Who scored the best goal of 2012 Drogba, Neymar and Ibrahimovic are all in with a shout… here are Sportsmail's top 10
14:40 GMT, 31 December 2012
Compiling a list of the greatest goals of the year is always tricky. It’s difficult to judge whether a magnificent dribble leading to a solo goal is better than a searing volley from 30 yards out.
But come the end of the year it’s time to decide which strikes make the cut and which must fall by the wayside. This collection has been chopped and changed a-plenty, but this is what we’re sticking with.
Only two of FIFA’s three Puskas award short-listed goals are present and correct – apologies and an honourable mention to Radamel Falcao.
We only have space for 10 goals on this list but if you believe other strikes deserve to be recognised then have your say in the comment section below.
Whose was the best 2012 saw some spectacular and brilliant goals and Sportsmail lists the top 10
10. Peter Crouch (STOKE v Man City)
People love to stick the boot in on Stoke because of their 'dour' brand of football. But they have offered some magic moments too during their time in the top flight.
Earlier this week we saw Cameron Jerome score an absolute rocket against Southampton. And in March Peter Crouch dealt Manchester City a setback in the title race.
We know now that it didn't stop them winning the Premier League, but at the time this wondergoal gave Man United the chance to open up a three point lead at the top.
Crouch nodded Asmir Begovich's long punt to Jermain Pennant who nodded it back and then the giant striker teed himself up and lashed in a stunning volley from an awkward angle past Joe Hart.
9. Simon Cox (NOTTINGHAM FOREST v Birmingham)
In the 1998 World Cup quarter-final clash between Holland and Argentina, Dennis Bergkamp scored a delightful goal, controlling a long pass expertly and finishing with aplomb.
Nottingham Forest and Ireland striker Simon Cox evoked that spirit against Birmingham in the Championship. Yes, the stage was smaller but the skill was no less admirable.
Cox took one touch to kill Lewis McGugan's long ball and then adjusted instantly to delicately flick it over the helpless Jack Butland.
8. Rodrigo Palacio (GENOA v Lazio)
Did he mean it That was the question everybody was asking when Rodrigo Palacio, now of Inter, scored this gem.
The Genoa striker's cute backflick from this corner floated over the surprised Lazio keeper and sank into the net.
Some say it was luck, others judgement. Sportsmail falls in the latter camp and will give the Argentina hitman the credit this effort deserves.
7. Gaston Mealla (NACIONAL POTOSI v The Strongest)
Colombian goalkeeper Rene Higuita made it famous at Wembley in 1995. But keeping the scorpion kick revival movement going in 2012 was Nacional Potosi striker Gaston Mealla. (See also THIS hilarious scorpion kick own goal for last year's effort).
During a Bolivian league match between his side and The Strongest, an under-hit dink forward was set to land behind the striker on the edge of the box. But Mealla cared not for his team-mate's mistake.
His stupendous athleticism salvaged the situation and helped create a bizarre and beautiful goal.
6. Neymar (SANTOS v Internacional)
Santos' much sought-after Brazilian demonstrated just why Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester City all are willing to splash the cash on him with this bewitching solo goal against Internacional.
He picked the ball up in his own half surged at 100 miles-per-hour past, round and through anybody who stood in his way, before nudging the ball home.
Note – Hatem Ben Arfa's effort in the FA Cup against Blackburn was a contender for the list, but the Newcastle man just missed out to this. A tough call to make.
5. Didier Drogba (Bayern Munich v CHELSEA)
Picture the scene. Chelsea are 1-0 down in the Allianz Arena and the stadium is bouncing. Bayern Munich are on the cusp of winning the Champions League trophy on their own turf.
With two minutes to go Juan Mata floats in a corner from the right. Everything seems to stand still as the ball drops in towards the near post. Everything that is, except Didier Drogba.
The Chelsea striker leaps for the ball and sends a venomous header in at the near post in front of the Blue corner of the stadium. To get so much power into the ball from such an awkward position makes this one of the finest headers of all time – before you even forgetting the circumstances.
An honourable mention goes to Ramires, Drogba's team-mate whose superbly weighted lob against Barcelona in the semi-final earned the Blues passage to Munich.
4. Philippe Mexes (AC MILAN v Anderlecht)
Philippe Mexes is supposed to be a defender. So how on earth did this happen
AC Milan were beating Anderlecht 1-0 in the Champions League when the centre-back doubled the lead with something a little bit special.
The Frenchman chested Riccardo Montolivio's ball away from goal and then flipped it accurately into the top corner with a precisely executed overhead-kick.
Milan's general manager Adriano Galliani waxed lyrical about the strike, and said: 'If Leo Messi had scored that, every news channel around the world would show it and he'd have been made a saint tonight!'
He's probably right.
3. Miroslav Stoch (FENERBAHCE v Genclerbirligi)
He's not the biggest name on the list, but he scored one of the finest goals.
Bringing to mind Zinedine Zidane's Champions League final volley and Paul Scholes' effort against Aston Villa, Fenerbahce winger Miroslav Stoch made Turkish league opponents Genclerbirligi pay.
Stoch stayed cool to pull the trigger on a 25-yard volley which swerved away from the goalkeeper and zipped in to the top corner.
This goal has been nominated for the FIFA Puskas award, along with Neymar's effort. At the Ballon d'Or ceremony on January 7 the winner will be revealed.
2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (SWEDEN v England)
This is certainly the most famous goal of 2012.
Yes, it's Zlatan Ibrahimovic's simply ridiculous propeller kick against England, which also happened to be his fourth goal of the game.
He defied gravity as he tossed his 6ft 4 frame into the sky with abandon, to caress the ball sweetly into the net.
There's an arguement to be made that Mexes' effort was trickier because he had a goalkeeper to beat – here Hart is in no-man's land – but this is from further out and far more awkward to hit.
The Swedish superstar had, until this friendly which his side won 4-2, previously been maligned by a fair few people on British soil, who thought he was over-rated and arrogant (OK, so the last part is still true).
This incredible goal was the cherry on the cake which he gleefully stuffed down the gaping mouths of his detractors.
1 Papiss Cisse (Chelsea v NEWCASTLE)
On a cold spring evening in May, Papiss Cisse warmed the cockles of Newcastle's travelling fans and delighted football fans the world over with this simply stupendous effort.
With one momentous swing of his right boot, he destroyed Chelsea's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League through a top four finish and secured himself a place in every 'Greatest Goals' DVD release between now and the end of time.
Every time you watch his outrageous volley, which spins past the thoroughly bewildered Petr Cech, it just gets better and better.
Perhaps the previously lethal Senegal striker decided he could never top this because it seems like he's stopped trying this season. You could forgive him, because this would be the highlight of anybody's career.