Football: The best goal of all? Maradona tops poll

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The Independent Online
HE MAY be regarded as one of the most notorious figures in English sporting history, but it seems that football people are a forgiving lot.

Diego Maradona put Argentina on their way to victory over England in the quarter-finals of the 1986 World Cup with his controversial "Hand of God" goal. However, when FourFourTwo magazine asked players, managers and other football folk to nominate their greatest goal of all time, Maradona won, to coin a phrase, hands down.

The votes, however, were for his second goal in that match, which came after a mesmerising run from the halfway line. Argentina's national hero polled twice as many votes as the runner-up, Marco van Basten, whose thunderous volley helped the Netherlands win the 1988 European Championship final.

In a top 10 that also features World Cup final goals by Pele, Carlos Alberto and Geoff Hurst, it is good to find a Hereford United striker earning his place. Ronnie Radford's 1972 goal against Newcastle in the FA is ninth in the list.

While most celebrities were agreed on Maradona's goal as the best, there were some differences of opinion. Andy Gray of Sky TV chose David Beckham's long-range lob for Manchester United against Wimbledon, while the Scotland manager, Craig Brown, voted for Archie Gemmill's goal against the Netherlands in 1978.

The top ten greatest goals of all time

1 Diego Maradona Argentina v England (World Cup quarter-final 1986)

2 Marco van Basten

Netherlands v USSR (European Championship final 1988)

3 David Beckham

Wimbledon v Manchester United (Premiership 1996-97)

4 Carlos Alberto

Brazil v Italy (World Cup final 1970)

5 Trevor Sinclair

QPR v Barnsley (FA Cup fourth round 1996-97)

6 Roberto Carlos

Brazil v France (Le Tournoi 1997)

7 Geoff Hurst

England v West Germany (World Cup final 1966)

8 Pele

Brazil v Italy (World Cup final 1970)

9 Ronnie Radford Hereford v Newcastle (FA Cup third round 1971-72)

10 John Barnes Brazil v England (friendly 1984)