The Greatest Goals of All Time

If you had to set up an international vote for the top goals of all time, chances are you’d start a war. It’s possible that all football fans have their own favourite selection of goals, and that their selection of goals is probably heavily influenced by their nationality and the clubs they support. However, the world’s greatest goals would have to, by default, be ones that transcended national boundaries and partisan club rivalries.

Here is our selection of the greatest goals of all time:

Maradona – Belgium vs. Argentina (1986 World Cup Semi-Final)

Diego Maradona has scored more than his fair share of classic goals, with many of these magic moments created on football’s biggest stage – the FIFA World Cup. One of his greatest moments came during the 1986 World Cup when Argentina faced off against Belgium in the semi-final.Maradona scored both of Argentina’s goals in that match, but his second was the stuff of legend. Following on a failed Belgium attack, Maradona received the ball from Jorge Valdano on the halfway line, and launched himself towards the Belgian goal. Maradona glided effortlessly between the cluster of defenders at the edge of the box and chipped the ball into the net to win the game for Argentina.


Zidane – Real Madrid vs. Bayern Leverkusen (2002 Champions League Final)

While Maradona’s goal was the product of guile, pace and footwork, one of the greatest goals of all time was a product of perfect timing. In the final of the 2002 Champions League, Bayern Leverkusen and Real Madrid were locked 1-1 with the referee preparing to blow the half time whistle at any moment.With the seconds ticking away, Santiago Scolari broke through the Leverkusen defence for Madrid and delivered a pass to Roberto Carlos. The Brazilian took the ball wide before sending a speculative looping cross into centre field. Waiting underneath the cross was Zinadine Zidane, who executed a powerful volley that smashed past Bayern Leverkusen keeper Hans Jorg Butt.


Messi – Barcelona vs. Getafe (2007 Spanish Cup Semi-Final)

Lionel Messi produced one of the greatest goals of all time while playing in a Spanish Cup semi-final fixture against Getafe. The goal recalled the glory days of Argentinean football, when Maradona had shredded defences with strong, purposeful running, and beguiling footwork.Messi took possession of the ball on the halfway line, sidestepped a defender and set out towards the Getafe goal. During the next few seconds of football magic, Messi outwitted 5 defenders, pushed the ball past the 6th and scored from an acute angle. The goal was instantly lauded by the Spanish press as the greatest of all time.


Pele – Brazil vs. Sweden (1958 World Cup Final)

One of the greatest moments in football history was captured in gritty black and white images, and featured the exploits of Brazilian legend Pele. Famed for his soft touch and timing, the Brazilian striker produced one of the greatest plays of his career to help Brazil defeat their hosts Sweden in the final of the 1958 World Cup.

The goal was created when Nilton Santos crossed a ball to Pele from his left. The striker used his chest to control the ball, and promptly executed a perfect chip over the head of the closest defender. Before the ball had a chance to come to ground Pele darted round the defence, caught the ball on the tip of his boot and propelled it past an astonished Swedish goalkeeper.


Maradona – Argentina vs. England (1986 World Cup)

Diego Maradona makes an encore appearance to receive our nomination for the greatest goal of all time. While the goal is reminiscent of Messi’s feat against Getafe, the magnitude of the occasion and the quality of the opposition qualify it to top the greatest goals of all time list.

Maradona received the ball on the far right of the halfway line before starting out on an epic run that had him gliding past 3 defenders, pushed off a strong tackle from a third defender on the edge of the penalty area, and then drove the ball past two desperate English defenders right on the edge of the box, scoring from an acute angle.

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