What is the best goal you have witnessed Sportsmail experts recall their favourites
21:38 GMT, 30 March 2012
In the wake of Peter Crouch's astonishing strike against Stoke, Sportsmail experts select the best goals they have ever witnessed. Why not comment below with suggestions of your own
Steven Gerrard, Liverpool 3-3 West Ham (3-1p) 2006 FA Cup final
I’ve got to be honest, when the ball dropped to Stevie my first thought was, ‘Don’t shoot!’ Thank God he did!
I was actually standing on the edge of the West Ham box, as I had gone up for what I thought would be our last attack and can remember watching the ball speed past me before flying into the net.
It was the sweetest strike I have ever seen and it perfectly illustrated Steven’s talent. The best goals, I feel, are the ones that make a difference to the biggest games and that ticked every box.
Marco van Basten, Soviet Union 0-2 Holland, Euro 1988 final
An unbelievable goal. Even having the audacity to try it from that angle is incredible. As a defender, you just have to admit there is nothing you can do.
I saw Dennis Bergkamp hit goals like that in training. The fact it was at a major championship makes it even better. Van Basten’s goal was the sort that makes you think: ‘Wow, how can I play against that’
Lionel Messi, Real Madrid 0-2 Barcelona, 2011 Champions League semi-final, first leg
Johnny Metgod’s thunderbolt free-kick for Nottingham Forest against West Ham lodged in my memory for many years. For some reason, I was behind the goal as it crashed into the roof of the net and had never seen a football travel so fast.
Then last year I witnessed Lionel Messi’s snake-hipped slalom in the Bernabeu, dripping in technical brilliance yet delivered in the most intense atmosphere imaginable. It has displaced Hotshot Johnny at the top of my list.
Diego Maradona, Argentina 2-1 England, 1986 World Cup quarter-final
The Foot (as opposed to Hand) of God goal by Diego Maradona against England in Mexico 86.
In the context of a big World Cup tie against what was at the time a competitive opponent, this was not only genius beyond belief but a masterpiece delivered under pressure.
All Diego Armando had to do was swerve, sprint and evade most of the players in one of the best defences in the world and then flip the ball past one of the best goalkeepers in the tournament.
Esteban Cambiasso, Argentina 6-0 Serbia and Montenegro, 2006 World Cup first round
There were 23 passes before Hernan Crespo backheeled the ball into the path of Esteban Cambiasso, who drove it high into the net. There is an unwritten rule regarding press-box etiquette. You don’t clap. I broke it that day.
Luis Garcia, Liverpool 2-1 Juventus, 2005 Champions League quarter-final, first leg
Scoring didn’t even appear an option but he unleashed an outrageous 30-yard, left-foot half-volley that raced and dipped past Gianluigi Buffon into the net.
As Andy Townsend said in his ITV commentary: ‘That’s 32million-worth of goalkeeper and he can’t do a thing about it!’