Tag Archives: puskas

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.

FIFA announce Puskas Award 2012 shortlist

VIDEO: Ben Arfa joins Messi, Neymar, Falcao and co on FIFA's shortlist for 2012s best goal



15:20 GMT, 14 November 2012

Hatem Ben Arfa's superb solo goal for Newcastle against Bolton last season has ensured a Premier League presence on the shortlist for FIFA's Puskas Award 2012.

The annual celebration of great goals contains the best strikes from around the world, and was won last year by Brazilian superstar Neymar.

The 20-year-old Santos ace is included once again this year, as is Lionel Messi for a sublime effort in Argentina's friendly with Brazil.

Scroll down to see all 10 goals on the FIFA Puskas Award shortlist

Slalom: Hatem Ben Arfa's goal against Bolton last season set pulses racing

Slalom: Hatem Ben Arfa's goal against Bolton last season set pulses racing

Former Chelsea youngster Miroslav Stoch also features, while Radamel Falcao, the in-demand Atletico Madrid striker, has a chance of glory thanks to his goal against America de Cali.

Strangely, Ben Arfa's goal wasn't even voted as Newcastle's best of the previous campaign, with that accolade going to the Premier League goal of the season, Papiss Cisse's wonder-strike against Chelsea.

The award is named after Real Madrid and Hungarian legend Ferenc Pusks, who tormented defenders the world over during the 1950s.

Fans are invited to vote for their favourite on the FIFA website, with the eventual winner being announced at the Ballon d’Or 2012 gala in January.


England caps are still an honour – Jeff Powell

England caps are an honour… so wear them with pride like Bobby once did



23:54 GMT, 12 November 2012

EXCLUSIVE: Gerrard emulates Moore on the eve of his 100th England cap

Click here to see the pictures as Steven Gerrard shares a special moment with pupils at his former school — emulating the famous picture of England's iconic captain

They're abandoning ship faster than the rats on the Titanic.

Men for whom it should be a matter of enormous pride to play for their countries are pulling out of international matches this week faster than they can bank their club pay cheques at the rate of 10 a minute.

Never mind the national pride, here’s the sick note. Basically it reads: ‘It’s only a friendly.’

Centurion: The legendary Bobby Moore posed with 99 schoolboys each wearing an England cap prior to winning his 100th as an England player

Centurion: Bobby Moore posed with 99 schoolboys each
wearing an England cap prior to winning his 100th

Time was when these games were nearly all friendlies and great players would have given – if not quite their right arms – at least a couple of fingers for the privilege of pulling on the shirt.

Now they pull a pained expression.

The world might never have heard of Ferenc Puskas and his mighty Magyars had it not been for the small matter of a so-called non-competitive match at Wembley in the spring of 1953, when Hungary stormed the hitherto impregnable fortress of English football and fired a six-goal salvo into the heart of our national game.

A year later, in the return friendly, they made it seven and changed us forever.

John Barnes would not have immortalised himself with a wonder goal in the cathedral of Rio’s Maracana unless England had travelled to Brazil to practice playing against those infernal South Americans.

That friendly is more fondly remembered than any England World Cup match of late.

Magnificent Magyars: Hungary's Ferenc Puskas (right) greets Billy Wright at Wembley in 1953

Magnificent Magyars: Hungary's Ferenc Puskas (right) greets Billy Wright at Wembley in 1953

The cap which Barnes received for his exploit is the most cherished of his mementoes. It seems there are England players now who would rather put a baseball cap on backwards and go for a night out.

Roy Hodgson is not so much England’s new manager as the secretary of a youth club, so little known are some of the kids he is calling up for national service in Sweden on Wednesday evening.

Frankly, at first glance, I thought Zaha was a clothes shop. It turns out he is a lad who, until yesterday, had been torn between playing for England or the Ivory Coast… someday.

I wish the lad well but if he does plump for this country I hope he never forgets that his big chance came in the kind of game which so many of his elders – and supposedly betters – are in the habit of calling ‘meaningless.’

Neither Bobby Moore or Bobby Charlton ever described any England match in which they took part in such disparaging terms. Nor did any of their distinguished peers. For men like these, it was always an honour to play for the country.

And even though David Beckham is a long-time sparring partner of mine, it has to be said that he always wanted to play in every England game. In fact, still does.

Unforgettable: John Barnes embarks on his epic run before scoring against Brazil at the Maracana in 1984

Unforgettable: John Barnes embarks on his epic run before scoring against Brazil at the Maracana in 1984

Although it was country first for the older gentlemen of England they were conscious, also, that every international appearance enhanced their reputations both at home and abroad.

They knew, too, that if they wanted to become World Cup stars it was only proper that they served their time and answered the call every time it came.

Now no-one doubts that John Terry is on crutches for a reason after that leg-crunching collision on Sunday.

But while it could well be that yesterday’s scans of other celebrated limbs revealed serious hurt, we can be forgiven for expecting that a whole posse of celebrated names missing from the passenger manifest for the flight to Stockholm will suddenly reappear, right as rain, in the Premier League this weekend.

Maybe there is pressure from some leading managers – Arsene Wenger for one is a leading campaigner for the abolition of friendlies – but the kind of strong-minded footballer who ought to be picked for England should be able to resist.

Patriot: David Beckham would still play for England in every match if he were selected

Patriot: David Beckham would still play for England in every match if he were selected

It’s not only the English chaps, of course, Robin van Persie – who came under Wenger’s influence for a long time at Arsenal – is one of many overseas Premier Leaguers opting out of ‘friendly’ week on the Continent.

In a perfect world, all the replacements would do so amazingly well that the services of the cynical old drop-outs would not be required in future.

That is most unlikely to happen, of course. But perhaps the mere thought of it might send out a reminder to the celebrities that since much of their fame and fortune is garnered from playing in the big World Cup games we expect in return that they pay their dues on the less glamorous occasions.

And if that’s not enough, in this of all weeks, let them not forget to wear not only their poppies with pride… but also their caps.

Roy Hodgson gives youth a chance against Italy

Hodgson hands English youth a chance with six uncapped players in squad for Italy clash



00:03 GMT, 15 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

There was a miracle here once, so they say. West Germany beat the Hungarians of Puskas, Kocsis, Hidegkuti and Czibor to win the World Cup in 1954.

The Magnificent Magyars went two goals up in eight minutes only to lose their grip in torrential rain and slither to a first defeat in five years, against a team they had thrashed 8-3 earlier in the tournament.

Hungary’s torment was hailed the ‘Miracle of Berne’ by the victors and, on Wednesday night, England and Italy descend upon the same patch of Switzerland with depleted teams for a game few people seem to care about. The miracle will be if anyone tunes in to watch.

New boys: Jack Butland and John Ruddy

Who are the new boys Jack Butland (left) – Birmingham keeper, 19. Fast-tracked after mature displays for the Under 21s and the GB Olympic team this summer, John Ruddy (right) – Norwich keeper, 25. Selected for Euro 2012 but broke a finger in training before the team had left for Poland

Match details

In reality, what we have is a rematch of a goalless draw played 52 days later, with all the best players missing.

Theo Walcott became the fourth to withdraw from a squad carefully selected by Roy Hodgson in an attempt to satisfy Barclays Premier League managers as they prepare for the new season.

Walcott has bruised his thigh. Daniel Sturridge has a sore toe, Joe Hart a bad back and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain a twisted ankle. Of the 22 players who started when England and Italy met in Kiev in the quarter-final of Euro 2012 in June, 16 are not here.

Instead, Hodgson’s choices are a cut and shut of those back in the fold — after injury in the cases of Frank Lampard, Kyle Walker, Gary Cahill, Jack Rodwell and John Ruddy or semi-retirement in the case of Michael Carrick — and untried youngsters.

Six are uncapped and two more have not played a competitive international and the England boss sounded as if he felt obliged to look closely at the likes of Rodwell, Jermain Defoe and Andy Carroll before they disappeared from first-team view.

‘I’ll be honest,’ said Hodgson. ‘This year there will be times I will have to select players who won’t be in their club team.

‘Jack Rodwell, I don’t know how many
starts he’ll get at Manchester City. That’s a risk but it’s the nature
of the Premier League. There are so few English players and many of them
are playing for the same club.’

Tom Cleverley and Steven Caulker

Who are the new boys Tom Cleverley (left) – Manchester United midfielder, 23, has not started a league game since October due to an ankle injury, Steven Caulker (right) – Tottenham defender, 20, impressed on loan at Swansea last year and with Team GB this summer

Hodgson confessed he was also concerned about the scarcity of English Premier League goalkeepers but rejected the theory that the elite pool of talent was too thin for England to survive the injuries which will inevitably strike ahead of summer tournaments.

‘I don’t have any fears for the depth of the squad,’ he said, but the fact that Lampard has been recalled at 34 and Carrick tempted back at 31 only emphasises the lack of young players challenging in that department.

Those two, Steven Gerrard, Scott Parker and Gareth Barry will be firmly into veteran territory by the time the World Cup comes around. Jack Wilshere has serious fitness issues to overcome before he can once again seize the mantle of England’s future.

It is those inexperienced players with the chance to impress who have most to gain from this friendly in the stadium home to Berne’s Young Boys.

Jake Livermore (left) and Ryan Bertrand (second left)

Who are the new boys Jake Livermore (left) – Tottenham midfielder, 22, has not played for England at any level. Became reliable back-up last season, Ryan Bertrand (second left) – Chelsea defender, 23, has only started six league games for the Blues but did well in Champions League final

Tom Cleverley can begin the process of
making up for a year lost to injury, Walker can make his case as
first-choice right back and Leighton Baines on the left. Steven Caulker,
Jake Livermore and Ryan Bertrand can prove why they are valued so
highly at their clubs. Lampard, who pulled a thigh muscle and missed the
Euros, is another grateful for this fixture.

‘I know it’s contentious,’ said Lampard. ‘The game is the week before the start of the season but the manager’s picked a good, intelligent squad.

‘He’s given young players a chance, players who might not have expected to be in the squad and might not be in the next squad, but given them a chance to train for a few days and be involved. I’m pleased to be here. I’ve had five weeks off this summer and this is a great opportunity.’

The midfielder has less than a year on his Chelsea contract and is still waiting to hear about a new deal.

Ringmaster: Roy Hodgson picked a young squad

Ringmaster: Roy Hodgson picked a young squad

‘We spoke once last season and it was a case of coming back, and it hasn’t come back from their end,’ said Lampard. ‘I’d like to sit down and speak with them. But at the minute I’m playing and it’s up to the club to do that.

‘There are a lot of changes at Chelsea. The youth coming into the squad this year has freshened up our team. I’d love to carry on with that. But it’s a club decision. They used to sit down with me three years before the end of my contract. Now I’m waiting.’

Meanwhile, he will win a 91st cap — his first of 2012 — and captain his country for the second time, keeping in the picture for the World Cup qualifiers. ‘If I deserve to be in the squad, I want to be here,’ said Lampard. ‘If not, I have confidence in the manager and he won’t do me any favours.’

So it is not a pointless exercise for everyone and no-one expects a miracle. Just don’t get injured.