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Best goal of 2012: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Papiss Cisse, Neymar, who will win?

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

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.

Tottenham"s Mousa Dembele on why he is not the new Luca Modric

I like to play the beautiful game but I'm not the new Modric, says Spurs star Dembele



23:09 GMT, 28 December 2012

Mousa Dembele is explaining why he does not score many goals — just six in the Barclays Premier League since joining Fulham in August 2010.

The Tottenham midfielder takes his time and chooses his words carefully, exhibiting the same calm, unhurried manner and balance with which he plays.

It’s not a lack of confidence, he says, but a desire to score the right kind of goal; to ‘do it nice and beautiful’. Welcome to the relaxed, laid-back world of Planet Dembele, where time seems to tick at a different pace and style is everything.

Relaxed: Mousa Dembele was confident he would make an impact in England

Relaxed: Mousa Dembele was confident he would make an impact in England

‘I just like to play, to pass the ball and dribble,’ says the Belgium star. ‘When I was young I never shot. I always wanted to dribble the ball in the goal. I don’t want to shoot because I don’t like to, but it’s different now. You have more experience and you think more.

‘Is it about scoring the perfect goal Yes, maybe. Before I always played on the street with two lampposts that were like a basketball pitch, and we could not shoot. You had to dribble and touch the ball on the posts to score. We never shoot the ball.

‘So maybe it’s because I always played on the street and I liked to do it nice and beautiful.’ He smiles, before saying ‘boom’ and mimicking a driving shot from distance.

‘I know now it’s important to shoot and have the combination,’ he adds, ‘not only to dribble but to shoot a lot as well. I try to do this more and more.

Making an impression: Dembele has impressed since making the move across London from Fulham to Tottenham

Making an impression: Dembele has impressed since making the move across London from Fulham to Tottenham

‘It’s true that I have to improve my hunger to score goals and I think in the last two years I have concentrated more on this. I don’t score a lot of goals but before I only thought about playing nice football. Now I try to be more important for the team by trying to score goals as well.’

This is just one of the reasons Dembele (below) believes we have not yet seen the best of him. Since a 5million move to Fulham from AZ Alkmaar, his rise in English football has been swift and he attracted interest from the likes of Real Madrid and

Manchester United before moving to Tottenham for 15m last August.

He is also part of an exciting Belgium team which boasts Marouane Fellaini, Eden Hazard, Vincent Kompany, Thomas Vermaelen and Jan Vertonghen, Dembele’s team-mate at White Hart Lane, who he has known since he was 11.

International talent: Dembele is part of the highly rated Belgium squad

International talent: Dembele is part of the highly rated Belgium squad

Although a ‘frustrating’ hip injury has limited Dembele’s appearances so far, Spurs have lost just one of the 10 Premier League games he has started.

‘I know where my career will go,’ he says. ‘When I came to England I had the confidence to do something and I’m happy now that I play for a big club.

‘If you hear big clubs are interested it’s always nice to know people appreciate what you do but when Tottenham said, “We want him”, I didn’t have to think twice. I didn’t think about anything else.

‘You have a lot of players here who like to play football and, for me, it’s important that I can play my game as well. I’ve always had a good feeling with Tottenham, for a long time. We have the calibre to play in the Champions League. I believe in our teams and I believe we can do something special.’

Talking a good game: Dembele gets his views across to Sportsmail's Laura Williamson

Talking a good game: Dembele gets his views across to Sportsmail's Laura Williamson

Dembele is a player who works on intuition, he says, for whom it is important to have a ‘good feeling’, but the more dynamic side of this footballer emerges when the name of Luka Modric is raised.

The current Spurs playmaker is adamant he does not feel like a replacement for the diminutive Croat, who moved to Real Madrid last summer.

‘I never saw myself as the replacement for Luka,’ says Dembele. ‘I feel like I’m a totally different player. For me I like to touch the ball as much as possible. I like to do defensive work and attack from midfield. I think I can do both.

‘If you had asked me who were the best five players in England last season he would have been in my top five. I’m very much impressed by him. But he’s a different kind of style. I don’t feel like his replacement.’

At 6ft 1in Dembele has the physical attributes to be a midfield powerhouse, yet his football education at Germinal Beerschot in Antwerp, a club who work closely with Ajax, and from playing football in the street has given him the technique and close ball- control of a creative playmaker.

You get the distinct impression,
however, that Dembele is still learning. He thinks he can improve ‘in
every aspect’ and has ‘a feeling that I’m not at my top yet’. Football
still seems new to this 25-year-old, who is certainly not a football
‘freak’, as he puts it. Far from it, in fact.

cannot name a footballing hero because he never used to watch his sport
on television. Even now, he can usually suffer just 30 minutes at a
time — and then it has to be a ‘top team’ featuring a player or team the
midfielder knows well.

prefers going to the theatre or to watch a musical in the West End.
Jersey Boys is his favourite and he knows all the Frankie Valli and the
Four Seasons songs because he has seen it three times. ‘I never watched
football,’ says Dembele.

Not prolific in front of goal: Dembele has not scored many goals since arriving in England

Not prolific in front of goal: Dembele has not scored many goals since arriving in England

‘I could not watch a game for 10 minutes. But in the last three years I’ve started watching football more and more, and now I watch quite a lot. I find it more interesting. Before, I just wanted to play football. Now I can watch it.

‘I like to watch the top teams in
different countries, like Spain or Bayern Munich in Germany. The rest I
don’t watch. I have nothing to do with that.

‘I’m not a freak. I know guys who watch every game. I’m not like that. I need to know someone or have a bit of history.

minutes Impossible. Maybe 30 minutes, then 10 minutes doing something
else, then another 20 minutes. Ninety minutes is too long.’

Game face on: Dembele taking part in the EA Sports Games console challenge

Game face on: Dembele taking part in the EA Sports Games console challenge

He also found it nerve-racking watching Spurs play while he was injured and would change channel if Andre Villas-Boas’s side were winning — just in case he brought them bad luck.

‘It was strange because normally I’m very relaxed,’ he says.

‘But I was nervous because sometimes we were winning and then I would think, “If I keep watching they’re not going to win”. And I would turn the TV over and keep an eye on the live scores. I’m not really superstitious but with this, yes, I was.

‘I’m usually quite relaxed but it depends how we lose a game as well. I’m always very disappointed but sometimes it’s a bit more difficult. After the game against Everton (when Spurs conceded two late goals and lost 2-1) it took me a while to be relaxed.

‘But even more with this team because you have a feeling you can beat every team there is, so if you don’t play good or we don’t win it’s more difficult to accept it. But it’s OK, it’s life.’

Mousa Dembele was speaking at the Need for Speed Most Wanted Pro Player tournament. Need for Speed Most Wanted is out now for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Playstation VITA, PC, iOS and Android.

Robin van Persie could win player of the year again – Jamie Redknapp

Jamie Redknapp: Hotshot Van Persie could be heading for a double



00:14 GMT, 5 November 2012

Top form: Van Persie

Top form: Van Persie

If you could take one player from the Premier League at present, it would be Robin van Persie. He was outstanding again against Arsenal. Cristiano Ronaldo was the last man to win back-to-back Footballer of the Year and Football Writers’ Player of the Year and there is no reason why Van Persie cannot do the same.

Noble for England

A good result for West Ham, for whom Mark Noble impressed me again. He has the excellent habit of passing to players in his own team and he’s made 44 tackles this season – more than any player in the Premier League. Roy Hodgson was watching and an international call-up could be on.

Time to gamble, AVB

The boos at White Hart Lane said it all. Taking your leading scorer Jermain Defoe off when you are losing is not what the Tottenham fans wanted to see. Andre Villas-Boas surely has to be more adventurous. When you are losing, you sometimes have to throw caution to the wind and get two strikers on.

Booed: Spurs fans were not happy with Villas-Boas for substituting Defoe

Booed: Spurs fans were not happy with Villas-Boas for substituting Defoe

Join the squad, Jack

Arsene Wenger says he doesn’t want Jack Wilshere involved in England’s friendly with Sweden. But now he is suspended for next weekend, he could do a lot worse than link up with the squad. It would be good to reacquaint himself with his England colleagues – even if he doesn’t play.

Look for Silva lining

Manchester City are badly missing David Silva’s guile. At the moment they are reliant on Yaya Toure’s power but they need the Spaniard’s finesse. At the start of the season he had a bad spell and now he’s injured but Roberto Mancini will be hoping he returns soon. His ability to dribble and hit a killer pass is just what City need.

Fellaini a perfect fit

When Marouane Fellaini arrived as a defensive midfielder at Everton, I thought he was too big for the role. But his confidence is amazing and he is now unplayable further up the field. Against Fulham he was holding two players off and still winning the ball.

Outstanding: Fellaini scored twice as Everton drew with Fulham

Outstanding: Fellaini scored twice as Everton drew with Fulham

Show us you feel it

Little annoys me more than players who don’t celebrate goals against their former clubs. Robin van Persie and Kaspars Gorkss did it this weekend. Scoring is one of the best feelings – so don’t act like you’re not enjoying it. If you loved your old club so much, you wouldn’t have left.

Jonny's so good

How is this for an amazing stat Jonny Evans has not committed a foul this season. He’s played seven Premier League matches for Manchester United, so that is incredible, even though he should have been given cards against Chelsea and Liverpool.

Jermain Defoe delighted with double against Reading

Double delight for Defoe after kickstarting Spurs's campaign at Reading



18:05 GMT, 16 September 2012

Jermain Defoe believes Tottenham's season is finally under way in earnest after he bagged a brace in Sunday afternoon's 3-1 win at Reading.

Defoe put Tottenham ahead in the first half before two goals in three second-half minutes secured a first win under new manager Andre Villas-Boas.

First Gareth Bale's fortuitous shot looped over Alex McCarthy to put Tottenham 2-0 up and Defoe secured victory for the Londoners after a mazy dribble.

Double delight: Defoe netted twice at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday

Double delight: Defoe netted twice at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday

Hal Robson-Kanu scored a late consolation for the hosts, but the Royals were second best to Spurs throughout.

Disappointing results against West Brom and Norwich had seen the pressure mount on Villas-Boas just weeks into his tenure, but Defoe believes the club are finally showing their true colours.

'New managers come into football clubs and sometimes it takes time,' Defoe told Sky Sports 1.

'People just think instantly they're going to be unbelievable, but sometimes it takes time.

'I'm sure today the fans are happy and everyone that's been doubting us they can hopefully look at us and see that we can do well this season.

Blistering start: Defoe has been in the goals so far this campaign

Blistering start: Defoe has been in the goals so far this campaign

'Our season will start now.'

Defoe could have added a third to complete his hat-trick but he was content with the three points nevertheless.

'It would have been nice to have got the match ball, but to score two and help my team win is fantastic,' he added.

Former Chelsea boss Villas-Boas welcomed the three points, which came after his side spurned one-goal leads to draw their last two league outings.

'We've been chasing this win for quite some time and it's important for everybody,' the Portuguese told Sky Sports 1.

Off the mark: Villas-Boas (left) is watched closely by reserve goalkeeper Hugo Lloris

Off the mark: Villas-Boas (left) is watched closely by reserve goalkeeper Hugo Lloris

'Hopefully we can shoot on from now on.

'We could have gone 2-0 up a little bit earlier as we looked bright and confident and played very, very good football.'

Villas-Boas deployed Defoe in a lone role up front and was delighted with the performance of the striker, who also netted for England during the international break.

'I'm happy for Defoe to find the back of the net again. Three goals in the Premier League shows the goalscorer that he is,' he said.

'And I'm happy for the team in general. They were very committed to getting our first win. It's always difficult against promoted teams.

Top performance: Spurs were impressive on Sunday

Top performance: Spurs were impressive on Sunday

'Hopefully this can give us a build up for the future.'

Reading manager Brian McDermott conceded his side had been second-best throughout.

'The second goal killed us really. We came up against a top-class side today and they played well. They deserved to win,' he said.

'We have to move on very, very quickly – you have to do that in this league.

'It's a learning curve for all of us. We know we're playing against a team of world-class individuals, and today they have played well and we didn't cause them enough problems.'

Ryo Miyaichi keen to emulate Jack Wilshere at Bolton

Miyaichi keen to emulate Wilshere after sealing Bolton loan switch

Ryo Miyaichi says the success enjoyed by Jack Wilshere at Bolton persuaded him to move to the Reebok.

The Arsenal youngster signed a season-long loan with Owen Coyle's side on transfer deadline day after making just two appearances for the Gunners this term.

Welcome to Bolton: Miyaichi joined the Wanderers on deadline day

Welcome to Bolton: Miyaichi joined the Wanderers on deadline day

Young gun: Ryo has featured just twice for Arsenal

Young gun: Ryo has featured just twice for Arsenal

Miyaichi's move sees him follow in the footsteps of Wilshere after the midfielder spent six months with Coyle in 2010.

'Jack Wilshere said I would become a better player by playing here,' said Miyaichi, who watched Bolton hold Arsenal 0-0 at home on Wednesday before meeting his new team mates.

'I saw what Jack did here (on loan) two years ago. Of course, I want to be like him and play well for Bolton. My style is to dribble with the ball so I'm excited to come here.'

Manager Coyle added: 'He's a very talented young player, who is quick and exciting,' said Bolton manager Owen Coyle said. 'He had a great spell on loan at Feyenoord last season.'