With the football season taking a break from the action, the avid fans of diverse teams scattered all over Europe are left with the memories to ponder upon, memories which never fail to bring a random smile on one’s face. The most beautiful thing about a goal scored in match, apart from having a noticeable and massive relevance in a team’s conquest for glory, it injects confidence in the team as a whole. The buildup, the passing, the ecstasy after the goal, the celebration of the team and the fans going berserk– all these makes a goal all the more special.
We have had a breathtaking European season, with many teams making history, teams fighting back, to avoid the drop, but midst all this there were some great goals which left the fans dancing in the aisles. After thorough inspection TheHardTackle lists down ten best scorchers scored in the recently concluded European season and now passes the buck to its readers to pick out the best of the lot.
Cisse (Newcastle United) v Chelsea
Pappis Cisse scored an incredible against Chelsea at Stamford bridge, which was a very crucial match and virtually ended Chelsea’s hopes to finish in the top four. As Chelsea were looking to salvage a draw from the game, a normal throw in was cushioned down by Shola Ameobi and then Cisse half volleyed the ball from his outer right foot. The ball swerved over Petr Cech as the flight of the ball bamboozled the Czech international and perfectly nestled in the right hand corner of the net. The goal even left Alan Pardrew and Drogba discussing about the stunner during the game.
Ramires (Chelsea) v Barcelona
Already voted as the goal of the season by the Chelsea folks in their award ceremony, Ramires’ educated lob over Victor Valdes is counted as one the calmest finish of all time, keeping in mind the situation his team was caught in. Ivaniovic’s bought Ramires into the move on the right flank, Ramires quickly seized the opportunity and passed the ball to Lampard and continued his run with even more speed. Lampard’s perfectly weighted ball was collected by the goal ward bound Brazilian, breaching the offside trap, and as Valdes came out to narrow the angle, Ramires did the unthinkable and lobbed it over him. The goal bought Chelsea right back into the game and as they say ‘Rest is History’.
Kevin Prince Boateng (Milan) v Barcelona
The Ghanaian scored a brilliant individual goal to restore parity at the San Siro and clinch a point for his side against a dominating Barcelona side. Mascherano cleared Ibrahimovic’s header, which was controlled in the mid air by Prince and he dribbled his way past hapless Abidal and punched the ball past Valdes on his near post. No doubt it was a tremendous skill to get past Abidal, but the initial jump to control the ball was extra-ordinary by the midfielder.
Drogba (Chelsea) v Tottenham Hotspur
Chelsea faced the familiar challenge from fellow Londoners in the FA Cup semi finals at Wembley this year. With both the teams looking to strike first Didier Drogba did what he does best. All alone upfront, Drogba let the ball ounce from his chest, and quickly changed the direction to his right, realizing that Gallas was over compensating and very closely marking him, fired in a superb shot from his left foot. A typical Drogba goal opened the proceedings and kick started a rout which eventually placed Chelsea in the FA Cup Final. A cup final which was desperately wanted by the Chelsea staff and players at that moment of time, after the disappointing season they had witnessed till then.
Robin Van Persie (Arsenal) v Everton
The Flying Dutchman scored a peach of a goal against the toffees at the Emirates stadium and gave gunners the lead. Eventually Arsenal clinched all three points which proved to pivotal in securing a champions League spot ahead of rivals Spurs and Chelsea, but Persie gave a demo to the world that why he has been so lethal over the past 2 years. A hopeful ball was chipped in by song for the captain and Robin executed one of the most difficult skills in football- volleying a ball which is dropping over the shoulder. Judgment, technique and placement- Perfection anyone?
Peter Crouch (Stoke City) v Manchester City
One of the most sensational goals from the English premier league season was that of Peter Crouch when the east lands side travelled to the Britannia Stadium. Crouch, who is mostly known for his towering headers and assists, volleyed the ball way out of the 12 yard box, from the right flank. Richardson cushioned a nice ball back for crouch, who had initially won the header and flicked the ball for the Englishman. The dip on the ball was too hot to handle for the England number one Joe Hart.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) v Rayo Vallecano
With Barcelona hot on their heels, any slip ups against Rayo Vallecano could have proven to be costly for the Madrid side. With an insipid performance in the first half, Cristiano Ronaldo scored an extra-ordinary goal to lift his side and clinch all three points. When the ball made its way to the Portuguese in the box, very few could have imagined what he did next. He back heeled the ball straight into the bottom right corner of the Rayo goal. His outstanding vision triggered a good performance from his side, which was eventually crucial as they managed to maintain the lead in the race for the La Liga title.
Lionel Messi (Barcelona) v Sevilla
The Barcelona number ten has scored a staggering number of goals this season, but none better than the beautiful lob against Sevilla away from home. Typical Barcelona build up witnessed Messi cutting in and executing swift give and go initially with Cesc and then with Iniesta, which included a wonderful run by the little man himself. A lot was yet to be done but Messi made it look so simple as he went through the defender to chip the ball past the hapless diving Rayo custodian.
Ben Arfa (Newcastle United) v Blackburn Rovers
The Geordie’s very own Messi, Hatem Ben Arfa scored a wonder goal against Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup third round at home to restore parity. The French winger received the ball in the middle of the park and he swiveled past as many as five Blackburn players to hammer the ball into the net. Newcastle United went on to clinch the tie but it was the Ben Arfa magic which left the whole St. James Park awe-struck that night, as the whole world applauded the young lad.
Simone Pepe (Juventus) v Lazio
The Italian international came up with a magnificent overhead volley against Lazio to give his side the advantage in a crucial game. Veteran Andrea Pirlo found Pepe with a wonderful looping ball and Pepe’s run had successfully managed to breach the Lazio’s last line of defense. Pepe cushioned the ball on his chest and without letting the ball drop slotted the ball in the back of the net before the Goalkeeper could take any ways of action. Quick thinking and apt finishing – Lethal combo !
Winner: Pappis Cisse (Newcastle United) v Chelsea
Cisse’s incredible strike that left the Chelsea custodian Peter Cech, the entire Chelsea team and the fans spellbound has been chosen as the goal of the season by our voters. The brilliant curling strike was a perfect combination of power and precision and put and end to the thinnest hopes of fans to qualify for the European football next season – not that it mattered two weeks later.