2012 was the year of goals. The Premier League goal record was broken, the all time goals in a year was broken by Lionel Messi, and pesky 0-0s are at an all time low. Although defending may be on the slide – at least in this country – great goals and huge scorelines are on the up. Here are the definitive goals of last year.
Best Goal this Season – Let’s begin by keeping it close to home before we get to the big ones, the best goal last year of the current season goes to Luis Suarez.
First of all, the way he begins his run the second Liverpool get ball is great play but what comes next is unbelievable. His first touch is near impossible, killing the ball on his shoulder, then comes an oxymoronic touch around the keeper; it’s so simple but requires so much skill to pull off. A goal from a great striker enjoying playing.
Best Premier League Goal – Let’s up the ante now, and go for the best goal in the Prem during the whole year. An honorable mention would have to go to Sergio Aguero for staying on his feet, finishing clinically, and winning the title for City, but he doesn’t get the gong. The winner is Peter Crouch
Goalkeeper, up to Crouch, cushioned header to Pennant, Pennant header back to Crouch, juggled control with the instep, then BLAM! Over the shoulder volley to the far post. Exquisite technique, audacious attempt, ridiculous goal.
Best Champions League Goal – The tournament for the best of the best, so the goals have got to be better? Well in terms of influence, Didier Drogba’s equalizer and penalty against Munich in the final would be right up there. And Ramires’ run and chip against Barca was great, but it was another Chelsea player in this season’s CL that gets it – Oscar.
As with all great Chelsea goals, it results in a large scoregasm from Neville and rightfully so. The first touch is likely intentional and, when combined with the finish, is unplayable. My favourite thing about this goal is that from the goalkeeping angle you can actually see Pirlo appreciate the goal such is its quality.
Personal Favourite – Everyone will have their own and the best thing about the year is that there is so many to choose from. It may surprise some to see mine come from the Canadian derby where wonder-goal specialist Eric Hassli absolutely cannoned a monstrosity into the top corner to equalize at the end. I have seldom seen a volley hit so hard and so accurately. It was unsaveable and, for me, the perfect goal. (It really is worth the click to youtube)
Most Significant Goal of the Year – Which goal was the most important though? A goal that will always be remembered and shown. Well the others on this list will always be great goals but they lack true meaning behind them, and while this goal is not a wonder-goal it is a lovely team move. It is of course Lionel Messi’s record-breaking 86th goal.
Best Goal of the Year – Which goal takes the biscuit though? The grand award of being the best out of thousands. It has to be the masterpiece of martial arts meets footballing skill by Zlatan Ibrahimovic against England. The goal has it all: distance, technique, audacity, individual performance, big opponents, and a great scenario.
For many years everyone on our fair island knew Ibra was good, but we’d never really seen it. He often failed to perform in the Champions League with English eyes watching, even more so against our teams. Well no more. Sweden had a stadium to christen, and they needed a memorable performance to do that – the Zlatan did not disappoint.
Already on a hattrick when a long ball is played up towards the England goal, Ibra applies pressure to Hart forcing a below average clearing header. The header wasn’t good but there is perhaps only one player that could punish you for it like this – and he was right there.
30 yards out, Ibrahimovic instinctively flips upside-down and loops the ball into the England net. England, meet the Zlatan.
Happy New Year folks!