The greatest goals of all time

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The Independent Football

Sometimes a single goal is all it takes to announce the arrival of a special talent. Remember David Beckham's shot from the halfway line against Wimbledon in August 1996? As we reported yesterday, for several days, La Toute France – or at least everyone in France who cares about football – has been buzzing about a goal scored at the Stade Chaban Delmas in Bordeaux.

Yoann Gourcuff, a young man with the film-star looks of a Cristiano Ronaldo, the passing skills of a Cesc Fabregas and the unstoppable engine of a Roy Keane, received the ball just inside the Paris St-Germain penalty area. PSG defenders surrounded him. He pirouetted, juggled the ball from foot to foot, slaloming through four defenders, and sent a thunderous toe-poke into the net.

The goal was not crucial. Bordeaux already led 2-0 and went on to win 4-0. But the quality of the strike was enough to persuade many French football writers and opinionated former footballers that a new Messiah had arrived. Watch the goal below.

Some have suggested that Gourcuff's piece of magic could be the best goal ever scored. With such a high claim, it would only be fair if it was compared to some other amazing strikes.

The Independent's football editor Glenn Moore has pulled together his ten greatest goals of all time. But which goal do you think rates highest? Leave your comments below or vote in our poll.

George Best

(Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur, 1971)

There are plenty of goals by Best which could be picked, this was chosen for the audacity and perfection of the execution, and the way he anticipates where the attempted clearance will fall.

Esteban Cambiasso

(Argentina v Serbia-Montenegro, World Cup 2006)

Perhaps the ultimate team goal. There are 24 passes, with Juan Roman Riquelme at the heart of the move, before Cambiasso drives in Hernan Crespo's back-heel.


(Argentina v England, World Cup 1986)

The first goal was illegal, but Maradona's second in this quarter-final was sublime, especially as Terry Butcher was trying to clip his ankles.

Justin Fashanu

(Norwich City v Liverpool, 1980)

Great first touch, a stunning blind finish. Bear in mind how good Liverpool were at the time. Made more poignant by the knowledge of how his life and career unravelled

Ernie Hunt

(Coventry City v Everton, 1970)

Hunt's volley is top drawer in it's own right; the goal is top ten because of the ingenuity of Willie Carr's set-up. It is, incidentally, still legal. Why do teams not do it more?


(Arsenal v Chelsea, 1999)

The culmination of a remarkable super-sub hat-trick that turned aroud a 2-0 deficit. Kanu wins it, dribbles round Ed de Goey, then bends the ball around two men on the goalline.

Michael Owen

(England v Argentina, World Cup 1998)

Explosive pace and matching impact. It would be an outstanding goal in any company, but consider his youth, the enormity of the occasion, and the quality of the opposition.

Ronnie Radford

(Hereford United v Newcastle United, FA Cup, 1972)

Arguably the most famous FA Cup goal, outside of a final. A tremendous strike, especially given the clawing mud, and he won the ball first. The goal that launched John Motson's career.

Marco van Basten

(Netherlands v USSR, Euro'88, final)

Maybe the best of them all. A great strike, and an audacious one, against a very good goalkeeper, Renat Dasaev. There seems no danger as Arnie Muhren's cross drops…

George Weah

(Milan v Verona, 1996)

Extraordinary. Weah scores from a corner, taken by the opposition. He runs from box to box, beating players en route and leaving them trailing.