World Football's Top 10 Diving Headers of 2011

Michael Cummings@MikeCummings37World Football Lead WriterDecember 18, 2011

World Football's Top 10 Diving Headers of 2011

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    Word on the street is that headers can lead to brain damage.

    Huh? I didn't catch that. I still have a headache from that diving header I took in a Sunday match two months ago.

    All joking aside, pulling off a good header is one of the toughest things to do in football. That's why a perfectly-executed diving header is one of the game's most beautiful sights.

    We've compiled a list of the best diving headers we saw in 2011. Some of them scored goals. Some didn't.

    Some came in big-time matches. Some came in the pub leagues.

    All of them were awesome.

Thiago, Barcelona vs. Santos

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    We'll get this one out of the way first. Fast-forward to the 1:17 mark to see Thiago do his thing.

    That's nice work, but there are a couple of reasons we're getting this one out of the way now.

    First, Thiago didn't score with his diving header. He only set up Cesc's goal against Santos in the final of the Club World Cup.

    Second, this header happened on Sunday, the same day we're writing this.

    It's fresh in your memory. It's fresh in our memory.

    OK, moving on.

Cesc Fabregas, Barcelona vs. Real Madrid

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    You probably remember this one well also. It happened just over a week ago.

    The setting was El Clasico and Barcelona's 3-1 away win over Real Madrid.

    Cesc Fabregas scored Barca's third goal with a nice diving/stooping header.

    Hey, we'll count it. It was pretty nice.

No. 10 Alex, Youth Player, Tulsa, Oklahoma

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    From the dizzying heights of El Clasico, we proceed to the youth leagues of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

    That's where this kid, first name Alex, scored with a glancing, diving header in an indoor game in 2011.

    Seriously, it's a pretty sweet goal, complete with a pretty sweet celebration.

    Could Team USA be next?

Demba Ba, West Ham United vs. Liverpool

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    West Ham were relegated from the Premier League last season, but 2011 wasn't all bad.

    In February, the Hammers beat Liverpool 3-1 at Upton Park. Demba Ba scored the second goal in the 45th minute.

    Here it is, Demba Ba leaning against the wind to head into the back of the net.

    Well done.

Michael Scott, Bohemians vs. Mervue United

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    This goal comes from a match between Irish clubs Bohemians and Mervue United in the Airtricity Under-19 League, Elite Division.

    Whatever that is.

    Anyway, here's a match report from Bohemians' website.

    All you really need to know is this. Michael Scottโ€”no, not this guyโ€”won the match with a gorgeous diving header in the box after a shot rebounded to him perfectly.

Steven Lenhart, San Jose Earthquakes vs. Houston Dynamo

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    MLS striker/goofball Steven Lenhart of the San Jose Earthquakes gives us another entry in the diving/stooping category.

    Nice goal, Steve. But the white-boy 'fro has got to go.

Pub League Poacher

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    Look at the nerve of this guy, name unknown.

    The ball is already halfway over the line, dude.

    Still, he gets an A for effort, and for wearing such a stylish Argentina jersey for the pub league.

Mike McGee, LA Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake

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    We return to MLS for this diving header by LA Galaxy's Mike McGee against Real Salt Lake (yeah, that's really their name. Apparently Utahans are big fans of Real Madrid).

    With the assist? David Beckham, natch.

Mitch, in the Last Game of the Season

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    We don't know much about this clip.

    We just know that Mitch scored the goal, and it's the last game of the season.

    What a way to go out, huh?

Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid vs. Villarreal

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    Our final diving header comes to us from Spain, where Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos had this beautiful effort ruled out for offside.

    That's a shame. This is probably the best of the whole bunch.

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