The 10 greatest goals in football history

Greatest goals in football history || Credit: X and Britannica

The 10 greatest goals in football history

Stephen Oladehinde 07:53 - 07.05.2024

Exploring the ten greatest goals in football history unveils moments that are not only iconic in their execution but also significant in their impact on the sport.

10. Geoff Hurst for England against Germany (1966 World Cup Final)

The 1966 World Cup final remains a watershed moment in English football history, with Geoff Hurst's goal being the defining moment. 

This goal is not just remembered for its importance in clinching the World Cup for England, but also for the iconic black-and-white footage and unforgettable commentary that accompanied it. 

It encapsulates a nation's footballing pinnacle and continues to be celebrated as a symbol of English football's greatest achievement.

Geoff Hurst || Credit: West Ham United FC
Geoff Hurst || Credit: West Ham United FC

9. Zinedine Zidane's Left Foot Volley (2002 Champions League Final)

Zidane's goal in the 2002 Champions League final stands as a testament to his exceptional skill. Executing a powerful and precise volley on his weaker foot, Zidane showcased why he is considered one of football's greatest talents. 

This goal is not just about technical prowess but also about delivering under immense pressure, solidifying Zidane’s legacy in the sport.

Zinedine Zidane || Credit: Marca
Zinedine Zidane || Credit: Marca

Carlos Alberto for Brazil against Italy (1970 World Cup)

The 1970 World Cup final showcased Brazilian football at its finest, with Carlos Alberto's goal being the crowning glory. This goal emanates from a series of fluid passes and a brilliant finish by Alberto.

Carlos Alberto || Credit: Euro Sports
Carlos Alberto || Credit: Euro Sports

7. Trevor Sinclair's Bicycle Kick for QPR (1997)

Trevor Sinclair's bicycle kick for Queens Park Rangers in 1997 is hailed as one of the most technically perfect overhead kicks in football history. The goal's combination of athleticism, precision, and spontaneity makes it stand out as a remarkable feat, showcasing the audacious skill and flair that football can offer【16†source】.

Sky Sports
Trevor Sinclair's Bicycle Kick || Credit: Sky Sports

6. Roberto Carlos' Free Kick for Brazil against France (1997)

Roberto Carlos' free kick against France in 1997, often referred to as the 'banana kick', is remembered for its extraordinary swerve. The goal defied physics, leaving the goalkeeper and spectators in disbelief. It epitomizes the blend of raw power and refined technique that Carlos brought to the game.

Roberto Carlos || Credit: X
Roberto Carlos || Credit: X

5. Tony Yeboah's Volley against Liverpool

Tony Yeboah's thunderous volley against Liverpool is a prime example of seizing the moment. Striking the ball from 25 yards out, his shot thundered off the underside of the bar and into the net. 

This goal is a reminder of Yeboah's brief but memorable impact in English football, where he became synonymous with scoring spectacular goals.

Tony Yeboah || Credit: Premier League
Tony Yeboah || Credit: Premier League

4. Nayim against Arsenal (Cup Winners Cup Final)

Nayim's goal against Arsenal in the Cup Winners Cup final is celebrated for its audacity and precision. The long-range lob caught the goalkeeper off-guard, showcasing Nayim's vision and boldness. 

This goal is not just about technical skill but also about the courage to attempt the extraordinary in a high-stakes match.

Nayim || Credit:  The Guardian
Nayim || Credit: The Guardian

3. George Weah for AC Milan against Verona (1996)

George Weah's goal for AC Milan against Verona in 1996 encapsulates his extraordinary talent. Starting from his own penalty area, Weah embarked on a solo run, gliding past multiple defenders to score a sensational goal. 

It exemplifies his blend of speed, skill, and strength, and remains one of the most memorable individual efforts in football history.

George Weah || Credit:  France 24
George Weah || Credit: France 24

2. Marco Van Basten for Holland against the USSR (1988)

Marco Van Basten's volley for the Netherlands against the USSR in the 1988 European Championship is often regarded as the best volley in football history. 

Struck from an almost impossible angle, the goal's sheer audacity and technical perfection have made it a benchmark for striking excellence. This goal symbolizes Van Basten's legendary status in the sport.

Marco Van Basten || Credit: X
Marco Van Basten || Credit: X

1. Diego Maradona against England (1986 World Cup)

Diego Maradona's goal against England in the 1986 World Cup is frequently hailed as the “Goal of the Century.” Maradona's slaloming run past five England players, culminating in a calm finish, exemplifies his genius. 

Diego Maradona || Credit:  Britannica
Diego Maradona || Credit: Britannica

This goal transcended the sport, highlighting Maradona's ability to dominate a game single-handedly and leaving an indelible mark on the World Cup and football history.