In the footballing world, long range goals have always attracted attention. To execute such a shot requires immense skill, binocular vision and extreme awareness. Over the past decade, we have witnessed many of these spectacular goals. 10 of them that caught our eye has been listed below.
Wayne Rooney vs West Ham United
The Manchester United forward has scored some stellar goals in his decade long career with the team. He reminded all as to why he is the highest paid English footballer with a terrific shot from just after his halfway line. The ball flew 60 yards, bounced once in front of the goal line and finally hit the net. David Beckham grinned sheepishly from the stands as he was reminded of his similar effort (which is the next one in the list) way back in 1996 against Wimbledon. United went on to win the match 2-0.
David Beckham vs Wimbledon
Beckham announced himself to the world with a surreal 60 yarder from his own half. The year was 1996 when Beckham was just finding his feet. The shot looped over goalkeeper Neil Sullivan and settled in the net. This was the beginning of his super star status.
Roberto Carlos vs France
Carlos was playing in his usual Left Back position when Brazil won a free kick 40 yards off the opposition goalpost. What followed next was one of the most outrageous goals in footballing history. The moment the ball left the ground, it was heading straight to the stands (or so was the claim). But then it magically spun to the left and finally into the net. There was nothing Fabian Barthez (French goalkeeper) or his teammates could have done. Physicists explained that the goal was the result of a phenomenon called the ‘spinning ball spiral’ which diverted the ball at the last moment.
Steven Gerrard vs West Ham United
It was the FA Cup final in 2006. West Ham was already 2-0 up against Liverpool when Stevie G inspired a comeback. He assisted a goal and equalised with one of his own. But West Ham were back in the lead in a short time. Stevie then sent a screamer from 40 yards out straight into the opposition’s net to make it 3-3. Liverpool subsequently won 3-1 on penalties.
Cristiano Ronaldo vs Porto
Another Manchester United player who established his name at the club was Cristiano Ronaldo. One of his most memorable goals was against Porto in the Champions League Quarterfinal. The centre backs were taken by surprise as the winger barged through the middle and unleashed a rocket from 40 yards out. The ball hit the netting at 64 mph. The goal was voted as Manchester United’s best goal of the decade.
Xabi Alonso vs Newcastle
Before plying his trade with Real Madrid and quite recently with Bayern Munich, Xabi Alonso had made a name playing for Liverpool. To be fair, he has scored a few long range goals across his career. But, the one scored against Newcastle, back in 2006, was head and shoulders above the rest. He let loose a shot from his own half and the ball looped over a sheepish Steve Harper. The match came as a relief for Liverpool fans and players alike as the club ended a five hour goal drought.
Saber Khalifa vs Nice
In this long list of wonder goals by stellar players, Saber Khalifa is just an ordinary football player. But his goal was as striking as those of other superstars. Seeing that the goalkeeper David Ospina was way off his goal line, Khalifa unleashed a ferocious shot at the Nancy goal. The 60 yarder went straight into the net without a single bounce while Evian went on to win the match 4-0.
Clarence Seedorf vs Atletico Madrid
The midfielder had a 4 year stint with Real Madrid before moving to Inter Milan and later to AC Milan. He was a dominant figure in the team for the first three seasons and it was in 1997 that he scored an absolute screamer in the Madrid derby. The shot drilled into the net from 40 yards and the goalkeeper had absolutely no chance.
Luiz Suarez vs Norwich City
Suarez was a super star in his 4 seasons with Liverpool, in spite of the biting controversies. In his last season at Liverpool, he was the top scorer in the Premier League. In a match against Norwich City, he scored a terrific goal from halfway line. Observing that John Ruddy was off the goal line, he volleyed from 40 yards and found the net. His record against Norwich stands at 11 goals in 5 matches.
Bobby Charlton vs Mexico
One of the earliest eye popping long range goals was scored by none other than Sir Bobby Charlton against Mexico in the 1966 World Cup. After a disappointing start to their World Cup campaign with an unconvincing 0-0 draw against Uruguay, England upped the tempo as he inspired a win with a long range goal which was shot after a solo run of 30 yards. England subsequently won 2-0.