A look at 10 goals that aren't always included in your Christmas DVD's and ESPN Specials.
There are a few phenomenal goals that every football fan has had the pleasure of witnessing. From Van Bastens impossible volley for Holland, to Maradona's wonderful solo effort versus England. From Di Canios inspirational strike for West Ham, to Michael Owens superstrike versus Argentina in '98. They are on every football DVD you've ever watched, and you're probably sick of the sight of them now... Well, maybe not. There is no doubting they are fantastic goals, but what about the ones that for one reason or another, don't always get that exposure? Here's a look at ten of the greatest goals you've probably never seen.
Jay Jay Okocha. Bordeaux versus PSG.
The sort of goal you dream of scoring when you first start to play, Okocha has recieved much praise for his goals at Bolton Wanderers, such as the Free Kick versus Villa and his truly excellent goal versus West Ham, but he was scoring even better ones before he arrived in England. Having just arrived in Paris from Turkish outfit Fenerbache, Jay Jay Okocha wasted no time in introducing himself to the PSG faithful on his debut at Bordeaux. Having just been brought off the bench, he jinked past two defenders in true Okocha style before unleashing a strike from at least thirty yards out that flew into the top corner. Thunderous is not the word. If possible, watch this goal from the angle just behind Okocha has he releases the ball. Unbelievable accuracy matched with such power, and you have yourself a wondergoal.
Giovani Dos Santos. USA versus Mexico.
This one did the rounds on a few internet forums, but is yet to get the exposure it deserves. With Mexico leading the Americans 3-2 in the CONCACAF finals, the Mexican crowd were tetchy and anxious, as they hoped their side would hold on to their lead. But thanks to Tottenhams Dos Santos, they did much more than that. Dos Santos runs onto the ball and picks it up on the corner of the six yard box. He turns to beat the onrushing goalkeeper, but is confronted with the USA defenders attempting to get back into position. Showing incredible footwork and composure, he beats one of them, before turning and aiming an exquisite chip over five defenders. The ball nestles in the very top corner, and Mexico celebrate a very important, and very special goal.
Andres Vasquez. Goteberg versus Orebro.
Some call it showboating. Some call it genius. Some call it arrogant. Whatever you call it, it's entertaining, and in this Swedish Premier League game, Vasquez scored what might be the flashiest goal of all time. Picking up the ball on the right flank, he cut in, and looked up as he reached the corner of the penalty box. From here, Vasquez contorted himself so that his right leg became his standing leg, as his left foot followed through from behind, producing what many fans call 'the rabona kick.' The ball sailed over Orebros keeper, and stunned the whole ground. Some will say that the Peruvian born midfielder intended only to cross the ball. Look again, there is nobody in the box to cross to. A moment of pure genius, and his first ever professional goal.
Andrea Pirlo. Parma versus AC Milan.
Andrea Pirlo has spent most of his career effectively holding the AC Milan midfield playing short passes and winning tackles. Everyone knew he could strike a ball - just take a look at his set peices, but did anyone know he could do this? In the 25th minute of the Rossonerri's fixture away at Parma, Pirlo pounced on a loose ball in midfield to play a neat one two with Seedorf. The Italian advanced tentatively with the ball, but was not closed down by the Parma defence and so the midfielder unleashed a shot. At first it seemed the ball would curl inwards harmlessly to the goalkeeper, yet incredibly the ball turned course midflight and flew into the net. A phenomenal goal, even by the high standards of Pirlo and AC Milan.
Grant Holt. Rochdale versus Oxford.
Ok, so a goal is always more special when you're there to see it live, but this was incredible. A typical lower league long punt forward is controlled beautifully by Holt, who manages to trap the ball, turn, and get it out of his feet all in one touch. Whilst admittedly being allowed much more space than allowed, the touch from Holt, usually seen as a battering ram forward, took the breath away. But the current Norwich City captain didn't stop there. As the ball bounced after the exquisite turn, Holt drilled the ball into the far bottom corner with aplomb. A beautiful turn followed by a 20-yard half volley into the corner. An incredible goal at League 2 level, watch at 1:45 in the embedded video below.
Matt Burrows - Glentoran versus Portadown
It appeared that Glentoran and Portadown had played out a 0-0 draw in their Northern Irish Carling Premiership fixture when the two teams reached the 92nd minute in a drab game. A drab game that was about to be lit up by an incredible goal from Glentorans silky Matt Burrows. When a pretty poor low cross was desperately floated into the Portadown box, Burrows attacked the ball. Whilst it appeared a lot of luck was involved, there was certainly a large defree of skill also. Burrows acrobatically flicked the ball with his right heel over the astounded defenders and keeper, as it nestled into the top corner. A breathtaking goal, in the most unlikely of circumstances.
Mick Channon - Southampton versus Liverpool
Southampton slumped to a defeat in this fixture in 1982, yet it is still remembered fondly by Saints fans and the players that played that day, for the remarkable goal for the home side at The Dell. String together a move of over thirty passes, Southampton moved up the pitch with purpose, and when the ball fell to Kevin Keegan, there was anticipation around the ground. Keegan flicked a tidy pass to Armstrong, who over-head kicked it back to the England star. Keegan then nodded the ball accross to Mick Channon, who took a touch inside before lashing the ball into the top corner. A true team goal.
Bret Pitman - Bournemouth versus Burton Albion
People should never underestimate the quality of goals that can be seen in the lower league. After what can only be described as 'scrappy' midfield play, the ball somehow found it's way to Bournemouths goalscoring sensation at the time, Bret Pitman. Pitman allowed the ball to bounce up to his chest, and watched it as it dropped, before unleashing an incredible volley from 25 yards into the top corner before celebrating in front of the Cherries faithful. A true picture of lower league football - moments of pure inspiration standing out like a sore thumb amidst the mire? Maybe slightly harsh considering the improved quality of football at that level now, but even so, this is a goal that even the likes of Messi and Ronaldo would be proud of. Watch at 1:30 below:
Marcos Flores - Adelaide United versus Gold Coast United
10 yards inside the Gold Coast half, and Marcos Flores of Adelaide United, picks up possession. Driving at the United defence, he shows immense skill and balance to skip past two midfielders with skill at the same time, to unlock the space in front of the defence. Continuing his run, he leaves two advancing defenders on the floor in his wake, before lofting a side-footed finish into the net. Incredibly, this goal only came second in the A-League goal of the season for the 10/11 season, but in my honest opinion, the skill and balance a long with the terrific finish make this a goal worthy of a place in this article. Watch at 0:45 below:
Jack Wilshere - Arsenal Reserves versus West Ham reserves.
Underhill was the setting for Jack Wilshere to showcase his talent making one of his first appearances for the Arsenal reserves team, in this resere fixture. After already brilliantly creating a goal for Fonte, Wilshere got himself on the scoresheet with this incredible effort. Armand Traore started off the move with some excellent work on the left before working the ball to Wilshere, the youngest player on the pitch on the edge of the Hammers' box. Young Jack took a few touches before curling a flawless strike into the top right hand corner of the West Ham goal, with his famously excellent left foot. It was moments of pure brilliance in the reserves like that, that helped Wilshere to begin to forge his career in the game, which look set to be something truly special.
So there it is. An epic journey through ten of the most excellent goals ever scored, that for one reason or another, you've probably yet to see. So here you go my friends, I'd love to hear your comments or arguments for other goals. Start youtubing!