of 16 the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

    The Argentine gained his 15 minutes on this audacious attempt on goal, that happened to be the winner in extra time, to help Argentina advance into the quarterfinals with a 2-1 win over Mexico. Rodriguez chested the ball than volleyed it from long range into the top corner.

    The Liverpool man gave us one of the best ever goals on the world stage and we thank him for a highlight that we will always remember. However, many Liverpool fans wish he can do these things for their club.

17. Lionel Messi vs Getafe (2007)

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    Lionel Messi is arguably the best player in the game today. He strikes fear in the opposing defence's eyes. His dribbling skills are second to none and he is one of the most efficient goal scorers in football. The little Argentine man is on his way to perhaps becoming the greatest footballer in history.

    Before he earned all the accolades and was touted by many as the world's best player, Messi was a gifted youngster trying to prove himself. In 2007 he put on a dribbling display against Spanish side Getafe, and showed the whole that he had arrived.

    Many years from now, when Messi's career is over, we will look back at this goal as the starting point for the beginning of the era of Lionel Messi.

16. Wayne Rooney Bicycle Kick vs Manchester City

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    Manchester City had assembled a very talented squad that had eyes on claiming the league champions. But, before they could claim the throne as England's best, they had to dethrone their biggest rivals, Manchester United. Wayne Rooney would not hear any of it during their league encounter against Manchester City last season.

    Rooney proved to City that they still had to work to take down their fiercest rivals, with an amazing bicycle kick. Rooney timed the cross brilliantly, got in the right position, used his acrobatic skills and hammered home a brilliant finish.

    Many people can still criticize Rooney, but I have not seen one striker work as hard as he does. He does everything to help his team to win the game, and that includes him always getting back to help defend, creates for his teammates and scores great goals like the one he did against Manchester City. Rooney has showed why he's England's best striker and one of the best players in the world.

15. Lampard's Chip at the Nou Camp (2006)

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    Chelsea had a fierce encounter with Barcelona at the Nou Camp during the Champions League group stage in 2006. After Barcelona went up 1-0 after Deco had given the home side the lead with a well struck long range effort, Chelsea had returned the favor when Frank Lampard chipped a ball right over the goalkeeper from a ridiculous angle. The match ended at a 2-2 draw.

    This goal was no fluke. You could tell it was done intentionally by Lampard because he knows there is no one in the box to cross to, so he decided to try to chip it over the goalkeeper, as it was his only chance to beat him. If you happen to have watched the post match interview he said it was intentional and that he had been practicing shooting from these angles.

    This goal showed me two things: Lampard has more skills than people would admit and Victor Valdes might be the most overrated goalkeeper in football.

14. Steven Gerrard vs West Ham (FA Cup Final 2006)

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    Easily one of the most incredible goals I have ever seen. How can you hit a ball better than that? This goal is an absolute masterpiece, and there is everything in this goal such as power, precision, elegance, and distance.

    This goal showed that Steven Gerrard always stepped up when he needed to. He once again stepped up to the occasion during the FA Cup final, got his side into extra time, and helped Liverpool claim another FA Cup title in their storied history.

    No one should ever doubt Gerrard's value to Liverpool and he has proven to have been England's best midfielder for the past decade. 

    Also can anyone scream Gerrard's name better than Martin Tyler?

13. Diego Maradona vs England (World Cup)

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    According to many people, Diego Maradona is greatest footballer in history. And this particular goal vs England in the World Cup showed just how special and just how good Diego Maradona was in his prime.

    This goal was absolute class. A goal for the gods.

12. Zlatan Back Heel Volley

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    Zlatan Ibrahimovic has played at some of the best clubs in Europe. He has been regarded as one of the best strikers in the world for some time now. Even though he has been criticized for not showing up in the big games, Ibrahimovic has always kept fans entertained with many of his magnificent goals.

    One of Ibrahimovic's greatest goals happened during his time at Inter Milan in a league match against Bologna in 2008. He pulled off a ridiculous back heel volley from a cross provided by Adriano. Ibrahimovic just stuck his leg out and hoped something came good out of it, and it did.

    He might not be considered the best player in the world, but he is indeed one of the most entertaining to watch.

11. Rivaldo Bicycle Kick

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    Rivaldo is considered to be one of the best Brazilians to ever play the game and he had a partnership with national teammate Ronaldo, which will go down as one of the greatest of all time. This in my opinion, is one of the best bicycle kicks ever seen. 

    There was some much to be impressed with in this goal and the importance of it was huge as well. This was taken outside the box with ten defenders surrounding him, and in the last minute of last game, which was the crucial game that clinched the clinched Barcelona a Champions League spot.

    I hope people remember Rivaldo for things like this and not that silly dive in the World Cup.

10. Robin Van Persie vs Charlton

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    Robin Van Persie recently scored his 100th goal for Arsenal against Bolton. Out of all one hundred of his goals, his flying volley against Charlton will go down as his greatest goal in an Arsenal shirt.

    This is easily one of the best goals of all time. How many players could run that far, jump miles in the air, volley the ball and get it in the top corner? I think it'd be next to impossible for anyone to replicate this ever again. 

    This is easily one of the greatest goals in Arsenal's history, and shows the the true quality of Van Persie. If he wasn't burdened with bad luck and plagued with injuries, he would easily go down as one of the best strikers to have played the game.

9. Ronaldinho Overhead Kick vs Villarreal

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    Ronaldinho is one of the greatest players to ever grace the game. He had everything a player could ask for such as speed, agility, strength, balance, and power. Ronaldinho had the potential to be the greatest player in football history, but ruined his chance by wasting his talent when he began to drink and party later in his career.

    This goal shows the true capabilities that Ronaldinho possessed, which made him one of the most skilled footballers ever with the likes of Zinedine Zidane. This goal was an absolute beauty and will go down as one of the most entertaining goals in history.

    The commentary by Ray Hudson was just as electric as this goal with quotes such as, "As electrifying as a hairdryer thrown in a hot tub," and, "Like Betamax, they just don't make them like him anymore."

8. Charles- Edouard Coridon vs Porto

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    When the name Charles-Edouard Coridon comes up, all football supporters can think about is that marvelous goal he scored against Porto in Champions League. Everything with this certain goal had do with luck.

    Coridon attempted a cheeky back heel from a cross that was delivered just a little bit behind him, and some how it found itself in the back of the net with some improvisation and a lot of luck. He would of had gotten so much stick from attempting something like that if had gone all wrong.

    But, in the end, we got a marvelous goal that we can always look back at for years to come.

7. Eren Derdiyok vs Wolfsburg (2011)

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    This was absolutely an amazing goal. Everything went right for Derdiyok, which allowed him to score this work of art. The first touch from the pass was brilliant, then his second touch on the ball was allowed him to evade the defender, but the ball went behind him, which allowed him to score a goal that was sent from the heavens.

    This is so far the best goal of the year, and looks most likely it will stay in that top position.

6. Mauro Bressan Bicycle Kick

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    This goal is easily the best bicycle kick ever scored in football history. Just look at where he is when he attempts this shot, and the pace and precision he his able to put on the ball is remarkable.

    No one has a clue who Mauro Bressan is and how had his career turned out, but he will always be remembered in football history for scoring one of the greatest goals ever witnessed by human eye.

5. Zlatan Ibrahimovic Solo Goal at Ajax

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    Zlatan Ibrahimovic started his career at Ajax and showed the whole world what talent he possessed. In this goal he even shook the camera man at one point. Yes, a lot of players could match a run like Ibrahimovic's, but do you think they could do it with their shoelaces untied?

    Watch the video closely after he scored the goal to see him tie his shoe. That type of skill even made Rafael Van der Vaart fume with jealousy. 

4. Thierry Henry vs Manchester United

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     Thierry Henry was probably the most dangerous and best player to ever play in the Premier League.

    This goal that Henry scored against Manchester United defined the brilliance and dominance of Thierry Henry during his time at Arsenal. I've never seen a turn and strike like this before. Anyone who plays football would know this is almost an impossible goal to score. And, the commentary by Andy Gray puts the cherry on the top.

    I just think its an incredible goal which requires awesome technique and even bravery, to attempt. For me one of the greatest goals I have ever seen.

3. Rafael Van Der Vaart Back Heel

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    Before he joined Real Madrid, Rafael Van der Vaart was one of many great footballers to play for Ajax. This goal that he scored was unbelievable. I still have no clue how Van der Vaart was able to pull off this back heel, which makes it number three in the all-time list of the greatest goals.

2. Dennis Bergkamp's Touch of Genius

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    Still to this day, Dennis Bergkamp produced a moment of brilliance against Newcastle in 2002 that will never be forgotten by any Arsenal supporter. 

    The Dutchman received a pass from Robert Pires while standing on the edge of the box with his back to the goal and Dabizas marking him tightly. When the ball reached him, he flicked the ball with his left foot, spinning around the confused Dabizas and beat Shay Given to score. This goal is so mind-boggling and stunning that it is hard to describe with words, so it might just be easier to watch and see why it lands as the number two goal of all time.

1. Roberto Carlos Thunderbolt Strike vs Tenerife (1998)

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    Roberto Carlos will go down in history as the man with the greatest free kick of all time and the greatest goal of all time. A goal that defied the laws of physics. Playing for Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey against Tenerife, the Brazilian left back turned the ball into a white projectile on a journey just beside the corner flag to the far top corner of of the opposing side's net.

    Still to this day, no one has a clue how that ball went in or, whether Carlos even intentionally attempted a shot on goal. That's why Carlos' goal against Tenerife is the best goal of all time.

    Thanks for reading everybody. What do you guys think? Were there some goals that should have been on this list and some that shouldn't have been? Were any of the goals ranked too high or too low? Leave your opinions and thoughts on what you think the list should have looked liked.